Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brown is Irresistible

I'm so grateful that Kisa was kind enough to allow us some time to practice our Action Plan presentations to each other. We were divided into groups of five in order to save time (and embarrassment). I thought this was good preparation for the big day tomorrow. After my practice presentation, I felt more confident and certain that I will do well. We were also required to give each other constructive feedback, which I found very helpful! I'm definitely going to miss the supportive atmosphere of my class.

Grub was at V Dub as usual. Ynah suggested that we visit the smaller shops today, so we ended up in a military surplus shop and a cute souvenir store. We took up the last minutes of our lunch period at the souvenir store because there were so many entertaining items to choose from. Unfortunately, my wallet would be parched if I spent money on more unnecessary things. I'm now angry at myself for forgetting the shop's name!

Michelle was probably laughing at my weak blocks.
My favorite part of the day was the self defense workshop, or should I say, "intro to self defense". Brown RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) instructor Michelle Nuey first talked about the basic concepts of self defense. If I could remember one thing from her spiel, I would remember this: Resistance is an option. Also, only 10% of self defense is physical, while the rest comes from one's mentality. I felt my adrenaline pumping faster and faster as we started to warm up with our defensive stances. Michelle led us through many basic exercises such as blocking. When we were blocking, we had to yell "NO!" from the pits of our diaphragms. This proved that yelling with my diaphragm is far more effective than screaming with my throat. We also developed knowledge about proper ways to react during frantic situations. I vowed to myself that I will never look vulnerable in public again.  Aside from what I've observed from my blue-belter little brother, I have never ever taken a self defense course in my life. Michelle's introductory class not only challenged my physical and mental alertness, but also made me realize how much improvement I need on my upper-body strength.

The final Community Time was spent with our separate residence clusters. For the most part, we reflected upon the past two weeks and shared memories with one another. It was a fun time enjoying our last hours together as one cluster. I've met a ton of amazing people -- students and facilitators --  during this two-week adventure. Everybody's such great company; hopefully we'll keep in touch somehow. We ended the night by taking a million group photos and dancing altogether in the compacted space. 

Today was incredibly bittersweet. I've had an indescribable time at Brown University, but it's time for me to come home.

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