Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Open Passionate Curiosity

Today we moved into our long awaited, Brown University.

When first arrived on campus, at 9:45, I became overrun with excitement. I felt happiness and anticipation pumping through my veins. We walked on to old campus with all 60+ pounds of luggage for each student and parked it at a booth while we got our door keys, IDs, maps of the campus, and got directed to our rooms. 

My tiny fan doing it's best.
The moment I stepped into Perkins Hall, where I'm staying, the heat of the building overpowered me. We then set on the torturous journey up three flights of stairs with all of our luggage. No elevators in old buildings! Staying along the same theme, there is also no air conditioning. I have never sweat so much in my life. Carrying luggage up hot humid stairs was not a selling point for me, but I managed. All the ILCers were placed in the same building which was nice for communication purposes. We all had different rooms, however, and went to the chore of unpacking. Perkins is also the Leadership Institution dorm building, so everyone in it is taking a leadership class. Some of the people on the floor where already settled in, but my roommate was not there yet. The very first thing I unpacked was my fan, I literally wasn't sure if I was going to survive the heat. Definitely, bring a fan if you ever find yourself in a Brown dorm room. 

My Room at Brown
We then headed off to the grocery store to pick up some needed dorm items and escape the heat of the building. After we had gotten stacked up on trail mix and water bottles, we went to an orientation for parents but it was more like an informational session about Brown. The Dean, Rose, said some really lovely things about Brown like that it was created to be a place of diverse learning where backgrounds, races, or religions differences do not stop education but encourage respectful curiosity. It really resounded with me, because I have been looking for a place like this my whole life. Somewhere were the petty was of human nature to find differences between two people is dealt in a healthy way where one can be curious of differences but not become prejudice. I spoke to Rose for a second afterward and told her how beautifully said I thought she voiced the morals of Brown. 

After the orientation, we said goodbye to Ms.Neal, as she can no longer be with us. The rest of the day was dedicated to student orientation and dorm activities. 

Between orientations, we grabbed lunch at a burger joint since Brown's dinning hall wasn't open. We met up with Sonya's roommate, Ariana, she was a really sweet girl.  I also must have said hello and my name to at least 100 people as we walked on Brown's campus, everyone was so happy to talk to perfect strangers. It was nice to be in an environment where no one had any large amount of friends and everyone was looking to make friends. I loved the freedom to say hello to everyone without being intimidated.

Student Orientation was a lot less passionate and more full of facts and policies. Don't do drugs, check in for curfew, public safety numbers and how to pay for things, were some of the things discussed at the orientation. We were then divided up into our respective RA's care. We were supposed to meet for dinner at 5:45. I went back to my dorm and saw my roommate, Lindsay, had written a note in reply to the one I had written to her, so awesome. I was worried I would never see her face to face! Then when I walked back into my room a few minutes later, she was there! She's really nice, from New Jersey, and did a community service trip to Ecuador. We talked for the remainder of time until dinner, and then the whole floor headed over to the dinning hall. The food was pretty okay, but it wasn't anything super fancy like you might expect at an Ivy League.

A picture of one of Brown cortyards
After dinner, there was an ice cream social where I must've met at least 50 more people, mostly from leadership courses, but not all. It's so wonderful to be here, in this beautiful place with lovely people. After the short 1hour ice cream social, which I did not even eat the ice cream of, the leadership students went to a meeting hall to have a community meeting, where we spoke about specifics to our courses at Brown.

We were there for two hours as we discussed the aspects that make up social change. We spoke about citizenship, common purpose, controversy with civility, collaboration, and conscious self among others to bring about change. We also met with our floor in Perkins to discuss some dorm etiquette.

It has been a wonderful, but extremely long day, can't wait for tomorrow Brown!
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