Sunday, July 27, 2008


I miss everything and everyone except the food. I am so thankful that I was given this opportunity. This experience was life changing and eye-opening. I have a new perspective of the East Coast. I learned to be more independent. I would like to share some pictures with you.

These were our dormitories.

This is a picture of the Boston skyline. Beautiful is it not?
This picture is of a really tiny bit of Providence.
This is a picture of my instructor and I. I learned so much from her class.
Last but not least this is a picture of the waterfire show.

Back in Richmond, CA

Wow. I cannot believe that I am back in Richmond already. As much as I miss Rhode Island, I have a family at home. I wish that I could be at two places at the same time but that is impossible unless I have super super super long legs! Well, I really have nothing else to say besides thank you all so much for giving me this opportunity. Words really cannot express all the gratitude in the world for everything you all have done. You pratically showed me the world and I really appreciate what you all are doing. Please continue to do this because it is a good cause. Please continue to bring more happiness to the students in the WCCUSD. We need more people like you ladies and gentlemen. THANK YOU!

-Meuy Saephan

Friday, July 25, 2008

The End.

This trip has been such an enriching and wonderful experience! I am so thankful for this opportunity and wouldn't change it for anything in the world! In the past two weeks, I've met wonderful people who I wish to keep in touch with after this. I learned a lot of valuable information, and can't wait to bring it all back to my community. I can't really explain what I am feeling right now because it's all just so overwhelming. I am sad to see evryone go, but I'm also happy to be going home. I can't imagine any other group of girls that can get together and practically become a family in two weeks! They are all amazing girls and I know that we'll be hearing about them in the future.
Kisa, Kim and Charnise are so terrific! I will truely remember what they have taught us this summer, and all the hard work they put forth. They just know how to make us engaged in a discussion, no matter what the topic is. I feel that they put all their heart into this program, and I really appreciate it! I really cannot believe that we are leaving! Rhode island seems like a second home now. I will definately consider Brown as a choice for college, although I will miss home a lot. Before coming to this program I would have never wanted to go so far for college, but by getting this chance I got to see the environment of the campus and familiarize myself with the area. I like it here and it doesn't hurt the fact that Brown is a great school!
Time flies by quickly when your having fun! Now thinking back, we've learned so much in so little time that it's amazing I survived! This course really challenged me time wise because I wanted to explore the area, but I had to do my homework. The readings that we did really made me think about my perspective of women, and if I was right to have thought that way. I know I already said it a million times, but I really enjoyed these two weeks!The learning experience was great! Everyone thought at the same level and wanted to get something out of this. I will miss everyone, it's so hard to say good-bye! But as for now I have no other choice.

Thank You

First I would like to respond to Mr. Gosney about the self-defence lesson. We were taught to not use these, should I say new skills to hurt anyone at anytime. The only exception is like you said, when it is really needed and when we are in a life threatening situation. So I am sorry if I caused some confusion, but we all know how to hold back! I promise!

So now I want to say that it has been FUN! We had our good-bye class session and basically everyone signed a card for one another. We all got in a circle and talked about the past 2 weeks. It was very touching I must say. It was like saying good-bye to my family because these people were my inspiration everyday. I looked up to them, learned from them, and shared my ideas with them; and they listened. I will never forget anyone! I truly hope to see them again!

The capstone project speech was not flawless, but I can say that after 3 practice runs, this one was the best! I surely felt more confident, more organized, and more self aware of what I was doing. The lessons I learned will defiantly follow me back to El Cerrito!

So a BIG THANK YOU to Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenburg, Kisa, the RA's, Robin Rose, Mr. Gosney, Mr. Sanchez, and the list would probably go on and on! Thanks for helping me become more confident! Thanks for helping me have a better understanding of the world! Thanks for the support! I just feel so grateful and happy! It really feels like a dream come true. Though this chapter of my life is ending, I have a good feeling it is just the beginning back at home.

mixed feelings

Today was my birthday and it was also time to say goodbye to everyone. The dorms are so empty and quiet, you can here a pin drop.
I am a bit happy to return to California and see my family but I am sad that I won't be able to see the girls anymore.

My capstone project presentation was okay, I was a bit nervous but I conquered my nerves and gave my presentation. I noticed that the other students were just as nervous as I was and that I did not have anything to worry about.
My bags are packed and ready for tomorrow!

I want to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to be here. This was a great learning experience and I am surely going to encourage all my friends to go to college. I feel that I can go back to my community with the confidence necessary to create change. You guys have really changed my life. You guys are an inspiration. Words can't describe my gratitude.

Special thanks to Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Ramsey, thank you for everything.

Kiana Ward is a rising senior at El Cerrito High School and part of the six-student ILC cohort at Brown University. After adjusting to the New England summer--warm humid days with recurring thunder showers--Kiana settled into her Gender Studies/Leadership classes at Brown. She appreciated her instructor, Professor Takesue, for being supportive and for developing her public speaking skills. All the students had to perform a speech three times and were critiqued after each presentation. Kiana reports being the most confident during her third performance. The leadership class also identified leadership models through which Kiana came to understand her style of leadership. Upon reflecting on her approach to leadership, she believes careful planning will be the key to her success. We can look forward to Kiana applying her public speaking skills in ILC presentations to high school and middle-school students in the coming year. As for her post-secondary education, Kiana is interested in majoring in science and/or math. She looks forward to applying to Brown, UCLA, and UC-Santa Cruz. When asked what advice she may have for future ILC students attending Brown, Kiana said to "bring shorts, and speak out in class."

Mario Miranda

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Tomorrow is officially our final day here in Rhode Island. I am saddened by this reality but I am glad I came here and I got to meet all these wonderful people. I would not change this experience for anything not even a million dollars (and that is hard to say as cheesy as it may sound). I met so many wonderful people here and it feels like if I have known them for a long while. But enough of all this sadness.

Today, we had class where we had a self-defense workshop! It was awesome, now I think I can probably defend myself if I need to, I think this workshop is going to be really useful just as the other workshops.

Lunch with Robin Rose was great, I love how personable she is. We conversed about how there are classes for seniors (rising college freshmans).

Well tomorrow we all have our big presentation, we all have to give our presentation on our capstone.



Only a day left as I continue to blog. There is not much to say for the morning. We only practiced our speeches for tomorrow. Now we have to prepare for the actual presentation! I felt that I did better than last time, but I feel that it still needs some work

In the afternoon though, now there we had a lot of action! We had a self-defence workshop and we also got some information on tribal leadership. This was presented by Michelle Nuey, manager of special services and also a member of Mashpee Wampanoag. Within their tribe group, Michelle leads their traditional dance and she basically tells us about how a leader has to guide the whole pack in one direction or else it would be chaos!
Then came the fun part! We leaned the basic self defence posture and also a couple of self defence moves! The fact that you should not panic and aim for the vulnerable spots was stressed. Also, for every time we "strike" we had to cry out "NO!" This is a basic thing to do because it can cause confusion to the opposing person, or it can aware others of your presence. It was truly so fun and I am super happy to have been able to learn from Michelle. This is definitely something I will never forget and I will make sure to teach my siblings too!

Then we had our last community time. Everyone made a circle and we praised someone for why they were a leader. Then the next activity was everyone stood in a circle facing away from each other with their eyes closed. The RA's picked out a couple of people each time and then asked questions. If the question applied to someone they knew in the circle, they would tap them. The feeling of being tapped was truly uplifting. It gave you a very warm feeling and it made me smile a lot. I think I will leave very happy!

