Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Feeding My Mind and Soul with Words

Today I woke up early and I went to  get breakfast with  all of the women on my floor. I met two girls by the names of Vivian and Faith. Faith who happens to be a fellow a Christian invited me to go to church with her and shares the same values as me. We want to reshape the stereotypes on what Christians are like. Christians are described as bible toting judgmental people who don’t let others have their own opinions or beliefs and are very harsh as well as abrasive. Faith and I both people in gay marriage and never judge people who have different opinions from that of our own. In that sense it helps us both comprehend the concepts that we learn in class each class. I was actually shocked that I was able to go back to the dining hall after what transpired with the staff member. I faced one of my challenges head on and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. 

After breakfast I went to class, but todays' class was held in a different building, the Edward W. Kassar house building. 
Edward W. Kassar House
Walking into class
I actually received enough sleep, so that I could be alert, energetic and engaged in all of the discussions that happened today. My professor, Dean Mary Grace Almandrez, brought up the topic of skin color again. I was slightly offended the other day by some of the comments that were said like, “People don’t want to be dark they want to be sun-kissed.” It also seemed like some of the other African Americans in the class started to believe the lies that society perpetuates to us ever day via social media or just media in general—TV. One of the comments I heard was, “ I am not usually this dark I actually got a tan this summer from being in the sun I’m actually like one shade darker than Spencer—the lightest African- American female in the room.” I felt like she was ashamed to be black, because of the stigmas, negative connotations, and stereotypes that she had heard in the past. I learned that after hearing a certain message over and over again throughout your entire mind you unconsciously start to believe the “norms” that society has constructed. I decided to speak up and vocalize my opinions on the matter and stated, “People view tanned as a perfect in between median, because you are not too dark or too pale. There is a scale in society that measures your amount of beauty   based on the skin tone that you have and equates that with your self-worth or intelligence which is entirely untrue.” After discussing skin tones we talked about how some minorities view on women’s’ rights movements is that they are partially effective based on how our existing society is constructed.  Minorities argue that the only women who will see change are women of European descent which excludes any women of color or women who fit into the “negatives” in the categories of “otherness”. 
An average setting  in the Women and Leadership Class

After a short discussion session Dean Almandrez introduced a guest speaker who I had already met at the student orientation. Our guest speaker was Dean Robin Rose. During her lecture she opened my mind to so many things that I had never thought before. Before her lecture I thought that older people were unwillling to comply  to changing and were not willing to accept feedback, because their beliefs are set in stone. I felt like I couldn’t express myself to people without them immediately getting defense however, I realized that my approach was wrong. If I were to use the concept of I feel… when you… I want/need then people would see that I’m coming from a understanding place and trying to get them to take my feelings into consideration. I feel like Dean Robin Rose fed my soul, heart, and mind. She stimulated my thought  process like no other teacher has or ever will. I wanted to go up to her after class and give her a warm hug, because she treated the class like we were adults and actually believed in our capabilities. I will remember this statement forever,  “I don’t like the phrase  'Children are the future.' It makes it seem like you are all incapable of achieving your goals now, I want you to change the world for the better now and I can’t wait until your 30.” I had never heard someone say that which made me think about how I can prove all of the stereotypes associated with teenagers wrong right now and not later, because in the words of Dean Robin Rose we are all capable of achieving our goals now.
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