Monday, July 9, 2012

North, East, South, or West?

The first day of class was definitely an eye opener. I learned so many things in so little time, and I really wish I could share every single detail of those things to the whole world, so maybe I'll start with how I began my day... My roommate and I are getting along fairly well, by the way. We have a lot of common interests, like music and fashion. Today we walked to the dining hall for breakfast along with the Brown II girls. I lost her along the way because we're taking different classes. She's taking Arts for Global Change, I believe, and I am taking Women and Leadership.

Anyway, I met a couple of girls from my floor in the class. I'm still amazed by how many international students are there in this school. It's always interesting socializing with new people not only because they're all so friendly, but also because they bring unfamiliar stories along with them. Most of those stories catch my interest because it shows a lot about how the person is. In class, I learned a whole lot about leadership. After doing a whole lot of "ice breakers" between the students, our instructor Kisa, and the two Leader Fellows, Christina and Sophia, we discussed leadership skills. We concentrated on getting to know each other, setting ground rules, and discussing course expectations throughout the whole class. After lunch, Dean Rose came in to give excercise and expose us to our listening and feedback skills. I love this part of the day because it made me realize how important giving feedback is. No matter who I'm talking to, I'm going to make sure to communicate that I'm understanding or that I'm relating to what they're talking about. Not only does communicating feedback effectively create some sort of emotional bond with whoever you're talking to, but it also lets you think about whatever they are talking about. That leads to many other new discoveries within your thoughts.

I learned a lot about myself and that's pretty rare. I expected to learn about how people communicate as leaders with the activities we did, but in the end, I realized that I learned more about myself than anybody else in the class. When it was time to answer questions or listen to our peers talk, I had the time to reflect on how I truly feel about a subject X, or however you want to put that.

Community Time was really interactive!
Today we also had our first Community Time, where we spend time with our Leader Fellows and do activities that excercise our leadership skills. We did an activity called Leadership Compass, where we got to learn what "type" of leader we are. Basically, I was a leader from the South, meaning that I am a leader who is all about fairness. I'm receptive of other's opinions and I always want to please everyone. I was a little bit of every leader actually. A leader from the North is more assertive and can give out tasks to get things done. I can certainly be assertive when it's appropriate. I am also like a leader from the West, who is all about analyzing. I love to analyze details to see how things are flowing. I'm not at all a leader from the East simply because I'm not as creative. I kind of stick to guidelines to get things done, but like a leader from the East, I like to have a vision of what I want to be done. Leadership is essential not only as a way to guide a team to success, but also to bring success upon yourself. I feel that I need to be my own leader to be motivated and to keep on the right track. Without a leader, there is no sense of guidance.

I'm looking forward to class tomorrow. I feel like I can't get enough of the material we're learning because it really does open up my mind. I'm happy I had many chances to present my ideas and contribute my thoughts. It's something that I never really had back home, or maybe the encouraging environment of Kisa's classroom pushed me to be more interactive. Either way, I'm happy about the first day of class and it's an experience that I won't ever forget.

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