From Pattern to Pattern

Tuesday, June 25, 2103

Once people develop a new pattern of behavior and way of thinking, it’s hard to accept a sudden change, even if that change is to engage with our reality. In the particular case of this experience, change is good. Getting immersed in the European culture is a mind-opening step amongst all the steps we take in our lives. In this sense, let us refer to the places to where we take these steps as “patterns”. For all of us, the starting pattern is our home country or our home State back in the United States. This pattern is characterized by the routine and the known. I believe that we should run away from this pattern whenever we have the opportunity. And this is what we have done by coming to Europe. Each one of us is taking a step into a new pattern characterized by the untraditional and the unknown.

Second day in Riva. Dr. Randolph begins Module I: Sustainable Energy. New things to do are arising in people’s minds as the day passes. A “hidden but evident excitement” can be felt. Beginnings are always rough, with everybody feeling exhausted either because of jet lag, long train trips, sightseeing, or not enough sleep. Or maybe it’s because of all of them. But at the end of the day everybody knows that this experience will be one of a kind.

Randolph’s first module had “density” written all over. A great amount of information, both technical and qualitative was given to us during the first day of classes. But in the end, this is why we came to Riva. A bumpy night awaited us with the assignment for the next day but without a doubt, as Dr. Randolph would put it, “the techies were getting more fuzzy and the fuzzies were getting more techie.”  Looking back on the experience, we actually seized this opportunity to get to know each other better.

And just because it is a universal law that “things are often calm after the upheaval”, we decided to go out and explore the extraordinary community we have been put in and, at the same time, get to know some of the late-night local wanderers. By the end of the evening, everybody knew each other better and got closer.

A new pattern is starting to grow in each one of us in different ways. Some are acquiring new habits, others shaping their personalities to this new experience. But one thing is certain; this is changing all of us in one way or another.

Guest contributor:  Jorge Ventura Ovalles

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