I hate to be the one to tell you, but no matter how old you are or where you go in life, you will never be able to escape the “ice-breaker.” Since stepping foot on the beautiful Winona State campus and becoming a part of their great Warrior community, I have participated in more ice-breakers than I have ever wanted to experience in my lifetime. Not that I don’t enjoy meeting new people – I actually thrive on it – I am just shocked and amazed that so many ice-breakers can be packed into so little time: 2 Truths and 1 Lie (I am 26 years old, a black belt in karate, and can slalom water ski), sharing something “unique” about yourself (I am missing two teeth), getting into alphabetical order by last name without talking (insert made-up sign language and desperate miming), selecting an image that represents you (camera), and this new, crazy animal ice-breaker.
So here’s how it worked. The professor of my online class asked each of us to select an animal to represent us, and 4 characteristics that we share with that animal. Not as easy as it sounds. My favorite animal has always been a cheetah, but selecting it to represent me was far from accurate. I am not lightning fast, nor am I reclusive, fierce, or willing and able to go for days without eating. Not much to work with there.
So what did I do? I Googled “what animal are you?” and took an online quiz, that’s what. After answering a series of questions, I got – of all things – a baboon.
Who on earth wants to be a baboon?! They smell, pick the bugs out of each others’ hair, scratch their butts, and are typically associated with someone who acts like a doofus. Does not seem like the best way to describe myself to 40+ people I’ve never met.
But I went with it anyway.
Why? Because after taking the quiz (and reading the little informational blurb that comes with the results to make people like me who get an answer of “baboon” feel better about themselves), I learned that baboons are active, social, affectionate, and have a sense of humor. I could work with that.
The next step of this insane ice-breaker required us to find someone else in the class that had an animal sharing two common characteristics with our own animal. We were then tasked with renaming the new animal to complete the activity. You may have guessed it, but I found a nice wolf to pair up with (also social and affectionate), and the wolfoon was born.
296 online posts later, the ice-breaker was finally complete. After reading all those posts and ‘commenting’ on all the great, new animals we creative graduate students had come up with (race bird, penguant, swat, and otter-tailed labrador, to name a few), the only thing I wanted to break was my computer screen.