By Adam Pingatore, ΒΧ
Alternate Title: Thank you for coming to our TED talk
Close your eyes. Picture yourself in a dimly lit auditorium. There’s a stage in front of you, with a big screen displaying a slideshow, a big circular red carpet, somebody dressed rather smartly holding a microphone, and big red block letters spelling out “T - E - D”. But...wait...what’s that...after the “TED”...does that say what I think it says?...no...couldn’t be...wait...it is...IT SAYS “P-S-I”!!!! No way! Psi is holding a TED talk event?! Sweet!
On March 3, Brothers gathered not in a dimly lit auditorium, but on Zoom (come on, just use your imagination) for the first ever TEDxPsi event, organized by Brotherhood Relations Officer Ryan Lee! For those who haven’t seen a TED talk before (I strongly recommend you search for some online if you have not, they’re incredible), they are brief fifteen minute presentations from experts on a broad variety of topics, typically given at huge symposiums with thousands of people all around the world. Now, I wonder where I could find a group of around 50 really talented, passionate, intelligent individuals all in the same place that might be interested in organizing and attending one of these kinds of events….hmmm….oh yeah! That’s us!
We had four incredible talks from Sydney Meyers, Ariel Fernandez, Erica Vellanoweth, and Adam Pingatore. Sydney gave an incredibly well researched and presented talk about ideas explored in the book The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, including how we can find happiness and meaning in various aspects of our daily lives, how adversity affects our brain, and how being aware of various aspects of our mental health can aid us in braving the extreme psychological challenge currently being imposed on us by the ongoing pandemic. Erica then came in with a crash course on Astrology, with information about its history, what it looks like today, and how brothers, using their celestial signs, can shoot for the stars. Adam shifted the tone toward environmentalism, with a presentation on the Ecology of California, talking about the incredible diversity of plants and animals that call California their home, the recent uptick in wildfires in our state, and how we can help conserve what we have left. Ariel closed out the event with an extremely interdisciplinary talk about the interconnectedness of gratitude, kindness, our well-being, and our brain chemistry, and how being mindful of these dynamics can help us improve as leaders and as people.
A big thank you to Matthew Espinoza for creating graphics for the event, and to all the Sisters of Tau Beta Sigma - Epsilon Kappa and Brothers of Psi that were able to attend! The event was one of the most unique, successful, and inspiring that we’ve had in recent memory, and hopefully will come back and continue to grow as a staple of Psi’s event repertoire for years to come.