Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Defintion of a True Leader

Today I woke up on time and even got dressed before 8 AM. I was in a good mood after finishing the outline for my Action Plan last night. I have noticed that when I finish most of my work I have an easier time falling asleep. I decided to go to the V Dub with my new friend, Rachel, who I met last night on the way to the talent show. Unfortunately, I did not actually get to see anyone perform last night, because most students were turned away at the door due to the building being packed past capacity. I got out of my bed for no reason and ended up returning to Perkins, because there were not enough seats. I was really disappointed but the RA’s at Perkins decided to make it up to us by holding a mini talent show in the lounge downstairs. The problem was solved thanks to the amazing RA’s at Perkins.

As we headed down to the V Dub, I realized that I am able to deal with the constant temperature changes a lot better now that I am used to living in Rhode Island. I actually enjoy the weather, but only if I have on the appropriate attire. When we finally reached the V Dub I was shocked to find out that the lines were moving faster than usual. The progress that was made in these few seconds quickly came to a halt when all of the French toast was taken. Most of the students in front of me decided that they were going to wait until the cook made more French toast which caused the line to slow down substantially. After I managed to get my food I scarfed it down and headed out the door to get to my class on time.

Once I got to class my classmates and I discussed what society perceives a leader to be. Society believes that a leader has to be tall, loud, white, heterosexual, Christian, and a male. Dean Almandrez encouraged us to change the way we think when we want to describe a powerful influential leader. We did a multiple exercises based on the misconceptions of leaders, leadership styles, and leader followers. I have learned that sometimes you have to be a servant leader, a leader who is the backbone of the operation and works behind the scenes in order for the common goal to be accomplished. I never thought of a leader as someone who works behind the scenes, because servant leaders are not advertised on TV as much as authoritative leaders.

After the morning class session Crystal, Shraddha, Eve, and I went out for lunch with Dean Almandrez to become better acquainted. Dean Almandrez was receptive to all of our questions and comments which made me feel like she truly cares about all of her students. I was apprehensive about meeting with Dean Almandrez, because I didn't know what type of questions she would ask me. As it turns out most of her questions were related to how she could become a better teacher and what we liked about the class so far. I, like everyone in my class, comes from different backgrounds and has experienced different things throughout their lives. We are becoming one big happy family and we only have three more days left to revel in our unity. As soon as we started to get to know one another it is almost time for us to pack up and leave Brown University.

After eating all of the Vietnamese food that my stomach could handle I packed up and got back into Dean Almandrez’ vehicle. The song Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke came on and I couldn’t help, but to analyze the song and I started to notice his blatantly sexist lyrics.  I am noticing that I am becoming such a women’ rights activist and in all honesty a feminist.

When we returned to class Dean Almandrez explained our next exercise which was the Fish Bowl activity. The objective of the exercise was to have a few of the women sit with their chairs against the wall and have the rest of the women stay at the table and answer questions about Leadership. In this exercise the women sitting on the outer perimeter of the table had to recite the answers that the women at the table stated word for word. We were separated by our socioeconomic status which made most of us feel slighted, but Dean Almandrez reassured us that there was a reason for our separation. The lower middle class sat at the table first while the upper middle class took notes and tried to remember our answers. During this exercise I learned that we often judge other people when we are on the outside looking in hence the reason why the activity was called the Fish Bowl Activity. On a daily basis fish are being watched and we don’t know what they think or feel. In society we assume what people feel, think, or need and we don’t take enough time to listen twice as much as we speak. I learned that I shouldn’t assume that someone has an easy life, because they are wealthy. Money can’t buy you happiness it can only temporarily fill your emptiness. I feel like this activity solidified the unity between my classmates and I  and I feel confident that we will change society for the better.
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