Monday, July 21, 2008

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 :)


Madeline Kronenberg said...


Yes, we CAN all make a difference!!

I'm glad you have a "real taste" of college -- and I know you can share that with others when you get back to Richmond.

I'm delighted that you've already gone beyond your expectations -- and I look forward to hearing more from you as the week goes on.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.

dongosney said...

Adriana--As you go through life and experience the wonderments of "the good life" or the hell that is all around us, you'll come to appreciate the value of sleeping in your own bed and eating the foods that you're used to. I've never slept at a 4-star hotel that had a bed as comfortable as my own nor have I eaten anyplace where I would want to replace that food with what I can get at home--although I do appreciate the way that someone else gets to fix it and cleans up afterwards.

Earlier this morning Charles Ramsey and I were having a discussion about the changes we'll be seeing in the Ivy Leaguers with regards to their thoughts about college. We were discussing how many would be applying to 4-yr institutes of higher education versus 2-yr colleges. There's no way to know but we were even discussing how many of you would be going on to college that might never have even considered it before. Of course, no matter what your skills and qualifications might be, money will be a deciding factor for all of you just as it would be for us. That's why we're committed to providing all of you with guidance about those issues so, whatever your decisions might be, they'll be made with a wealth of information to help you along the way.

While I won't denigrate Coco Chanel, I like your choices better, Adriana. Maybe it's just because I'm a guy but it's hard for me to get behind a fashionista and consider her a "leader". It comes down to a matter of choice, though, and I suppose we're all entitled to our own opinions.

I like the fact that you're becoming aware of just one person can accomplish.

If you take a look through history, you can see the effects that one person had on the whole world. That person didn't necessarily have to carry the water but, as a leader, they were able to show others where the buckets were so they could all do their part.

It doesn't matter what the end result, but look at Gandhi, Joan d'Arc, Hitler, Christ and Martin Luther King, Jr. and ask yourself how the world would be had they not been there to lead others. And speaking of Hitler, where would we be had we had that one leader who had stood up to him in 1923 and out a stop to his madness before it got of control and cost the world 55 million lives?

It all starts with one person taking that first step, Adriana. With the right leader, others will join in and take that first step, too. Are you that leader, Adriana?

There's an old poster many of used to have on our walls that pretty much just said "lead, follow or get out of the way". Sage wisdom can usually be found no posters.