It's all coming to an end!

This wonderful trip is coming to a slow end! I cannot believe that two weeks passed by so quickly! I am so glad that I was able to come! I'm also so sad that I have to leave all od=f my new friends behind, but I'm sure that we will keep in touch.
Today was a great day in class. In the moring we practiced our capstone speeches in front of our classmates. It was very nerve wreaking, but I could tell that I improved from the last time we did it. Everyone had a different topic which makes it even better. I learned so much from everyone's speeches, it was incredible to know that we all are very common. Today we had lunch with Robin Rose at Joshiah's. It was great because we got to talk and she really got to know us better. The lunch was a great way to bond, and we also gave her her card. I could tell that it really touched her!
After lunch, Michelle Nuey came to talk to us about her indiginous background, and also self defense. She was half Native American and half African American, and she told us about how she does dances for her tribe. She comes form the Wampanog Tribe in South Eastern MA. After describing her background she taught us a lot about how we should defend ourselves. We learned different techniques of attacking our predators. Hopefully I won't ever have to use these new skills, but it is helpful to have learned them.

Thursday ...

WOW ... I cannot believe that it is Thursday already. We will be leaving Saturday. It seem to have gone by too fast. I am speechless and I cannot describe this feeling I have in the pit of my stomach.

When we first arrived here, I was a bit intimidated. I knew that the people I was to meet would be of different economic status but I realized that friendship is not determined by how much money their family have; it is what they have brought to the plate that counts. Coming here at first, I did not think that I would make a bonding friendship in two weeks and then watch us seperate. I do not the feeling of drifting away but I know that this is not the end of us all. As much as I love Brown, and Providence in general, I have a family to go back to in Richmond. However, because of all these new technology such as internet, cell phones, and others, I know for sure that we will keep in close contact with each other. I have already added many friends on Facebook and MySpace. Somehow, I have a feeling that we will continue to support one another even after class has ended; the distance cannot stop the power of a group of young women leaders!

Overall, this experience was absolutely amazing! The class was not just a normal class about women history but it helped me find myself and my passion. Not to mention that I have learned a lot about other diversity of people. Now, I will be cautious when I judge people because there is so much more to a person that what they show on the outside. I have learned this through meeting people from all over the United States such as Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and even a girl from Toronto, Canada. We have all developed a bond that will stretch across the country and even more.

Lastly, I want to thank ALL of you who have made this possible for me and the rest of us for this experience. I would of never gotten this opportunity if it was not for you all. I appreciate what you are all doing and I hope you continue to do so because you are bringing so much joy and happiness to the students you are sponsoring to send to the East Coast. The feeling of this whole experience brings so much warmness to my heart and now I can go back to Richmond and share this warmness with my family and friends. And again, from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank you all.

Time is running out

Today is the second to last day of class in the women and leadership course. I can't believe it went by so fast. Today we all had to say good-bye to a fellow classmate because she is leaving tomorrow morning before class to be able to go to cheer camp. Today we all had to practice our speeches in front of the class. I did a lot better than I did the first time I tried it. Also something very fun yet informative that we did today was a self defense class. We were taught the right positions in which we could punch or kick. It was very cool. Tomorrow we will present our speeches in front of parents and other classmates that are not in our class, which adds on a little to our nervousness.
Well we have two more days and half of me is so ready to leave and go home, but the other part of wants to stay back behind to enjoy Rhode Island. Thayer street was awesome with all the wonderful options of food and stores. I know I really enjoyed the water fire show that I saw.Even though its hot and humid out here, I've enjoyed the rain that we have had these past few days. The atmosphere makes me feel comfortable and at home. I like how Brown is not to city like, but if you walk a couple blocks further you get the city with its huge mall, with plenty of stores.
I'm going to miss Brown, but I have to move on. I know I have other work waiting for me at home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two more days left!

I can't believe that there are only two more days left! It seems like yesterday that we all just started the class. It is, really sad that the class has to end; I'll miss all my new friends, the class, and Brown University. The class has taught me a lot about how women are involved in leadership. I also learned a lot of new skills to bring back with me.
Today in class we discussed the movie that we watched last night. We all agreed that the movie was really inspiring, and just motivated us to persevere and never give up. After our movie discussion, we had some speakers. They were Myrth York and Marcia Rivas, they talked about women and politics. They both work for Women's Fund of Rhode Island. This is basically a place where they give out grants for social change, and they have programs where they train women to become leaders. In the afternoon, we grouped up and did different scenarios on a dilemma. most situations called for an immediate answer because it dealt with someone's life at risk. A lot of them had to do with honesty, and just testing how trustworthy you were.
I'm now working on my capstone project and paper that is due on Friday. Everyone is basically in homework mode right now. I forgot to mention that we are having lunch with Robin Rose tomorrow. Well, I better get back to my paper now!


Today we explored the boundaries of our morals and were presented with internal dilemma scenarios. Dean Kisa gave us different stories about kids whose consciences were being tested. The example that my group shared to the class was of a student who mistakenly received a better grade than she deserved as her semester grade. She debates on what to do. On one hand, she knows that she'll have a guilty conscience but on the other hand she is very aware of the competitiveness of college admissions. Our class debated our personal opinions and what we would do in that situation. For the most part, the class agreed that they would point the error out to the teacher and accept the lower grade rather than feel guilty for accepting a grade that they didn't deserve.

Mr. Ramsey asked me what I thought about the class being all female and he wondered what I thought would change in a mixed gender environment. I like having such an open place to voice my opinions. I'm usually always willing to answer questions in school but for this particular subject, “women in leadership,“ I think that if there were guys in the classroom, things would change without us even realizing that they were changing. Everyone in our class seems more open and honest about what they really think. We still have the quiet ones and the ones who like to take charge just like in any other classroom but the dynamics change in a class of all girls.

Jumping Off the Diving Board

Today we basically started off by discussing the movie we watched last night. This was followed up by two presenters at the same time! Leading the discussion about Women and Politics were Marcia Cogne-Ting, Director of the Women's Fund and Myrth York, former Rhode Island State Senator. There was a point brought up about why women run for leadership and the answer was because there is always a problem. Everyone shared why they were a leader and it was because they wanted to change something, thus proving the answer to be true within the class. Now I used the "jumping off the diving board" as my title because Ms. York said it, and it basically means to take a risk, but you won't really know what will happen once you jump. However it was agreed upon both of them that the risk was worth it. I also find a connection in through these words "You make a decision only to be led back to the fork on the road." There is always a challenge and one just has to face it head on! In working with a foundation, one has to negotiate; that is the main thing! If you are not able to talk about a certain balance, then you know you can be cheated easily.
A fun activity that I like was the values auction. We wrote out a list of values such as perseverance, humor, caring, etc. Then we broke up into groups and had a small auction on which value we wanted most. It was really fun!
In the afternoon we basically talked about ethics and leadership. We read many articles that held very difficult answers and it contained a lot of ethical dilemmas! It really questioned what one would do under those circumstances. I really did not know how to respond! The right thing to do always seemed bad, but the selfish one seemed more plausible. Truly a very interesting subject to touch on. Now I must finish my report!

