Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home Again

A good night's sleep is all it took to rejuvenate Brown Cohort I. After the 3-week program, we were still brimming with eagerness—so much that we were very excited to return to Brown for brunch. We walked up the hill to Brown with Cohort II, the chaperones, and Mr. Ramsey. It was a nice day.

It was fun to walk through the main green again, and to show the way to the Maddock Alumni Center, which was opposite of the Wriston Quadrangle—where Kathleen, Erinn, and I stayed. Erin was lucky enough to see her ex-Residential Advisor. We also saw a friend who planned to stay for another two weeks.

More importantly, we had brunch with a lot of people associated with Brown. We met admissions officers, deans, students, professors, and alumni. It was very inspiring to listen to the achievements of Dr. Sello, and to hear the insight of students of Brown. He performs research at Brown University, and teaches chemistry. Meeting a Harvard alumni was amazing. It was even more surprising that he would be teaching at Brown! It is always apparent to me that Brown is a friendly school. Brown students are always open and social, and love to meet other people. It's an environment that really appeals to me.

I learned more about the PLME program at Brown, and more about Brown in general. Brown has really interested me ever since I got to know the campus and realized that the people are all authentically amiable. I will miss Brown University and all the memories made there.

After our brunch, we had 3 wonderful speakers. Adrianne and Mariko from the ILC, and Jason Sello from Brown University. Adrianne gave us a history of women in leadership. She incorporated Brown into her well written speech. What she said really made sense to me because I had done a research paper on the second women's movement. I enjoyed hearing more about women and their struggle to get into Brown. Mariko gave a speech about her excitement to begin the class at Brown. She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Women in Leadership class. Dr. Sello's powerful speech was about success. He really showed us that we should be motivated. He expressed his belief that success is a result of audacity, which I strongly agree with.

Sadly, all good things come to an end. We bade farewell to Brown Cohort II, and prepared ourselves to leave Providence for an extended length of time. We were ready to go home.

The plane ride was enjoyable, and I was able to watch nightfall literally engulf the plane. It came from a distance and slowly grew until my entire window was darkened. Looking at the other side of the plane, there was still a sunset. Weird view from up high. Once I reached home, I checked my e-mail. In it was a message that contained: "I loved your presentation. LOVED it."

My teacher epitomizes kindness and optimism. Even though I know I was a horrible lab student, she was always very motivational. It made my night to read such thoughtful words from my professor.

The Saga Ends

Today was our final day in Providence, Rhode Island. Much like the day when most of our friends departed, this day was little sad. We really got close with cohort two. They pretty much grew on us like our siblings. They asked us questions and we gave them feedback because we have already experienced something that they shall shortly experience. I cannot reiterate this enough, but this group of young ladies is quite the special bunch. I know that they will fully take advantage of the opportunities that have and are being presented before them. They will bring back to WCCUSD a new and innovative leadership style all while progressing and continuing to grow into women hood.
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.

East to West Coast

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.

Brown Session 2 Ladies Take Over

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.

Bustling Around at Brown

Rebecca Scott at the Brunch
This morning I woke up in a pretty majestic way with many of my fellow cohorts in the room; it was so fun to wake up seeing everyone in such energetic modes. It was a great experience having an overcrowded room because the room was full of people who share a special bond.

Professor Jason Sellos
Both groups had a special brunch at Maddock Alumni House where Adrianne Ramsey and Mariko Whitenack presented their well-prepared speeches. Special guest/professor Jason Sellos gave an extremely inspiring speech where he spoke about how passion should be what drives you. It motivated me all over again and I energetically thanked him afterwards.

After the brunch, Brown I had to leave for the airport as we went to check in at Brown. The good-byes were so rushed that I had a bad feeling in my chest afterwards. I felt like I didn't do enough with them.

As we neared the campus, I began to feel a tingling sensation in my stomach—nerves. It went away almost as soon as it came when we made our first friend, Simon, from Beijing, China. Later, through orientation and group activities, I begin to realize how amazing this Brown program really is.

