Saturday, July 19, 2008

Amy and the Imagilympics

In the spirit of team building, motivation, and fun, Imagine Learning—my employer, my taskmaster, my secret lover—hosted Vision Conference 2008 complete with the Imagilympics. You guessed it: Imagine + Olympics = Imagilympics. And that wasn't the only questionable word-wrangling going on! The theme this year was "Faster Stronger Englishier." Also, someone asked me if prettify was a word. I said yes, and if you're wondering why, it's because you can add derivational suffixes to words to change the part of speech, and that's okay. I mean, you can change beauty to beautify. Plus, you know people say prettify all the time, and it fits quite comfortably within English phonotactic constraints. Anyway, some people tittered when I confidently declared prettify a word, and lest any of you think I have a sense of humor, I wanted to clarify my completely unfunny reasons for accepting such a strange wordification.

I've been waiting to blog about this exciting event because, though I brought my camera, I neglected to take a single picture of any of the exciting things I did all week. Of course, I knew that pictures would be coming from all of the people running around with cameras while I was busy having the best vision conference of my life. What I didn't realize was that any pictures of me would turn out more like evidence of the existence of the elusive Sasquatch Gordon.

Like you might be able to tell from the picture above, the six hours of speakers and presenters were a little much for me. Unfortunately, what I missed during my nap was the entire company catching someone else (much more important than me) taking a snooze too! The reason I was so tired was that I'd had so much fun spending time with buddies every night that week, from shopping, to dinner out, to video games! I really appreciate so many of you getting in touch with me and making sure I wasn't bored or alone. It was so good to see my awesome friends!

For the Imagilympics, we were divided into teams. I was the token female on Team Tahiti. We ended up being one of the "less enthusiastic" teams, especially compared to Mexico's mustaches and sombreros, France's scarves and baguettes, and Taiwan's ability to speak another language. Our prior planning consisted almost solely of wearing plastic leis. Our team was unremarkable in almost every way, which is my excuse for why Mexico and France had so much more photo coverage than we did. Either that, or the photographer has a secret crush on someone who just happened to spend more time with those teams.

We failed miserably at most of the activities, until it was time for the Integrity Challenge, which consisted of building a very tall tower out of a box of random stuff: paper, tape, straws, chewing gum, plastic cups, and the box itself. We beat the next highest score by three quarters of an inch, and took second place! The Integrity Challenge was probably the most fun of the events, and it was the only one in which we placed except for Human Foosball. Those of you who know me well realize that I have a serious sports deficiency when it comes to all games involving round flying objects. What I discovered during Human Foosball was that when I'm tethered to a sliding PVC pipe, my suck ratio decreases from 95% to 83%. My ridiculous face ratio, however, remains the same.

Team Tahiti took the silver medal in Human Foosball, and it ended up being tons of fun. Though certain moments were reminiscent of high school physical education classes, most of my coworkers behaved much better than sixteen-year-old boys.

After an evening barbeque and a good night's sleep, it was time for me to return to Provo. It was so hard for me to leave the old and new friends I'd so much enjoyed spending time with during that week!


Dirk said...

Okay, you asked for it (practically begged for it). And since I'm apparently one of the two who read your blog, I suppose it is incumbent upon me to comment. So here it is. I hate team-building exercises. I have been known to show up late to department retreats when I knew that team-building activities were going to happen. I don't find them to be useful or even enjoyable. But then I'm a cranky old man. Bah humbug.

Dirk said...

One more thing. 'Englishier' doesn't ring true to me. If you're going to add the comparative suffix to an adverb (or adjective), it ought to be disyllabic with initial stress. 'Englishy' fails the disyllabicity requirement. But 'prettify' sound fine.

Eileen said...

Now that is a good activity idea! So did it end up that you didn't need that shirt after all?

Sarah McMullin said...

Imagilympics = Giant EFY

Got it.

The Guy said...

Amy, that was a fantastic rundown of the conference. I apologize for having you be the only female on your team. We tried to avoid that and I'm not exactly sure how you ended up alone on that team, because when we originally drafted the teams we balanced the rosters as much as we could.

As for some of the commenters, at least in terms of how our company runs vision conference, I don't really worry too much about the people that aren't into participating, because we basically pay everyone to have a day running around in the sun, which is pretty cool. As for Englishier, we intentionally butchered the language on that one.

As for the Imagilympics = Giant EFY... I am personally hurt by that statement.

Sarah McMullin said...

Giant EFY is a good thing!! (I actually never went to EFY, so weigh my statement accordingly.)

Alisa Haggard said...

Ah, brings back good memories. Thanks for posting this. And I must say you do an excellent job of prettifying your posts with lots of great pictures.

Shar said...

I love reading about your view of the world, Amy. It's fascinating. And I LOVE your new blog header.

Shar said...

OH! and thanks for your comment about the music. sometimes I go to my blog for the exact same reason (because I can make a playlist for free to play on my blog, but to have the songs I my computer I would have to PAY *gasp*. who pays for songs nowadays?)

I can't beleive I just said "nowadays."

Kimberly said...

It looks like my little bro (Eric) may have been on Team Tahiti. Hope he wasn't too boring. (He's usually quite fun...) ;-)

My word verification word is "masturp"....hee, hee.