I traveled directly to Gainesville, Florida from my previous weeklong visit at NC State. So needless to say, I was a little worn down by the end of the week. Having National Director & CDO Brian Lee join me, as well as fellow NA Dean Tzobanakis a day later, was needed and highly appreciated. Not only do we all have a blast together, but they also brought on an extra boost of wisdom and energy that I was definitely lacking.
There is something special about Brian to where he can really cut to the core of peoples’ hearts, ask the right questions and enlighten and encourage them in areas that normally are hard to reach. Dean is just a go-getter. If something needs to change or needs direction, he can come in calm and collected yet guns a-blazing wrecking some perspectives and taking names.
Brian and I had a meeting with the members at the BYX house before the rush event that night. I was really happy to see all the guys again, because I hadn’t seem them since last spring when I visited their Full Retreat. We hung out and talked for while, and then Brian brought the boom (it’s a phrase I’ve never used so just go with it) when he spoke in front of the chapter.
He said he wouldn’t talk that long, but ended up talking for almost an hour. Classic Brian. Regardless of the time, he was really challenging and encouraging, which was something we all needed to hear.
The rush event was a root beer kegger, which had the best root beer I have probably ever tasted. A bunch of really cool potentials came out, and we ended up playing game I will never forget: Muffin. It’s way to intense too explain, but basically it’s a mix between pool and jungle-pong; indeed my mind was blown, and I was thankful we played it almost every night I was there.
Tuesday I mainly met with members and officers during the day and had some fruitful and challenging conversations, but Wednesday was slightly more eventful. I had some individual meetings with more members and officers, yet this time something out of the norm happened.
As I was talking with a brother on the phone through my headphones boarding down the sidewalk, I was looking for the restaurant we were supposed to meet at. After desperate searching, I realized that this meeting place was right across the two-lane street. It was mid-morning so there wasn’t much traffic, and the crosswalks were about a mile away in both directions.
So I did what a normal person would do: I boarded across the small street to get to the other side. It took me five seconds to board across, but little did I know that five seconds later I would here a cop siren and be asked to pull over. Mind you, I am still on my penny board and on the phone. So not only was I confused by the fact that this motorcycle cop appeared out of thin air, but I was also bewildered how to “pull over” on my board.
I found a place to stop, and proceeded to ask the officer what the problem was. I won’t go into detail of how the conversation went, but it was short and there was a lot of grumbling and harshness coming from one side and on the other repeated I’m-not-from-here’s and a lot of puzzled apologies. It must have been a bad day because I ended up getting a $52 ticket. Thanks a lot Gainesville.
Besides this random event, the rest of the day went really well. The Wings and Worship rush event that night was done on campus at Turlington Plaza, which is actually the most foot trafficked place in America beating even the gates of Disney in Orlando! It was nighttime, so there wasn’t that much traffic, but we had some amazing barbecue wings, hung out and wrapped up with a great worship session. There was something special about worshipping and proclaiming God’s name with my brothers on that campus.
Thursday was another day of individual meetings, as well as an online staff meeting with the guys back home. The day went well, conversations were deep again and prep for the Rave rush party was underway.
When I showed up at the BYX house, I was thoroughly impressed. Every light in the house had been replaced with a black light, glow in the dark tape had been put up everywhere, the music was bumpin, pizza was delicious and the black-light Ping-Pong tournament was intense. Another remarkable rush event that was done by the Florida Chapter; this semester’s potential was looking good.
The final formal dinner and bid acceptance went extremely well on Friday. The guys really worked their tails off to make the event and BYX look reputable. The hard work and collaboration really paid off. Twelve guys showed up to the dinner, and all accepted their bids later that night.
We also had a surprise guest show up, Dr. B. J. Fregly. He is their new faculty advisor, and a phenomenal man of God. He has a great testimony, isn’t afraid to talk about Jesus in his classroom, and will definitely serve this chapter well.
The two-week stretch of back-to-back trips taught me a lot about the need to challenge and be challenged by brothers. I’m glad I had the chance to challenge the brothers at Florida and see the fruit of it during my time with them.