Monday, July 24, 2017

The Butterfly Effect

I woke up to some very gloomy weather, and light rain. The sky was grey and the outside smelled like that wet dirt smell. It made me feel a little homesick since the Bay Area has pretty gloomy days in the fall. The weather was also super chilly today so that made me miss home as well. Today was also the first day of class and I found myself feeling really excited. This is the class that I have been thinking about and fantasizing about for the past few months. I woke up, got dressed quickly then met with my floormates to walk to the dining hall. At the dining hall I met up with my cohort and Bianche’s roommate. However, Zunarah came later. For breakfast I had the regular: oatmeal, coffee, and a banana. The food at the dining all is okay, I am very grateful that they have plenty of vegan options though. Milk and egg is the most common thing that gets slipped into a lot of food items. So I always make sure to check the allergens below the ingredients list. It’s usually always in bold lettering so it doesn’t take long to check.

Mary Grace Amandrez
After eating breakfast we ran to class because we were going to be late. Two other girls in our class were also lost and so we helped them to find the building and classroom. When we got to the building and stepped into the room we saw our professor Mary Grace Almandrez. She had already started. I felt completely ashamed of myself for walking in late on the first day of class. The good thing was that we weren’t too late because we were all just introducing ourselves. 

We started on one end first saying our name, where we come from, and a cool fact about our where we are from. Then we began class by starting an ice breaker where we tossed a beanbag to someone and then said their name. It was really fun because multiple beanbags would get thrown in and then sometimes you would have to do it backwards. It was a very great way to learn everyone’s name quickly or at least become familiar with it. 

Sticky note discussions!
Another fun thing we did in class was write a letter to ourselves. We all wrote about what we think we will be like after we graduate from the program. I really liked this idea, because I think that it will really be able to show just how different my mindset was in the beginning of this program compared to what it will be like afterwards.

We had a few discussions and then split up into threes and fours. In our groups we had to come up with a group name, roll call, and group picture. In my group was Thea, a wonderful and very sweet girl from the Boston area, Ashley, a girl from Long Island, and the world famous Esmerelda Topete. Our assignment was to be completed during lunch so as soon as we exited the classroom we made up the group name “K.A.T.E.” because it was the first letter of each of our names. Then we took a very cool picture behind some graffiti art by the stairs.

After familiarizing ourselves with everyone we then split up into pairs and asked each other three questions. The three questions were very personal and were also questions that you wouldn't expect to ask a stranger. However, even though they were extremely deep and personal questions it made me learn more about myself. I also learned that no matter how different the upbringings and background between you and someone, you can still be going through the same things and be similar in many ways.

Everyone in my class is extremely nice and down to earth. I already feel immensely comfortable talking in front of my class, and participating. Sometimes I find myself feeling nervous, and shy to speak my mind, but because everyone in my class is so nice and non-judgmental I feel very comfortable around them. From the people that I have already met and became acquainted with, I already love them!

When we came back from lunch we drew a map of how we got to where we are now. I ended up writing and drawing a map that included both very significant things and also very non-significant things. It really made me think about how there are two categories of what changes and impacts our lives. I like to think that it's a combination of big and small events, and big and small decisions we make as well. There is this interesting concept called the butterfly effect, basically this concept is about how the flap of a butterfly's wing can trigger a tornado somewhere else across the world. I feel like this concept can be related to our lives and how every large and minuscule thing we do has an impact on who we are as a person, and where we are at now.

Class was over at around 3:00 PM. We then all headed over to the mandatory Directors welcoming. The presentation that Kisa Takesue did was very informative. A lot of things were clarified and I got to understand what other things we will be doing for these two weeks. Our RA's came up, too, and introduced themselves. All of the RA's are extremely friendly and welcoming so I'm very appreciative of that, since I get intimidated by others easily.
Kisa Takesue welcoming everyone.
Kisa Takesue also showed us a very interesting Ted Talks video about power. It was super interesting and went over the most common forms of power. The first is physical forms of power, where a person physically forces you to do something. The second was wealth, where you can buy your power. The third was state action, this is the use of government to get people to do things. For example in democracy we theoretically give people the power through voting, but in a dictatorship they use the threat of force. The fourth was social norms where society is able to get you to do things. The fifth was an idea, because if good enough it can motivate people to change their beliefs and actions. Finally the sixth was numbers, because if you have enough people you can get them to easily influence others. These six types of power made me really think about our world and why things are the way they are. It also made me think about how I can use this newly acquired knowledge to my advantage by making a change within my community.

Today was a very emotional, and personal adventure. I learned more than I thought I would the whole week. I can't wait to see what I learn next tomorrow and how much fun it will be. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. As I read each of your blogs Iearn a little more. I learn some things from you while I learn some things from the others. Put them all together and I can get a pretty good picture of things.