Sunday, July 21, 2013

Settling Down At Brown

Today we finally arrived at Brown University! Thankfully, all of us are staying in the same building so we can easily contact each other. After saying goodbye (for now) to Ms. Neal, our chaperone, we had time to set up our dorm rooms. I’ve never had to move into a dorm, so this was all a very new experience for me. The dorm rooms are really clean and roomy (but they’re super hot!). While I was unpacking, I met my roommate, Ariana. She was born in the Dominican Republic, used to live in Texas, and now lives in New Jersey (which is only a four hour drive from Brown). She’s in the leadership program but she’s taking Ethical Leadership (a different class than I’m taking).
After fully unpacking, I attended the orientation, where they informed us of various activities to do outside of the classroom, such as movie screenings, fitness classes, art classes, and field trips. In fact, this coming weekend there are field trips to places like the beach and Boston. Brown really wants us to have fun outside of class while we’re here and I appreciate that.
All day, I’ve been noticing how friendly people are. The people in this program are probably the friendliest group of people I have ever met. Everyone is so nice and genuine and really open to making new friends. The residential advisor of our floor, Sarah, took a group of us to dinner at the dining hall where we got a chance to get to know each other a little more. I’m already loving the community at Brown.
My temporary home: Perkins Hall

Faunce House
What I didn’t know prior to today is that the leadership classes at Brown are sort of separate from the rest of the summer programs at Brown. All the students enrolled in the leadership classes have a few mandatory leadership workshops over the duration of our time at Brown where we discuss topics such as what it means to be a leader. This evening was our first leadership workshop. We discussed the different aspects of social change and the qualities of a good leader. The staff had us do an exercise called 60, 60, 30, 30 where we paired up with someone and each person talked for sixty seconds, uninterrupted, about why they wanted to create social change in their community. Then, each person had thirty seconds to respond to what the other person had said. The message I got out of it was that, to be a good leader, you have to voice your opinion but also be a good listener.

I’ve already learned so much and it’s only my first day here! Tomorrow, I start the Women and Leadership class. I’m looking forward to meeting my instructor and getting started on the course. I can’t wait for my next two weeks here at Brown!
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