Friday, July 26, 2013

Speaking Up to Deliver Messages from the Heart

Today started off well and ended on a bad note, but before I get to that I would like to discuss the lecture that I viewed today in class. 

Today I tried to expand my comfort zone today by going to get breakfast with new people.  This is becoming an ongoing trend in my daily life, because I want to get to know everyone here before I return home. I went to breakfast with Julia, Jada, Ruchi, and Eve and we discussed how we were all enjoying our college experience so far. One topic that came up was about the social construction of gender assignment that was due this morning by 8 AM. I rarely feel like a do an excellent job on homework assignments, because I am my biggest critic and I always want to push myself to submit the best work to my ability. I know that it is impossible to be perfect, but I have learned that it is the process that you use to get to your goal that matters the most. 

After we all finished eating breakfast Ruchi, Eve, and I left and went to our class while Jada and Julia stayed behind due to the fact that their class didn’t start until later. I decided to challenge myself today by going ahead of the rest of my classmates and leading myself to class. For most of this week I have been following my peers to class or to stores if I didn’t know how to get to my destination on my own. However, one of my personal goals was to learn how to find my own way to class without the help of my friends, because I never know when I might end up by myself and will need to utilize all of my acquired skills. I would like to be a leader academically and personally in my life which means that I am going to have to learn how to function without depending on others. I actually could not believe that I was going in the right direction and I recognized street names and buildings. I made my way to class and felt like I had truly accomplished something.

I was really happy until I realized what today’s lesson entailed. I saw that public speaking was written on the board and immediately wanted to turn around and run away.  Public speaking is the biggest fear that people have right before death. Our guest instructor for the day was Jennifer, a woman who gave speeches frequently; she was really welcoming and informative. She started by designating a writer for the class so that we could get some ideas of why public speaking is feared written down on the board. Savannah was chosen to write on the board and our lesson began. 

I learned that body language, eye contact, and a clear objective are the most important concepts when it comes to public speaking. I would like to think that I use pathos mostly to connect with my audience and keep them engaged. Pathos is emotionally appealing to your audience when you are constructing your argument. 

The other two rhetorical tenets that we learned today were ethos and logos, which I already knew from prior experience. I think the biggest thing that I have to work on is projecting my voice, so that my audience can hear me easily. 

After the lesson was over I decided to go to Starbucks to get something to drink—preferably a drink with a lot of caffeine inside. I kept feeling my eyes start to close and knew that I needed to wake up so that I could pay attention in the afternoon class. I am starting to see the reasons why college students live off of coffee—no sleep.

For the afternoon part of my class we actually had to come up with a presentation either about our Action Plan or about a random topic. Sadly, since I still am not completely sure of what I should do for my Action Plan I spoke about my experience with the Ivy League Connection. I discussed how I felt like I was lost and didn’t know what I wanted to major in until the ILC set up the Brown alum dinner. I met Hillary, a Brown alumna, who helped me decide on what I love to do. She gave me the courage to think outside of the box and not be afraid to select a concentration that I don’t hear about every day. I really don’t put myself out here like I am right now by being at Brown or being a part of the Leadership Institute.I was pleased that my audience was receptive to all of the things that I talked about and could relate to most, if not all of my experiences.

My class ended around 3:00 PM and my new friends and I walked to the mini-market to go get a few snacks. Ruchi informed the group on a recreational activity that was being held at Winston Hall and we decided to go check it out. The activity turned out to be tie-dying and we dyed some shirts which actually turned out to be a lot of fun. I gathered my belonging and retreated back to my dorm to get prepared to go attend dinner with my cohort and my chaperone.

Before my cohort and I went to dinner we traveled to the Brown store to pick up souvenirs. I am so thankful that the ILC has given us all of these wonderful souvenirs so that I can take them back home to show my friends and family what I’ve obtained.
How does my future Brown University sweatshirt look?
Unfortunately, there were a few difficulties that made it impossible for us to get the souvenirs today, but Ms. Neal reassured us that we would get them on a later on before we head back to the Bay Area.
Unfortunately it is Beginning to Rain.
Brown University Book Store
After the failed attempt to obtain souvenirs my cohort and I went to dinner at Siena.
I was not excited to go to Siena since I had still had to blog, think of an Action Plan, write an outline for my 3-5 page long action plan essay, find out more about citations and or bibliography, give Don my room descriptions, attend a floor meeting and upload my pictures to MediaFire. If you could not infer my original plan was to go out to eat and get some food to take back to my dorm. Of course I was not oblivious to the fact that the purpose of the dinner was to discuss a few topics relating to staying at Brown, but my time was extremely limited. As we arrived at the restaurant I noticed that it was so busy that there was practically a line trailing outside of the door.
Siena is really crowded!
I was ready to go home already—to my dorm not California. As we waited for a seat Ms. Neal asked if we wanted to order our food to go or to stay and eat dinner at the restaurant. I opted to get food to go for obvious reasons and was neither shocked nor surprised when I was out-voted and we ended up dining at the restaurant. My annoyance rate increasingly got worse for the duration of the dinner based on the fact that I don’t feel as though the meeting served its’ purpose. I really wished that I would have returned to my dorm in a more timely matter so that I could have gotten more work done. However, this means that I will have to spend most of my Saturday indoors just so that I can get my work done. I was in quite a hurry to get back to my dorm and work on all of my work and I quickly rushed inside. I take this course seriously and do not want to jeopardize my progress in this program just so that I can stay out all night and eat dinner. I’d still like to think of this day as a success based the new skills that I learned such as reading directions and public speaking effectively.
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