Rain and Thunder

Today was a pretty interesting day. We had two guest speakers, Marcia Cone Tighe and Myrth York. They are from the National Women's Fund and they spoke to us about the movie we watched last night called "Iron Jawed Angels" and how we reflect upon seeing that movie. To me, it was a really good movie but shocking also. It opened my eyes to how much it took for women to get to where they are today. I also did not realize that Alice Paul played such a huge part in earning women's right to vote the movie acknowledge what she and the rest of her crew had to go through such as being forcibly fed while in prison. I did not know that Woodrow Wilson acted that cruely towards the rights of women and how other mens perceived women back in those days. It is such an inspiring movie and it inspired me to become one of those leaders.

After that, we talked about ethics in leadership. We broke up into groups to read different scenarios and we had to answer the questions on the back. Basically they were ethical dilemmas and we had to decide what to do if we were in that position. After reading different scenarios in a group, the class got back together to basically debrief the whole situation and how we would react. There were many different opinions because different people have different beliefs and I respect that. One of the situation that I thought was interesting is when a boy got in trouble for cheating on his test and later on his dad cheated to get into the movie theater. Later on, the boy asked his father why it was okay for him to cheat at the movie theater but not okay for him to cheat on his test. The father answered saying that cheating at the movie theater doesn't count because it is not hurting anybody. I believe that cheating at the movie theater is worse than cheaitng on a test because whent he boy cheated on his test, he was only hurting himself. The father was hurting the business. I can relate to that because parents often do that for example my father. He was not the best of the best because there were many aspects of him that were considered unfatherly. However, he always tried to teach us right from wrong. Whenever he did do anything wrong, he always lectured siblings and I that it is not the right thing to do so don't be like him. Well I guess by seeing his experiences have made me a better person in general. Well that is all for now. Gina, Mercedes, and I will be going to the Brown Bookstore. Toodles!

Iron Jawed Angels

Yesterday we watched a movie for community time called "Iron Jawed Angels". The movie was about women's suffrage and how dedicated these women were to achieve their goal. The movie is very inspiring and makes you not want to give up although I did think there were a couple of scenes that were not necessary.

In class we debriefed a little about what we thought about the movie and one of the main questions asked was "what issue would you go to jail for?" I still haven't found out what issue I would really fight for and even go to jail for but I have an idea of human rights issues, maybe I WOULD go to jail for that. I have noticed that I get really frustrated when someone is mistreated, and one way I would fight that would be with civil disobedience.

Well I have to get ahead with some of my homework and I will update you with more on the class afterwords.

p.s. The ILC girls will have lunch with Robin Rose tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meuy Chien Saephan
- Class of 2010

Mercedes Montelongo

Jessica Tran - Class of 2010

Capstone projects, Iron Jawed Angels, and Buses!

In class today we spent the morning working on our Capstone projects. Kisa talked with us one on one to improve our presentations. While she did this, the rest of the class got time to research their subjects for the whole morning. I researched statistics for the passing rates for the math and ELA sections of the CAHSEE at my school and in my district.

At night for community time we watched the movie Iron Jawed Angels. It was an inspiring movie about the fight for women suffrage. I was not excited to see it going in because I had never heard about it before but I quickly began to enjoy it. Taking APUSH in school skimmed the topic of the fight for women suffrage but because we had to cover so much history in so little time, we were not able to really study it in depth. This movie which was based on true facts put together the history of women suffrage in an entertaining and engaging way.

In response to Don Gosney's reference to the haves and have nots, I agree that "sometimes it's being one of the "have nots" that can teach us things that the "haves" can never learn." I believe that this goes both ways as well which is why this program is such a valuable experience for everyone involved. For instance, a few days ago, a group of us went to Providence Place, a nearby shopping center. With Brown ID's, public transportation is free so we decided to take the bus. One girl said that she catches the bus at home so we let her take charge. It turned out that it was a school bus that doesn't require the skill of understanding a bus schedule so twice we almost got on the wrong bus. Finally I got the right bus schedule and we caught the correct bus to Providence Place. Obviously this isn't a huge deal and if we had gotten on the wrong bus, we could have simply gotten off. Despite this fact, I've learned from experience that this is an example of an useful everyday skill that is simple to learn and that saves you tons of time in the long run.

Preparation and More

Only 2 more days until the Capstone project is due! My idea at the beginning was too broad of a topic or as Kisa says, "You guys have so many great ideas, but you need to start narrowing it down." So I had to discuss a couple of ideas with my RA. In the end I was able to choose a topic that I could work with.
That is why this morning the class went to the CIT, Center for Information Technology. For the whole morning everyone spent time researching and gathering their thoughts about the speech they will have to make. It was all very independent work, and I swear you could hear all the clicking of the keyboards going off at once! It seemed to resonate through the room! Many know that I work with the Interact club, so I decided to base my project on Heifer International, which I slightly worked with before. I had a lot of background reading to do, but it was all very interesting, so time passed by a bit too fast. This is really exciting to me, just thinking about actually getting to put thoughts into action; I hope things will turn out for the best!

In the afternoon part of the class, we started off by understand the role of a facilitator. There were small discussions, and then we had a presentation about Gender and Classroom, presented by Professor Debbie Rivas-Drake. Here we basically discussed about the treatment of students within a classroom or how the teachers and administrations act towards female/male students. There was a kind of debate created by splitting the class in half, one side for co-ed schools, while the other was agreeing to single sexed schools. There was a lot of really good reasoning to each side, and in the end I am not still not sure which side is best. I was supporting the co-ed side, but the opposing view seemed pretty persuasive. We even had Avni, who came from an all girl school describe the benefits of going to a school consisting of only females. Definitely a hard decision.

When class was over, Erica led me to see the Museum of Art: Rhode Island School of Design. We only had an hour so it was slightly a speed through view of everything. However it was so beautiful! The colors and all the details! The pictures seemed to come to life! From Romans, to Egyptian, to the Chinese and Japanese; all the pottery, statues, engravings, and paintings are just amazing. I hope to be able to upload some pictures that I was able to take later!
*Just something I learned! You cannot use flash while taking the pictures and it is not allowed to take any pictures dating from the early 1900's to present.

After a few hours of the museum, the women and leadership class watched the movie, "Iron Jawed Angels." A very powerful movie showing women standing up for their rights! I was definitely moved by the struggle and perseverance! It is a very good watch!


In class today was go over our capstone project, and the essay that is due on Thursday. In the morning we were in the computer lab researching our projects. The capstone project is basically a project that we want to bring back to our community and make it happen. I'm doing my project on teen pregnancy and how I can make it so there are less teenage mother drop outs.
After lunch, we discussed facilitation skills. We each split up into different groups and got a chance to facilitate a discussion on the reading. After that we had a guest speaker, and her is Deborah Rivas. She talked about gender in classrooms. She told us all about how teachers kind of seperate the students by gender, and also are very bias. We also had a debate on weather haiving a public all girls school was good or not.
We had community time today, where we watched a movie called Iron Jawed Angels. It was really good and inspirational. To think that all these women went through so much trouble just to get what was supposedly theirs. This movie really motivates me to persevere and never give up!

Adriana Ramirez is a rising senior at Richmond High School. She was born in Mexico (Jalisco State) and is the oldest of three girls. Her experience attending pre-college classes at Brown University has been positive. She appreciates the culture of maturity on campus and the interaction with her classmates during her Gender Studies class. Adriana reports that the two-week course has "gone by fast" and that she has been careful to manage her study time in order to complete the coursework. She looks forward to applying for admission to Brown and is interested in a political science and/or history major. Adriana’s eventual goal is to become an attorney-advocate on behalf of social justice issues. Her internship in the Public Defender office in Richmond introduced her to the legal profession and the inequities of the justice system. Adriana believes she can provide needed insight on issues that effect the rights of the Spanish speaking community.
Mario Miranda
The Brown University ILC cohort, left
to right: Gina Saechao, Meuy Chien
Saephan, Mercedes Montelongo,
Adriana Ramirez, Jessica Tran,
and Kiana Ward

My Capstone Project

This year have been a great deal to me. There were many tragic events and even though nothing can ever make up for those events, this experience has been amazing. I cannot believe that it is going to end soon and we will be leaving Saturday. However, it has not ended yet so I will continue to look forward to the rest of my time here in Providence, Rhode Island.

