Archive for October, 2009

P & S Pleiades

Last fall, during a professional development workshop, all attendees participated in a typical ice breaker activity.  We each had a nametag where we listed several words that described us, activities/hobbies, hometowns, etc.  As I walked around, I noticed that several of the women had listed cooking and reading as their favorite pasttimes.  In some of our down time during the workshop, I shared with them that it had been my dream for some time to start a reading and cooking club.  My initial idea was stolen from my dear friend Emily’s book group.  They take turns picking out books that take place around the nation and world.  When they get together to discuss the book, the hostess prepares a meal from the geographic location where the book took place.  I thought this sounded like one of the best ideas ever!

So, one of the other attendees, another academic advisor at ISU and now a dear friend and colleague, and I set out to make this mutual dream a reality.  We contacted several women that we knew who worked at ISU, inviting them to read a book and then gather at her home for a potluck and discussion.  Our first book was “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  We ended up making little cheese pizzas on naan (a combination of geographically-related foods) and talking for hours and hours.  We brainstormed other ideas of things we’d like to do together besides read and eat (those these remain high on our list of favorites).

Much to our amazement, we’ve been going strong for almost a year and a half.  I mean, it’s really hard to carve out time in your 20s/30s/40s to find time for yourself–let alone time to build new friendships.  There are about five of us that make it to events on a regular basis.  We’re from multiple colleges at ISU, with multiple responsibilities, and a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.  We’ve done everything from reading and eating to enjoying Sunday afternoons at various Iowan wineries, Ladies’ Nights at Kil’n Time and movie nights with sundaes, game nights at Borders and even going to plays together.  We’re planning a fall night complete with a bonfire for this month and hopefully a card making party in November. 

The trouble with all of this variety is that as people ask us “What are you up to tonight/this weekend/etc?”, we’ve responded with things such as “oh, hanging out with some women at work” or for me, “oh, doing ____ with the book club girls”.  We’ve all had a hard time trying to come up with an accurate way to describe what and who we are!  And maybe it’s not really that important, but we’re a fairly creative bunch and wanted a name.  A few weeks ago, one of these lovely ladies proposed that we call each other the P & S Pleiades.  P & S because it describes our classification at ISU (though merit and faculty are welcome!) and Pleiades because it’s a group of seven brilliant things.  We know there aren’t seven of us yet and well, brilliant may be a stretch on some days, but we love our group and want it to have a name.

Of course now that we’re official, we’ve got a Facebook group and a Google Calendar 🙂

So, every time you are tempted to complain about another one of those icebreakers activities, think again.  You just may end up with a great group of dear friends out of the deal…

Pictures to come!


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