Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Final Hours

The highlights of my day included having discussions about Action Plans with my classmates, eating Korean Barbecue, participating in an intro to self-defense workshop, and having one last Community Time with the girls on my floor. Today was my last full day in Providence and at Brown! Time has passed so quickly here; it feels like both an eternity and a split second since my mom and I drove to El Cerrito High School at 2:45 in the morning three weeks ago.

After finishing a paper on my Action Plan last night, I feel much more prepared to present. The paper allowed me to get my thoughts together about the actual steps I will need to take in order to follow through with my plan. A quick overview: The goal of my Action Plan is to get more high school kids to experience nature and get exercise by utilizing local parks and nature trails in and around my city. To do this, I plan to join an existing trail-building group, as well as an environmental committee, and get involved in these organizations' projects (particularly trail building and maintenance). I will bring in volunteers from my high school to help with these projects, therefore making high school kids aware of the opportunities they have in terms of nature trails and local parks.

During afternoon class today, the Women and Leadership students participated in a self-defense workshop. I found this workshop informative and practical. We learned that 90% of self-defense is actually risk reduction, which means taking preventative measures so that no assaults or theft takes place. After having a discussion about what preventative strategies can be used, we did some hands-on practice. We learned about what the official "defensive stance" is, and learned some basic defensive moves. I was also interested to learn about the 10 "weak spots" that one should aim for when defending oneself from an attack. These include the eyes, chin, throat, forearms, and torso, among other areas. We practiced our moves for a little bit, but I didn't completely get the hang of them; I would be interested in taking more self-defense classes in the future.

Tomorrow I will present my Action Plan, and then head to the airport to catch a 4:45 flight home! I'll be extremely sad to say goodbye to the people that I've met here, and I hope that we stay in touch. I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to meet them. I'm looking forward to coming back to El Cerrito with a new perspective on life!

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