I got to know people from all over the world—Hong Kong, Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Korea, etc. I learned SO many interesting facts about different cultures and made countless friends. It's true that when one enters an institution like that of Brown, the people one encounters are different.
In my building, Harkness, all of us girls get along with one another. Upon entering the wooden doors, we made new aquaintences instantaneously. Honestly, this has got to be the epitome of friendliness. Each and every person was welcoming and introduced themselves as enthusiastically as did we.
Pretty soon, plans were made to go to Thayer St. and grab a late-night snack. It is pretty amazing how fast one begins to feel at home at a completely strange place. I'm loving it so far.

Day 6: Brown Is Finally Here!

Brown-I and II stayed over at our room to celebrate Mariko's birthday the night before Brown-I left. Surprisingly, we all woke up on time and got our showers in and even packed our suitcases before heading down to the lobby. Dressed all fancy, we walked to Brown University, which was up a huge hill and marathon runners were running through the streets. When we got to Brown, we went to the Alumni House to have brunch. Not only were alumni from past dinners there, but undergraduates were, too. I told some of the undergrads that I was interested in neuroscience and they pointed to another student, Christopher Belcher, who majored in the same area. We talked until we were called into another room for speeches by Mariko, Adrianne and Dr. Sello.

Then we went back to the hotel to change out of our fancy clothes and drag down our suitcases. It was thought that we would have to walk back up the hill, now with 40+ pounds of luggage. However, Mr. Ramsey had the cars ready for us.

Once we got to Brown, we, as students, were on our own. We checked in and found our dorm rooms. We are all in Harkness House, just on different floors. My roommate is really nice as social. We met our R.A., who took us down to the lawn in front of the dorm to play name games, then we took a tour of the campus to know where our class will be, and then we had our orientation. After that, we went to the dining hall to eat. The food wasn't that great but we had lunch with many people that we had just met. The experience was really enriching. After lunch, we headed back to the dorms, where we had another name game and the R.A. told us the rules.

Then Cynthia, Josie, Alex, myself, and two new friends, Selena and Maddie, went to CVS and Johnny Rockets for dinner. Then we headed back to the campus because curfew was in 20 minutes. We checked in with our R.A. and headed to Cynthia's dorm to blog.

We lost 5 friends when Group 1 left for California, but we made 20 friends today just by saying hi and sharing stories. So far, our friendship spans to London, Beijing, Singapore, Spain, and Brazil.

Brown, Here I Come!

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.)

Red Lanyards Everywhere

Since last night would be our last night in the wonderful Hotel Providence, the Brownies took the opportunity to have a huge blogging party/slumber party/movie night in the "W&L sorority"! We watched movies, played card games, had a pillow fight, and had lots of fun just spending time with one another.

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!

Session 1 ends, Session 2 begins!

Today was an eventful day. After sleeping over with the session 1 girls, we all walked up to the Brown campus to have brunch with the Latino Alumni Association at the Maddock Alumni Center. There we again met with admissions officer Mercedes Domeneck and alumnus Guy Sanchez, as well as Professor of chemistry Jason K. Sello, Dean Robin Rose, and many other Brown admissions officers and alumni. I sat next to two recent Brown graduates, who both gave us a lot of insight about applying, choosing, and transitioning into college. What impressed me the most was how genuinely kind, thoughtful, and passionate they were, and how open they were to learning about us and providing the most advice possible. I have been extremely impressed by every single Brown student that I have met thus far, which I think says something about the college itself.

Guy Sanchez then requested that I change seats, because he wanted me to talk to the head of the Third World Center (Brown’s diversity center), who was Filipina like myself. She also provided a great deal of information, and we discussed diversity and its effect on both academic and social environments in college. She seemed very interested in where I wanted to apply, and she also gave me a great deal of advice.

