Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tackling Public Speaking

It was a proud and inspiring day for my fellow ILCers and I in the Women and Leadership class. I woke up feeling a little anxious to present in front of my class and teachers, because when the few times I've presented, I blanked out on the spot.

We knew ahead of time that Thursday morning were the practice presentations for the rest of my classmates, then after lunch were our individual presentations.

My eight NEMOW cohort members and I were dressed nicely in semi-formal clothing for our presentations. Class presentations reconvened after lunch at 1:00 PM.

It was amazing to listen about my classmates' Action Plan goals and how they were going to implement them in their schools and communities.

I was the ninth presenter today (before Jessie) which would include ten presenters.

A major problem in my public speaking is blanking out at times and the lack of experience in speaking to large groups. In yesterday's previous Women and Leadership class Dean Almandrez gave us lots of time to for a mock presentation in front of our peers. It was very useful to practice my speech in front of an audience, get asked questions and given feedback.

Because I am working on an Action Plan with Maria and Cynthia at our high school, we each went up to present our version. Remembering all my siblings, friends, school community back home who will benefit, while giving my speech, helped a me to not be nervous.

As always, there is room for improvement, and now I know more of how I present and what I should fix.

Our ILC chaperon, Jennifer Azucena Sklar Gilbert came to support us, ask us questions, and give useful feedback. Overall, everyone's Action Plan is different pertaining to what is important in their school community.

Dean Almandrez, excused our whole class about thirty minutes early, after presentations. We all felt grateful and thankful for the frangrant deep red single rose each of us received from Jenny after our presentations. It felt like the last day of school again, as everyone took pictures and gave thanks and farewells. Jenny went over our new updated itinerary, for this weekend in NYC. Soon, most of the ILCers and two of our classmates, went to SNOTEA Caffe, across the street behind CIT building (where our classroom is located). I had a mixed fruit crepe with a scoop of vanilla icecream and dollop of whipped cream.

Ready, Set, Action Plan Presentation!

Today was finally the day that we have all been waiting and preparing for... the Action Plan presentation! The actual date for the leadership institute was set to be on Friday, but since my cohort and Stacey are going to leave earlier than everyone else in the class, Dean Almandrez was kind enough to have us present today instead. For the morning session of class, those presenting their Action Plan on Friday practiced, and we were able to give feedback to each person. I thought that it was nice to see everyone practice their presentation, considering the fact that I won't be able to see them at their actual presentations. Everyone had such an amazing Action Plan that was unique to each individual and I could tell that each person was dedicated and passionate about their Action Plans. 

I have to be honest, I was a little scared and nervous for the afternoon. What if I would choke or mess up again like at the practice presentation yesterday? I didn't even know if I could do my speech better today than what I had yesterday. So many things were boggling in my mind, but the afternoon came faster than expected. 

After eating lunch at the Vdub, we went back to CIT to change in the bathroom. Of course my professional attire was a dark red dress with black polka dots and to top it all off, my hair was curled (thank you Magaly). We had two guests with us in the room. Jenny, our chaperone and Joshua, a Third World Center staff member who is also a feminist. 

I signed up to go seventh because everyone took the number I wanted. I was a bit nervous, but I kept saying to myself that I could do it. Not only that, but Julia, Theo, and Cameron helped reassure me that I would do a fantastic job just like yesterday, and that gave me more confidence. The moment was finally here, and I could feel that small rush of adrenaline rush through me as I walked up front. I told myself to not pretend to be someone else and just be myself. And so I did. I spoke just like how I would speak to someone, cracking a few jokes here and there trying to engage the crowd. I have to admit, the class did look a little bored so I wanted to make them laugh and liven up the room. 

Before I knew it, I was finished with my presentation. I was super proud of myself and I was glad that I made it through. Everyone complimented me on how great and engaging my speech was, even though I thought that it was too funny. But above all, I was satisfied with the results and I just hope I was able to motivate those who are presenting tomorrow.
After the action plan presentation with Dean Almandrez
The presentations ended at 2:30 PM, so Dean Almandrez dismissed the class early and offered to help with people's Action Plan presentation tomorrow. Some of us decided to celebrate so we went to SnoTea to get some crepes. It was originally Magaly, Cynthia, Thao, Muang, and I, but Stacey and Carlin decided to join shortly after. We literally played UNO for about an hour and a half while enjoying our delicious crepes. It was really fun and I was glad I got to spend time with Carlin and Stacey before we leave. 

