September 19, 2012

Provisional Retreat Serves Up a Taste of What's to Come

By Robin Hindery Enan, 2012-13 Provisional Member

How to sum up last weekend's Provisional Class Retreat? We laughed, we bonded, we met cute firefighters...

The September 8, 2012 event at the Menlo Circus Club was a great way to kick off our League membership and start getting to know some of our fabulous fellow Provisionals. What's more, it offered a tantalizing tasting menu of all the activities and opportunities that will be coming our way over the next year.

Our day started bright and early (well, early for those of us without young children at home) at 9 a.m. After allowing us time to properly caffeinate and meet our tablemates and mentors, our fearless leader, Jacquetta Lannan, shared her recollections of her own retreat, when she--a 30-year-old lawyer--found herself seated next to an older woman who declared that she was joining in order to meet women who weren't all 30-year-old lawyers. Talk about awkward! Luckily, we soon realized that the member in question, Valarie Dennis, was sitting in the room, cracking up. Not only are she and Jacquetta now great friends, but they're working together on the Provisional Committee.

League President Rahela Abbas was up next to welcome us and shed some light on who this year's 78 Provisionals are as a group: a diverse, highly educated collection of women with a strong affinity for mac n' cheese (at least judging by our responses to the "Favorite Comfort Food" icebreaker). We're also a courageous bunch, whether it comes to jumping out of airplanes, studying or working in a foreign country, or channeling our inner Mariah Carey in the shower.

More importantly, like the many League members who came before us, we're looking to broaden our circle of friends and give back to our community. A post-lunch scavenger hunt through Menlo Park took us to some of the spots where that will happen, including the Menlo Park Fire District Headquarters (home of both the annual Pancake Breakfast and the aforementioned cute firefighters), the Gatehouse and The Shop (site of many future volunteering shifts and shopping sprees).

Not on the itinerary, but conveniently located just steps away from The Shop, was the Sugar Shack, whose bubbly owner (and JLPA-MP Sustainer) Suzi Tinsley, had us in stitches during a morning talk at the retreat. Suzi credits the moral support and networking skills of her League friends for helping her realize her long-held dream of starting a candy store.

I think it's safe to say that all of us ended the day energized, inspired and ready to dive in to our Provisional year. We look forward to meeting the rest of you and continuing the proud JLPA-MP tradition! 

Sustainer Suzi Tinsley shares what the League has meant to her

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