Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Second Day Even Better Than The First

I was even more excited for what the second day of W&L would bring. Today definitely did not disappoint. Kisa started off our morning with an activity: we got three different colors of pipe cleaners, and bent them into different shapes to represent three things we felt were very important to us. My three shapes were:

1) A blue heart, which represented my love of school and the importance of education in my life
2) A green pipe cleaner in the shape of a piece of paper, which represented my love for writing and the impact it has on me
3) A yellow circle, which represented a swimming pool. I have been swimming competitively since I was ten and been a member of club and high school varsity swimming teams. Swimming is a form of meditation for me and always proves to be quite fun.

We got in a circle and had a class discussion about what the pipe cleaners meant to us. It was a good bonding exercise and brought us closer.

We then completed a "self-inventory" handout, where we discussed our strengths, passions, and contributions to our community. My group consisted of Josie, Rebecca, Marilyn, and McKenzie. We all found out what we have a lot in common, such as being organized, and all just want the best for the subjects that we are most interested in.

After our lunch break, we got a wonderful surprise: a two hour visit with Robin Rose, the co-founder of the Summer@Brown Leadership Institute. Her visit with us was absolutely lovely. The first exercise we did was where we got in groups of two - one was the speaker, the other was the listener. The speaker was to answer a question said by Robin, and the listener was supposed to stay engaged and make good eye contact. My partner was at first Marilyn, and later on one of our TAs, Laura. I really connected with what both of them had to say: Marilyn was worried about the intense course load she would have with her upcoming senior year, and Laura was nervous about going to graduate school in Nebraska, away from her fiance, family, friends, and home in Iowa.

After going through this exercise, we listed off what happens in groups of people that involves speaking and listening. Robin then proposed we make a list of reactions when a long silence occurs in a group. This is our list:


  • Mental tension
  • Awkward, as in "are we communicating on the same level?"
  • Out of topics
  • Comfortable enough with the other person
  • Waiting for someone to say and/or do something 
  • Interpretation voices by setting 
We then went over "I-Statements" in group, which the ILC Brownies also tried to incorporate into conversations over the course of the day.


  • I feel...
  • When you...
  • Because...
  • I would like...
  • Example: I feel like you are a different person when you drink so much because you're angry side comes out. I would like you to please stop abusing alcohol.
After we finished our list, we started talking about an interesting topic: conflicts with parents over curfew. Abiona stated that she lives in New York City, which is definitely not the safest place in the United States, which makes it hard for her mother to let her stay out later than midnight curfew. Robin pretended to be Abiona's mom, and Abiona practiced a good way of asking her mother for a later curfew. Cynthia gave a good testimony of how if she is out late with her younger brother, when she calls her mother and tells her that, her mother lets her stay out as late as she wants. However, if she calls her mom and she is not with her little brother, she has to come home either earlier than curfew or at curfew. She stated that she feels her mother is this way because she thinks that Cynthia is sexually active and that her brother could protect. This sparked an interesting conversation because Abiona stated that her male cousin, who is the same age as her, lives with her and he is expected to go out with Abiona late at night because her parents feel that Abiona would need him to protect her.

I think that in some situations it is good to have a male companion to be out late at night with you, for protection, but at the same time, women should not be considered inferior to men in any way and should be thought of as being able to defend themselves as well.

Class today was extremely productive. Once we were dismissed, Ava, Mariko, Rafjola, Kaylyn, and I headed down to the mall and went shopping for a bit. We then went to dinner and were joined by Rebecca, Cindy, Josie, Olivia, and Selena. After that, I went out to the green to read, listen to music, and relax. I felt nice about today, and I also returned a boy's wallet to him! He had left it on a bench and I held on to it in case he returned, which he did.

I feel like I'm stepping up more as a leader already. Our house is bonding more as well. While I was working on homework at 11 pm, Kaylyn went on a coffee run and got us Starbucks. The caffeine punch helped me to stay awake. It is great to be with all these amazing people.

House of Champions 

1 comment:

  1. The I-statements and communication tips really work! :)


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