Thursday, August 3, 2017

Strength in Numbers

Class today was started off by playing a game, a card game to be exact. There were a total of about 6 groups, each set their own set of cards and a paper full of rules. Seemingly enough, this is simple: the players go in a circle each placing down a card of either the same color or number, and there is a trump card that overpowers all. Whoever places down a trump gets all the cards that were placed down prior to the last trump card. The winner goes up a group, and the loser goes down a group. "This is easy" I thought to myself. Then, I switched for the first time and learned that this game was not as easy as I originally thought. First of all, there was absolutely no vocal communication, all the tables I went to had a different trump card, and overall, each table played a bit differently.

The game was over, and I had learned that each table had a completely different set of rules. Mary Grace had us play, because once again, she wanted to see if throughout the past few days we  have been able to manage and improve upon our competitiveness, I have never  really been much of a competitive individual, I typically just go with the flow of things; however not everyone is the same. Regardless, this game was supposed to represent another learning an experience for us all. I think that something we all struggle with is knowing when to step down, since we all are very opinionated people.

The card game transitioned to our last field trip of the campus centers: Brown Center for Students of Color. Compared to the other centers, this one was much, much larger, and much cozier; but not as cozy as the Women's Center. At the Center, we were welcomed by Joshua Segui, who replaced Mary Grace's position as the Director of the BCSC. He discussed what the Center has to offer, the history behind the Center, as well as what brought him here. He also introduced the staff, which was the largest compared to the other centers. It was wonderful to see how passionate they all were about their duties.

We then toured the Center, which was full of pictures of Mary Grace. The building is modeled to  represent a home, and that is exactly what it felt like. The second floor has separate rooms for different ethnic groups. They had one for Latino Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, as well as Asian Americans. The rooms felt inclusive, they had different works of art from the different cultures, but regardless they felt like someone's home.

After walking around the gorgeous center, one of our lovely TA's Imani led us in a case study regarding gender bias. She showed us a few videos, and the four types of common patterns: prove it again, where a woman has to continuously prove herself; maternal wall, where a woman is prejudiced against after bearing a child; double bind, where a woman is constantly discriminated against; and gender wars, where women are against women.
The love of my life

To  better understand these patterns, we played a game Gender Feud (derived from the show Family Feud). We split into two teams, and were given a specific scenario where the situation fit one of the gender biases. We used our other TA Ashley as a buzzer, hopefully we didn't leave her arm sore. 

It was then time for lunch, and today, our class was all eating together at one table. There's a joke within our dorm that the Women and Leadership class is a cult because we're almost always together, and I think I realized that at lunch today. The majority of our time is spent with one another in a big, big group.

Once we returned from lunch, we began to practice our Action Plan presentations. I would be going on tomorrow, so I sat back and relaxed. Everyone, literally everyone blew me away. Everyone had such different plans, but each of them resonated their passions, and the looks on their faces and the sound of their voices could not be more genuine. All of my classmates inspire me so much, all for different reasons.
After class I walked back to the dorm before meeting up with Kendra, Kelsey, Bianche, and Esme for group photos in our Brown gear. I entered the dorm building, to find out it was someone's surprise birthday party. I walked in and they all screamed "SURPRISE!", and I was very confused. They offered me some cake, so no complaining there. About an hour later, I made  my way back to campus to the Quiet Green. We took the majority of our photos at the Van Wickle Gates and with a few of the bears.
I have two days left here at Brown, and even though I've only been here for two weeks, I feel incredibly nostalgic. I haven't been this happy for quite some time, and knowing that all the wonderful friends I have made will be spread literally all over the world breaks  my heart. I'm going to miss this place, and all the people so, so much. I wish time wouldn't have flown by so fast, or  that I could just take all of them back home with me to California.

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