Monday, July 14, 2008

I left off with orientation and the excitement of moving into my "home" for the next two weeks. Most of my floor (including me) were assigned to singles. My room was pretty bland when I first moved in so I spent awhile trying to brighten it up. The window stays open and I have a great view of trees and a classic New England brick building across the street. It is the epitome of Ivy League campuses that I've heard about growing up and it all feels so surreal.
After moving in we went to brunch at the gorgeous Maddock Alumni Center which included a wonderful speech from Jessica Tran, a peer of mine from El Cerrito High School. Before we left they gave us presents filled with Brown souvenirs and let us take the mini Heinz ketchup bottles that we were so amused by as memorabilia of our first meal at Brown. It was great to get to know our Women in Leadership teacher, Kisa Takesue, before even stepping into the class. We got a chance to meet her without the classroom setting and her inviting attitude eased my apprehension about my first day in class on Monday.
Later that night I went to the ice cream social with a couple of girls from my floor. At first we all stuck together and were shy about meeting new people. It didn't take long to realize that everyone else felt the same way and when we just took the initiative to strike up a conversation, they were more than willing to meet us. In just a few hours, I met people from Scotland, England, France, Turkey, and various parts of the United States. The one thing that I expected was that almost everyone I talked to either went to a private school or a really nice public school from an upper class neighborhood. What I didn't expect was for these people to be just like my friends and me and not at all the stuck up stereotypes that I always hear about. Everyone seemed to share a passion for learning which was really refreshing to see and relatively at my school.
Later that night we had a meeting for all the girls in the Leadership Institute to go over the rules of the program. I was surprised and pleased to hear that we were not only allowed but encouraged to explore and take steps towards becoming independent college students. I really couldn't have asked for a better first day which I absolutely would not have experienced if it weren't for all the hard work of those who run the Ivy League Connection.


dongosney said...

Kiana--Love your writing. One request, though: please give a title to your postings so when we archive them we can reference them. Right now, I'm having to title the untitled postings and it may not reflect your thinking. Maybe you can pas this along to the other for me. Thanks.

Someone will have to post a photo of those catsup bottles for us.

It seems you're learning some good lessons about being inclusive. It's easy to stay within your comfort zone and hang only with your friends but then it can be so wonderful to meet and make new friends, too.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile and an outstretched hand to open up a whole new world. Take a positive attitude and an open mind with you when you go places and the whole world will be yours for the asking.

Try to imagine those times where you were the odd person out--your first day in a new school or a new job--and remember how you felt when someone reached out with a kind word. Now it;s your turn--as a leader--to make that same gesture.

Kiana said...

Wow, I just realized that people were commenting on my blogs...a week late but better late than never. I will definately start giving titles to my posts! Sorry about that!