. . . . .

All of the students are required to do a Capstone Project and I was debating about my project for some time. However, I concluded that I want my Capstone Project to be feasible but also help my community. Therefore, I thought about my younger sister and what she will have to go through when she enter middle school this Fall. I thought about all the peer pressure and violence that she will have to witness/endure and I want to do something about it; not just for my younger sister but for all the other youths entering middle school. I am aiming for middle schoolers because that is where the change starts. So my Capstone Project will be about change in our community and basically fundraising money to send these students to productive programs such as "College for Kids." You see, kids get involve in gang and violence for many different reasons be it because they have nothing else to do, or lack of support/motivation to do something better. Also, many of these kids come from low-income family so their parents do not have the money to send them to summer programs and other things that will be of positive use. What I am trying to do is raise enough money to send these kids there and just be someone they can go to for help. Violence is not the answer and they need to get it through their head that there are other alternatives. This was my main focus although I wish to contribute so much more but this is just a Capstone Project so I need to focus on ONE main idea for now. When I gain more leadership skills, I will continue to contribute more to building a better and stronger community.

Today in class, we had a speaker named Deborah Rivas. She came to speak to us about the difference between single-sex schools and co-ed schools. She also spoke about how males and females are treated differently inside the classrooms. For example, she mentioned that males tend to get away with things than females and females tend to feel uncomfortable speaking their mind in front of males. Afterwards, we had a debate where Deborah splitted up the class and one side had to be pro-single sex public schools and the other side against it. I was in the side against it and I have many reasons to be against it. Our argument was that in order to feel comfortable in a society where men and women are mixed, we have to be put in that position such as co-ed schools instead of later on trying to adapt to it because you were in a single sex school. They argued back that females seem to feel more comfortable in a class where all the students are female. It went on like that for a while and although I had many opinions, I did not speak up which I kind of regret.

Personally, I believe that co-ed schools are much better because us females are always talking about how we want equal rights and if we are seperated by gender, how are we to get those rights? That is something that a lot of people are not considering and for that reason I believe the best choice is to continue to keep public schools co-ed. Also, by segregating students based on gender will make them more aware of their gender. I believe that people should not view others based on their gender. It is more important to view a person for their personality and traits beyond their physical appearance. Well, that is my belief and even though not everyone will agree with me, I will continue to believe so. It is what I believe and I have my own voice although it may not want to be heard by others, I WILL make it want to be heard.

That is all for now since I have a 4 page research paper. I will continue to update you on what is happening and the ways in which I am evolving more. Thank you all!

Tuesday, July 22nd

Last night we had a reading about how male students get more lead way in education and how many of the administrators and teachers are bias towards them. I have not really noticed that at our school... and I don't think that is a prominent issue at our school. I tend to see girls at Richmond High earning better grades than male students.

We also had a debate about what is better single sex schools or co-ed schools. I personally think that co-ed schools are way better. I have been to a lot of schools (both religious and public) and being around both males and females has given me lots of confidence to express my opinions and not be afraid to talk or defend myself when I'm around males and females.

This past week I have been having some problems with the class, not with anyone in particular but my definition of leadership is way different than most of the girls in my class.

I define a LEADER as someone who changes someone's life for better. The community has to be the one to consider YOU a leader not yourself. I feel that there is a big difference between having a leadership role for example being president of a club and being a leader. Just because you are in a Leadership class that does not give you the right to call yourself a leader. I hope I am explaining my thoughts well.

The first day of class was almost like a cultural shock to me when Dean Kisa asked us "do you think you are a leader?" Many of the girls said yes and some said they didn't know or that they weren't. I personally do not consider myself a leader, or at least I feel that modesty is virtue. I have always learned that you have to be modest and not brag about yourself unless it's necessary for example in a job interview or so, and even then it is hard for me to talk about myself. I now have learned and have came to the conclusion that everyone interprets things different and that not everyone is as modest about what they have accomplished as I would want them to be.

To top this off class was great as always we practiced on how to become better discussion facilitators. I think today's session was very helpful because at the clubs I'm involved in I run the meetings and I think what I learned today will help me be a better facilitator for my peers.


three more days

The days just keep on flying by us. There are only three more days left of class here at Brown. In a way I'm not ready to leave because I like the environment here and being with all my friends, but I do think I'm ready to go back with my family and my older friends.

We started the class with going to the computer lab (or what they call a cluster) to do some research on the topic of our action plan.I did plenty of research on animal cruelty because I chose that to be my topic. My action plan will consist of creating a group or gathering with people to inform people on animal cruelty, like an awareness organization.

For the second part of class, after getting lunch, we got a lesson gender in the classroom specifically from a professor named Deborah Rivas. We got to debate on how a single sex school is better than a co-educational school and vice verse.

Later today we're going to meet up with our classmates, teacher, and teacher assistants to watch a movie related to women and leadership. We will be watching "Iron Jawed Angels". I've never seen it before, but I heard it is a really good movie. I hope I enjoy it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

College Counseling Galore

Today in class, a Brown college admissions officer came to speak to our class about the college admissions process and the most important parts of our applications. I got a nervous pang when I was reminded of the application essay. On Thursday night, there is going to be an optional essay-writing workshop that I am definitely going to go to. Many of the kids who attend summer at Brown seem to have amazing college counselors at school. This turns out to be beneficial to me in two ways. One, because I get tips from them in day to day conversations and two, the workshops are also usually not crowded because many of the students have already gotten the spiel. As a result, I'm able to ask really individualized questions during the lectures.

I took two naps today after waking up at nine this morning, one during lunch and one after class. I think that the excitement of last week with new subjects to learn and new people to meet finally caught up with me. Everyone seems to be getting a little bit sick too. Living in such close quarters is not something I think about when I think of college. I guess I'm getting the real college experience. I'll make sure to take my vitamins in the future!

I spent the afternoon strolling on Thayer Street and eating frozen yogurt. When it started raining, people ran outside and started jumping in puddles. When the rain stopped, the temperature was the nicest it has been since I've been here.


Boston, MA

Newport, RI

The "Waterfire"

Getting ready

Today was the beginning of our second and last week at Brown for this summer. In class we presented with our groups our project that was assigned for the weekend, Our Project was to research and present an amazing woman. My group chose a creative woman writer called Margaret Atwood that expressed her thoughts about sexism through her writing. Later in class we got a presentation from a women that works with getting kids to be informed and get into college. Also there was a second presentation from one of the college admission people from Brown and she talked to us about what was in important in a college application.
Today was the official day to get started on our speeches that we will deliver on Friday. Our speeches have to describe our action plan for when we get back home.
Later in the evening it started to rain. It got really dark and it rained today about three times as far as I know.
As of today I'm getting ready for my action plan, for delivering my speech and leaving all the knew friends I've that are from all over.

Boston Pictures!!!

