Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Breakthrough In My Thinking

We finished presenting the Amazing Women monologues today. My presentation went well - I felt like my legs were shaking the whole time, but I asked people later and nobody noticed at all. The other students asked several questions after my monologue about Rigoberta Menchu; I think her story came across as unique and interesting. Dean Rose came in as we were discussing the  Amazing Women as a group and asked what we had learned from their experiences. I volunteered my belief that they all pushed past both external and internal obstacles, and that the internal hurdle of self-confidence is the most important to conquer.

Kisa brought in a panel of professional women, which was very diverse. Their professions ranged from educators to doctors to leaders of community organizing groups. One of the women was rather soft-spoken, and I was almost surprised that someone quiet could be a successful leader. It was great to have role models that everybody in the room could relate to. Another brought her five-year-old daughter in and said that child-rearing was much harder than any career. Even those that did not have children said that it's important to stay connected to people that are important to you, such as mentors, family, and friends in order to keep a balanced life.

Today at 12:15, Lucero, Lupe, Lydia, Selene, and I made our way to the V-Dub. This was because last week, we (the ILC students at Brown) had arranged to have lunch with Mercedes Domenech of the Brown Admissions Department. We had met her 2 times before at ILC events, and she offered to answer any questions about the University or about admissions that we had. We learned more about the interviewing process and how students are selected. What stuck out was how she emphasized taking challenging courses in high school not just because they would look impressive, but because if we got accepted to Brown,  we wouldn't have distribution requirements or any required classes at all (excepting majors). Senior year is our last chance to show how much we love learning.

Mercedes also emphasized how important it is to study what you love even if it might not seem like it leads to a concrete career path. For example, Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University, holds a Ph.D. in French. Who would have projected her position now with her chosen field of study? Mercedes got me to think about how it doesn't matter as much what I choose to study, as long as I am educated in something and I know how to think and analyze. Undergraduate majors that are very specific are actually limiting because people may change their minds even if they initially think they're set on something.

I still have to finish my Action Plan paper and polish my Action Plan presentation, conduct another interview with a fellow student, catch up on my journal assignments for the past week, and meet with Ms. Stewart at 7 about the logistics of our departure. It's sad that we're already talking about leaving. In some ways I miss my family and others who are close to me, but in other ways I fear missing my friends, teachers, and mentors at Brown even more.

1 comment:

  1. (from Irene's Mom):

    In my experience, quiet people can be really excellent leaders. They are often better listeners than the extroverts (I include myself in the extrovert category) and also are very careful to not take up too much air time with their own thoughts at meetings. It may take a little longer for both the quiet person and the others in the group to notice the leadership potential of a quiet person, but eventually they will.

    Leah Carroll

    Leah Carroll