Monday, May 13, 2013

Work Hard, In PTK We Celebrate Harder!

By Moreen Tonny

San Jose, California! One of the most exciting cities in the United States. We often associate California to the great city of Los Angeles, San Francisco, the famous Silicon Valley, nice beaches, lot of fun and unforgettable memories. Did I mention celebrities??? Of course, there are a lot of celebrities to meet and countless things to do and places to visit! Well I did not go to L.A. nor visited sunny beaches but I was in the gorgeous San Jose Convention Center for PTK 95th annual convention. If you wonder whether we know how to celebrate as Phi Theta Kappans, this was the confirmation. PTK 95th annual convention was a BLAST!!!
Students from all over the US and other countries represented their states, regions and chapters in San Jose this year. From April 3rd through April 7th I witnessed the greatness of PTK as a leading honor society in higher education internationally. I took enormous pride in seeing how grandiosely the organization celebrated its members’ achievement.
As an active member and officer I knew the benefits of joining PTK but I had never imagined experiencing what I did with PTK in San Jose that weekend. Every corner of the convention center was an opportunity to start exciting conversations either about our honors topics or just a quick chat about our hometowns. Day and night the intersection between South Market street and San Carlos street was just like Time Square here in NYC; excited and joyful young people were constantly walking in large or small group. The convention t-shirts were worn by almost every participant making the surrounding area feels like ours!
If there is something that thrilled me to the point of giving me goose bumps was the energy and effort putting into making the event unique. From the parade of flags of every territory where PTK has chapters, to the inspirational speeches delivered by each guest and not to forget the decorations, I enjoyed every bit of my membership in PTK.
I know I mentioned celebrities… and guess who was there? People whose work and determination have totally change how us -human beings from both genders- view competition. Their work and contribution to our culture were, just like our achievements, were acclaimed. Billy Jean Kings and Geoffrey Colvin shared with the participants what it really takes to be very competitive in this world, and ultimately what being competitive really encompasses. Billy Jean Kings was a pioneer in paving the way for women in the sports arena. Although women had the talent, the inequalities were so overwhelming that making it to the top like men was not even conceivable.  On the other hand listening to Geoffrey Colvin talking about how talent is too often overrated in competitive game was an interesting way to approach the debate around our Honor In Action project The Culture of Competition.
I could go on with the list of fun things and unforgettable memories that I brought back with me to New York but I believe that no words can say or would be enough to express what I experienced during PTK’s 95th annual conference. I personally urge every member to be involved as such as they can and to take advantage of every single tool and resources PTK offers. They are for us to succeed and to give the organization a reason to celebrate! As they usually “hard work always pays off”. I say PTK MEMBERS WORK HARD YET CELEBRATE HARDER!!!

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