Monday, July 22, 2013

The Beginning of Something Great!

It had been a busy day yesterday, so I did need some rest. I woke up around 7:15 AM. I would consider 7:15 AM early but compared to the time other students woke up, I would have to count it late. I had post sticks on my desk from last night to remind myself of the things I will need to take to class.

On the way to class
I went to our class with few other students from Women and Leadership. The class was located at Watson Center of Information Technology. Julia seems to be very good with map and with her help we made it to class early. I thought the class would be full of lectures but, it was actually very interactive. We started the class with the introduction. First, Dean Almandrez, our professor for Women and Leadership, started off with her introduction. In clockwise direction, each of the students and leaders (Sarah Day and Heidi) gave their introduction.

Dean went over the syllabus and class expectation. As she instructed, we picked a partner (someone we did not know) and talked on the question she gave us. It was a very good way to meet new students at class and learn more about them. I met Avery, Eve, Vivian and Suzanna during these activities and shared information about each other and discussed the question Dean had given us.

At class (setting up the projector)
We started the class with a quote, “A misinformed people are a subjugated people”. Basically, we went over identity and things related to it such as social class, ability, age, religion, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, also known as 7 categories of “Otherness”. Often, our gender and leaderships are socially constructed. Society puts on a tag for our gender/sex, and concepts are built and re-enforced by society. Only way to breakthrough from these concepts is to challenge the ideas of society. Like I said, our class was not just about lectures, Dean frequently asked for our opinion on everything we went over. I did not realize it was 11:30 AM, time for our lunch. We headed to closest dining commons, Ratty and had our lunch. There was plenty of time for class to start so we went to Sciences Hall to get laundry card. We loaded some amount that would be necessary for laundry. Mini market was close by, so we went and picked up the laundry detergent.

After the lunch break, we went back to our class and were introduced to Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie through a video, where she talked about single story. Adhichie’s childhood was spent reading British or American book where stories were about while people, snow, apples and everything related to dominant group. As she grew up, she thought whites were the dominant ones. When she arrived to USA as 19 years old, she was given title of African and people often talked Africa as described in most of the book, beautiful, or green landscapes. She was trying to point out that we assume how people/country will be from a single story we hear from movies, television or books. Her opinions are very true. I never saw single story in such way but now I have a good picture of what it is and how it can affect someone. Often, books or television misinforms us about someone’s culture and we tend to believe them without questioning ourselves if that was right or not. Class was over but it gave us a view of many different perspectives we can look at.

We had 1 hour to go to dorm and get ready for our “North, South, East, West Leadership Styles at Sayles Auditorium. Our meeting started with a game. Yes, I had not completely understood the game and I was the first one to be picked so I was having a hard time figuring it out. Michelle helped me out on what I should say. As we went on with the game, I started understanding and enjoying it. Finally, we started our activity where we had to figure out what kind of Leadership skills we have. The whole idea of this was to help us understand and learn about different kind of skills. It is necessary to have knowledge of different kind of skills because in different circumstances we might have to apply certain kind of leadership skills. People with same kind of leadership skills got in group and prepared skit to show people what their Leadership style was. I had picked East where one would have a vision of a big idea but would get distracted and lose track of time.

After our meeting, we (Crystal, Sarah, Mariane and Suzzane) went together for dinner. The dining common was new to me because I had been eating at Ratty. It was definitely better than Ratty and we could tell this by the long line of people waiting to get food (There were very less people at Ratty). After the Dinner, Crystal and I had a small expedition of Brown University with the help of map. We looked around for a while and then returned back to our dorm. We were able to do our laundry. There was no space in laundry to sit and watch over our clothes so headed back to our dorm after loading the clothes.

I plan to finish my assignment and get some sleep as I had been staying up late for few days. Today, was the beginning of the course and I can already see the positive vibe.

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