Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Symposium

What can I say? Going back to Brown for the symposium was a great experience. Everything I learned over there will definitely benefit me in the future, and help me with my project. Being able to get the feedback and new sources of information from the alumni and Brown staff has really given me the chance to see what I can achieve. They have also provided me with information that will help me with the project. i enjoyed being able to go back; the atmosphere is totally different from Richmond, it's very calming and relaxed. Another thing is you can really see what a real autumn should look like! It is a wonderful sight.
I found that I really like psychology, I think it is very interesting to find out how the mind works, and I would not have been able to actually go into a Social Psychology class had it not been for Robin Rose. She has put a lot of great effort into the Leadership Institute, and I really want to thank her for her hard work. Besides being able to reconnect with old friends from our session, i met a bunch of new people who I hope to keep in contact with. Every aspect of Brown draws me closer to it, the more I go, the more I want to stay. I know that one day I can look back on the days that I have spent at Brown and say that I am truly lucky to have this opportunity. just a few of those friends.
This is a picture of us girls and Monique, she has also put a lot of effort into the Symposium and Leadership Institute. This picture was taken at our last dinner together.
The memories I have at Brown will never be forgotten, and all the knowledge that i acquired over there will always be put to good use. I thank everyone who has made it possible for the students of WCCUSD to attend Ivy League Colleges. It is a great experience and gives many students the confidence that it takes for them to make it.

P.s. Sorry for the late post, I had technical difficulties, but

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back Home!

It has been an awesome experience at Brown University once more. Being able to meet with 
friends both new and old, seeing the campus, exploring the stores, taking part in  actual college lectures, seeing the college dorms, and most importantly, getting motivated in my capstone project. I believe that since I was really booked with a lot of work, I did not organize my time to work on my project. I found out that my style of leadership needs to start at a smaller goal and then expand. I was not really clear before on what I wanted to do,but it included the spreading of awareness as well as make donations towards Heifer International, and I hope to still achieve this in due time. Currently though, I have been really inspired by some of my fellow peers in the Symposium to direct help towards schools. I am still not fully sure to what approach I want to take, but I am definitely more aware of this project, and shall not push it away. I want to first look at some schools in need of supplies of some sort, and then I shall try to give what I can though fundraising and donations. I have always wanted to take action and I am determined to do it! So I thank everyone who has given me this opportunity to taking a step forward in achieving one of my goals. 
Thank you!

Donna, a freshman at Brown University, as well as a good friend of my sister, seems to be enjoying herself! I was able to visit her, and she generously gave me a tour around the building she is staying in. We also talked about her college life at Brown. She says that the classes are definitely a step higher than high school, and that stress is a big factor. However,  it seems that there is a lot of support from friends and she is very happy at where she is.  I really gained a good insight on the college life, and it will surely help me out in the future!

When we first arrived, I could not believe the blend of colors! It was so pretty!  

The classroom at on the far right was one of the classes I visited. Though the teacher was not there, it was really interesting to see the format of the room.  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Rhode Island to Richmond

Today on our last hours at Brown we had breakfast and had a presentation from alumni who work doing documentaries, the presentation was for us to get another idea on how we can get our project done. They told us about the importance of the media and how documentaries are different from the everday news. I was glad to see another way we can get our projects done although I am not really interested in media, although my project does have to do with reaching a broad audience.

We also had a wrap-up of the whole weekend and had some time to say our goodbyes to our new friends.

I keep talking about my project and haven't gone into details about with everyone who reads this blog, I apologize for this. My capstone project is to compile stories from undocumented immigrants and to put them in my school's SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) classrooms. I want to do this because there are really bright students in my school who are undocumented, but the media portrays all undocumented people as criminals and bad people. I want to show a different perspective from what the media shows.

I did not know how to get started with my project, I felt stuck, but this symposium helped me defined some issues and showed me how to attack them. I feel like everyone who was there was eager to use their newly learned skills.

Jenn Maden's persuasive communication class was really helpful and I will really take lots with me from this symposium. I wish everyone at my school could be exposed to classes like Ms. Maden's, where we are taught skills that are very valuable and important, one prime example of a great orator is Barack Obama.

I am also really inspired by Robin Rose, she was able to achieve her project, the Leadership Institute. She is a great inspiration because she works so hard and believes in us the young people.