Perkins Donut Cake!
Thao, YeonSoo, and I decided to go to the Vdub for one last meal. It was kind of sad knowing that we won't have the chance to eat there again for a really long while, maybe never. Even though most people disiked the food,  my wallet and I were still thankful for it since it got me through these two weeks with free food. I mean who doesn't love free food? 

After dinner, we did our final meeting with each floor's respective RA. Kass explained where we should leave our keys tomorrow and also gave a small speech in which she showed her love and appreciation for us. I was really sad since I felt that these two weeks went by so fast and I regret not doing more things with the other people. The highlight of the day was probably the small dance party for Perkins Hall. The RAs hosted it and it was a really fun party where everyone danced the night out. It's okay, they only served water and donut cakes. Overall, this was my last full day at Brown University and I just hope tomorrow will be a better one. I'm not ready for goodbyes just yet.
Bunny please come back!

The Beginning of the End.

I can't believe that today was my last full day at Brown; it feels like we just got here! I’ve honestly learned more from Dean Almandrez within these last two weeks than I’ve learned from some teachers in a year.  Honestly, after seeing the good that this program has done for the girls that I came here with (and for myself too), I realized that this is the type of class that everyone should take. By everyone, I mean girls and boys.  The change in those around me is astonishing and made obvious by the way that these girls now carry themselves.  There is a newfound confidance and self-assurance that is (unfortunately) rare in today’s society.  I know that the young women in my class will use these qualities to benefit society in the best ways possible (I can be certain of this simply based on all of their action plans).  This has been such an amazing experience and I can’t wait to hear about what all of these lovely women will accomplish later in life!

Presentation Day

Today I woke up early and went to Cynthia's hair salon were Magaly curled my hair, while I did my make up to better prepare myself for today’s presentation. When I went to class I decided to not be dressed because I knew I did not what to mess up my dress before my presentation during the afternoon session. During my first class session, 15 girls in my class had their opportunity to practice in front of the class. During lunch I went back to my dorm to finish getting ready.
Jenny went to support us; I was the first to present my Action Plan. I felt very prepared and confident in my presentation. Here is the video of my presentation. After our presentations Jenny was waiting for Nemow with roses and gave us one each .By that time I was starving because I did not eat breakfast or lunch, I went to Subway and got myself a sandwich with chips and a soda. When I arrived to my dorm I collected my dirty clothes and washed the last of my clothes that needed to be cleaned.
Around 9 in the evening I went to the dance party that the leadership program was hosting. It was a lot of fun just dancing to good music and best of all there was doughnut cake which was tasted good and gave me the energy to dance. I only stayed an hour and a half because I had to go finish my packing.

And the Winner is, UNO!

Last Dinner at V Dub! Root Beer Float!
Maria, Sara, and I. We met at the Ice Cream Social.
I'm very happy today. Why? Because I'm finally finished with my action plan presentation. To be honest, I was nervous at first. I went eighth, second to last. Ten of us went today, in this order, Izabel, Sierra, Cynthia, Magaly, Yeonsoo, Stacey, Maria, me, Muang, and Jessie. It was nerve wracking, but I survived. The ten of us went after lunch, so we all decided to either wear our professional clothing or to bring it with us to change into. I wore a dress and some black shoes; my hair was curled for the occasion as well, thanks to Cynthia. While waiting for my turns, I listened to everyone's speeches. They were powerful and impacting. Before going, Maria made a very motivating speech. Her speech was both serious and funny, and I believe it brought out my own inner passion. When going up to speak to the class, I introduced myself and had a blast speaking. I felt that I claimed my space up there, and I hope it was inspirational and impacting. After finishing my speech and answering questions, I felt a spark of adrenaline afterwards. Once class ended, I wanted to celebrate our success. Maria, Cynthia, Carlin, Magaly, Muang, and I all went to Sno Tea Cafe. Maria and I shared a delicious crepe, a strawberry crepe with green tea ice cream. I also played UNO, for a good two hours until someone won, with Maria, Carlin, and Stacey. It was a difficult game because there were times when Carlin would be close to winning, but then we all gave her cards, or skipped her. It was a fun game, and I'm happy that I won the two hour game. To be honest, when Carlin was about to win I made the decision to reverse the game so that Maria, who had 1/4 of the deck, can give her cards but it backfired. I had half of the deck in my hand... so many cards. I'm hoping to keep this one win streak. 
Future Women Leaders

