Friday, July 17, 2009
Post Wednesday: L'enfant Plaza of Dreams
And when you're holding me we make a pair of parentheses. There's plenty space to encase whatever weird way my mind goes, I know I'll be safe in these arms.
"Laguardia, please!" I say to my first pulled over Taxi driver. I guess teal shorts and a bright pink suit case get you noticed in NYC. I'm going to say that my cab driver was someone similar to someone from Fast&Furious series, because I got to the airport super fast.
Do I need to talk about the shuttle down to NYC?
After an hour, I was finally reunited with someone from Knoxville. To make it better, it was someone I liked! Ginny Winter, Planned Parenthood Community Educator, and I found one another and I quickly remembered what it felt like to be around members of my own community: welcoming. It's an instantaneous sensation of comfort, when you've been taken out of it for so long. I'm going to try and remember not to take these kind of interactions for granted any longer.
Ginny and I made our way to L'enfant Plaza Hotel. I must say that it's the most confusing place to find. However, if you spot the glass pyramid Louvre look alike, you're there. Another comfort: single bed room with a king size bed. Need I say more?
I quickly rushed down to Monet I for my first workshop presentation. Of course, I'm the first to speak. I wasn't entirely aware of the subject matter, and made up for it by throwing candies into the crowd. Naturally, I wasn't completely comfortable with everything that I was talking about, but I feel like my general messages of "DIY", "find support", and "speak from your experiences" were pushed across. Luckily for the attendees, Christy and Megan (the other presenters) were totally under control, and fabulous! All in all, I walked away knowing that I needed to re frame the subject matter to make it more applicable to student organizers for Planned Parenthood, and focus more on anecdotes as opposed to advice. Like I said, "Youth advocates have a specific role in advocacy: share your story!"
The rest of the day is a blur between catching up with people from Houston, hanging on the arms of people from Tennessee, and introducing myself to new folks.
It wasn't until later that night that things got really interesting! At 8:00, a teen dance party was organized. The DJ was cheesy, and played silly music. For the first 20 minutes, it was four youth from Tennessee dancing on this big empty dance floor. We busted it down, and eventually went out into the crowd to retrieve other participants. The dance was a success, and too much fun. I felt like I was making a fool of myself most of the time! Then, Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood President, started "booty" dancing next to me; it gave me the needed confidence to not give a damn about what other people might be thinking.
By 11:00, we all tumbled back into our rooms. I quickly emerged myself in the most comfortable bed, and gently drifted to sleep.
"I miss NYC," I thought.
** DANCE. HAVE A GOOD TIME.
** SAY WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND TO HOTEL STAFF.
** SING IN THE SHOWER TO EXPRESS YOUR EXCITEMENT.
** THROW CANDY INTO A CROWD.
** ASSUME ALL METROS WORK THE SAME.
** DISCLOSE THAT YOU LOVE GET TO KNOW GAMES AS "GET TO KNOW YOU FACT."