Monday, July 9, 2012

The Beginning of The End

It’s hard to believe that my first day at Brown is already over. Every part of it has been new and exciting. I woke up around 8:00 AM this morning and, after getting everything ready for my first day of class, went outside to meet people for breakfast.  We made our way to a dinning hall known as the Ratty where, contrary to reports from others, we ate some pretty decent food. There is a huge variety; nearly any breakfast food imaginable is available.

After breakfast, a large portion of the Women and Leadership students walked to class together. We found the building without any trouble and arrived in class with time to socialize. Inside the classroom, the desks were situated in a half circle.  At 9:30 AM our instructor, Kisa, introduced herself. She started out the class with a name game. The first student said their name and an interest that started with the first letter of their name. The next student said the first student’s name and interest along with their name and interest. This continued until the last student introduced himself or herself and said everyone else’s name and interest. After we had mastered everyone’s names, we sat back down and Kisa spoke to us about what to expect from the Women and Leadership course. She handed out a very detailed syllabus and several assignments. As Kisa went over these with us, my excitement grew. I know I will learn so much in the next ten days.
Inside the Ratty.

After what seemed like minutes, it was 12:30 PM and time for lunch. We went to the Ratty and then walked around on Thayer Street. Thayer Street is full of interesting shops. I can’t wait to explore these stores in the near future.

Once we returned home from lunch a guest speaker, Dean Rose, spoke to us about how to improve both our listening and feedback skills. We paired up and used different techniques to speak to one another in a more effective way. First, the listener used only body language to respond to what the speaker was saying. Slowly, the listener started asking questions and summarizing what they thought the speaker was trying to express. This exercise really enabled me to see the importance of being continuous when engaging in conversations. I know I will definitely be more aware when speaking to others.   

Outside the Ratty
At 3:30 PM class ended and students dispersed to various places around campus. I enjoyed the free time, and spent most of it walking around on Thayer Street with a few girls from the Women and Leadership Program. The time flew by and soon it was time to meet up for our community time on the Main Green. Everyone from the leadership institute came together to meet or check in with one another. After a few icebreaker activities, students separated into their class groups. The Women and Leadership group went inside a building and into a classroom. Here, our lesson revolved around the different styles of leadership. There are four distinctly different styles; each has strong and weak points.  I discovered that when leading I often focus on the big picture and overlook the details. Having a discussion about this really helped me to understand my weak areas and will hopefully allow me to focus on improving them in the future. I have learned so much in just the one day I’ve been at Brown. I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks have in store. 

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