The Red Line subway station or the "T"

Harvard Entrance

Boston Skyline

Bunker Hill monument in the background
USS Constitution, the oldest commission ship in the Navy

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge

The State House

The cruise ship that we road on with the aquarium in the background
Fanueil Hall

Adriana, Me, Anne

The Restaurant in the Hood milk bottle, its in front of the children's museum

Today's Class

Above is a picture of a game we played today relating to Leadership.

Today in class we prsented our project on Amazing Women. In my group was Adriana, Grace, and Lily. Our amazing woman was Coco Chanel. We found her to be admirable because she revolutionized the work clothes for women. She made it so women can look professional and feminine all at once, and kind of blurred the lines between women and men's fashion.

We had a woman named Rosanna Castro come speak to us. She is a board member, and she just wants to make sure that sudents have all the resources they need for college. She talked about how she is a leader and what she does for the students. After her presentation we talked about assertiveness. We had activities where we had to do some role playing, and each person acted passive, aggressive, or assertive. I found out that I'm very passive, but I can also be assertive in certain situations.

After the assertive activity we had another guest speaker. Her name is Angela Romans, and she works in the admission office at Brown University.She told us all about what colleges were looking for and how we should do certain stuff to make us stand out in the applications. All of these guest speakers have really helped me out. I learned so much from them, and I would never have had a chance like this without the Ivy League Connection.


Yesterday we went to Boston, MA!!! Our friend Anne, from Minnesota, came with us to Boston. It was really great that we were able to go. The things that we experienced there was like no other. We took six different types of transportation like: train, bus, taxi, boat, trolly, and subway. I will never forget that day; it was just full of excitement. After we got to Boston we took a tour of the harbour, and took the actual tour of the city. We saw all of the places where historical events took place. We saw the freedom trail and the harbour where the boston tea party occurred.
After touring Boston we went to Harvard. We got to tour the school for a couple of inutes until it started raining cats and dogs! The rain just got harder so we left and found a place to have lunch. We lost track of time while having lunch and missed our train, and the bad thing was that we had to be at the dorms by 7 for community time. Everything turned out fine because we called and let our RAs know that we were going to be late. That was our day in Boston! Thank you Mr.Miranda for bringing us!

The 2nd Monday!

I can't believe that there is only one more week left! There has been just so much to do, learn and see. Today was a pretty "normal" day; at least it feels so natural like I've been in the class all year! The first thing we did was our amazing women presentation. This was an assignment over the weekend, where we had to chose a woman and give a speech about why, who ,and what this person did to make her "amazing". My group, consisting of Kiana, Alison S., Urjita, and myself, decided to choose J.K. Rowling. We basically did a 5 minute presentation covering the four questions that were given on the rubric, which basically stated why did we choose her, what were her accomplishments (the Harry Potter Series), what was her social or political background, and her contributions.
Afterwards we had a presentation about "Community Service and Access to College" by Rosanna Castro. She talked about how "everyone should be on the same page" and about how most first generation students feel that they cannot go to college because of their community, school, peers, and family members. She also stressed that "there should be no complaining unless you will roll up your sleeves and actually do it." I found this quote pretty interesting because it seems like you can only complain if you step up; whereas I normally go with the notion of try not to complain at all. She also gave us some ideas about how to interact with our community; to reach out and look for support in organizations.
In the afternoon, we had assertive skits, where we basically created chose a scenario and portrayed it using the passive, assertive, and aggressive presence. This was really fun and entertaining as each group could not help but laughing! Then we had a presentation from Angela Romans about College 101. I really gained a lot of information here because I had always had many questions about college admissions and how testing affects our applications. This was a very rewarding part of the day for me!

Monday Morning

I woke up today with a fresh mind. I feel like I can think more critically and clearly. It is somewhat strange because now I am questioning myself why am I here? At first, I thought I was here to learn about women history and how they evolved through time to break the barriers to where they are now. However, it seems more like finding myself to me. I am not only learning about women and leadership but myself as a person, a leader, a female. I have only just begun to realize that it is ironic how we are in a "Women and Leadership" class but yet it is somewhat contradicting the purpose of the whole class. This is just my opinion and I do not intend to speak for all of us but we have a capstone project due this Thursday about what we hope to bring back to our community from this experience but it also have to involve a topic we learned/came across in class. When I got the feedback from our professor, I thought to myself, "why is she asking me to focus merely on females instead of the youth as a whole?" I honestly feel like we should focus on the youth as a whole instead of ostracizing the female from male because if we're focusing only on the female, then it is contradicting the whole idea of feminism to end sexism. That is my opinion and the reason why I am against the professor's idea of focusing on females. Maybe others will get upset because I think this way, but being the western kind of leader that I am, I like to balance out things and ideas. I do not wish to choose the females over males although this class is about specifically women and leadership. Maybe I think this way because of personal experiences and how I was brought up but I am glad that I have my own opinion. I do appreciate the class for the confidence that it has implanted in me but I think that they should allow males to join the class too.

That is all for now because I am going to finish up my capstone project and maybe reflect on what I had just realize. Until next time ... bye!

Monday number two in Brown

At the beginning of the course I thought that two weeks was going to be a long time and I woke up this morning realizing that today was the last Monday we were going to be here, which in a way excites me because I really miss the home made food but it also makes me sad because I have connected with some of the girls here in a total different way that I had ever done before. Our conversations are really different than those of the ones I have with the people I associate with back at Richmond but I do understand that these girls come from backgrounds were going to college is almost mandatory (since the majority of the people from their communities are college graduates) unlike back at home. Even though it has been a week I do believe I have gotten a real taste of what being a college student is all about. I am enjoying myself and I can't wait until it really is time for me to go to college.

Furthermore today class was great. For the weekend we were assigned into groups of four and we all had to come up with an amazing women and give a presentation about her. Our group decided to talk about "Coco" Chanel. If it would of been my decision I would of preferred to talk about Joanne D'Arc, or Frida Kahlo or even a Latina women, but I agreed with my group and I actually learned about Coco Chanel, we might all know her for her really expensive clothing or her Chanel 5 perfume but she actually revolutionized fashion by creating clothing for women that was more comfortable, and created the suit for women, something that was not done before and was considered controversial. She was also one of the main designers who contributed to the creation of the flapper era in the 1920's.

In class we also learned about how important it is to be assertive and the differences between being assertive, aggressive, and pacifist. I was able to see that there is a fine line between all of them. We also had not one but two speakers come talk to us. The first one was Rosanna Castro, program coordinator of Swearer Center at Brown University. She spoke to us about what she does and community service as well as access to college. One piece of advice I have taken from her is that we can all make a difference. The second speaker was Angela Romans who is the Associate director at the office of Admissions here at Brown. She told us about college admissions and the importance of all the requirements that colleges have.

So far I have learned a lot beyond my expectations and there is still one more week to learn so much more.

Adriana :)

Tourist Time!

