DiscoTech Absence- prior commitment

Hi everyone!

As I wasn’t able to attend the DiscoTech on Sunday, I wanted to take the time to share where I was and what it has meant to me. Two years ago, during my second semester at Wellesley, I decided to apply to become a member of the Wellesley College Lecture Society. This long and grueling three week process eventually resulted in my and my class of 8 others being accepted into the society. Every semester we hold different themed lecture series and bring outside speakers to Wellesley’s campus to shed light on things that they are working on or are passionate about. For example, this semester’s lecture series has been all about Hip Hop and Technology and how the genre has changed throughout the years as well as it’s effect on Black culture and how it is perceived. We’ve brought speakers ranging from Kariann Goldschmitt, an ethnomusicologist, who spoke about Brazilian Hip-Hop and the Afro-diasporic imagination, to Prince Charles Alexander, a Berklee College Professor and famous producer, who talked about the evolution of technology in regards to how sounds have changed throughout hip-hop’s history. On Tuesday we even had a lecture by up and coming artist, Mari, who just graduated from Williams, and his manager J Harmony, a recent Columbia grad, about the struggles of being graduates from elite schools who could have gotten high-paying jobs, but instead stayed true to their passions in such a cut-throat industry. These lectures are advertised to everyone on and off campus and have sparked post-lecture talk-backs, where we invite others to gather and discuss what they’ve learned in an open forum.

In this four year society there are annual events such as senior reception and also different executive board member chairs (president, vps, lecture, publicity, web, etc.). This past Sunday was senior reception, a day long gathering where all 45 members of the society come together to celebrate those whose four years are coming to an end. During this time, we discuss the ups and downs of the societal structure and different changes that may help benefit us in the future. Each senior (in this case, 15 of them), have written a 10 minute long speech talking about what this society has meant for them in relation to their Wellesley experience and how it has helped them learn more about themselves and others. This event usually lasts about 5 or so hours and ends with a community dinner and voting for the passing down of new executive board member positions.

I’m sad I had to miss such an awesome event for testing our prototype, but feel confident in the feedback I’ve received from Declan, Micky, and Lucia that we’ve gained enough insight for me to edit our current prototype for the better in preparation for next week’s presentation. Hopefully in the future, some of you will be able to attend some of our society’s lecture’s on Wellesley’s campus too!


One thought on “DiscoTech Absence- prior commitment

  1. This is really wonderful, I appreciate you sharing this life experience. Unlike the Aliens, we cannot be in two places at once, so we will always have to make hard choices. I believe you made the right choice, and it was made in the cooperative spirit. That is exactly how a coop works. A coop gives you the power to make the decisions best for all, even on the spot sometimes – we trust your judgment. The best case scenario is full communication about any date conflicts as early as possible, then you and the other members can make a solid plan. It is not like this type of situation would happen often.
    In a coop, it is expected that we will all help to fill in for any member when they cannot be there. In a cooperative/real world this happens – one of the big differences in how this works in a corporation is this:

    You would most likely be threatened with being fired//demoted or penalized in some way, if you did not show up, and you would not have any opportunity to share your experience with your team.

    On the surface, this whole topic may not seem very important, but if you look closely, this is the kind of situation that can stifle autonomy and creativity. It can even make smart people doubt themselves and feel guilty. When we are not encouraged to make important choices/decisions that can bring value to the group, we lose as a team.

    Imagine going into your corporate job and saying to your boss and team “I want to go to an event that has major importance in my life and the things I am passionate about, I won’t be able to be at the event the company is hosting next week”.
    A cooperative approach would be to support the member by discussing ways to fill in or find a replacement for the workshop – they would also probably discuss how everyone could help by preparing any deliverables you would not be able to provide, in advance etc. Then they may go on to ask how they can enhance your trip and help you gain some positive things to share upon your return – they might even vote a cash bonus to help you enjoy your event more. Cooperation is great, who need stress?