Sunday, July 10, 2011
This morning we all had brunch at Brown’s alumni house. We were joined by a plethora of alumni, Dean Rose, professors, and some admissions officers. The House was magnificently beautiful. This just shows that Brown cares about its’ students even if they are the class of 1980 or even further back. It was great to interact with so many intelligent and highly esteemed members of the Brown community. After the lovely brunch Adrianne, and Mariko gave very riveting and inspirational speeches about the legacy of Brown, and what they will bring back to their respective communities. The final speaker was a professor of Organic chemistry by the name of Jason Sello. He received his bachelors from Morehouse and his Ph.D. from Harvard. He had a very extensive and impressive list of accomplishments, but he did not brag about them. He said in order to be successful you have to have audacity. My interpretation of this statement was that you have to put no limits, or in economics terms no price/expectation ceilings. You should have confidence in yourself and aim for the highest goals.
After this fabulous afternoon, we escorted the ladies back down to Hotel Providence to grab their belongings. We said our goodbyes, and wished them good luck as they made their way to Brown for their Women in Leadership program. It was a little sad because this point marked the beginning of their journey, but the end of ours. But passing the torch is part of the Ivy League experience.
We arrived to the airport, and during our flights I was truly able to reflect on this whole experience. I understand that this program is not about me or any of the other 30 or 40 some ILC students. This program is about helping the other 30,000 students in our district. I believe I will start helping those in my district at Pinole Middle. Hopefully other ILC students will join me in these endeavors. I will expand upon this more in my reflective blog. Also while on the plane, I saw one of my floor mates from Brown. It was a pleasure and like icing on the cake to see someone from the program again, even though it has only been a couple of days. Well we arrived safely back to the Bay Area. It was great to see my family after being away from them for four weeks. We have all really missed our families and our families really missed us too. My East coast journey for 2011 has finally ended, but the memories and learning experience will always be with me.
I once again misjudged the amount of walking we would do today. Since there is a triathlon, the road was cut off at the bridge. That meant that the group walked from Hotel Providence up a hill to Brown University. I did not know we would walk, and once again I wore the same heels that I wore to Boston. The walk was not as intense as walking all day through Boston, but the hill that Brown resides on hurt the balls of my feet. My lesson for the day: even if driving, bring extra shoes.
Brunch was located in the Alum Center on the Brown campus. The Alum Center was located outside Wristen Quad, which coincidentally was the Quad my dorm was a part of. I explored the Alum Center with Grace the week before; it is a house that many students would never consider entering. When I walked past the Center on my way to class every day, the appearance of the building labeled it as an official Brown house that students were restricted from entering. Just like the Alums, the Center is a friendly place, and today had friendly faces that I met.
I only talked to one person—Jason Sello; he was the Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Brown, as well as one of the speakers at Brunch. Although he attended different universities, he advocated that Brown had many research opportunities and would recommend anyone to who goes to Brown. He mentioned that Brown had a relax atmosphere, where students are able to explore their options without the stress of competition with other students.
He also offered wisdom in choosing which science to study. Science is particularly difficult to focus because chemistry, biology and physics have no distinct separation. Mr. Sello said that chemistry accommodates choice; biology is used in chemistry to produce organic chemicals, and molecular physics is involved in the formation of chemicals and is the foundation of chemistry. He also mentioned how important the staff teaching the course, which caused him to rethink his major in history. After more socializing, Mr. Guy called everyone into a room for the formal speeches.
The speeches were very inspirational. Adrianne and Mariko both presented speeches that were appropriate both in history and in experience, respectfully. Mr. Sello ended the brunch, and we all walked to Hotel Providence.
Packing and loading the car after brunch was quick. Then it was off to the airport. The airport was a reflection of how far we came; we saw the same Lemonade Truck the first day and walked the long trek to the check-in station. We left Providence and were heading home.
As soon as I stepped off the plane I knew I was home. The evidence resided in the lack of humidity and the clean smell of the air. I realized that I have taken advantage of how nice California is—it never gets too hot, and when it does it is a dry heat, and cool nights relieve hot days. I expanded my comfort of weather when I was in Providence, but California had the best weather. If I go to an East Coast school, I will appreciate the change in weather, and then come back and relax in the moderate sun.
Entering Hercules, I wondered whether the four weeks on the East Coast happened. I felt as though I came back from one of the Brown dinners—those days filled with tours and homework were only minutes in the whole scheme.
I have a lot to catch up at home, but the program was worth giving up my summer, which would have probably been filled with boredom. I also thank the sponsors who made my trip possible because I have changed as a person and am wiser as I make a life-changing decision.