I am sorry that I didn't post yesterday; I had a throbbing headache so I went to sleep early. However I shall tell you about the experience, and the many pictures I have taken shall be uploaded today also!
I am so glad to have had the chance of seeing Boston, Massachusetts! Home of the Red Sox! It really reminded me of Brown except with more buildings and a lot more people. The architecture of some of those buildings were just so beautiful! The arches, and columns just really stood out to me. Though I can't remember most of the buildings names, I have a friend in my class, Emily, who is from Massachusetts, so when I show her the pictures she can give me a good "tour" of the place once more.
It was so fun to be able to ride the trolley, the train, the bus, the taxi, and the boat all in one day! There might have been more though. It was a great experience to be able to go on a boat!!! This was were I started taking a whole bunch of pictures!!! I got to see the tower I believe is a part of the battle on Bunker Hill. There was just so much history and Incorporated into everything I saw. The pictures might help me more though.
Going to the market was really fun also! I saw a lot of fun and families just relaxing! It made me really happy!
Harvard was great too, even though it started to pour down and we didn't get the full tour, I was still very blessed to be able to see the school that so many people look up to.
We had a good lunch afterwards, and overall everything was great! Thanks to Mr. Miranda for guiding us, and thanks again to everyone else who has allowed me to be here in the East Coast! I will post again later!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

it keeps getting better and better

The day started out great because I got to sleep in an hour extra than usual. After getting ready we the students from the Ivy League Connection and I headed over to Thayer street, the main street, to meet our chaperon, Mr. Miranda. We did so many things I had not done before. We got on the bus for free with our Brown student id's and headed towards the bus station. We walked a few blocks to get to the Amtrak station to go to Boston for the day. We got on the Amtrak train, which a form of transportation I had never gotten on in my life, so I was having fun even if we were just on a train. Arriving at the Boston station we got on a trolley that would give us a tour and I had never before been on a trolley either. Getting off on the first stop of the trolley, we all walked a small shopping center near the harbor, but we only walked and saw because we had to go somewhere else. We had to get in line to go on a boat for a tour around the harbor. GUESS WHAT. I had never been on a boat in my lifetime either. I enjoyed the boat ride, the nice cool breeze, and of course the wonderful site seeing.After taking many pictures and recording many sites we got off the boat and onto the trolley once again. On the trolley, the driver told us where Paul Revere's house was and showed us where he was buried. there were so many interesting things to see and learn about. What caught my attention was the little lake that was used proof if a woman was a witch. After sticking them in the water, if the woman was dead she was Innocent and dead, of course, but if she was alive she was guilty of being a Salem's witch and later killed. When our trolley ride ended we headed for the subway, which again I had never ridden on. We took the subway to Harvard. As soon as we got to the famous university we grouped with a tour. The tour guides showed the building where people like Samuel Adams and Matt Damon Stayed. Then, only a few minutes later, It got really dark, the clouds got above us and cover the entire sun. Loud thunder come and then RAIN. It started to rain hard, that we just decided to skip the tour of Harvard and go eat. When headed to eat it started to pour on us, but it wasn't a tragedy for me because I love the rainy Storm weather. When we got to the restaurant we were all soaked and dripping of water.
Even though on the way back we missed our train and were too late for the bus and had to wait and extra hour for the next bus to arrive later than we planned I had a very memorable fun day. I did things I had never experienced nor thought I'd ever do. It was a very significant day.

Sunday at Boston

Since there are no classes on weekends and we have seen a lot of Providence we decided we wanted to visit somewhere new. The girls (Meuy, Gina, Jessica, Mercedes, Anne one of our friends from another class, and I) went to Boston, Massachusetts with Mr. Miranda. We had so much fun. There is SO much to do and so little time. When we were on our trolley tour and the driver was describing the history of the city and pointing out all the historical spots I was so excited, my mind went completely back to my AP U.S. History class. It may sound cheesy but I was so excited at the fact that I was in a city that I had read so much about, The Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's house, and Bunker Hill where the Battle of Bunker Hill took place. We took a cruise tour of Boston's shore line and the most fascinating part was the view and the skyline and just seeing all the architecture.
After our tours of Boston we took the subway to Harvard. I never thought I was ever going to ever step into Harvard. Harvard is very much like Brown with it's old style buildings, the school really had a good vibe. Our time was cut short due to bad timing and some really strong rain showers, I hope I can go back and visit the school some other time again.

P.s. I was really excited about going to Boston that I forgot to charge my camera and I wasn't able to take lots of pictures.

Red Tides

On Saturday, we took a trip to Newport for the Japanese/pirate festival where we went to the beach. We never actually got around to exploring the festival because the beach was so nice and we stayed the whole day. It was my first time experiencing a red tide which is apparently common for New England beaches. Last summer I went to a summer science camp where we learned all about red tides. The pictures of them were so weird; they looked like some type of modern art with the huge fan like blooms of red. I finally got to see what I spent a whole summer studying in real life.

Today the group from WCCUSD went to Boston but because I went there for a week before I came here to visit my uncle, I spent the day exploring the Brown campus. I also caught up on all of my homework (thank goodness!) and took two naps. It was a very relaxing day. In the evening we had community time to reflect on the past week. We also were asked to give suggestions on how they can improve the Leadership Institute because it is a relatively new program. I think it's great that they want our input and really take our opinions into consideration.

Raining Cats and Dogs

To start off the blog posting, today was an adventure-six forms of transportation. First of all, we took the bus to Amtrak, which took us to Boston. From Boston, we took the trolley to the free boat ride along the coast of Boston. Then we got back on the trolley and viewed the rest of Boston. I found out a little bit about its history and it is amazing! We seen the place where the Boston Tea Party took place and the cemetary where Benjamin Franklin's parents are buried at. It is kind of eccentric to place a cemetary in the middle of a busy city like Boston. We seen so many historic monuments and buildings that I cannot begin to name all of them. We did see the pond in which they used to drown the accused witches at which is scary because we were walking on the land where they murdered many accused innocent females, but the Freedom Trail runs right along side it so it was all good.

After that, we went on a tour cut short of Harvard. I felt so special to walking on the grounds of such a prestigous school from where all the important people came from such as presidents, celebrities, and others. I wish I could of seen more but it started raining and thundering down on us like crazy. You can say it was raining cats and dogs. It was crazy running around to get to a safe zone to get out of the rain. Then we went to Uno to grade a bite to eat. From Uno we went to catch the next bus so we arrived late to Community Time, but we called ahead to inform our RA's and other people. Afterwards, we took a cab back to the dorms and reached our destination, finally! So today, we took the train, bus, boat, trolley, subway, and cab! Six different types of public transportation. I've had a LONG day as a tourist and now I should be finishing up my long list of homework so bye!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A day at NewPort

Today was really fun! We went to NewPort for a festival, but you were also free to do whatever you felt best. It took around one hour and a half to get there. After looking around the area, we decided to go to the beach. The beach was a beautiful place, it was really peaceful and calming. We took a bunch of pictures with our friends and really enjoyed the day off from class.
When it was time to leave I was really sad, but it was a day well spent.
After we got back to the dorms, we went to eat dinner. After dinner, we went to the water fire festival! It was so cool! I really enjoyed the show and the atmosphere. We also saw a couple of moving statues. The man doing all of the fire stunts was really impressive. This is all for now! bye!

Awesome Saturday!!!

Here is a little more form yesterday...
Well after we talked about body image, we saw a video of how people who are used as models aren't actually what they appear to be. The people in the video uses photo shop to alter pictures of girls to a way that she would be considered "pretty".
After lunch, Caroline Chiang came to speak to us about our strengths and the jobs that we would best suit. I found out that I'm more of the investigative type and also artistic. I think finding out that I was artistic was really eccentric because I'm very bad in the art area.

Newport! Black Ships Festival!

