Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tiffany and Michael

I have been constantly  told by previous ILC Brown alums that the Women and Leadership course will change my life. I honestly did not believe it, until today. Class was a roller coaster of emotions, and as of right now, I feel more comfortable in that classroom than I ever have at school before.

My day started off as usual, I woke up at 7 a.m. and was out the house by 7:30. My breakfast at the ratty the past 3 days has been pretty consistent: three boiled eggs, one  banana, and a cup of tea. I am a die hard omelette fan; unfortunately however, they begin serving the omelettes at 11, meaning I would be in class when they're fresh and available. I've surprisingly been eating relatively healthy here. I haven't had pizza or  a burger even once since I came. I make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables a long with a ton of water.

I walked to class with one of our TA's, Ashley. She was telling me all about her life at Hamilton College. It's an incredibly small private university in upstate New York, about 1800 people per class. During our walk, I realized how much the weather has warmed up compared to the past 2 days, where it felt like the weather back home. 
Preparing our skits

As I mentioned, class today was a roller coaster, and not to say that roller coasters are a bad thing. Class started off with a recap of yesterday, as well as what we learned. We then moved onto gender, gender norms, and gender roles. To better understand this topic, we were told to create a skit about gender norms.The process of creating the skit itself was much easier than expected. There were so many stereotypes to work off of, which definitely isn't a good thing, but it did aid us in creating our skits. My group and I (Team California) wanted to create a skit that would leave the class surprised, and so, our skit was based in the locker room. One part of the skit in the girl's locker room, and the other skit in the boy's locker room. I played the character named Tiffany, except my behavior was of the masculine category; while one of my group members Cathy, played the character Michael, but fit into the feminine category. The point we wanted to get across was that no matter how much we have progressed as a society, at the end of the day, we still try to assume genders, we are a species that loves to categorize and loves labels. 

All the skits were absolutely fantastic!! If I were asked to pick a favorite, I wouldn't be able to. They were all amazing and hilarious in their own way. If I were to begin describing all the skits, I would be here all night; however the basis of them were all pretty similar. I had no idea how talented all my classmates were, they definitely managed to keep me laughing for that duration of time. It was probably my favorite part of the whole day. 
Enjoying the weather

Our lunch assignment was to do something against gender norms,  and so a few friends and I decided to spend our lunch by sitting like guys in the dining hall and record the reactions. In all honesty, no one paid enough attention to notice that we were sitting differently.  Nonetheless, my classmates and I managed to get many laugh out of this whole assignment. It was quite a nice feeling to do things that typically would be looked down upon by society, it somewhat felt like breaking the rules, except these rules were created by society and have molded the way we go on with our daily lives. 
Breaking social norms

After lunch, we were granted to privilege to speak with the president of Brown: Christina Paxson. She was an incredibly sweet lady, and having her come in to speak with us was such an amazing experience. She explain her entire journey to us, and how she managed to get here today. She previously used to work as a dean for Princeton, and then eventually moved on to being the president of Brown. She explained to us how she managed to balance family with work, as well as motivating us to start making changes at this age, to break away from the norm that youth are the future, because that is a norm that refrains us from making changes at this age.

We took a group picture with Mrs. Paxson  before she left, and then moved onto a workshop.  This time, our workshop was about privilege. It was by far one of the most emotional things I have participated in in my life. The exercise was called "step in, step out". We were given a statement, and if it applied to us, we would step into the circle, the ones it didn't apply to remained outside. The feeling after the exercise was hard to explain, but it was definitely a mutual feeling. We all felt much closer, yet at the same time exposed. It was an eye opening experience. It was after this workshop that I realized how much I love this class.

It was truly a beautiful day

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