Today was quite a bittersweet day. It was extremely eventful from the start. First off, I woke up in a hotel suite full of six other girls due to lack of planning. In response, the rest of the girls in the Women and Leadership program had to room in one suite because we lost all our other rooms. My roommates and I didn’t mind, however, because these girls were our friends and we thought it’d be a fun sleepover. We even invited Brown Session 1 students to come by and sung an early happy birthday song to Mariko.
Anyways, today we were lucky enough to get to sleep in until 8. There was an extremely formal brunch that we were about to go to at 10:00 and half the girls in the suite wanted to take a shower. We all managed to show up to the lobby early and were soon on our way to the brunch held at a Brown University building for Alumni. There, the Brown sessions 1 and 2 students, the chaperones, the co-founders of the ILC, various alumni from Brown, and a couple of administrative officers conversed and ate a wonderful, final former meal.
Immediately after the brunch, all students walked back to Hotel Providence. Cynthia was wearing heels that hurt as she walked down the brick pavement, so I volunteered to let her wear my comfortable flats while I wore the heels down the road back to the hotel and was noticed for my kindness. When we got there, we started packing our bags to move from the hotel to the dorm rooms. For some reason, everyone seemed to have heavier bags, regardless of whether they bought souvenirs or not.
After our bags were packed, we said our final goodbyes to Brown Session 1 students, who were leaving to the airport after we were dropped off to the University. We were then on our way to our school.
I was surprised to find out that I’m in the same building as my fellow W&L ladies. In fact, we all live either on the same floor or one floor away. We live in the building known as Harkness. My dormmate Georgia is awesome for bringing an air conditioner and an iHome. Although we weren’t able to bond too much due to the fact that we’ve barely been in our dorm room for more than 10 minutes, we’ve made plans to hang out already.
I’m starting the actual course tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited.
|Rebecca Scott at the Brunch|
|Professor Jason Sellos|
I woke up this morning around 7 AM, filled with apprehension. Today, I would present my very short speech to the Latino Alumni Association and my fellow Brownies at the brunch at the Maddock Alumni Center. I must confess I wasn’t exactly filled with joy. I was never the most confident public speaker, especially since I have not had any real practice (before joining the ILC) in quite some time. I knew that I was speaking to a room of enthusiastic, highly intellectual Brown alumni, which only added to my stress load.
After an interesting morning in which six girls attempted to all shower, dress, and pack in the same suite, all before meeting in the lobby at 10:30, we departed for the brunch. We hiked up the hill in our semi-formal brunch clothing. The Brown I students, now experts about the campus, located the Alumni Center and we all filed inside. We all shook hands with the alumni and settled in for brunch.
Once everyone had eaten their fill, we moved into another room for the short speeches. Adrianne gave an interesting speech about the suffrage movement and how it related to our Women and Leadership class, and I spoke briefly about my feelings towards Brown, the W&L class, and the ILC. I was somewhat nervous while I was speaking and I was concerned afterwards that my speech had been too short, I was glad that I had not made any big mistakes. To close out the session, chemistry Professor Jason Sello orated about perseverance and audacity.
Now that we had consumed what might be our last ILC meal, we returned to our hotel to check out. Brown II had to bid Brown I farewell. We headed off to check into new dorms as the Brown I students left for the airport. Ms. Larson, Ms. Williams, and Mr. Ramsey dropped us off at campus, avoiding the confusion produced by the Iron Triathlon, an event that was held today in Providence.
We got our room assignments and realized that, as Kiana Ward had told us, we were all lodged in Harkness Hall, a lovely dorm located right off of Thayer Street. When I opened my door, I was surprised to realize that I had a single room. I have mixed feelings about this. Initially I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to share a room with a complete stranger for two weeks, but as I thought about it I became very disappointed that I would not be able to make friends with a roommate and have that important experience.
At our dorm floor bonding meeting, I learned that Harkness Hall houses all of the female participants of the Leadership Institute, which includes all of the leadership classes offered by Summer@Brown. Our dorm meeting concluded with a large group orientation, held in a lecture hall near the VW dining facility. We then went to dinner at the VW. I had pasta and squash, a simple but filling meal.
After dinner, I wandered around Thayer Street for a little while with Cynthia, Josie, Alex (Ava), Rebecca, and a couple new friends. I attended the ice cream social held in the quad outside Harkness, and signed up for a trip to Newport on Saturday.
We had a floor meeting after the ice cream social. Our wonderful RA, Tiffany, helped lay out the rules and schedules of Summer@Brown. She is from Oakland, California! Tiffany is very friendly and helpful and I think I will really enjoy having her as my RA. I unpacked my suitcases, made my bed, and checked in with Tiffany to ensure that I am in before curfew.
I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow, so I’ll sign off. Goodnight!
