Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lost and Browned

Today was our first day at Brown. We hopped from a parent/student orientation to a tour to another orientation just for students, to the Leadership Institute Community Meeting. It's around the same time we've been going to sleep, and I'm exhausted. Brown has been throwing information at us all day, and I've been grabbing at it like Lucy in the candy factory. 

My dorm room at Brown, before unpacking
We shoved all our bags in the van again and made it to Check-In, where we were handed a Summer@Brown lanyard, our key, our Brown ID, and some papers (including a map, which I will absolutely need). We found Perkins Hall, which houses the Leadership Institute at Brown, and unpacked our stuff. I had half-hoped that I didn't get a roommate, because I was afraid that I would constantly be distracted by music when trying to work or lights when trying to sleep. The other half, of course, was that I did get one, someone from the from outside of California, maybe even outside of the country. I looked forward to having that part of the college experience, sharing a room with someone at school and getting to know them. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, at least not today. When Abigail (who would have been my roommate) didn't show up, my Residential Advisor (RA) told me that sometimes students are late or don't show up at all, and for right now, it seems that she won't be coming. I know that a lot of people in the ILC Women and Leadership group have nice roommates, (I can't get over the British accent that Crystal's roommate Emily has) but I'm all right sleeping alone. 

The orientations were a lot of information that I doubt you'd want to hear; things like phone numbers to call for lockouts, the curfew (eleven PM most nights) and that you need a Brown Bucks card to do laundry. One interesting thing we did do in the orientation filled with people was an activity called "Making it Rain", which had everyone in the room either snapping, rubbing their hands together, or drumming their legs with their hands. This produced the very realistic sound of rain. 

We had dinner at a dining hall at Brown, where there was some simple pasta and salad, among a few other things. The ice cream social was next, where I met a bunch of new people in Brown's summer program.

One main thing about today, though, was that I didn't realize how much I had been taking the air conditioning for granted. The closest thing I have in my room is a fan the size of my hand, which I've been keeping a foot from my face since I've unpacked it. It's unbelievably hot here. Normally, when it's been hot, we can always take refuge inside, but not all buildings here are air-conditioned.

We then headed for our Community Meeting, which was basically an intro to leadership. It went over all the basics, like collaboration, having common goals and values, and so on, as well as asking what inspires us to take action and why we signed up for this program. They also asked a question for us to answer in small groups about things we need for a group to work. Apparently my contribution to the discussion was at least somewhat intelligent, because when the class was asked what we talked about, someone in my group raised their hand and explained my response, which made me happy. 

We started by volunteering what comes to mind from the words "social change."
Before they went over policies at Brown, we all had a Rock-Paper-Scissors contest. The loser of each round had to cheer on the winner, so by the end, everyone was excited enough to run through the less interesting part of the meeting without going to sleep. After that, we broke off with our RAs and played a few games to get to know the others on our floor. We walked back to the dorms, and now I'm about ready to go to sleep.

I can't wait for class tomorrow. I feel like a little kid excited for my first day of school. The touring part of the trip is over, and now the real fun begins. I'm not just going to be learning what college will be like from a distance, I'll be actually living the college life.
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