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The Reach

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Being, and Becoming, at PTK Catalyst

Being, and Becoming, at PTK Catalyst

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Melinda Dourte, a member of the Rho Zeta Chapter at Big Bend Community College in Washington.

It's the PTK twilight zone.

Time and place fall away, and we become the living organism of learners together, curious and joyful with hugs and shrieks to share in the Gaylord Opryland jungle.

The heart-pounding music and energized rays of light bounce around us. My heart skips, and I step a little lighter with my eyes wide seeing the pulse of PTK in all those sparks around me.

Here, we cast off worries and judgements—we do fit, we are smart, and we are learning how to change the world by considering the "health of the team, before individual achievement," as International President Andrew Porter shared with his heart on his sleeve and tears in his eyes.

“Value, Aspire, Listen, Understand, and Empathize,” he urges. I see he is, like the rest of us, becoming. 

I hug the sister I met at the 2016 Honors Institute at Wake Forest University as neonatologist and television personality Dr. Jennifer Arnold beams her shining smile from the stage under the lights. “Think Big” is her lesson title, and her question resounds—while considering our limitations, are we "lacking ability, opportunity, or understanding?" I will continue to ask myself this reflective question often.

We can find the understanding then the opportunity and finally the ability to change our world. It takes puncturing our bubbles to embrace others; it takes our individual excellence blended together.

T-shirts, postcards, and protein bars get to know each other in our purple Lipscomb bags, and award medals jangle. We are fused by more than the frenzy of rock concert-style general sessions.

For just this time, the stats, chapters, and essays will wait an extra day. We are busy being PTK.



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