By Antonio Dabeet and Delaney Clark
Muscatine Community College Calumet Student Newspaper
By Delaney Clark:
I’ve had the honor and joy of attending my second PTK convention this year. I knew I wanted to attend another right away when I got back from the convention in Kansas City, Missouri last year. I developed leadership and professional skills I never knew I’d be able to have. So, when the opportunity to attend another one was presented to me, of course, I jumped at the chance.
There are so many things I’d like to talk about, but I think the most important thing to talk about was the experience itself. Compared to last year, I really broke out of my shell. On the first day, at 4 AM at the Moline airport, I was already introducing myself to the people traveling with us from CCC and SCC. I’m not a morning person, but on this trip, I sure was! Immediately upon landing in Orlando, I wanted to meet new people. After lunch, Antonio and I went to the pool to network and meet other PTK members. I kept track of the people I met and the states they were from Texas, California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, and Tennessee, and I’m sure there were more. Out of the 3,775 members in attendance at the convention, I am sure I spoke to about 150 at some point throughout the 4 days I was there.
Day 1 of the convention was my favorite. I went to an educational forum on happiness; basically, how to be happy and stay happy. It was very enlightening and taught me a lot about what to look for every day and to express gratitude even on my worst days. I went to another forum on leadership and leading effective teams. This one opened my eyes to realize that you can’t run the show by yourself, you need to listen to your teammates and respect the diversity of everyone. My most favorite part of Thursday was the first General Session. This is where everyone at the conference gets together and proudly parades around with their state’s name and as your state runs by you cheer them on as loudly as possible. Then all countries and states represented at the convention get listed off one by one and again you cheer as loud as you can to make sure everyone knows you’re there.
My second favorite part of the convention were the General Session speakers: chef Jeff Henderson, author Mel Robbins, the CEO of PTK, and the International President of PTK. They spoke of their failures and how those failures brought them to where they are today. All of them are true inspirations and have influenced me in many positive ways.
Overall, my experience at the PTK convention was once again enlightening. I am beyond grateful to have had a second opportunity to attend a conference that’s so powerful and educational. I also met one of my best friends while I was there. If you get the chance to attend a conference of any kind, do it. You will become better because of it and you may even meet your next best friend!
By Antonio Dabeet:
Since that day I got involved with Phi Theta Kappa club, I haven’t quit running to activities to achieve my goals. I got called by my adviser because she heard I was so excited to go to this conference in Orlando-Florida. It was two of us from MCC PTK Club going to Orlando-Florida, Delaney Clark the president of PTK and I. It was about five days and four nights in the huge hotel called Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. Before we flew from the airport, I met some amazing people who made my whole trip. I spent the first day with my group in the hotel before I went to get my PTK Catalyst Registration. Delaney and I started looking for our room where our sessions would be.
The second day I had to get up early to get my sessions. Each day there was at least 4 or 5 sessions in the hotel with each being 30 minutes. Then we had our General sessions plus our Iowa regions meeting. Each session will teach you something important about life and studies. The session I attended was for managing your digital footprint. This session talked about how social media is bad and good it plus comparing percentages of the apps we use. If you try to type your name in google from your phone and your friend tries from their phone it will give different details and information about your life.
Another session was called “Using Music to set you Free.” This session was about therapy in clinical and real-world applications and how to use the principles of music therapy to enhance your own life and manage stress. In the General Session, I was in charge of carrying the letter W from IOWA letter while 3 other students carried the other letters for Iowa letters. And we were 15 minutes before the General session starts running around and between the different regions inside the huge room.
On Friday we went to the Disney World-Magic kingdom. I enjoyed the rides and walking around but my favorite part was the fireworks. On Saturday night after our sessions and General sessions we dressed in nice outfits for the Hallmark Awards Gala and the PTK Catalyst Farewell Celebration. To end our final day there, we all were hanging out and walking around the hotel until 4 in the morning before we left the hotel on Sunday at 4:30 am.
I only want to say this trip was amazing and it was a great experience and educational. I would like to thank my advisers Stephanie Oien, with her hard work to send me to this conference and Gina Bielski from Clinton Community College. She was the one who was responsible for me while we were there and I truly appreciate that.