Monday, July 12, 2010

I am "South"!

Guadalupe and Irene looking at a poster
Today I put my alarm to wake me up at 7:45 AM since class starts at 9:30 AM. I was so excited that today was going to be my first day of class. I had heard a lot of great things about the instructor and the class and I couldn't wait to go to class.

However, I first had to go eat breakfast. I walked to breakfast with Guadalupe to the Ratty. Once we were there we saw Mariana and Irene. Mariana gave us all our book for class. While we were sitting down eating breakfast we got to talk with two girls. One of them was from British Columbia. After we finished eating we went to the Watson Building where our class is located. I feel lucky that the building is just across the street from our Harkness building.

As soon as we entered we met our instructor Kisa. She was really friendly from the start. She asked for our names and had a list with our names and our pictures on them. She asked where I was from and after I told her she asked about some students she knew that went to our district.

We had an ice breaker in where we counted off the numbers 1 and 2. The ones were placed on the inside while the twos were on the outside of the circle. Kisa then gave us topics to talk to each other for 30 seconds. It was exciting to see that we all came from different places yet there were some things we all shared in common. Everyone was really friendly.

The morning was primarily focused on getting to know each other. The syllabus was given to us and gone over. I found it amazing how as soon as I walked in I really liked the vibe there was in the classroom. Everyone listened to each other. The rules that we wanted to have in our classroom were also discussed. There were some who had a different perspective then the rest of the group but I liked how we all acted properly and listened and gave our opinions.

I was a bit shy at first, but after seeing that everyone was so friendly I started to come out of my shyness zone. I began talking with the rest of the girls and got to know some better. The ice breakers were really fun and a creative way to get to know each other and to try to remember the names of each other. I am really bad at remembering names but I think I have at least half or more of the names memorized. I plan to know all of the names by Wednesday the latest.

During lunch we went to go eat and load out Student ID with money for laundry. After we were done eating we walked back to the classroom where everyone was on time and there before Kisa and Me, the TA, were there. We started off the afternoon with another short ice breaker called Zip Zap Zop that Trina had suggested. We were to point at each other and say Zip while that person would quickly point to someone else and say Zap and then that person would point to someone else and say Zop. It had to be in that order and really quickly. I ended up losing pretty quickly sadly, but it was really fun to watch everyone else playing. It was another fun activity.

After our ice breaker was over, we started to talk about Women and what the word leadership meant to everyone. We all had different ideas about what a leader should be like. It was great to learn new perspectives and insights about what others thought made a good leader. Kisa passed out a blue sheet in where there were facts given about women and girls. Some facts were really surprising. I did not know that 6,000 girls a day undergo genital mutilation. I was shocked that so many girls have had this done to them.

After we were finished discussing the facts on the blue paper, we got into groups and wrote down some qualities that we thought leaders should have. Then we chose three that we felt were what we thought a leader needed to have. The class was really fun and I felt the time was flying by. It was amazing that I can't wait until what Kisa and Me have planned for us tomorrow.

We had about 35 pages of homework to read and then write a reflection on our journal. The reading was really informative and inspiring. I really enjoyed reading it. There were some short stories about women who have done great things but aren't really known that much. The book also made me really think more about what I need to do to work on to become a better leader.

Another fun and interesting activity we had today was a North/South/East/ West (NSEW) meeting with Me and the rest of the girls in Women and Leadership. We met outside our building at 6:50. It was perfect timing because it was exactly 10 minutes after I had finished doing my laundry.
The NSEW was a great activity that helped me see what type of leader I am. I realized that I can relate more to the "South". The South leaders are more supportive to peers and team players. There are good things to that but there are also bad things. I realized that saying "no" to someone who needs my assistance is really hard for me to do. I like helping others and when I say "no" I kind of feel guilty and end up helping them. This can be bad because it can cause me to be unnecessarily overloaded.

There were so many activities going on today that I have been really busy. I really enjoy Brown University. My instructor, the TA, and everyone are just great.

1 comment:

  1. Lucero,

    I'm glad that one of the things they mentioned today was female genital mutilation. This is such a travesty and even though political correctness tells us we need to respect the cultures of other lands, this is one that I can't agree with.

    I wonder what the men in these societies might do if the women felt empowered and performed a little quid pro quo while the men were sleeping. Perhaps to have a whole generation of men that have been Bobbitized might get them to rethink their means of controlling their women. But it's the women who have to take control of their own destinies--no one's going to do it for them.

    This is just a suggestion but you can rid yourself of that 'shyness zone' you mentioned by just stepping forward and initiating the conversation. Be the one to extend your hand when you meet someone and be the one to raise your hand to jump into a classroom discussion. Right wrong or indifferent, Lucero, it just doesn't matter in a class like this. What matters is that you're a player and not just sitting on the sidelines keeping score.

    All through your life you can be either a leader or a follower. As one of the former, I can tell you it's a lot more satisfying.

    Being a leader doesn't mean being a dictator, though. Look at some of the traits listed on the photo you posted. Listening to others, taking into consideration their thoughts, ideas and desires, and working with them as a team--all of these are signs of leadership. A true leader knows how to control the situation while bringing everyone else into the fold so they're all heading in the same direction--together.