Having a Nice Walk
Tonight, there was a Perkins party located where we got our room keys. There was a gym near the party, and boy was it crazy. There was lively music and energetic people when the party began,. which was a good twenty minutes after the time to get there. It was disappointing for me to be in jeans, but I survived. It was hot, but dancing with everyone at Perkins was fun. I felt exciting during the beginning of the party, but soon too much dancing made me tired. I am a bit tired right now, but I will be sleeping on the train, or so I hope. The party played a bunch of good songs, and I enjoyed my time. One of the best things at the party was the food and seeing the RAs dance. The RAs can dance very well, and I'm hoping to get some new dance moves from them. At the party, they served a doughnut cake. It was sweet like a doughnut, but was bigger than any doughnut. It was the same size as a cake, and was magical. The dance party started to die down when it reached 10 o'clock, only leaving the RAs in the room. I soon left afterwards to find everyone else at the Main Green. When I say my cohort at the Main Green, there was a lot of people. I felt a bit sleepy so I wanted to go home early, but Maria, Stephanie, Sarita, Amy, and I decided to walk on Thayer St. for a bit. We ate some Froyo, and soon made our way back into Perkins. 

Today was the greatest day of my two week stay, and I wished we stayed for another week. I'm going to be sad tomorrow, and I'm hoping that I won't cry as much as I usually do.  I'm going to miss everyone, and I wish the best of luck to those who are going tomorrow. I hear that everyone from our class will not be in the same group, but with other students from the different courses. I forgot to mention that Jenny and Joshua, who works at the Third World Center, were at our speeches today. At the end of the event, Jenny gave us all a rose, and it was nice. I appreciated it, and I hope I don't crush it. Thank you for this experience, and I wish I would have stayed longer. All I can say is, I did it. 

Pubic Speaking Into Action

Today I woke up excited and nervous. I helped Thao do her hair for our gran action plan preparation, we were so nervous in my room we couldn't stop thinking about what we were going to say. We didn't go dressed formally to our morning class since we had to present after lunch. When we arrived to class everyone didn't seem so awake because everyone was up the night before typing up their action plan essays. Dean Almandrez began the class by allowing the other fifteen students who will perform tomorrow pick what order they go for their practice presentation. I found it really good that I helped give advice and ask questions to my classmates when they presented. Whenever someone presents it's best to ask each other questions in preparation for the big action plan presentation. The class presentations took the whole class time so when we finished it was already lunch time.

After we ate lunch we had about an hour left of lunch so NEMOW went to go get dressed and practice for our presentation. I went third, I didn't do as good as my practice but I am no longer as frightened of public speaking. It was nice seeing how my friends did on their presentation, some were nervous with their practice but they did great today.It was also great to have mu chaperon Jenny present to support us since my parents weren't there.  After presentations we were released early by Dean Almandrez, as we took pictures together we finished soon and walked outside to meet our chaperon Jenny. Jenny had a red flower for each one of NEMOW's young ladies. We took pictures together and she congratulated us on how good we did.
Me and the most inspiring Dean I've met, Dean Almandrez

After Jenny left our girls some went to the dorms to pack and some of us went to get Crepe's and smoothies. I shared a banana crepe with vanilla ice cream along with a large mango smoothie with Magaly. We had a great snack after our presentation, we then headed back to the dorms to pack, I sort of took a nap while I was packing, it was very unexpected. After I woke up, I went to Subway with Magaly, Izabel, and Muong. We had a good dinner and began packing. Around 8 PM I headed to my RA's room for a floor meeting, she informed me on how I was suppose to leave my room and how I was suppose to return my key. It's a pretty easy process.
                                            Me and Magaly's banana crepe with a mango smoothie.

At about 8:30 PM my RA walked me and other girls from my dorm to the Leadership Institute/ Perkins Hall dance, it was a good relief for all of us after packing, and doing presentations. I had a delicious slice of donut cake with a drink of water on the side, NEMOW did not stay until the dance was over but we enjoyed our time there. We headed back to the dorms so we can finish blogging tomorrow will be a long day it'll be very hard to say goodbye to all my new friends I had a good time and experience with every single one of them. I'm very thankful for Dean Almandrez I've learned a lot from her, hope to keep everything in mind, and become a better person.