I want to thank everyone who gave us the opportunity to come back to Brown.

p.s. The picture above was taken with my phone, I love fall and how all the leaves change color.

Mr. Ramsey found a great picture of Wilson Hall in the snow (which we escaped this weekend).

Also, for those interested, here's a link to the Brown University virtual tour (courtesy of Brown grad Anne White), it's very complete (as one might expect):
For all our blog readers, here is Theresa DiDonato, who taught the class the Social Psychology class that the ladies attended and enjoyed so much. (She has a great website: for her students.) I can understand why taking her class would inspire someone to want to major in Social Psychology.

Professor DiDonato teaches at Hunter Laboratory. Here's a picture of it and one of the classrooms (Carmichael Auditorium):

For all our blog readers, I'm also including a picture of Watson Hall Center for Information and Technology where they took the Marxism class:

And two pictures of Wilson Hall where the Symposium was held:

Finally, here is Faunce Hall where they ended their day:

Sounds like it was a wonderful Symposium and I know we are all looking forward to the pictures that were taken -- and more importantly the exciting results from the weekend.

Wonderful job blogging, ladies. See you soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Symposium

Today was packed with tons of things to do starting from 9:00 all the way to 4:45! After breakfast we heard from a few alumni students about their projects, which were doing pretty good. They had some real interesting topics, one girl was trying to ban the use of styrofoam in her county. I really liked her topic because I'm very into the environment and going GREEN. After the student presentations, we split up into groups with people that had projects very similar to ours. In the group I got a lot of feedback, and a bunch of interesting ideas for my project. The girls really helped me plan out my project and take the steps I need to execute it.
For lunch we went to a Vietnamese restaurant, it was really good and kind of reminded me of home. After lunch we took a few classes that would help us with our projects, my first class was persuasive communication. It was just a re-cap on public speaking, and we had one minute to put together a presentation to the "people we are targeting". Unfortunately, the class ended before i had a chance to go. the next class was peer motivation, which I will need a lot of help in. It was really interesting to find that psychology had something to do with motivating people. and now I'm going to go have dinner, and catch up with old & new friends.

last day :/

The time here has passed by so fast, I can't believe that tomorrow we will be heading back. I have made new friends from different sessions and I'm happy about that. One girl that I won't forget about is Olu she is from here and she is really dedicated to helping her community, she is very friendly and easy to get along with.
Most of the day we spent it at Wilson Hall, I took the lectures on persuasive communication with one of the speakers we met during the summer and the other class was on peer motivation. These classes were very helpful. Being here has motivated and has given me momentum to really continue with my action plan. I have defined the issues that have came up with my plan and now I have a clear goal for my action plan.

Right now we are having dinner at Faunce Hall.

The Symposium on Social Action

The day started off with very delicious varieties of fruits and bakery goods. Then the group was split in to two, with 4 high school speakers to fill us in on their own action projects. It was really interesting to see the progress and ways of how each individual was able to engage in their project. From working within the schools to working with children in Tibet, it was really inspiring. I got a lot of ideas from them too! Everyone was also divided by their action plan's category, and I was put into a fundraising group. Here we basically discussed perspectives and how to manage time, keep a sustainable project, and there was a lot of brainstorming! Then there was a lunch break, so that we could stretch our legs a bit.
When returning, there was skill-building sessions which we could choose to attend. There was persuasive communication, meeting facilitation, working with administrators, web design and technology, and peer motivation. I joined the working with administrators with Ryan H. and the peer motivation with Lexi. Both of these sessions has opened my mind to how to approach others in terms of high officials to simply my fellow peers.
I really hope to incorporate everything to my action plan, which I shall tell everyone once I have established a boundary, or mainly when I have created a pretty organized structure of what it is I really want to stress.

*I will have to post pictures when I get back home because I do not have the cord to download them. So sorry!

Friday, November 7, 2008

what a long day!

