I really wanted to enjoy the Awaken the Dreamer symposium and make new contacts of like-minded people looking for Earth-friendly solutions. The workshop was advertised to start at 8:30AM, so I arrived early to register. We were instructed to go visit the vendor booths, which included permaculture, something on food, mass transit, a sea bird sanctuary, and a time bank and world cafe salon discussion group. I got some information, and sat at a table. Sometime after 9:00, we were instructed to visit the tables if we hadn’t already and then discuss in pairs which we thought appealed to us. Then at 9:30 we would start an activity.
At this point, I was annoyed by two things: 1) if you’re not going to start until 9:30, don’t tell us to be there at 8:30, and 2) I don’t like being coerced into discussing things in pairs. I’ll talk if I want to talk. At 9:30, the group activity was an improvisation about people with different communication styles being trapped in an elevator. This took half an hour, and then we discussed it at our tables. I said I didn’t understand the point of the whole thing, and someone said it was so we will have to learn to be able to communicate with people who have different “beautiful needs” and agendas. True…but we knew that already, or we wouldn’t have paid $10 to spend our Saturday here. I felt like my time was being wasted. Then we watched a slideshow of beautiful scenery. There was supposed to be a narrative track, but apparently it didn’t work. We were then instructed to go find someone we don’t know and share why we were here and what our biggest concerns were. At this point, it was 10:30 and we had been there for two hours and I hadn’t learned anything or felt intellectually stimulated. I wanted to brainstorm and problem solve. Perhaps that was going to come later, but I gave up and left.