“Do you consider yourself a ‘conscious’ person?”

A couple of weeks ago, I had to conduct interviews for leadership positions in a service program I’m a part of called Alternative Spring Break (ASB). Warning, begins shameless plug: It’s a nationally recognized, student-led program run through Howard University’s Office of the Dean of Chapel that provides students with a service learning experience while positively impacting communities across the country. As the Site Coordinator for ASB’s Chicago site, I interviewed students who wanted to become team leaders in Chicago as well as other cities we will be serving in the spring. While I was in one interview with another site coordinator–who was particularly quiet throughout the interview–he looked up from his evaluation form and ask the nervous freshman, “Do you consider yourself to be a conscious person?” Now we were given a list of questions by our director to ask the students so that we could evaluate them effectively, and whether someone was ‘conscious’ or not definitely wasn’t on that list. Granted we all veered off and occasionally asked site specific questions. But when he asked the girl about her consciousness–who by the way looked like she’d pass out at any moment–I looked at him suspiciously wondering why he’d ask her something like that. (more…)