Our Last Day

We leave tomorrow it is kind of shocking to believe that we only came here two weeks ago. My experience here has forever changed me, I will be coming back as a new woman but before I go home, we all have college tours. Tomorrow will be a hectic day, going to class and when class is done hurrying over to the train station. Today the whole ILC Cohort presented their action plans; I can proudly say we all did an amazing job. We all had amazing ideas and I am hoping that all of our action plans happen successfully.  The whole day was presenting different plans we all had and Jenny cam to watch and support. This was a sweet gesture that was very comforting while I was presenting.

After our class today we all went back to pack and get ready for our departure. Then we decided to hang with some friends and saying goodbye, sadly, then tonight going to sleep very early because we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.  But after the dance party that Brown through for us, I don’t think any of us would have trouble.  We are all tired from this eventful two weeks but very excited to go stay in some nice hotels. I would like to say thank you to all of Brown, my experience here has changed my life and am much honored to stay at this prestigious university. 

Crying already?

Today was presentation day-- yeah you bet I was nervous. I knew I didn't have any reason for my nervousness because I had a great Action Plan and my ideas were as valid as anyone else's. I was preparing the whole day and doing like coping mechanisms to relieve my stress about trying to say everything perfect. I feel that for that reason, I wasn't being myself and that affected me today. But whatever is done is done and I loved every second I was up there demanding people to listen and hear me out. I felt a pressure and weight on my shoulders to represent my community, city, school, and all the students who didn't have the chance to be here. I wanted to be the voice for those who didn't have one and I just wanted to thank everyone who had such an influence on what I learned and the way I see the world now.

I can honestly say that now, I am able to speak in  public because I am so much more confident and aware of my power then in the beginning of the course. I have grown and improved in every aspect during these amazing two weeks. I had such a great experience overall that I still can't believe that I had the potential all along to become a better version of myself. A more confident, smarter, and open- minded person than before.

So, everyone wants to get all emotional today because it is one day before we say good-bye to our new friendships. It isn't even the last day yet and people are already crying and I can't stand it because if I see you cry, then I'll cry. I do not know how to say  good-bye so I just smile and hope for the future. Tomorrow is going to be a very emotional day and I don't think I am ready to say bye to all the people who have each taught me something. But, something I will never let go is all the information and knowledge I have gained. All my new skills , perspectives, and action plan will definitely be implemented in my community.

Packing, for me, has been fairly easy because I am a very organized person. I have saved all the pouches and bags and strap things that I borrowed from Don. Everything is packed and carefully placed everything in my luggage-- for the exception of my sheets, I will still needs those tonight when I go to sleep. I checked my room and drawers to see if I had forgotten anything and I am sure that I packed everything but, just in case, I will check once again tomorrow morning before I leave.

Tonight, at around 9:00 PM, there was going to be a dance party which I am guessing is going to be fun. I was promised a doughnut cake slice at the party (they got me hooked) and that may or may not be why I am going. Surprisingly, we were having fun for a good half hour but then, the music being played got more boring every time. At least for me, I thought they should have taken requests instead of limiting the music to old school songs. At the end, this was a great way to end the course, with  a good dance party all while enjoying it with my friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Return of Duck and Bunny Cupcakes

Today Dean Almandrez had a surprise for the class, she brought us doughnuts from Drunken doughnuts. After that the class split up in half I was apart of team two the class played charades, team two won. After that the class split up in groups of five and ran around the entire campus looking for various things in the scavenger hunt list. The class had about an hour to return to class. My team returned to class on time, for the last part of the scavenger hunt we had to solve a puzzle of the United States.

After lunch Nemow and Stacey practiced our action plan presentations in front of the class. I think I did really well and can’t wait to present tomorrow I really believe in my Cause which is more women in Law enforcement.

For dinner to day I went to Subway and ordered a B.L.T. sub. For desert I returned to Duck and Bunny Sweetery where I ordered a carrot cake cupcake. I will never forget those cupcakes and that will be the number one place I recommend to eat if ever asked about Providence. Okay am off,to finish my action plan.

