Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Is Not Where I Thought It Was

Our last day at Brown was the saddest day of my life. I found my 20 long lost sisters and we bonded in the short two weeks of class. Our goodbyes were the longest of any group. I didn't realize how much I grew as a person until our last day. I realized I am much more outgoing, confident, and aware of gender roles in today's society. After our Action Plan presentations, we gathered on the lawn to take pictures and say goodbye. Ms. Williams began to get frustrated with our reluctance to get into the shuttle. Since the ILC girls were the first in the class to leave, everyone saw us off. They sang the song "California Girls" to us as we got on the shuttle.

I learned a lot from the class itself. A lot I can say I knew before but I never realized how bad it really was or that a lot of it is subconscious. I am a pretty "equal" person, in that I am not intentionally racist, homophobic, sexist, or any other "-ist". However, I discovered through this course that I, among many other girls in the class, unintentionally discriminate because we grow up with that lesson that women are subordinate to men. One day, we watched a film about media literacy, which delved into the meaning behind advertisements. On the plane home, Cynthia, Josie, and I went through the magazines interpreting the ads and how they are degrading to women.

Outside of class, I became more independent, outgoing, and outspoken because living a college lifestyle requires that you be more extroverted. I became more willing to speak to strangers, speak in public, and socialize. I think being with one class for a whole day every day let us become more than just classmates. I can't imagine what it would've been like without the Ropes Course or all of the workshops because those were what really pulled us together. I don't think anyone can truly understand how we, as a class, felt saying goodbye. When Alex said "stay in touch", we all knew that we would.

Going home was painful because I wasn't really going home; I was leaving it. When we got back to California, and I saw my family, I was melancholy. I knew I was glad to be back on the west coast but all my memories seemed so distant. I wasn't even home yet when I was texting the other Women & Leadership girls and messaging them on Facebook. We chat on Facebook every day and plan to mail a journal around for everyone to write in.

The past three weeks were unforgettable and through this experience I added Brown to my college list. I miss my new family and I wish that the class could've been at least four weeks. I miss the heat, climbing the stairs, checking in one minute before curfew, hanging out in the lounge when we should be doing homework, doing homework at 3:00AM because we hung out in the lounge, getting into circles, and writing the blogs. I would give anything to go back again and I know everyone in my class feels the same because we openly talk about it every day.
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