Monday, July 9, 2012

Circle Up!

Beep. Beep. Beep. Snooze. Beep. Beep. 

It was finally time for our first day of class. After a whole week of rushing and learning punctuality, I've accustomed myself to get dressed within 30 minutes. As I started to walk to the Ratty with my cohort and their roommates, I realized that my Brown ID wasn't in my pocket! Walking around with no ID is like breathing with no air. Fortunately Aby was sympathetic enough to accompany me back to our hall so I can pick it up. 

My morning was a bit shaky but Kisa Takesue totally made up for it. I've only spent less than a day with her but I already love her personality and I'm sure she will be an amazing professor. Unlike the Brown II cohort, we had longer classes which last from 9:30AM to 3:30PM. To the parents reading this, do not fret. They give us a lunch hour (and a half) so we don't starve to death. 

We got to class 15 minutes early!
I appreciated the morning ice breakers that was introduced by Kisa and her two lovely assistants, Sophia and Christina. It was a great way to eliminate any awkward tension among the class. I used to hate these types of interactive activities, but because of the handful of ILC events and dinners, I've learned to keep an open heart and open mind when it comes to meeting new people. These games reminded me of kindergarten because we were always situated in a circle so that nobody would be left behind. All the girls (and one guy) in my class were very friendly towards each other despite of our cultural and geographical background differences. 

Since no one else followed, Ynah and I had a date at a Thai restaurant only a feet away from our class. It's been an entire week since I've eaten rice! De Anza High has an extremely short lunch period, so it was relieving to know that we didn't have to stuff our food in our mouths this time. As I was indulging myself with my curry and rice, I took some time to realize how flexible college is when it comes to time! There's absolutely no one here to limit what I want to do during my downtime. If I want to sleep, so be it. If I want to go downtown, so be it! 

Dean Rose led the second half of our class, and she did an outstanding job of keeping everyone engaged. Before I go on,  I MUST mention how impressed I was with the way she memorized everyone's names within 5 minutes. Amazing, right? We focused on listening abilities, "I" messages, and the meaning of teamwork and leadership. Like Kisa, she led several activities that allowed us to practice our listening skills. Seems simple, but it was also a challenge to approach a complete stranger and start a conversation from scratch. Nonetheless, my first day was incredible. We have a decent amount of homework but I can't complain because every assignment just seems so interesting and fun to do! I can't begin to decipher the amount of motivation I have to learn and grow from this course. 

Probably one third of the Leadership Institute
By 7PM we headed up to Solomon Hall for our Leadership Compass, which is another activity that all leadership students are required to participate in. Here, we learned about the four different types of leaders: Action, Vision, Empathy, and Detail-Oriented. I found myself resonating with the descriptions of the empathetic style the most because I love making people happy. I need to ensure that everybody is satisfied; otherwise I would end up blaming myself. The other "empathetic" girls and I agreed that we've been taken advantage of because of our naturally friendly attitude. As leaders, we definitely need to improve on learning how to say "no" when necessary. This activity brought my class to a much more personal level because we found the courage to admit some of our flaws. It's safe to say that I'm glad to be surrounded by a wonderful bunch of girls (and that one boy) and I'm thrilled to be a part of this all.

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