Being Ourselves

The Yummy Donuts
I had a huge breakfast today at V Dub, but I came into class and there were donuts! There's always space for more food so I ate one delicious donut. Thank you Dean Almandrez for bringing Dunkin Donuts for the whole class today. In class,we had a scavenger hunt to find a number of things on the campus like the two statues of the bear and the unisex bathroom. As soon as the game started, one group criticized another and people started running. Why was our first instinct to finish the game first?  It's impossible for everyone to believe that we can all work together as a team. Dean Almandrez talked about how everyone playing Tug of War wants to win. Why couldn't everyone just walk to the opposite side? There is always a rope between us that we think we have to pull, but we can actually all win. It's human's instinct to compete. Everyone is trained to compete since they are little in order to get what they want. However, I learned today that we don't need to pull each other down when there is room for more than one person. After lunch, I gave my practice speech about my Action Plan and it turned out better than I expected. I appreciated everyone's negative feedback more than positive ones because it will help me improve my speech. When class ended, some of us got emotional about our Action Plan because we were scared of being judged for not being good enough. Dean Almandrez told us that the only opinion that should matter is our own. During our practice speeches, we all tried to be someone we are not because we were pressured to be perfect. I hope that tomorrow we will all be our own inspiration. 
Scavenger Hunt Picture!
Warm hugs to celebrate being ourselves
1, 2, 3 CHEESE!

Blanked Out

It seems to me that these past few days, I've been waking up later than what I expected. Maybe I'm starting to get comfortable with the mattresses of I'm just kidding, I just need to try to sleep earlier. But today I was prepared for class. I recall Dean Almandrez yesterday saying that she'll buy us Dunkin Donuts and I was really excited since I never had Dunkin Donuts before. We started off class by watching a short clip of Sister Act, then analyzed it as a class. We talked about the importance of how the clip showed the leader working and encouraging her follower to sing good, no matter how bad they were.

Lunch time with Theo
My favorite part of the day was definitely playing Guesstures, which is basically like charades. Of course my competitive side came out of me and I was really happy when we were playing this game. We divided into 2 groups and went on to play. The best part about it was that it was timed, so it made everything more intense, entertaining, and most importantly fun. I was a little afraid to go up and act out the words, simply because it seemed hard. But I had to take one for the team and later on went to act. The words that I picked were surprisingly easy enough for my team to guess them all. I guess it was my outstanding (cough) acting that helped my team take the lead. Unfortunately my team lost by 6 points, but that's okay, I was just glad to be able to play the game and just have fun. After this we were divided into groups of 5 and did 3 small case studies in which we were given scenarios to talk about in the group and later on discuss in class. 

The next activity was definitely the most surprising part of the day: a scavenger hunt! A really physical scavenger hunt, seriously, we literally had to walk around the whole Brown Campus just to find the things listed on the paper. Aside from that we also had to take pictures with some people regarding what it said on the paper and also ask what misogyny meant. It was pretty funny since my team was running around the Main Green as if we were crazy. It felt like a huge competition like everyone was pitted against each other, but after we gathered together at 11:15, Dean Almandrez mentioned something that really changed me. She asked why we were against each other and that we should have worked together as a whole group. As women, we should be able to work together and not always compete. Dean Almandrez also gave us an example of the rope and how we should be able to get to the other side of it without competing. This made me realized; not everything has to be a competition. I felt so selfish and was filled with the pride and motivation of trying to win that I forgot that we were all just one big team. I can't really explain it, but I was really happy with this activity no matter how tiring it was. But now everything makes sense and I understand what Dean Almandrez was trying to imply in doing this activity. Now I'll try to be less competitive and understand that everyone is your teammate.

Meditating before the presentation didn't really help
The second part of class was the more emotional part of the day for me. The ten students that had to leave earlier on Friday would present their action plans on Thursday instead so today would be the practice presentation for them. I chose to go second, just to get everything over with and relax for the rest of the class. It was finally my turn. I walked up front said a few words....and just blanked out. I literally paused for a good 10 seconds and just stared blankly into the class. I was lost in words, and I had no idea why. It wasn't even the end of it, I tried the second time with a little more confidence but it turned out to be the same outcome. I blanked out again. This was really a surprise to me, because usually I am good with public speaking. But today something was just so different, and I couldn't understand why. After Thao went with her presentation, Dean Almandrez called for a break and pulled me aside. She told me that there is no reason to be afraid of going up to speak and that I am capable of doing it. I'm not going to lie, I did tear up a little and got emotional for a bit. I guess sometimes we all have our moments that we can't hide forever. So I was relieved to be able to let my inner emotions out. I think that the third times the charm, because after everyone else went, all eyes were on me now. When I got up the class cheered and encouraged me to try my hardest. I was really happy because I could see that they were all supporting me. Once I was up there (again) I literally spoke my heart out. Everything was making sense and all the things in my mind about my action plan was coming out. I cracked a couple of jokes here and there and it really made my speech strong. What I learned out of this practice presentation was to just be myself. I noticed that during the first two tries I was pretending to be someone that wasn't me. I was trying be the best public speaker out there where in reality all I had to do was be myself. Hopefully I'll have the same confidence at the actual presentation tomorrow.

