Monday, July 12, 2010

First Day...All Over Again

Leaders can be defined in many ways. At least, that is what I learned in class today. Women and Leadership balances the definition of a leader in today's modern society while also discussing the impact and roles of women in the world. This class this far has proven to be a thought-provoking course.

Today began the program at Brown. But first, we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so we headed to the Ratty for breakfast. The food is alright, better than most, but a downer for being Ivy League food. Oh well, I guess it goes to show that not everything will be as magical as we thought it would.

Harkness Building. This is where we're staying at. 

We headed down to the Watson Institution to begin our first day with Kisa Takesue, our professor. The moment we walked into the door she warmly smiled and greeted us enthusiastically, ushering us into her class. That really made me like her right away; I could tell that I would like the class. 

Our classroom! Our professor is the one in black. 
The students in the class had some familiar faces; some new. In our class, we had people from Italy, Indonesia, Chicago, New Jersey, Bangladesh, India and many others. I love the diversity in our class but at times it created some debates in our class when we were discussing certain topics. It forced me to think about why other students have opinions that differ from mine and why they might think that a cause or problem that I think is important might not matter so much to them. For example, there was a girl in our class that spoke about how she didn't feel that women today do not have obstacles when it comes to making choices in careers and such. She said that many times society creates "imaginary obstacles" for women and some feminists create a big deal out of nothing. 

I have nothing bad thing to say about her, I appreciate her insight in things, it makes for an interesting discussion. However, growing up the way I did, I beg to differ. I grew up with the notion that women were suppose to stay at home, become a housewife, and take care of the kids. Women are not supposed to have a bigger career than the husband or male in the family and they serve as the head of the household. There are certain beliefs I have about this, but I'll save that for another time. 

Going back to the topic, I felt that she was naive when it came to women's rights. She probably lives her life very comfortably and has a mother that has a good career, so she doesn't see the inequalities between men and women like I do. But that's what the class is for: to learn about women from a different perspective, including myself. I tend to see issues in society in an ethnic view, rather than a women's view. 

Lucero, Selene and I in our class! Not sure what Selene was doing though... 
The rest of the class consisted of ice breakers and such and before I knew it, it was time for lunch. 

The second part of the class was focused more on the leadership part rather than women. We were discussing the many ways to define a leader and came up with the conclusion that there are many types of leaders in the world. Most importantly, we learned that there is no such thing as the ideal leader; everyone has their flaws. 

Although we felt that a perfect leader was pragmatic, passionate, goal-oriented, initiative, engaging, concerned, approachable and many other things, it's impossible to fit that description. That is what really made me think about how a leader is portrayed. I loved the way the professor was discussing about the good and bad things of leaders. Overall, the first day really made me think about the different ways one can be a leader. 

Today was the first time we did our laundry. Thankfully, the Brown Session I group had a bag of detergent that they let us have, so we didn't have to purchase any today. It was true about the laundry room being extremely hot, especially after using the dryer; it was like a sauna down there. After we finished, we headed for dinner at the Ratty. 

The evening activity consisted of defining the different styles of leaders at a deeper level. The North leaders are people who just want to get things done and quickly, regardless of the people and situation at hand. I like to relate them to the Nike quote, "Just do it". The Southerners were people who liked to keep base with everyone in the group; people who make sure everyone is included. The Eastern folks were people who focused on creative decisions, but had the tendency to get distracted easily. Finally, the Western individuals are perfectionists; they tend to include details and plan everything out. I first considered myself a Northerner, but seeing as how an overuse of Northerners was their lack of concern of teammates was something I never did, I realized I was an Easterner. But then again, there are different roles to use, depending on the situation. 

Today was a good day to start. It was tiring, but a success nonetheless. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow will teach me: about women, leaders, diversity, etc. I spent the rest of the day doing my homework. 

Irene studying. 
Our RA, Christine
And now, my bed is calling me.


  1. Lupe,

    What a great blog about your first day of class!

    I'm intrigued about some of the viewpoints discussed in your class. I'm even more intrigued by your own viewpoints. I know you told us you'd write about them later but I'm afraid that they'll be put on the back burner and we'll never get to read about them.

    One way or another, I want to meet with you face to face so you can tell me more about this. I'm especially concerned about the "ethnic view" you mentioned. Not being "ethnic" I'm somewhat at a loss and need to be enlightened. I hope that you'll help me with that.

  2. What I mean by ethnic is that I tend to view stereotypes of being Hispanic more than being a women. I've always been taught from a Chicano/a perspective. I like to deal with issues that are more centered on my based and diversity rather than just women.