The Meaning of TEAM

October 12, 2010
I opened my eyes, and woke up from what I thought was a bad dream; my eyes scanned the surroundings. It was just barely dusk, and what I saw in the crisp morning air shook me—it was no dream, and I was really stuck on an island with complete strangers. I don’t remember exactly what happened, I only remember there being roaring storm clouds and wild-eyed waves. Not wanting to cause any trouble, I went to the back of the ship to avoid all of the others. I heard a crack of lightning, and I felt a rock of the ship; that is the last thing I remember.
Slowly, I followed my feet to the edge of the water where I saw some of the others still asleep. Soft faces, ridged faces, they were all glowing from the painted florescent sky up above. I felt my stomach rumble as wild as an earthquake, and left in search of food.

Crunch! Snap! Crunch! I heard the clomping of footsteps and the snapping of twigs behind me, and I froze in fear. So many worries ran through my mind as I slowly turned around to meet my predator.

“Whoa! Don’t freak out, I came to get food too,” a young man exclaimed. “Besides, it isn’t safe wondering around this island on your own—you could get hurt. By the way, my name is Wes.”

“Oh, I’m Mirabelle.” I gave him a dirty look, but kept on going; just because I am a girl doesn’t mean I am defenseless. We made our way through the forest, clearing a path through the dense brush. Thorns were scattered everywhere, always seeming to find me. They combed through my skin like a brush, leaving scrapes where my skin was bare.

“How do we know what is edible or what is poisonous?” There was a bush full of berries that seemed to radiate white—they appeared untouched, but underneath was a hint of red. This made the berries look unnatural and deceitful. On the surface they were pure, but the red warned me of the danger.

“Sure they seem good, but look at them; none of the berries have fallen on the ground from animals. If animals don’t eat these berries, why should we?” He proved a very good point, and we turned around and headed in a different direction.

I thought about what he said while we were walking, and I was really glad that he didn’t let me try to eat those berries. A few minutes passed until we finally found food, but it felt like years. Raspberries were spread throughout what seemed like the middle of the woods. A few apple trees stood alone in a clearing. We got done picking plenty of berries, but the apples were too hard to get on my own. As I stood their staring at the tree I tried to plan a way to climb up, but Wes came up to me with a puzzled look.

“Please tell me you weren’t planning to climb up that tree…” He had read my mind, but I wasn’t about to let him think that.

“No! That’s a dumb idea!” I got all defenseless, because now that I have rethought my plan it wasn’t the best.

“Why do you always insist on doing everything on your own? It never hurts to be helped every once in a while, you know.—let me give you a boost, and you can reach some apples.” As much as it hurt my pride, I had to take his help.

“Do you always have to be right?” I haven’t even spent a full day with him yet, and he was already being a know-it-all. He helped boost me up, and I tugged on as many apples as I could reach; the apples dropped to the ground where we then picked them up.

When we got back to the shore, everybody had already gotten up, and they were wondering around aimlessly. To me, they needed a positive direction. I looked at Wes, and he was thinking the same thing. We split everyone into groups, and one by one we gave the groups a task to do. Some groups made breakfast, some gathered firewood, others started a fire, and many of the groups built tents for shelter. When I was done with my tasks, I looked around in astonishment at all of the groups working as a team. What did the letters in team represent anyways? I thought for a moment, and Wes and I came up with an interpretation of TEAM.

“T makes me think of together—every group was forced to work with each other, no matter what the circumstances were. It didn’t matter if they were strangers, enemies, or allies. We now have all of the basic survival needs accomplished because of this wonderful word—together.”

Wes spoke up, “I interpret E to stand for effective. Sure everyone could work together, but does it matter if it isn’t effective? T and E work hand in hand like puzzle pieces. You have to work together to be effective in what you are working towards.”

Choosing my words carefully, I decided what A best stood for. “Well, can you be effective or work together if you don’t have a good attitude? If your heart isn’t in it, don’t waste your time. You have to put your all into it, so that it turns out for the best.”

“Attitude is important, but if there’s no thought behind it, it won’t work. You have to use your mind—after all that’s what it’s made for. Without a plan, it is hard to take action effectively.”

“If you ask me, that’s the last piece to our puzzle,” I said satisfyingly. We heard a whirling noise, and everyone looked up in fear. A helicopter loomed above us, and a figure’s head popped out of the door with a megaphone.

“Congratulations, all of you passed your first teamwork and survival test! Welcome to Meile Ajit!” The helicopter zipped away with its loud deafening roar as quickly as it came.

The more that I thought about it, the more it made sense—this island was just one enormous adventure finally launching as fierce as a rocket, and it’s only going to get better.





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