Thursday, July 21, 2011

So, This Is Goodbye

Tonight is my last night ever in Room 321, Harkness Hall, Brown University. In less than 24 hours I will have left Rhode Island. Wow. This really sucks.

I can’t say that I’ll miss the humidity. Or the temperature. Or the tiny showers and cafeteria food. Or the guy driving a lawnmower at 7 AM this morning who woke me up.

But I can say that I’ll miss my cozy dorm room, and the responsibility and empowerment that comes with having my own key, budgeting my money, and ensuring that I was on time for class. I can say that I’ll miss Kisa, my amazingly funny, brilliant, supportive, and encouraging teacher. I can say that I will miss Laura and Tiffany, the leader fellows for Women and Leadership. Their kindness and goofiness made life at Brown so much more engaging. Probably most of all I will miss my new friends, all 20 plus of them. Who knew that I could get so close to so many in so few days? Certainly not I.

Today was incredibly sad, and it wasn’t even the last day. Every half hour or so someone would remark, “I’m going to miss you all so much!” or “We have to keep in touch!” or “How about we just don’t leave?” With that being said, we didn’t waste our last full day moping around.

In the morning, we practiced resolving conflicts. Apparently, the key is to be assertive, that is, to firmly and calmly state your position but to be willing to listen to others and compromise if necessary. Assertive is supposed to stand in the middle of the spectrum of attitudes, with aggressive at one extreme and passive at the other. We paired up and practiced scenarios in which one would need to be assertive to reach a goal. Some of the scenarios were pretty hilarious.

For lunch, Josie, Ms. Williams, and I went to a small restaurant called Spats. My RA, Tiffany, recommended it to us because Josie and I were on a quest for New England clam chowder. We also split a mashed potato pizza... It was possibly one of the weirdest things I have eaten this trip, but it was tasty.

This afternoon we had a self-defense workshop. We were all really excited to “learn some moves,” but we learned that a lot of self-defense is just being aware and prepared. I enjoyed practicing the various punches and kicks with everyone, although our instructor assured us that these were very basic steps. We also were warned to be careful when to use these techniques. It would be pretty unfortunate if some weird guy came up to you and told you your earrings were pretty and you freaked out and palm thrusted his nose into his brain.

At 7 PM, we had our last workshop. We first met with our classmates and leader fellows. We did a cool activity where we took turns saying great leadership qualities about another person. It got pretty emotional, and about half of us started crying. We formed such a strong, supportive community while we were here and I know that I for one will miss the sense of togetherness.

Now I am packing to leave. Tomorrow we will have class in the morning and present our Action Plans after lunch. Once all the presentations are over, we ILCers are booking it to the airport to catch our plane. Bay Area, we’re coming home.

I feel that I should probably post a little something about my dorm room, since I have talked about it a little but never really put up any pictures of my room. This is my postscript to my post, as it were.

This is my bed. I usually have to sleep on top of my sheets because my room is so stuffy.

This is my window. It's always open, but there doesn't seem to be much of a breeze. Something that I heard at Wellesley is that most students aren't concerned with AC because they aren't there. The real worry is that they'll freeze to death in the winter, thus the furnace right under my window.

Above and below: This is my extraordinarily messy desk. I never have trouble finding anything on it, but it looks pretty bad. Although I had heard that the electrical outlets were behind the bed, there were also some more convenient ones right behind my desk, as you can maybe see in the picture. (There were in fact outlets behind my bed but I didn't use them.)

Left: This is what my door looks like.
Center: This is my closet. I ended up using my desk lamp to illuminate my shoes and shelves instead of my desk, since there was plenty of overhead light.
Right: This is what my RA's door looks like.

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