I resisted the temptation to continuously eat during the TEDxSD event today. I didn’t allow myself to succumb to it. Instead, I ate a healthy (second) breakfast, a good lunch, and saved spoiling myself for what became my dinner at the After Party.
Funnily enough, I ended up catching a ride with a new friend whom I’d just met the evening before, at a Meetup I hosted at Mira Mesa MarketPlace. The Meetup group for whom I was hosting the event was the San Diego Minimalist Meetup. I showed up at the site about fifteen minutes before it was to begin, and brought out my library book, which I continued to read until Jay showed up. It was already dark by then, so I wasn’t reading my book anymore, as I was outside, and the lights above were not of reading-level brightness. We discussed Minimalism as a concept, and I told Jay that I’ve been more or less a minimalist since graduating school, mostly because I learned the effort it takes to accumulate stuff and have to manage it. Also, I came to realize that stuff takes up valuable space. Especially since becoming a parent have I turned my head from materialism (for the most part), since I didn’t want to raise a “privileged” child. I say “privileged” because, while in many ways, we (all of us living in these United States) live with many privileges, meaning that due to the accident of birth, each of us was born into a certain position in life, and made of it what we have. At the same time, I didn’t want to make the mistake of valuing material possessions, as I was always aware of my means. But back to the subject of the day’s event…
We were discussing our weekend plans and learned that we were both volunteering at the TEDxSD event, so arranged for Jay to pick me up on his way in the morning. He texted me when he left home, and arrived at my condo much faster than I’d expected. We entered the event space, checked in, and then he started on his assigned duty, which was in Registration.
My role was Greeter/Wayfinder. That group didn’t meet until about an hour later in the morning. The lead volunteer for the Greeter/Wayfinders was named Frank, and he asked for volunteers for each station where it would be likely for guests to need directions to their destinations. We’d rotate positions throughout the morning so that none of us were stuck in a single location for very long.
The first station where I was assigned was at the Ground floor elevator bank in the Symphony Hall building, which also housed a restaurant and hotel in a megastructure that covered at least half of the city block. After about an hour, I was moved to an elevator lobby across the street, on the twelfth floor, to direct guests to the other elevator bank (it’s a bit confusing for guests, since they’re parking in one building, then taking a skybridge to the Symphony Hall building, and then riding another elevator back down to Symphony Hall itself). My last station was as a greeter and door-opener at each of the exterior entrances between the area called Innovation Alley and the lobby of the building that housed Symphony Hall. At the second of the entrances, I saw a colleague whom I know from the US Green Building Council, Josh Dean. I assumed he was there primarily to see and give support to the president of our chapter of the USGBC, the San Diego Green Building Council. While I was inside, I saw Paulina preparing her talk. Fortunately, I was able to go inside the auditorium to watch Paulina’s talk, whose theme was providing happiness as part of enhancing people’s lives. She gave examples of the SDGBC’s work, in Balboa Park as well as other locations in San Diego.
I didn’t get inside to watch either the first r third sessions of the day, as I was engage in preparing the site for the remainder of the day. We had to disassemble displays and bring them either to the moving vehicles or across the street to the location of the After Party, roll up the temporary carpets, fill plastic cups with water and arrange them on a couple tables while snacks were on another table, placed neat rows/columns for guests to help themselves.
Then we waited until the final speaker had completed his talk and the emcee introduced the creator and organizer, Mark Lovett, to the audience. Mark Lovett then gave his short spiel, then invited the volunteers to come in to receive applause from the attendees. We entered through the two middle aisles and were bathed in cheers. When we exited, we arranged ourselves along the exit route to cheer the audience as they departed. A few of us held our hands out for hand slapping as the guests walked through.
Jay and I helped to bring almost-empty recycling and trash bins to the dumpster room around the back of the building. From there, we want across the street, where we were given drink tickets to enjoy the After Party along with the guests.
I helped myself to some snacks after being given a cup of sparkling wine (they had beer and still wine, as well). Jay and I sat at one of the tables and watched people for a little while as we munched on snacks we’d fetched for ourselves from various stations located throughout the outdoor party space. As we left, I gave my second drink ticket to a guest. He was already holding a bottle of beer, and I handed him the ticket, saying, “Here, have another!” He was surprised, but accepted the gift, saying, “Thanks!”
Jay drove me back home, and I told him I’ll email him when I get the next San Diego Minimalist Meetup on the calendar.
I came into the flat, which was dark, as Kat had a competition at another high school that day. I showered and lay in bed for a while, taking a short nap, before receiving a text from Kat announcing they were leaving the other high school soon and so could I come in about an hour? I dozed for another half hour or so, then dressed and went out to my car, on whose windscreen was condensation from the cool night air. I started the car, turning on the heat, and drove to the high school, where I waited, along with other parents, for my teenager. Kat was one of the first out, thankfully, and found me easily. It turned out Mira Mesa took first place at the day’s competition with a score of 88.8 (or a number similar). I asked if that was an average of scores given by several judges, and she explained that there are often fractional scores because there were many points and partial points for each scoring category.
Kat has gone to bed, and soon so shall I. It’s been a busy, fun day.