It's a Saturday! Basically it felt like a whole day of FUN! We took about an hour ride on the bus to Newport. From there, everyone separated into their own little groups; some went to the beach, to the mall, and some to the festival. I went to the Festival! Accompanying me was Erica E., an Indonesian girl coming from Texas; she is also Meuy's roommate! At first we got lost, but eventually we found a way. Apparently map reading is something I need to work on!
When we finally arrived, I was shown a lot of Japanese culture! From martial arts, to kimonos, to calligraphy, and especially to food, it was all a great site to see. I myself take a kind of martial arts, so the presentations really impressed and interested me. I also really enjoyed looking at the art works! One of the amazing things I saw was candy art! Miyuiki is the artist, and what she basically does is take some of her candy and dye, mix it up, put it on the stick (it looked like taffy), and then with her hands and a pair of scissors, she made it into an animal. I also bought a couple of things for me parents so that was a nice chance too. (SUSHI was the best though!)
When we returned, the main thing that we saw was "Water Fire". It is kind of hard to explain but basically the picture Adriana posted was what it looked like. I did see people dressed like statues though, and that was pretty interesting! Before going back to the dorms, I was able to see a "Capoeira", which is a kind of dance or martial arts game, originating from Brazil.
This day was really full of culture and diversity! Loved it!

More of Rhode Island

Waking up first thing in the morning and thinking about Newport is a great feeling knowing ahead that you are going to the sandy beaches and "Little Italy." We call it "Little Italy" because of all the little shops on Thames Street varying from boutiques to restaurants. We took the bus there and it was a bit under an hour drive there across the water and everything. I absolutely LOVE Newport. It is just so natural and welcoming to visitors which makes it even more stunning! We basically walked around a lot. Well, we went shopping first but then after a while we decided to go to the beach-not knowing the distance from the beach. However, we did get there and it was worth the walk. I noticed that the sand is really grainy and nice-soft and small not like ours. The downside about going to Newport was the bus ride. It was really hot and humid so we we were all sweating and smelly by the time we got back to providence.

This evening, we went to see the "Waterfire." It was STUNNING! It started off with music to liven up the atmosphere and it was absolutely amazing! No words to express the happiness I found there at the "Waterfire." Therefore, once I upload the pictures I took, all of you will be able to experience the happiness I felt just sitting down and watching the glow of the fire. I also loved how people here are so into the events that happens around here which makes it the more amazing.

Well, thank you all. This is not the end. There is more to come such as the pictures from Newport and the "Waterfire." From what I heard, we will be going to Boston, Massachusetts tomorrow at nine. We might even get a tour of Harvard and go on a boat along the coast. Well so far this have been such an amazing experience that I am speechless. For now, I got tons of work to get started on. BYE!

So Much Fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow. Today we did so much. Half of the day we went to Newport with a bunch of students from Brown. There was a little festival going on with activities, but I didn't really go to the festival. I spent most of the time walking the street going to souvenir stores. Also we went to the beach in Newport to meet up with some friends from class. Some of them were from places like Chicago and New Jersey. The beach was big and packed with many people. It was very nice though compared to the dirty beaches I'm use to in Richmond, California. I didn't get wet because I did not go prepared to get in the water. I enjoyed my time playing in the sand and collecting pretty shells. We all met up at the buses, there were six of them, around 3:30. Getting back to Brown I was pooped.
Later that afternoon after eating dinner we headed over to town to watch the famous water fire show we were hearing so much about. It was awesome. A man got int the middle of the water and did cool tricks with the fire before lighting up each set of big torch type things. Also the were people dressed up as statues. There were two Gargoyles and one oracle. Then before heading to the campus we watched a brilliant performance of Capoera.
Today was a very memory kind of day. I know i saw things I would go home and tell everyone. I HAD SO MUCH FUN!!!!

saturday fun

Today, a big group of the summer students went to Newport. I really liked it. A couple of us went to the beach while others went shopping or headed to the Japanese festival. I was one of the couple who went to the beach, at first we got lost but found our way. I was so excited that I got to stand right in front of the Atlantic Ocean, if you would of told me nine months ago that I was going to be with a group of really cool girls hanging out in Newport, Rhode Island, my first question or comment would of been "where is that?" and "you are kidding me!" It is really beautiful out there.

I also think we saw Rosie O'Donnell, but it was hard to tell (since she was incognito).
After Newport we all got ready to go see the Water Fire! The most beautiful and spectacular thing I've ever seen.
I was really impressed and I took lots of pictures!!

Tomorrow we will be going to Boston and I can't wait!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Career Exploration!!!

Did you know that the majority of people with television will most likely waste a total of 3 years watching commercials?
Today was probably the most interesting and most eye-opening day. We watched a media clip called, "Killing Me Softly 3", which Adriana posted! I saw a lot of ways to interpret magazines, pictures, and quotes. This really showed me that there is still a lot of criticism shown and that many people hardly take notice to it. The portrayal of women, of men, of kids; all these mixed modeling ideas has given me a new insight on how to perceive the world. This was proven when the class did an activity showing the negative and positive pictures of brand named magazines. I don't normally look at magazines, but when I do I never thought about anything bad. When I saw the magazines in class, I was totally shocked! The minds of many people have been shaped for so long through all these ads and commercials, which basically tell us who we are supposed to be in life. Little quotes that did not seem to be there before just popped right out of the page. Modeling pictures took on new meanings! I feel that I gained a new skill, which will really reward me later on!

During the afternoon, we had a presentation of Career Exploration with Caroline Chiang. I really liked this topic because it is something that one has to think about soon, yet not rush. To me, her advice of previously working as a manager gives me a good idea of how jobs are in the "real world". Leadership does play greatly and one must be flexible and firm all at the same time. The main activity we did was RIASEC, (R=realistic, I=investigative, A= artistic, S= social, E= enterprising, and C= conventional). Everyone filled out a survey that showed characteristics of each class. You would check the boxes that applied to you and see which one had the most checks. This would kind of be your main job position, however there were many mixes of careers since they overlapped one another. The second part was pretty short but it gave me realization that I did not know what I truly wanted in the future. We all got an envelope with a list of words and definitions, which defined an ideal job for the future. We had to put them in stacks of high priority, medium, and low priority as well. It seems easy but it turned out kind of difficult because many of the things I wanted clashed with one another; I hoped to work independently yet at the same time be interactive with the community. I wanted a secure and permanent job, yet I wanted change as well. I was really confused, but I know I will try again and then it might be a little clearer in what is to come.
Just one more week! "So much to do so little time!"


So far I would say that today was the best day, besides the ropes course. In class today we talked about women in media and how they are portrayed. We learned that in many ads there would be pictures of women posing in a way that proved the stereotypes to be correct. I noticed that almost every picture with women in it had nothing to do with the product. The media puts an image into the mind of young girls that the only way they can be beautiful is if they were 80 pounds. The truth is only five percent of our population is actually that size, and the models that they consider as plus size are actually just right.
We had to make a collage of images in magazines that we thought were positive and negative towards. It was a real eye opener because I never really noticed that each picture depicted a message of women being vulnerable or having sex appeal. With these images everywhere it is giving men a reason to say that "we deserve whatever is coming to us". We all know that no one deserves to be raped, beaten, killed, or harassed. I will add more later because I have a lot more to say!

These are some pictures of friends I've made at Brown. We were on an adventure to find green apples, peanut butter, and caramel.

These are the pictures from brunch at the spectacular Maddock Alumni house and the Iron Man triathlon.

Career Exploration ...

Wow. It is amazing to know that there is only one more week left being that today is Friday and the middle of the course. It feels so weird because although it may seem like I have become familiar with this area, it also feels like we've only been here for not that long of a stay. On the other hand, I am looking forward to go home to Richmond and share my experience with many others such as my family, friends, and other future students of the Women and Leadership program.

