Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It Is Not How You Start It Is How You Finish

I woke up feeling rejuvenated and ready to start my day. I got breakfast from the V Dub and went to class. 

As I got to class we began by doing a scavenger hunt activity where we had to find the items on the list and take a picture with at least three of our members at the location. We also had to ask a few questions to random civilians and get a picture of those who answered them correctly.

Dean Almandrez told us that she expected us to play fair and with integrity which meant that we had to acquire all of the leadership skills that we had learned in order to not be disqualified. I knew that everyone in my class would play fair, so I wasn’t too worried about the possibility of someone cheating or ganging up on one specific team.

I immediately took control and throughout this entire program I have come to the realization that I can be too controlling. I expect things to go my way and I have certain routines that I like to adhere to. I feel like this is something that is a work in progress and I need to work on incorporating the ideas of my teammates more often. I noticed that some of my teammates were walking too slowly for my standards and I told them to hurry up, but then I stopped and thought about how Faith has a condition where she gets tired really easily. I felt bad that I might have been pushing her too hard and asked her to sit down to regain her composure. My team and I ended up letting Faith rest for a moment and tried to find her some water to drink. She was becoming increasing famished and dehydrated which frightened me a bit. We ended up walking back to class and came in last place, but we came in first place for caring about each other’s well-being over winning. I learned that it’s not how you start it’s how you finish and I am proud of myself for my growth that I demonstrated today. In the past, before I got to this program, I would have gotten frustrated with Faith instead of trying to help her.

As we returned to class we started our next activity where we had to rate the characters in a story from least awful to the most awful. I disagreed with my group, because I felt like they were fitting into the stereotype of being overly critical of other women when they blamed the woman in the story for most of the misfortunes. I actually saw the big picture, but as you know majority rules. At the end of the exercise Dean Almandrez informed us that Abigail, the girl in the story, was actually the victim and most of the characters in the story mistreated in some way. I felt validated by her comments and I was also mad that we, as women, could not identify with another woman.

If a woman gets assaulted it is always her fault for walking out of her house dressed provocatively and should have taken self-defense classes. However, we never question why a man abused her in the first place.

There was a story on the news where a woman actually went to jail for shooting warning shots in the air to warn her abusive husband to stay away from her. Not once did the police ever question why her husband was abusing her in the first place.

The fact that makes this reality so disgraceful is that most of the people who blame women are other women. The sisterhood between women has become so crippled and fragile while men are committed to helping one another. I hope that by following through with my action plan I can mend the relationship that women share with the same-sex.

Here is the story below:

There lived a woman named Abigail who was in love with a man named Gregory. Gregory lived on the shore of a river. Abigail lived on the opposite shore of the same river. The river that separated the two lovers was teeming with dangerous alligators. Abigail wanted to cross the river to be with Gregory. Unfortunately, the bridge had been washed out by a heavy flood the previous week. So she went to ask Sinbad, a riverboat captain, to take her across. He said he would be glad to if she would consent to go to bed with him prior to the voyage. She promptly refused and went to a friend named Ivan to explain her plight. Ivan did not want to get involved at all in the situation. Abigail felt her only alternative was to accept Sinbad’s terms. Sinbad fulfilled his promise to Abigail and delivered her into the arms of Gregory. When Abigail told Gregory about her amorous escapade in order to cross the river, Gregory cast her aside with disdain. Heartsick and rejected, Abigail turned to Slug with her tale of woe. Slug, feeling compassion for Abigail, sought out Gregory and beat him brutally. Abigail was overjoyed at the sight of Gregory getting his due. As the sun set on the horizon, people heard Abigail laughing at Gregory.

Here is the truth: As it turns out Sinbad is Abigail's estranged husband, Lee is her mother, Ivan is her brother, and Gregory is her father. When you first read this story you perceive Abigail to be an unfaithful woman who lacks integrity. 

After this exercise we played a card game that entailed playing by your assigned rules. However, we didn’t think about the fact that if all of the teams had different rules then when we rotated we wouldn’t know the rules of the next game. I should inform you that we were not allowed to verbally communicate with one another, so we looked like a class filled of mimes. This lesson was supposed to teach us how detrimental communication is to the success of a group and how without it you can end being confused beyond comprehension.

After the class activity we were allowed to leave early in order to work on our action plans. I was grateful for the extra hour, because I needed to do a lot of work on my action plan and practice my practice presentation for tomorrow. I will have to present in front of my class first tomorrow and I hope that I can exude the most amount of confidence to my ability. 
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