Monday, July 29, 2013

Be The Change You Wish To See

While Monday mornings are generally tough for me, it was surprisingly easy to get out of bed this morning. Maybe it was because I was hungry and wanted to get breakfast, but I suspect it was mostly due to the fact that I was excited to go to class. 

After reviewing our topics for discussion from last week, we discussed the idea that leaders are made, not born. Dean Almandrez explained that our leadership skills and styles are a result of various events and experiences in our lives. To further elaborate on this idea, she had us work on a Leadership Life Map. We each got a piece of paper and had to draw out a visual representation of significant life events that we feel contributed to the leadership skills we now possess. I began when I was a child, pointing out that I walked at an early age so I was somewhat of a leader in my group of baby friends. Then, a little ways down the road, I became an avid reader, reading anything from fantasy to mystery. I then mentioned various leadership roles that I have had, such as being a babysitter and being part of student council.  I drew footsteps to trace out the path of my life. I colored in some footsteps to symbolize what I'd already done and didn't color in some footsteps to symbolize what I will do in the future. When we were finished with our Leadership Life Maps, we split up into small groups and shared them with each other. I always find it interesting when other people are sharing because, over the past week, I’ve realized again and again how different everyone’s backgrounds are and I love learning about the lives of others.

My Leadership Life Map!
The second half of our class was spent watching the movie 'Miss Representation'. The movie discussed how harmful the media is towards women. I took an insane amount of notes on the movie because this relates a lot to my action plan and is a great resource for my essay research. While watching the movie, I found myself confronted with a whole bunch of feelings: sadness, anger, guilt, and hope. I was sad because of the horrifying statistics about the number of young girls who self-harm because they have feelings of low self-worth. I was angry at the media for undermining women and openly bashing them on public television. I felt guilty because of how little I’d noticed these things before watching this movie. And, finally, I felt hope when I saw how many people (both men and women) are fighting for equality between men and women. After the movie was over, I realized that there is a dire need for women to be in powerful political positions in order for things to change. This made me think of the quote by Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I definitely intend to stand up more for women’s rights and work to become a powerful woman leader.

Getting ready to watch Miss Representation!
The rest of my day was mostly spent working on my action plan. I am almost finished with the first draft of my essay and I am starting to construct my speech. It is very difficult to outline a speech so that, when I give it, it won’t sound too rehearsed but it won’t sound like I’m winging it. When I was tired of working on my action plan, I attended a mini talent show in the lounge of my dorm building. People sang, performed spoken work, and even danced. I was so impressed with everyone who performed and I wish I was that talented! Kudos to them for having the courage to perform! We've created such a great community in our building that it's one of the things I'll miss the most when I leave.
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