After staying at dorm for 2 weeks, I had started to see it as a home. It was hard to think that I was leaving today. Truth can be bitter. The class was ending, I would have to say goodbye to all the friends, leader fellows, Dean Almandrez and Brown University.
Our class was starting one hour late so I thought to wake up late as well. After waking up at 8:00 AM, I got ready and packed few of the things. Ms. Neal was picking up our things at 8:30 AM so I started to carry my luggage downstairs. All of us were ready with our luggage and we carefully placed them inside the van. We were leaving for breakfast but I wanted to go back to dorm for last time. I had forgotten to pack the fan my roommate had lent me on the first day. Since, she had already left for the class I left a note for her near the fan. I looked around my dorm and saw it looked exactly like how it had been the first day, everything was empty.
|It was sad to leave this room|
After the breakfast with few of the classmates, we headed to class. Dean Almandrez asked us to write the new vocabulary and the skills we had learnt from the class. There was already plenty of vocabulary and skills on the board written by my classmates so I added tally mark next to them.
Now was the time for our last activity. We all made a circle. When Dean Almandrez asked us to close our eyes, I understood it was the same game we had played with my RA. Only 4 of the people tapped by Dean Almandrez got to open their eyes and stand in the middle in the beginning. Dean would say, “touch someone if” and we had to tap those whom the statement applied to. Everyone would eventually get chance to tap someone. When I was sitting, I got taps on some of the unexpected statements and I felt good. During the middle of the game, I started getting emotional and there were some reasons behind that; I was content that my classmates thought of me in that way and I was sad that I was leaving this wonderful class.
After the activity, we started giving feedback. After listening to all these amazing people, all I could do was let tears roll down my cheeks. I tried my best to control but looking at all the faces and thinking that I would probably never see them, made me sad. We all told each other that we would keep in touch via Facebook. After our group hug, we wished each other luck and said goodbyes. I went up to Dean Almandrez, thanked her for everything and hugged her. In these 2 weeks, she had encouraged me and helped me gain self-confidence. I remember telling her that I was bad at public speaking and I am scared but she told me she had confidence on me and she can already picture me a leader.
|With Dean Almandrez|
Saying goodbyes had been the hardest part for me that day and I thought public speaking was no longer difficult. We were separated in groups and I went to my assigned room for my speech. There we seven of us who were presenting, 4 parents and 1 leader fellows. I was nervous but I tried my best to hide that. After seeing couple of speech from other students, I raised my hand to go up there. Even though, I had written my speech in paper, I thought it would be best not to look at it. Reading off the paper would not sound like a speech and I would not be able to make eye contact either. I had made sure my speech would not be too much informative and there were room for questions too. I did get some questions from parents and some were similar to one from the practice speech we had done on Thursday. I was proud of myself after the speech. We went to Main Green and waved goodbyes again. Once again, I hugged Dean Almandrez, Sarah Day and Heidi.
|Ruchi, Alicia, Heidi, Crystal and I (Left to right)|
|As we pass that gate, looking back at Leadership Institute|
I and some other cohorts turned in the keys. Then, we headed for airport with new knowledge, beautiful memories and 7 leaders. I was back at California after the long plane ride. All my family were there and it was good to see all of them after 2 weeks. After I got home, I was not very sleepy so I logged into my Facebook account, made a group called “Women and Leadership Family 2013” and added some of those who were in my friends list and invited others through email.
|Women & Leadership Family (2013)|