Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Scavenger Hunts and Card Games?

Today I woke up still not feeling great, but I put that aside because I know that these last few days are possibly the most important.

In class, we discussed some of the topics that had come up yesterday in the fishbowl exercise that Dean Almandrez wanted to expand. Yesterday Savannah, one of the girls from our class, said that she did not think of other people's socioeconomic statuses when she arrived at Brown, but I admitted that because I had come here on a scholarship, it was one of the first things that I had thought of. Dean Almandrez stated that it was the "most profound thing" she had heard all day. I was very surprised at that statement, because I did not feel like what I had said was very significant. She then explained that it had been a good opportunity for someone to take the conversation in a different direction.

We were then told that we were going to partake in various team building activities. We were put in groups of four; my group was me, Vera, Mary-Ann, and Allie.

Our first activity was a scavenger hunt where we walked all over campus to check items off of a list. The first thing we got to cross off our list was "find two males to do the wonder woman pose." The first guys we found were two Brown students. They were extremely willing to do the wonder woman pose, which I found very surprising! The next thing we crossed off was "find a male who can identify a young, female leader." The guy we found had a very difficult time naming a young female leader, about which I was a little disappointed. I thought that everyone had to know about Malala after everything she has done. In the end, he named Oprah Winfrey, who isn't necessarily the person we were looking for, but we took it anyways. It was a race, after all!

Throughout the scavenger hunt, Mary-Ann was running the entire time, and it was so hard to keep up with her! She is a track runner, and is extremely athletic, so my group and I were constantly behind her. The next person we found was a "male feminist." At first he was a bit reluctant to confirm that he was indeed a feminist, but once we explained to him that a feminist is anyone who advocates for gender equity and women's rights, he admitted that he was a feminist. I think many people don't know the actual definition of "feminist," but only know the negative connotations that come with identifying as one.

My group came in third out of six in the scavenger hunt. I wasn't disappointed though, because I thought we worked well as a team.

After this activity, Michelle, Sonya, Julia and I went to lunch with Dean Almandrez. It was interesting to get to know her on a more personal basis. I was really grateful to get the opportunity to meet with her. We talked about the ILC and how we got involved in the program, and about the Women and Leadership class. We also talked a lot about embarrassing moments, which was really funny.

After this, we went back to class and read a short story that described five people who were all, in my opinion, equally bad, but then had to rate them in order of "worst and least worst." You can read the story here:

http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/centerforhumandevelopment/fulllives/pastconferences/upload/ALLIGATOR-RIVER-STORY.pdf

In the end, my group and I rated Gregory as the worst because he did not express any sense of compassion for Abigail. Our second worst was Sinbad, because he exploited Abigail, but still completed his promise. We placed Abigail in the middle because while she was not at fault for what happened to Gregory, she did nothing to stop it and actually laughed at his pain. Next was Lee, because he had acted with good morals in "brutally beating" Gregory, but still inflicted pain on another person. Last was Ivan, because his doing nothing neither progressed the story or made it go backwards.

Our lists.
After we explained our reasoning for placing the people, Dean Almandrez gave us more information about the situation. Gregory was Abigail's father, not her partner, as we had assumed. Sinbad was Abigail's ex-husband, and Ivan her brother. Lee was actually Abigail's mother, which I found very surprising. I think even after we learned the true relations of the characters, I would have kept them in the same positions.

Something that my group and I discussed and found interesting was that if Abigail were a boy, the story would change drastically.

Next we set up six tables around the room, and were told to play a card game. The goal was to move up to table one, and every time you won the game, you'd move up, and if you lost, you'd move down. Little did we know, each table was playing a different game. I actually didn't move for the entire game, but I soon realized that other tables were playing different games, because as new people arrived at my table, they were extremely confused. This activity was interesting because it taught us to work together.
Working on Action Plans.
Back at the dorms, Allie, Savannah, Michelle and I got together and worked on our Action Plans together, reading each other speeches, essays and note cards. It was great to have a second, third and even fourth opinion on my work.
Working on my speech.
Tomorrow is our practice round of Action Plan presentations. It's scary and exciting all at once!

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