It was such a long day, But very fun ! In the morning we tried going to few classes. Unfortunately, the professors did not show up for the classes , or there wasn't class today. We were fortunate enough to attend a class on Marxism and social psychology. I really liked the social psychology class, it was taught by Theresa DiDonato. The class was really interesting, and could be a possible major in college. I really enjoyed being able to sit in the classes and experience what the classes are like. After the classes we went around Thayer, looking at little shops that we used to go to. Then we went to go register, where we reunited with a few of old friends from the summer. After registration we had dinner and did a lot of games where we got to know everyone. I even made a few new friends! We had free time after, so we walked around Thayer and spent time with our friends. Now we're all super tired, going to sleep soon. Good night everyone!

second day at brown

Wow! I am so tired!!! We went to see some classes this morning. All the classes were empty or cancelled except for the Marxism and social psychology. I really liked the class and I knew some of the stuff that the teacher lectured about. We also ate pizza for dinner with everyone from the program. I befriended some people from the other sessions, it was all pretty cool. I'm glad to be here, and I can't wait for tomorrow.
I really want help on my project, I am really inspired by some of the projects I heard of.

I can really see myself attending Brown.

Walking, Lectures, Registration

The first full day at Brown has been really interesting. I did a lot of walking trying to find the classes to the lectures. The sad part is that some of the classes that I chose to go were either closed, or the teacher did not show; however I was still able to attend a couple of the lectures.. Before though, I followed a tour that gave an introduction to the Brown campus. This was really fun, especially since I recognized a few buildings and it gave me a chance to explore a lot more of Brown's college atmosphere. I must admit that it felt very fitting.
The two classes that I was able attended with Adriana and Gina was the Marxism class with Professor Aarmor in the CIT (Watson Center for Information Technology) and a Social Psychology class in the Hunter Lab with Professor Teresa. Sadly I was not able to take a picture of the classroom, but I can tell that there was about 20 students in the first lecture and about 30 or more students in the psychology class. Each session was about 50 minutes, but it was packed with information! The topics was interesting, yet sometimes very confusing as well. I was really interesting in the psychology class, and now I have a feeling I shall sign up for it next year at El Cerrito High. I am so grateful to be able to experience something like this! It definitely is a opportunity that I can use to find out my structure of learning in the future.
The last event that I did today was register for the Symposium. There was a lot of returning Brown summer students; many of whom we did not know but shall meet! Dinner was like a Pizza gathering! It was very fun to catch up with some of the returning Women and Leadership friends and Kisa too! Then we had a couple of key speakers who talked about public services. Then there were interactive circles so that everyone could get to know one another. All this ended good and it is time to rest up for a LONG day tomorrow!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

finally back at brown!!!

Hello everyone!!! It feels good to be back at brown. The plane ride went smoothly, Robin Rose picked us up from the airport. I am so happy to be back here. We came back to Brown for a symposium , that will hopefully help us with our projects. In the morning we get to go to colleges classes and listen to the professor speak. We'll actually get to experience a college class. Besides that, we have really nice rooms. They are way nicer then the dorms we had this summer. I really enjoy being back and I'd like to thank everyone that helped get us here. Well we're all really tired so goodnite. There will be more blogs to come!

Back at brown!

I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to come back to Brown for the symposium, and I am very welcome for this opportunity. I am excited for tomorrow! Very!!! Tomorrow Gina, Jessica and I will be visiting some lectures, I'm excited for this because this will let me see another side of Brown.

On another note, the flights were pretty smooth, we are all very tired. :) Robin Rose picked us up from the airport and we had dinner with our summer instructor. I was really glad to see her. Will update you guys on my day tomorrow.


We are back again!

It is just truly amazing that I am able to be on the Brown University campus once more! I remember getting the acceptance letter into the Symposium and I was just totally shocked! It did not seem possible for me to be able to get in. Now that I am here though, it still seems so amazing that in one day I went all the way across the country!
It also does not feel like about 4 months has past since I was in Brown's Women and Leadership Coarse. Coming back with Gina and Adriana, it is so exciting! Recognizing the familiar buildings and streets, sure brings back a flood of memories. It was so wonderful to be able meet with Robin Rose and Kisa again as well! Catching up with one another never seemed probable to me, but here I am definitely proven wrong! I really do not know what's in store, but I am anticipating every bit!
I am looking forward to attending real college lectures tomorrow too, which is happening before the actual symposium starts. This is a major opportunity for me as well as to the others to really get a feel of a college class atmosphere. I think that it will help me immensely to prepare both mentally and physically for college. I really cannot wait for the symposium to start too! It will go by fast though, and I hope to be able to gather as much information to support my goal of putting planning into action!