Monday, July 31, 2017

Politics in Hip Hop?

Morning came very fast and I woke up feeling a little sluggish from last night. Kendra dropped us off pretty late last night, and I ended up sleeping at around 2 AM because I wanted to do laundry and organize so badly. But it was fine, I started to feel myself waking up as I joked with Esmeralda and Kelsey as we ate breakfast.

8:50 AM came around quickly, and we all met up with Ashley outside of the Ratty. She led us to the Varian Quad, where we found Grace waiting for us. She started off our day with a little bit of card stacking in our groups, which I found weird. I didn’t really understand the meaning of the activity, because each time we tried to stack as much as we could outdoors, it would eventually fall down from the wind. Some people were able to do it, but Grace never said anything about a lesson we needed to learn from it.

The next activity we did was practice using “elevator speech” with a partner. An elevator speech is a message about yourself in a brief amount of time, typically twenty or thirty seconds. We practiced this by changing partners, and then trying it out with multiple partners at once. It was a very relaxed, yet formal experience for me.
This was our scavenger hunt list.
Next stop was the International Students Experience Center, where we stopped to meet Christina Phillips. She is the program director for ISEC and is actually fairly new to the job. I was amazed by how interesting her life story was, I especially wanted to know more about the Japanese host family program she attended in high school. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to because many others also wanted to ask her questions. 

We all gathered back at the Varian Quad, and this is where the fun comes in. Grace gave us a sheet of paper with several sections that listed down people, places, and things. We had to go on a scavenger hunt to find them, and take a picture with the following items on the paper as proof. Our class had five rules before we started the game: use the honor system, stay as a group, use one item or person just once, stay hydrated, and have fun!
Kudos to this guy, who was the only one in the library
who could define intersectionality.
The Dancing Dolphins with Mary Grace!
I was with my team, the Dancing Dolphins. We started off with finishing the puzzle that was neglected the tables. When we started to walk around the campus, I found myself struggling to keep up with Tori and Spencer because they walked a lot farther and faster than my little legs did. It sure was the biggest workout I’ve had this whole summer!

I finally got to take it easy after the scavenger hunt finished, and it was just in time for lunch. We had another lunch and learn today, each of us had to ask other people what they thought of when they heard Women and Leadership, and who they thought of too. I tagged along with Kat and Spencer and we each took turns asking questions. I was surprised when I heard several guys mention female Disney characters, such as Mulan, Moana, and Pocahontas. I didn’t expect people to mention anything outside of real life people, their answer felt really refreshing because I was able to imagine young girls looking up to these characters as their role models.

After I ate my fill, I returned to class and prepared for the Power Hour that was scheduled today. We were able to meet with several women with positions of high power and authority. We had to have an elevator speech ready for them, create connections, and overall, “network” with them. I’ve done this several times before, so I’m used to talking easily but formally. I decided to partner up with a classmate named Sarika, because I wanted to see how they would react to her action plan. They were very supportive of her, and by the end of the event, I felt proud of her.

Of course, I talked to the women as well. I was able to gain the contact information of Cindy, Christina, Yolanda, Emily, and Kisa. I’m sure having their contact info accessible to me will help me a lot later in the future.
I wasn't able to speak to all of them, but I could feel the positive energy in the room.
I left class and headed to the workshop called the Politics of Hip Hop and Time Management. I traveled with Johari since she knew where the class was located. Another thing I didn’t know was the fact that the class was so small, there were only six or seven people in that class! Even so, I found myself becoming engaged in the topic. I learned that hip hop was rooted in jazz beats, and it became a heavy catalyst and political influence during the 1950s through 1960s for the Civil Rights Movement. Our mentors dug deep into a song’s meaning by giving us the lyrics to follow along through several songs Beyonce, Tupac, and Kendrick Lamar.
We began the session with this picture, which summarizes the roots of hip hop.
This was Imani's favorite quote.
We switched into Time Management after an hour of the Politics of Hip Hop. Most of the things that were mentioned were things I’ve been trying to do already, but I guess this means I’ll have to try even harder in order to be the most productive I could be.

I came back to the dorms after eating dinner, and decided to work on my Action Plan. I’m very excited by how it’ll turn out, and hopefully my school’s robotics team will like it too.

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