Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Custom Buttons!

We started off this morning discussing yesterday’s assignments and how we felt. I said that I felt so inspired and empowered by the wonderful women I met yesterday. I also talked about how I learned that everyone has different goals in mind when you go into an assignment. You absolutely cannot assume that everyone is on the same page, so you must be completely open and direct with each other so that misunderstandings are avoided.

After discussing our readings and how we felt about yesterday, we were told that we were going to be walking around campus. I was glad that we were going to be walking because I wanted to reach my goal of 20,000 steps. Sadly, I only made it to 18,000 but hopefully before I leave I’m able to accomplish that. Sitting still also makes me become drowsy and I can’t concentrate or focus as well as if I was walking or standing. For our walk around campus we were going to be touring some very important historical sites, as well as resource centers on campus.

Next was a memorial of a chain statue. The memorial recognizes Brown’s connection to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the work of Africans and African Americans who were enslaved and free. These individuals helped build the university, Rhode Island, and the Nation. In 2001 Brown’s president at the time, Ruth J. Simmons began a study of this piece of the university’s antiquity. In the eighteenth century, slavery filled every aspect of social and financial life in Rhode Island. Locals conquered the North American share of the African slave trade beginning over a thousand slaving voyages in the century before the abolition of the trade in 1808. I really appreciated that Brown acknowledges the people who helped make Brown what it is today instead of feeling guilty about it.
When we were done touring the memorials, we went to LGBTQ center. We all walked up the stairs and had a seat in the lounge. At the LGBTQ Center, we learned about all the different types of resources they offer to LGBTQ students. The center offers a safe, open, and inclusive environment for LGBTQ students. In the center, we talked with Je-Shawna Wholley, the assistant director of the LGBTQ Center and Kelly Garrett, the Program Director of the LGBTQ Center. At the center, they provided a support group for those who identify with being transgender, gender queer, or questioning gender. On their website, they also provide a list of gender inclusive bathrooms on campus, and a list of the upcoming Queer Youth Conferences which show you where and when they will be.
At the LGBTQ Center.
We then read the quote “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde. After reading the quote we wrote a reflection paper about what that quote meant to us and how we interpreted it. I wrote about how this quote made me think about how many believe that self-love is selfish and narcissistic. When in reality you need to practice self-love so that you can function properly. It also made me think about how it’s a gender norm that women always practice self-love like going to a spa, or giving themselves time, but we rarely hear about a man giving himself self-love. I think that many men perceive self-love as being too feminine and not masculine enough. I think that everyone needs to practice self-love more. A way that I practice self-love is giving myself alone time every day in a quiet area where I can reflect and think about things in my life.
At lunch, so Esmerelda and I stopped at the dorms to grab some things and then headed back to the LGBTQ Center to make out own custom-made buttons! Before we left, Kelly Garrett informed us that we could make out own buttons during lunch. So, myself and a few other members of my class decided to make buttons during lunch. I made a few and had so much fun. I loved making these buttons so much that I was considering buying a button maker myself. Unfortunately, I learned shortly after that they are pretty pricey for what it is, so I don’t think that I’ll be buying one anytime soon.

My custom made buttons!
When we went back to class, we played this very strange game. The class got into a circle and chanted. One person would be giving “the bunny” to someone across the circle. To give the bunny to someone you had to say “Bunny bunny..bunny bunny” and gesture yourself giving something to someone. The two people on each side of the person with the bunny would have to make a specific movement and say “Toki Toki”. This was strange but fun, and everyone ended up laughing.
Before we played the game.
Later, we worked on our action plans for an hour. My action plan is about creating a wildlife conservation club at my high school that fundraises and gives all the profits to wildlife organizations like the World Wildlife Fund. My club will also host informative sessions at middle schools and high schools where we will lecture students. We will also quiz them after and give students who answer correctly a candy. We will also create posters and flyers that show how to recycle, and compost. I believe that my club will impact society by influencing others to be make more sustainable choices.

After working on our action plans for an hour we then headed over to the “FliCenter”. This center is also called the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center and is a public academic and social space for members of Brown University who identify with first-generation and low-income student experience. In providing a devoted space that confirms individuals’ intersectional identities, the FLiCenter contributes to the success of the first-generation college and low-income students at Brown.

Learning about these places made me feel confident that Brown is such a welcoming place, where there is plenty of support if you need it. I think that Brown is a great place to study at for so many people. The school provides so many resources for students that it shouldn’t be a problem transitioning there and being a successful student.

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