Sunday, August 12, 2012

Inspired by Convention: Wisdom, Devotion, Achievement Part 1

Welcome to the fifth post in the "Inspired by Alpha Chi Omega Convention" series. Thank you, Jessica Mace, for your generosity in providing a three-part series, themed Wisdom, Devotion, Achievement. 

This was my very first convention. When Amy asked me to reflect back on a moment from it, so much came to mind: I thought of the experience of rooming with sisters I have never met in real life; I thought of connecting with a sister I had never spent time in chapter with but who has known my husband longer than I have. I thought of sitting with one of my greatest role models and changing the conversation, of nerves before presenting for the first time, and of tears at seeing one of my BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) come true. Ultimately, it was these last three I couldn’t help but write about. These are moments that shaped me, that inspired me, and that developed me.

I’m splitting these up into three separate posts —Wisdom, Devotion, and Achievement —so that I can give each one the attention it deserves.


Starting with Wisdom: Changing the conversation. On Monday we had a presentation by Caroline Heldman and a screening of the film Miss Representation. If you haven’t seen it-go do so now! It’s available on iTunes  (here). Not only is the subject matter fascinating and necessary, but I had the privilege of sitting next to one of my Alpha Chi role models during it, Jari Askins. Jari has been very involved in Oklahoma politics, from State Senate to serving as Lieutenant Governor (2007-2011). She is my Alpha Chi role model, and a role model of mine in general.

One of the areas the documentary covered is woman on woman competition. We are so hard on each other. You see a woman at a stoplight, and before you can even think twice you are judging her. Her skirt is too tight, why is she putting it all out there like that? There’s lipstick in her teeth, does she even own a mirror? It goes on. Very rarely do you look at a female you don’t know and go “Wow, I bet she has some great insight on the BCS system.”

There would be moments in the documentary where I would look to Jari for validation, or in amazement that these statistics were true. She’d look back and nod, and sometimes add a tidbit on about how she had experienced it in one way or another in her life…and I would typically become just a little more disgusted with the world we live in.

It’s sharing in the wisdom of the sisters that came before me, in the resources and education they provide to help me grow into who I'm meant to be. It’s the little teaching moments of sisterhood that make for some of my most memorable (like the moment when Jari said, "yes, it really is that bad.").

It’s not alone seek the average, it’s together let us seek the heights. Aim high, and take your sisters with you.

Stay tuned for tomorrow and part 2: DEVOTION

Jessica Mace is an initiate of Gamma Tau chapter at Oklahoma City University. A certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, she currently serves as Volunteer Placement Coordinator for Alpha Chi Omega, and Vice President of Pi Sigma Pi, Stars and Stripes Alumnae Chapter. Follow her on twitter at @JessicaAMace, and ‘like’ her on facebook at

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