It's not what you think.
When we came across this photo on Flickr, we got curious. So we tracked down the photographer, Danielle King, a Miami Ally from 2008-09, who is now working toward her PhD in American Politics at the University of Florida. She said she snapped the photo at the Miami Allies’ mid-year retreat in January 2009. She went on to explain …
So, on the second day, after tossing around a football in the morning, our Program Director and Manager decided that we’d do some of those leadership and communication building exercises that involved us all being awkward in front of each other. We all used to sort of complain about them, but secretly we all loved it.
We split into two fairly arbitrary groups and linked hands to do the Human Knot (where everyone’s hands are linked over and under one another’s, and you have to detangle to where you’re all holding hands in a circle…no easy feat on four hours of sleep).
My group finished really, really quickly (my buddy Rich said it’s because we had “superior communication skillz,” and he’d want me to put that z in there). And then we sort of watched as the other group struggled a bit. Actually, we watched and giggled and mocked for a few minutes. I never really put my camera down that weekend, so I snapped a few shots, one of which being this photo. After a couple of minutes though, we realized that they were having a really tough time, and so we each poked our heads over into the other group’s knot and started giving them instructions on how best to detangle. This sped their process up considerably, and afterwards, we all got a pretty nice pat on the back from Kenny, our Porgram Manager, for not just finishing early, but for recognizing that our fellows, and really, our friends, were having a rough time, and using our “skillz” to help them out.
We all got on kind of freakishly well, and it would show in times like these.
The photo includes Richard Benitez (’08 & ’09) in the blue polo looking judgmental, and the cluster of people includes Gila Yudewitz, Nate Lettman, Luz Agudelo, Garris Nickle, and I think a slice of Nardia Dixon’s head (all ’09). In case anyone else wants to check out further shenanigans from that weekend, here’s the Flickr link.
Editor’s postscript: Danielle has a side photography business while she’s in grad school, it’s called Big Day Photo Studio: http://knowledgik.net/bigday.