After what would definitely be one of the most interesting experiences of my life, I thought Id pitch in my two cents. So here I am, typing away, trying to ignore the massive heap of things needed to be done- SAT Subject tests prep, college applications, summer reading assignments, etc. I am writing this in english for two reasons: first of all, I was asked to write this in english, and second of all, if I wrote this in korean it would take me 1 hour to write a paragraph and it would take you 1 second to read it. So here goes my rambling rant about HOBY WLC 2005:
I'd been to several ""camps"" or ""programs"" in the past, but the HOBY WLC experience was like no other. Within the first few seconds of my arrival, I realized that I would not be able to make it through this without a steady dose of caffeine and sugar. HOBY WLC was, mildly put, a very high-energy program. Not an hour went by without a HOBY cheer, and once someone started it, the chain of HOBY cheers went on and on and on and on. It was endless. By the end of the 3rd day I thought that if I ever heard another HOBY cheer in my life, I would scream. By the end of the 5th day I started to hate the word ""outstanding."" I simply did not have the energy in me to sing and dance along to another ""Ooh! I feel so good and ooh! I knew I would and Ooh! I feel so good!"" and this again confirmed the fact that I was not cheerleader material. But the thing about HOBY is that, even though I grew so sick and tired of these annoying cheers, and even though I felt like ripping my ears off whenever I heard someone say ""Hey HOBY! What did we think of (insert subject here)?"", I cant stop myself from humming these catchy tunes now that HOBY WLC has drawn to a close. Who would have guessed?
There are a few ""myths"" about HOBY that I would like to clarify for future ambassadors.
First, the myth that during the HOBY WLC, you have to walk 100 gazillion miles a day. This is not true. We barely walked at all. Well, okay, let me rephrase that. We did walk a bit, but not a lot. I come from a boarding school in Canada, in the middle of nowhere. My school has a poorly planned campus; the average walk between classes would be 7 minutes- of speed walking. Now times that by 5, plus the distance between dormitories, the dining hall, the library, the fields, the boathouse, not to mention the hills and stairs, and I think the typical student at my school walks at least 20 miles per day. Compared to this, HOBY WLC was nothing. But, theres always a catch factor. In this case, its the heat and humidity. A two-second walk in Washington DC in July feels like 2 hours in a sauna. It is absolutely draining. I though I was going to sweat out all the fluid in my body. So a piece of advice- when the HOBY staff offer you water, take it. Make sure you are never without a bottle of water. Even two, or three, or as many as you can possibly carry. Water will save your life. Trust me.
The second myth is that the panels will be incredibly interesting and that everyone will be taking attentive notes during these panels. Wrong. The panels are somewhat interesting, but 2/3 of the ambassadors (and maybe even staff too) will be too tired/sleepy/already asleep to care. I have not seen a single person take attentive notes during a panel. Occasionally some will jot down some key words, but never will they fill an entire page filled with font-10 single spaced writing. Most will be entirely focused on trying to find a comfortable position and catching some sleep without being too obvious. This is not to say that the panels are boring, in fact, I enjoyed the panels that I managed to stay awake for, but the rigorous schedule and lack of sleep (I will elaborate on this subject later on) makes it inevitable that ambassadors would rather sleep than listen to Spark the Wave.
The third myth is that HOBY WLC guarantees not plenty, but an adequate amount of sleep. This is completely false. HOBY guarantees nothing when it comes to sleep. During the HOBY WLC I did not get more than 3 hours of sleep each night. But do not worry, its all in good fun. You could get 6 hours of sleep if you wanted to, but I chose to stay up and talk to my roommates. I figured that I could get sleep at home, but talking to my roomates from Arizona, Nebraska, and the Philippines was a one-time opportunity.
So thats it. Wow. That was really long, and yet is just the tip of the iceberg of the HOBY WLC experience. If you didnt stick around to read this last sentence, I understand. I didnt realize I had so much to say. Overall, what did I think of HOBY WLC? Outstanding!