(I apologize for the lack of pictures. They are not uploading very cooperatively so I'll try again tomorrow.)
Even though the party was very fun, we all fell asleep at about three in the morning. I groggily woke five hours later, and it suddenly dawned on me: today was the Brown brunch at the alumni house. Then I remembered I was giving a speech - a speech I had worked hard on for very two weeks, doing grueling research and editing constantly with the help of my mother.
One thing I do not like to admit about myself if that I suffer from stage fright. Most people do not believe me when I say that, because when I do public speak, everything is fine in the end, but to me, the whole experience is nerve-wracking. I tried to relax because I knew Mariko, who was also giving a speech, was just as nervous as I was, if not more.
The girls and I took showers, dressed formally, and headed downstairs. While I thought we were going to be driving to the brunch, we were forced to walk due to a triathalon. Being with the group was nice, however, the actual act of walking was not. We had to walk up a very steep hill and across the Brown campus - which was absolutely breathtaking - to reach the alumni house, which was hard on many of the girls feet, including mine, due to heeled/wedge heeled shoes. Despite this painful obstacle, we made it to the alumni house on time.
The minute we entered, I smelled food: and not just food, but really good smelling food. I turned to my right and saw platters of breakfast meat (sausages, bacon), muffins, bagels, fresh fruit and juice, and cooks serving omelets. I was immediately impressed and could not wait to start eating.
Waiting for us were Brown alums and admissions officers. We also got to see Mercedes again and Ruth Rose, the co-founder of the Brown Leadership Institute! After getting breakfast, I sat with Erin, Caroline, Christopher, who works in the Brown admissions office and graduated from Brown this past May with a major in neuroscience and Natasha, a Brown admissions officer who graduated from Brown last year. We had a very interesting conversation regarding Brown admissions, Christopher and Natasha's love for Brown, and their backgrounds. We also gave them information about us, for example, what we wanted to concentrate on in college.
After an hour of eating and talking, we were lead into the auditorium, where Guy Sanchez gave introductions and welcomes. I opened up the itinerary and to my absolute dread found out I was the first guest speaker. Butterflies overpowered my stomach and I tried to think peacefully, but my mind was racing. I was stunned when Mr. Sachez finished speaking relatively quickly and introduced me as the first speaker.
I quickly took my speech out of my folder and gently laid my folder and purse on Cindy's lap (I was sitting next to her). I slowly went up to the podium, looked at the crowd, and simply said, "Hello. Today I will be giving what I like to call 'The Action Speech'." My speech starts out like this:
Two hundred years ago, South Carolina's Bishop Robert Smith one stated, "Action is the highest perfection and drawing forth of the utmost power, vigor, and activity of a man's nature." Actions speak louder than words. However, can words speak louder than actions when one is defending their equal rights? Women's rights weave their ways into many vocal debates of power, vigor, and action. Throughout civilization, religious codes and governmental laws have restricted women from their manner of dress to the ability to vote. Male dominance in religion and politics has either silenced the voices of women in many ways, or strengthened the wish for independence in some. Did women's strive for action overpower their fear of being arrested or confined to a mental asylum?
I then talked about Annie Smith Peck, the courageous woman who applied to Brown when it was still a male only institution. I informed the crowd of Ms. Peck's background and position in the suffragist movement. Then history of the Edwardian era suffragist movement is given, along with history of Pembroke college, the all-women's institution of Brown University from 1891 to 1971.
I then stopped directly talking about women's rights and discussed women leaders in society and the position of leadership:
In the present day, women leaders span all over the globe. They might have just ended a talk show that spanned for twenty-five years, like Oprah Winfrey. They might be a world-renowned actress and activist, like Angelina Jolie. They might be the first African American First Lady, like Michelle Obama. Or they might be a powerful LGBTQ activist and rising Brown student, like Irene Rojas-Carroll.
I ended my speech with a powerful quote for Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected onto Congress and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination:
In Shirley Chisholm's breathtaking novel "The Good Fight", she states, "I ran because someone had to do it first. In this country everybody is supposed to be able to run for President, but that's never been really true. I ran because most people think the country is not ready for a black candidate, not ready for a woman candidate. Someday..."
As I finished the last quote, I saw something that startled me for a second. The room was [literally, in reality] split into two sides with two sets of chairs. On one side, I saw my family: my father (who WAS there), my younger sister Monica, and my mother. I had called my mother earlier, because her voice always calms me. I was wearing the dress and jacket she had worked so hard to sew for me, because by wearing it, I felt like they were there with me. I spoke at a steady pace, which is what my sister advised me to do. They were all sitting there, smiling at me, and looking so proud of me.