After the brunch we proceeded to a different room to hear the speeches prepared by Adrianne Ramsey, Mariko Whitenack, and Professor Jason K. Sello. Adrianne’s speech was very well prepared. She used the suffragist Annie Smith Peck as a historical example of how women have been discriminated against and discouraged from taking leadership positions. She claimed that nobody is a natural born leader, and that everyone needs help developing, which is why this class is so important. Mariko’s speech was also very good, and definitely very genuine. She talked about what opportunities the Ivy League Connection and the Women and Leadership class provide, and how she hopes that she can take advantage of these opportunities by developing as a leader, student, and a confident young woman.

After the first two speakers, Guy introduced Professor of Chemistry Jason K. Sello and told us a little bit about himself, including the fact that he was one of the first to find a way to convert vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. Right away I was impressed and intimidated, but was relieved to find him to be such a modest and lovable person. He told us that although he was a solid student, he was never the top of his class or considered a genius. He believes that his audacity led to his success. He encouraged us to think big, and not to let the reputation of the Ivy League schools discourage us from applying. He told us that education is all about people, and how they can challenge you and make you think. He said that the people that you study with will be your friends and resources far after college, as well as the faculty. Finally, he encouraged us to go to a college that can mean something for us, and also for our community, which is the exact purpose of our experience with the Ivy League Connection.
When the brunch ended, we all said our goodbyes. I was very encouraged when Mercedes and Guy both told me that they enjoyed their discussions with me, and that they hoped to see me at Brown. They made sure that I had their contact information, and encouraged me to apply to Brown and contact them if I had any questions. The Ivy League Connection has allowed me to have intimate and insightful conversations with many important adults, and these adults’ encouragement has truly boosted my confidence and made me want to actually apply for these extremely competitive universities.

After the brunch, we walked back to Hotel Providence and said our goodbyes to the Brown I group. After spending the last couple of days with them, I was extremely sad to see them all go. We also said goodbye to Ms. Larson, Mrs. Kronenberg, and Mr. Ramsey. The Brown I group then went to the airport, while we went up to Brown to check into our dorms.

Surprisingly, all of the girls in our cohort ended up being assigned to Harkness House. I later found out that this was the building for the girls in the leadership institute. I was further surprised that I ended up in a single room with no roommate, and that I was right next door to Cynthia Yip, who also had a single.

Later in the night there was an ice cream social. I was really excited to meet new people, but I noticed that this was incredibly difficult. As I guessed might happen, many of the students seemed unwilling to step outside of their comfort zone and stayed with the people that they already knew, though it was obvious that most wanted to meet new people. I tried my best to separate myself from our cohort so as to force myself to meet new people, but it was much more challenging than I thought. Fortunately I was able to meet some really interesting people, but unfortunately most of them lived in the dorm all the way across the campus.

After the social, we headed back to our dorms for our floor meeting. There, my RA Olga, went over some of the rules of the program, and I got to meet many of the other girls on my floor as well. I also learned about the required leadership workshops and activities that would take place. Afterwards I went out to Thayer Street to go shopping and meet up with some people that I had met earlier that day. I then checked in with my RA and got ready to blog and go to bed.

I am very anxious about tomorrow. I hope to find the class challenging and educational, and I look forward to meeting more people. My first day at Brown has been quite eventful, and I have high hopes for the future.

Moving In!

Today was a pleasant day. 

We had a brunch at Maddock Hall. 

Mariko and Adrianne were student speakers, I really enjoyed hearing what they had to say. After brunch we piled into our big cars and moved into our dorms. 

We said farewell to cohort one and to Ms. Larson. I met some very friendly people right away. 

Within literally 20 seconds of stepping on campus, we had made a new friend. My roommate is a sweetheart. I had my first meal on campus today. It was pasta. It tasted very good. 

We went out to dinner at Johnny Rockets with a couple of girls that we met and now we are all back in our dorms and it’s time to go to sleep. 

Sorry for the short post, it’s been a long day. I’m so excited for our first day of class tomorrow.
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