First of all, we watched a documentary called "Killing Me Softly." It is about how ads and commercial in the media affects our lives as females. It was an eye-opening experience to the shocking truth behind such media portrayals of women. It seemed as if they make the photograph more provocative to take away from the slogans and phrases which is offensive to us females. Until now, I have never fully understood the media's affect on us females until this documentary showed how they make women more like objects and figures other than human beings. I feel really guilty that I had been supporting the stereotypes of women without realizing what I have been doing to myself. Overall, I now have a different perspective about the media.

Today, we had a presentation from Caroline Chiang who helped us find our passion and interest. The first activity was called the RIASEC; realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. I associated more with "realistic" although my interests and skills focus more intently on artistic values. With this experience, I believe that we all have learned that we assocciate with more than one letter, RIASEC. After that, we had to identify which skills and leadership values were more important to us. Basically, this workshop helped shape an idea of what we want to be; anything.

A few minutes before I started blogging, I had seen a thunder flash. FINALLY! After all the hot and humid days, it is finally letting down and raining! However, I hope that it does not rain tomorrow when we are visiting Newport because I really want to go to the beach and just have a good time. Well that is all for now. I will be enjoying the rest of my time here in Rhode Island. I have a lot more to accomplish in so little time but I know that with the support of my friends and peers, I can do it!

video we watched in class

This is the video we watched in our W&L class

July 18th

Today in class we watched a movie about how the media portrays women in literary media. I had not really paid attention to how much the media portrays women as quiet beings or dehumanizes them and emphasizes only one of their body parts. Looking at that video I realized how much women are sometimes just seen as a sex symbol, and how much my brain was trained to not pay attention to all those advertisements.
I think that by being here in Brown we (women)are making a step up to breaking the stereotypes of women only taking up little space, not having a voice and being only admired for their looks.
I also realized that us girls from WCCUSD have also broken a stereotype of young women not having a voice, I feel that this class has given us an opportunity to speak up as loud as those from middle class communities.
Tomorrow we are all going to go to Newport to a Japanese/Pirate themed festival.
I'm at the Bear's Lair gym right now trying to take advantage of the facilities available to me. I've visited all the libraries and they're all so amazing. The John Carter Brown library is literally like a museum. Walking up the stairs and seeing the grooves in the marble from the countless students that have walked there before me is a constant reminder of the long history of Brown and the brilliant minds that have come here. As I do my homework everyday, I always start to wonder what genious might have been doing his/her school work in the very same room.

I've become friends with a girl from Canada. She knows english, french, and spanish. It's great to see everyone come here at the summer at Brown program in a big melting pot of languages and cultures. I am personally in love with other ways of life and languages and it seems like a shame that my school puts such little emphasis on it. In America, knowing four or even three languages seems like a great feat while in Europe and other developed nations, that seems to be the standard. At school, we are only required to take two years of language. This barely seems like enough time to me to learn the language much less the culture. I've really learned about my leadership style and ways to make it more effective so hopefully when I get home, this can be a problem that I can address. A main goal for me in coming to Brown was to be able to bring something back to my community to improve it, even if it's in a small way. Maybe bringing a bigger focus on languages can be a first step.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We began the ropes course today with easy activities to build confidence with the other members in our group. We did trust exercises like falling backwards into the arms of a partner. Over the course of the day, we scaled 12 foot walls, did partner tight roping, and organized ourselves in birthday order on a log without ever touching the ground and without the ability to see. The RA's encouraged those of us who normally take charge to sit back a bit and see how others respond and take up the responsibility and vice versa. The whole day was a very eye-opening experience into my own leadership ability and style.
Lunch was sandwiches on the beach with a gorgeous view of the water. We spent the last minutes of lunch skipping stones and reflecting on the morning activities.

Teamwork in the Forest!!!

WOW! I must say that today will probably be the best day out of these two weeks however there will most likely be more surprises! Doing the rope course was fantastic! I really think that it helped build a lot of trust and confidence among my peers as well as for myself. Teamwork was vital in this activity. It opened the eyes of many students to see new ways of leadership by either stepping up or down as a listener or speaker. As each activity progressed, I believe a new bond was being formed. Every time there was a mistake, we would support one another. Every time there was a success, we celebrated together and faced a new challenge head on with a "clean slate." One of the goals of this activity was to get out of your comfort zone, which I saw many people do today. Even though there was a lot of fear circling around the group, I felt a lot of trust in the atmosphere. To trust people is pretty difficult to some, however I think that these activities really made us all open up and feel like a family.
To summarize what we did today:
We broke up into groups and then did little warm up activities. The first one was the "Wind in the Willow." This game was all about trust. One at a time we had to close our eyes and free fall. The others would encircle the one in the center, who has his/her eyes closed, and they would just lightly push the person around the circle. It felt strange, but fun too. I knew these people would most likely not drop me...or at least at that time I hoped so. Afterward, we had to get over a "foreign wire" which was actually a rope. The 11 people had to link and not let go, yet at the same time we had to get over the rope. It was tricky and there were many ideas, yet we ended up compromising and it turned out alright. Then we headed to through the forest and had a "bus act." More so there was a story to each activity that this was the first true one. So what we did was we had to get a board to balance and sing a song while balancing it. It was harder than it looked! Some people had to close their eyes and some could not talk. For the first task, it was a bit of a failure. Moving on though we got better. There was one activity that was pretty easy. We had to swing across from one side to another from a string and also not spill the cup of water which we had to get to the other side also. This was not quite hard so moving on. The single log. The 11 of us stood on the log and had to get in order of birthday without falling off. If you fell you were considered "blind" and then you must continue with eyes closed! A bit tricky but we did very well! There was a "pink elephant" activity where we had to lift, crawl, and push people through a set of holes. This is a bit hard to describe, but it really gave us some thoughts about when people where a bit disabled due to the RA's announcement of some people being blind, mute or both. It showed me that even though you can't be much help, you should still try to be included or not neglected, (this is what happened when we did it). Last but not least the tight rope!!! This really made us all depend on the help of one another. We could not have done this at all without a lot of teamwork and conversations. First splitting into 2 groups, we had different courses to pass. With 6 others, we had to get across a tight rope with a stick and a long rope for support; plus each other. If we fell, we had to start over!!! My feet were shaken when we finally finished, but it was such a wonderful experience! The second part was the whole group had to get across a smaller obstacle, which we did very nicely. The discussion held after was to summarize everything. Strategy, teamwork, and perseverance helped up make it though these activities! I feel a lot more comfortable now, but time seems to pass by slowly. I guess that is a good thing though, for there is a lot more of Brown, Providence, and Rhode Island to see!

A day at the ropes course.

Today really taught me about leadership, and how each of us need to work together to get things done. We went to the rope course today and every course dealt with leadership. Everyone got a chance to get their voice heard, and I just felt that they are very accepting. Most of the challenges were ones where you could get muted, this was solely to get the people that weren't talking to talk.
We also played a lot of trust games. These games made us more confortable with eachother, where we felt no need of being conservative. I learned a lot about each girl and their way of leadership, and my own personal way of leadership. I found out that I can actually say something and have people listen to me.
The reading that we have tonight should be really interesting. It's about Disney and how certain people react to the stories. There is a lady who didn't like the way the doctor called her daughter princess because she felt it was a way of stereotyping. Well back to my homework now!