Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wa and Kumja!

I started my day off hearing everyone’s presentations, and I was excited to hear each person present. I had done mine yesterday, so I had my nervousness taken off my chest for the meantime. Though I was still a little sleepy, I made sure to engage myself by asking the students presenting several questions and suggestions. I especially Cathy’s mental illness documentary action plan, which hit close to home for a lot of people in the room. A lot of people in the room gave her support and backing on her action plan, it was nice seeing the atmosphere being so supportive even with such an underrepresented issue. 

Lunch came quicker than I expected, but I could tell I was hungry from the amount of stomach grumbles I had in class (I did eat breakfast, but for some reason it still grumbled when I breathed through my diaphragm). Since several of my classmates and I wanted to make more pins, I decided to take my lunch from the dining hall to the LGBTQ Center. From the amount of times I’ve visited this place, it’s starting to feel like a second home.

We came back to our classrooms after two hours, only one person had to present and we were finished with all the presentations. I had thought about what we were going to do after this, but decided to let myself be surprised instead. 

Grace the student and Erin were
incredibly happy to hear this!
As that time came, I found out we were going to make a meme. I thought I was dreaming and was going to pinch myself before everyone else started laughing and gasping in disbelief. It turns out I really wasn’t dreaming! 

The Dancing Dolphins have grouped up once again, but this time we were going to use our hidden talent, which was producing quality memes. We emailed three of the to Grace, Ashley, and Imani, who accepted them along with all the others. I ended up laughing when Grace started bursting out into a hysterical fit from the ones that were emailed to her. Ashley projected them onto the wall for everyone to see afterwards, and we had a good time laughing as we looked through the memes that were put into one word google slides file.

When Grace said we were dismissed at 2 PM, all of us had the desire to still stay in the classroom we’ve all come to know as our “brave zone”. Instead of leaving, we decided to play a game in the center of the room called Wa and Kumja. My group played it at the challenge course before, but we had to reintroduce this game to Grace and some fellow students. The way the game works is a little complicated: it starts off with everyone reiterating “kumja” together while they slap their thighs to the beat. To start the game, one person has to follow the beat and say “bunny bunny” twice, while their hands point to themselves first then to another in the circle. This is passed along by making eye contact and it gets faster each time. The last rule is that the two people on the sides of that person has to wave in the direction of them and say “toki toki” twice. The way a person loses is if they mess up or go off beat.
We played nearly eight rounds of this, and by the time we finished, we realized half an hour or more had already passed. My classmates decided to create a Wechat a couple minutes before we all left, then we headed our separate ways. Grace, the student, tagged along with me as we went to a bubble tea place called “Kung Fu Tea”. We also decided to head to the Brown Bookstore one last time so we could buy souvenirs for our families.

By the time we came back, we found ourselves hanging out in Ryan’s room. We played Egyptian War (which was called Egyptian Ratslap from where she came from) and listened to Women Empowerment songs. A while later, Ryan and I left to go to CVS with Esmeralda. I ended up going to the Brown Bookstore twice today because they wanted to buy souvenirs for their families, too!

There was a pizza party at the lounge when we came back, and this time, we actually had Tie Dye Equipment at our disposal. I wasn’t able to do it though, because I didn’t bring a white shirt with me. But that was okay, I found the people who did it ended up having paint stuck on their hands and arms, I definitely didn’t want that.
Several students that were in different Leadership programs also came to join us.
I ended the day with one last dorm meet with Ashley, who basically gave us the information on where we were presenting tomorrow and what we had to do with our dorm keys. I can’t believe we’re already leaving tomorrow, this whole experience has gone by incredibly fast. 

I've learned a lot of things in this program, such as societal issues, leadership, and most importantly, myself. I want to thank Mary Grace, Imani, Ashley, and ALL of my classmates for making the Women and Leadership course so life-changing for me.  I will never forget them.

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