Sometimes I write articles to entertain.

However, this story which you may find amusing, is more to inform you of the way NOT to accept a challenge coin.

Picture this, it was the start of the first session of my course here at Harvard Kennedy School and a few of us were joking about team work and who the slackers and keeners were in the class. Rick (aka. Captain Richard C., Commanding Officer, US Department of Defense) turns to me and says, “Shake my hand”. I looked down and saw his hand was in a fist and I could see a sliver of gold shining between his fingers. I looked up and saw he had a mischievous smile.

Knowing how gullible I could be, I shook my head and noted I was not falling for any trick and how it reminded me of that buzzer-joke I have seen many times in cartoons. After some coaxing, he finally revealed a challenge coin in his hand. I embarrassingly accepted it and felt very foolish.

I was relieved and appreciative that Rick did not bring up this incident again during class today and was very excited to get my first challenge coin even though I blundered the entire custom.

I will remember to bring it with me so I will never get caught off guard with a challenge. You can read about the history here.

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.