Monday, July 18, 2011

Get It, Girl!

It has been a week since Women and Leadership started. I cannot believe that it has gone by so quickly, but I also feel like the class has lasted an eternity. I will be sad to leave these girls at the end of the week - we have grown into a family.

At the beginning of class, we discussed the readings from the weekend. My group consisted of Caroline, Mariko, and Marilyn. We discussed sexual violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS, and then we talked about religion versus education in foreign countries. Caroline brought up a good point about how some women are much more religious than they are about their education.

After discussing the reading, Kisa noticed that everyone looked exhausted. The Starbucks that is close to campus is being renovated, so there will be no espresso shots this weeks! Fortunately, Au Bon Pain is across the street from that Starbucks, so people can get their coffee there. I do not drink coffee, but I noticed the effect it does have on my classmates. It definitely makes them more alert. To wake everyone up, we got in a circle and Kaylyn taught the whole group how to "Sizzle", a dance she learned at another leadership camp. It definitely energized everybody and lightened the mood.

Once our dancing session was over, Kisa broke us up into two groups, where we were to play a timeline game. We each got a slip of paper and on it was a note about government history or women's rights. When I saw this, I panicked. Government is a senior requirement, and women's rights only came up in terms of foreign countries in my AP World History class. The point of the exercise was to get into a line, from earliest date to latest date. Unfortunately, we had to figure out the dates for ourselves. It definitely made us think a lot, and we had to rush as well. In the end, the other team won, since they had gotten more of their dates correct. I was disappointed at first, but then I told myself not to be so hard on myself or my team. We simply did not know the correct dates. During lunch, I looked through my reader for the dates and started studying them for future reference.

The rest of class was rather relaxed. We went to the computer lab and worked more on our Action Plans and Amazing Woman Monologues.

After class, the ILC Brownies walked to the Brown bookstore to meet Ms. Williams so we could get our Brown sweatshirts! I was very excited to get a sweatshirt; it is a true momento of this experience.

Customized Monopoly!

After a couple of hours of working on homework, I walked to Soloman Hall for our workshop. We watched a film called Iron Jawed Angels, which takes place from 1912 to 1920. The film documents Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns journey with the National Women's Party and suffragist movement to pass the Nineteenth Amendment. I had watched the movie in my 8th grade Advanced United States History course, but I think I had a better perspective on the movie now. I enjoyed the film, and it gave me a new perspective on women's struggle. I admired how the women protested against President Wilson, but was stunned at the hunger strike Alice Paul went on when she and the other women in the NWP were confined to a mental asylum for "obstructing traffic" (when all they were doing was holding up signs urging women to get the right to vote on the PUBLIC SIDEWALK in front of the White House). I do not think I could ever go on a hunger strike, and it was disturbing when Alice was forced to eat raw eggs through a tube. I would definitely be traumatized after that event, but it was admirable how much these women went through to obtain the right to vote.

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