On the other side was my second family: Ms. Larson, Ms. Williams, and everyone in Brown Session 1 and Brown Session 2. They all looked happy and intuitive, which made me smile. We have grown to become such a family, and I honestly would not want to spend this experience with any other people. I love all of them and we are each other's support system, which is absolutely amazing.
And then I finished speaking. My reality came back to me, and everyone started clapping. I took a deep breath and sat down in my seat. Mariko's speech was after mine, and it was vastly different than mine. Mariko took the time to thank the ILC sponsors, explain what the program meant to her, and how she hoped the Women and Leadership class would affect her. I was very happy that our speeches were different; as I was initially hoping they were because I wanted to see the perspective of someone else. Jason Sello, an assistant professor of Chemistry at Brown, gave his speech after Mariko's. It was interesting hearing his testimony of how Brown was an amazing school and how he worked very hard to get to where he was in life.
Overall, the Brown brunch was a complete success. It was a great way to start off the morning and meet new people, and in the end, I'm so glad I got to give a speech.
After saying goodbyes, we walked back to the hotel, where we finished packing and piled our stuff into two SUV's. Unfortunately, Brown Session 1 had to stay at the hotel and could not come with us to help us check in, which was disappointing and very sad. We all gave them very tight hugs and some tears might've been exchanged - I certainly almost cried! - but in the back of my head, I knew that it was time for them to end their adventure and go home and for us to move into the dorms. Erin started singing "So long, farewell" and the rest of the group joined in as we waved and drove off to Brown.
Due to the triathlon, we had to take a detour, but we made it! After taking our luggage out of the trunk, I said goodbye to my dad. I was very sad to see him go, as I could see he was so proud of not just me, but every single one of us Brownies. On the way back to the hotel after the brunch, I asked my dad if he ever wanted to go to college on the East Coast. He stated no, but because he never got the exposure to the East Coast like myself, my sister, and the ILC kids have. After taking the college tours, I realized how important the exposure to the East Coast really is. I thank my Dad with all my heart for giving me this amazing, wonderful, life-changing opportunity and exposing me to the East Coast. It'll be hard not seeing him for two weeks, but I know he'll be rooting not just for me, but for all the ILC kids.
After all the goodbyes - it was hard to say goodbye to Ms. Larson as well - we had slight confusion finding where to check in, but we finally did it. After getting our lanyards, we were all excited to find out that we are all in Harkness House. We're kind of spread out over the house, but that is fine by us. I hurried into the building to find out if I had a roommate or not.
When I reached my room - 301 - a girl with Brown hair and hazel eyes stepped up and said, "Are you my roomie?!" Her energy about moving in was so nice, and I was excited to find out she WAS my roomie! Her name is Kaylyn, and she is a rising junior from Ohio. She is going to be taking Women and Leadership with me, which is very exciting. She had decorated her side of the room already, and helped me get unpacked and organize my desk. We found out we think alike and have a lot in common. I could not ask for a better roomie - you cannot get any better than Kaylyn!
After about thirty minutes, we were taken outside and played a couple of introductory games with the first half of the 3rd floor RA, Tiffany. The games were fun and it was great to meet the rest of the girls on my floor, who were really excited to be at Brown. We then took a quick tour, where we found out where one of half of the Leadership institute will be taking class and where the other half of the institution will be staying. We then went to the auditorium, where we were given an orientation and learned the many rules of the program, which were very straightforward.
We then were dismissed to go to the V-Dubb, the dining hall, for dinner. I met so many nice people on the way to and in there! I ended up eating dinner with Josie, Cindy, Ava, Mariko, Rebecca, a couple of girls we had met, Selena and Grace, and two boys, Hans and an English boy. We all made lovely conversation. There was LOTS of food in the dining hall, and in my opinion, it was pretty good. I had two large helpings of pasta and an ice cream cone for dessert.
We had about an hour to walk around and get ready for the ice cream social. I went outside and was shocked to see how many people were walking around! It was a warm evening and everyone was having fun. I enjoyed ice cream, met many people in the line to see a private screening of Harry Potter 7: The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (!!!!!!!!!!), and then signed up to go to Newport Beach on the weekend. I made many new connections during the two hours I was out.
After the ice cream social - and intense game of Twister - ended, I went back to my dorm to rest my feet a bit before going to the RA meeting. My floor's RA is Katherine, and she is very sweet but very strict about the rules. After playing a name game - we said our names and then stated the story behind them, we were told more in depth about the rules. One new rule that is definitely scary is that if you are kicked out of Summer@Brown, you must note that on your Common Application for any school and explain why. Talk about mortifying.
Women and Leadership starts tomorrow, and I am too excited to sleep! However, it is getting late, so I must. All hail the Brownies!