Thursday, July 19, 2012

Time Flies

It's hard to believe that my time here is almost done. It seems just yesterday I was starting my first day, and here I am, almost complete! 

For it to be the second to last day of my course, it surprisingly isn't stressful... Yet. I thought I'll have a lot of work to finish leading to my action plan, but nope! Everything is under control. We started the class off by giving mock speeches to prepare us for the following day. We had half an hour to present in groups of five. Our practice is exactly what we can anticipate for tomorrow. Each one of us takes turn addressing our plan, then questions or comments will be given. The presentations need to be at least five minutes or under including the questioning part. At the moment, I feel extremely confident in what I'll say. Sadly, when the time comes for me to speak, I'll start to feel terrified and nervous. Public speaking is one thing I'll probably always dread.

After everyone finished, we moved on to expressing our opinions on the readings we had for homework. An article that stood out to me was "The Supergirl Syndrome", written by Lakshmi Chaudhry. This attracted my attention because it pointed out how girls are worried and pressured to become this super-girl. Super-girls are suppose to excel in everything put in front of them, whether it is sports, extra curricular activities, academic work, boys, or physical appearance. It shocked me to read about the percentages of how many girls are trying to live up to this figure. A 2006 nationwide study conducted by Girls Inc. found out that 74% in high school, 56% in middle, and 46% in grades three through five consider themselves to be often stressed. The elementary girls surprised me the most. It means that girls at such a young age have already been exposed to what is "expected" in society. If this has been revealed at their age, imagine how overwhelmed their minds will be in just a few more years or decades.

I was extremely energized and antsy for the second half of class to begin. Instead of our usual room in the Watson CIT, we had to go to the Petteruti Lounge. This is where our introduction to self-defense class was held. Our instructor was Michelle Nuey, who has been teaching the class for eleven years. She said the most important thing to remember is that 90% of self-defense is risk reduction and the 10% is physical. We went through the sensitive areas to hit; eyes, nose, throat, groin, knees, and feet. After learning about our block positions, we performed it with Michelle. She also taught us about personal space when someone places their arm around our shoulder. We were to grab their hand, turn around, and then push it forward. Having to learn these things has made me more comfortable of where I decide to travel on foot. Instead of just panicking, I'm now more aware of the choices I have to protect myself aside from screaming.
Blocks with Michelle
Release Hold From Abby

Whoa! I need some personal space!
We also had Community Hours later on. We debriefed on our two week course and how it has impacted our lives. In the beginning of this program, I was lost and didn't know who to look towards for help. As the days progressed, I began to open myself to others and they were all so welcoming. It surprised me that they weren't judgmental. Because of that, it made it easy for me to trust and to be my true quirky self.