Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Leadership/Youth Leader

“Leader is any person who actively engages with others to accomplish change.” Today’s lesson started out with this definition. There are many other ways to define leader but this definition implies on a leader of a group or a member of a group who works toward a positive change. 

Inside the class (Kisa, who taught W&L class previously, visited us)
Before the definition was given, we were shown a couple of videos to analyze. One of them was the US Army’s. I had thought that I would not see any women in “Army’s” video but I was wrong and there were 3 women shown. Should I see that girls are prioritized equally or see only 3 girls were shown in the video? One particular that scene came in my notice was when all the men were shown doing the physical activities but one woman was taking help of two other armies to climb up the wall. The video failed to show how much woman contributes and was rather focused more on men. 

Leadership Theories - After the discussion
Later, we worked in partner and were asked to write what we understand about different types of leadership theories. I was not familiar with all types of leadership theories given but I tried to assume looking at the name of the theory. Once Dean collected all of our opinions, she went over each of them individually. One of my classmates had written “To be first, you must be last” for Servant Leadership and I thought the quote was very catchy and true. Often, leaders are seen as the ones on the first row who is speaking up and leading the group but there can be someone in the last row that is helping others to get to the final destination. Hitler came up in most of our discussions and most of the students identified him as a leader and the question was raised, “Was he actually a leader?” I think the answer depends on how people define a leader as. 

Highlight of today was the lunch with Dean. During our lunch time, we went with Dean Almandrez for lunch. For the first time, I got a taste of Vietnamese food. I ordered Pho Chay which was vegetable noodle soup. It was a time to know Dean and ask her questions that would not be related to Women and Leadership. I think it is a good idea to have lunch with our teacher in order to build an understanding. I am thankful to Dean Almandrez for taking time out of her busy schedule (many other students were in queue for other days) and have lunch with us. 
Cheers to Women and Leadership (Eve, Dean Almandrez, Crystal, Alicia and I)
All of us arrived to class right on time. For the first 20 minutes, we saw a video of Malala Yousafzai. Even after getting shot by the Taliban, she spoke up and still is fighting against injustice. Her speech was very inspiring and I was surprised that being 16 years old, she is passing her message to the world without fear. “Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, I would not shoot him.” I thought that her thinking and values are so high. One person can definitely make a change and Malala is one example. Today, she has gained thousands of supporters for positive change.

We also did fishbowl activity and I was not sure what it would be. Dean Almandrez separated us based on our socioeconomic status. I felt awkward but I thought this must be a way to learn something. People inside the circle had to answer the question asked and people outside the circle had to note down what inner circle people had said. Since, this class feels like a family now, I don’t feel uncomfortable sharing anything with them. The entire questions were based on leadership. After the activity, our leaders told us that it was separated based on socioeconomic status because we might have to face this sometimes in our life. Most of the student feared failure and thought age would affect their leadership. This is true because often we think about “what ifs” and step back or think people will not take us seriously because of our age. There are many things we can learn from Malala and other young leaders. I guess Malala is a great example who proved that age does not come on the way of a leader.
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