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ODW Day 5: Compromise is Good
by Jennifer Z
source: Operation Day's Work

George School, Philadelphia, PA •• July 23, 1999 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• Wednesday July 21, 1999. The day started by looking at and critiquing the Mission Statement that was worked on by a small group of representatives. It was accepted by the group, except for a few small changes. Then the group was split into groups across the room, and each group had two rows of five chairs facing each other. Each person was given two questions to ask the person across from them, making sure to rotate and interview everyone in the group. Then the group broke into groups according to the two questions they had to ask.

After the answers were reported, everyone went around to have discussions on each questions. After breaking for lunch, Marte and Eivind answered some more questions. One thing they spoke particularly about was sponsorship; I think they triggered some thought around the room. After they spoke the facilitators made an announcement that they and the teachers would be leaving the room. The delegates decided that it would be ok for me and Justin to stay.

Yes! Well, it was interesting. The group got in a big circle all across the room. It took them a half hour to stop taking personal opinions and to break up into school groups and discuss the ODW’s Structure. After an hour of working in their school groups, they came back together. Each school presented their idea for a structure. There was no facilitator though a gatekeeper was selected. It got very interesting, because soon the group was led by a few high school delegates that took charge, unfortunately some of the other high school and middle school delegates felt over looked and not able to state their opinions.

No decision was made, and soon it was dinner time. The group got worried about their progress and their loss of unity, so they asked for help. During dinner a group of representatives from each school met to decide what the group should do. The representatives along with the facilitators decided to meet for only fifteen minutes after dinner to discuss what went well and what didn’t go well with the meeting earlier. MacFarland nicely pointed out to the group that several of the Ground Rules had been broken, a point well made and taken. The group then dismissed for the night. Two volunteer committee’s met during free time. One group was the Structure Committee and the other was a group of Student Facilitators. The group had a long week this afternoon.

Concluding Wednesday: Today was an example of a happy medium. Sometimes it seems that we are being too guided, but no guidance at all is very difficult. Learning to compromise and work together is the key!

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