Crabs in a Bucket

Today’s class started off with a scavenger hunt! We were all divided into teams, given our lists, and sent off to find various buildings, landmarks, and people around campus.  As usual, I set off with the sole intention of finishing first (technically, the objective was to have fun but winning is fun for me).  As it turns out, the scavenger hunt was actually a lesson on working together and how if we all came together as a class, then we all could have finished sooner. Whoops.  Dean Almandrez explained to us that in this particular situation, we had acted like “crabs in a bucket”. This fairly common saying refers to the natural phenomenon that occurs in a bucket of live crabs—if one crab attempts to escape, the others will drag it back down rather than allowing it to free itself (i.e. me hiding the other groups’ puzzle pieces…).  She then related this to women in positions of leadership and how the media tends to pit powerful women against each other.  In reality its not just the media, women are constantly competing with each other; we’ve just been socialized that way—through gossiping and speaking poorly of one another.  By trivializing others (think slut shaming), we are taking part in “crab mentality” and through this are reinforcing nasty stereotypes about the utter cattiness of women.  The only way to break this vicious cycle is to act kindly towards and compliment other women (well, you should be nice to everyone but that’s besides the point) because like I’ve mentioned earlier, too many girls think it's a competition nowadays. Sometimes it’s just nice to be nice.
An example of "slut shaming" based upon appearances

 “If a woman belittles other women, she can prove her superiority among women…” (Tanenbaum, 2002).

Leadership is Listening

As usual, my cohorts and I walked to the VDub dining hall to eat breakfast. Perkins dormitory is a bit farther from the VDub, but our group does not mind walking much. After breakfast, NeMoW (my cohorts and I) with a couple girls from the Women and Leadership class, walked down to our classroom. Dean Almandrez bought us Dunkin' Donuts at breakfast.
For our pre-reflection, Dean Almandrez showed us a clip from the movie Sister Act, where the main character is directed into a leadership role that she is hesitant to be placed in. Her leadership style was listening to the individual needs inside the group. The importance was listening to each other to be a successful group. Soon, my class was split into five groups for a Brown University Scavenger Hunt. The rules were to stay as a group, stay hydrated by drinking water, and be back before 11:30 AM. In my group, was Stephanie, Theo, Sierra, and Serrita. Immediately, there was an emphasis in competing and winning without taking a step back and reassessing. Although we came in second to winning, I did not feel like we succeeded as a group, because the lack of communication and direction. Before we started, I took Dean Almandrez advice of staying hydrated throughout the day, but before I could refill my water bottle, my group ran ahead without reviewing our roles and what was written down on the sheet. It was frustrating convincing my group to listen to what I had to say, because naturally everyone was super competitive and had no time to talk about anything else. I was struggling to keep up with my group, as I did not feel well being dehydrated with no clear direction of our scavenger hunt. The few times I enjoyed the scavenger hunt was working together as a team by taking our group photo jumping in midair, communicating with open people on the sidewalks and on university campus.

Other than that, I did not enjoy most of the scavenger hunt, because we were not connected as a team. I tried to talk with my group about it, but there was a focus much on winning without realizing a deeper meaning to the scavenger hunt. There must be some other reason than enjoying ourselves on a scavenger hunt during class time. What I took out from this experience was to be more assertive and think outside the box. I was disappointed with our group leadership styles, because we learned to pit against each other without realizing the struggles of other people. Now I have experienced what it is feels like to be the person in a scavenger hunt, who is trying the best to contribute and keep up physically, but could not based on group organization. It was confusing at times, because a few people were ahead and expected us to follow without group affirmation. Although this experience was challenging and uncomfortable, I would try it over again to find flaws and learn more about each other.

After lunch, the Ivy league Connection cohorts and I, including one of our classmates did our practice presentations for tomorrow's actual presentation. There were many good questions and feedback to our mock presentations. I am working with two of my cohorts at my high school, Maria LIose and Cynthia Ramirez. I was the ninth person on the board list to go up and present. There was many feelings, of self- judgement in everyone. We all agreed we can do better in our presentations. I have a major problem public speaking and because I had the mindset I will do worse then my classmates I did. From lots of feedback, I know to use volume and energy to emphasize and use to my advantage. It is so difficult to realize the distracting actions we do, while presenting in front of our audiences. Most important to me for remembering to be confident and truly passionate, was to command space and represent the people who will be impacted by our Action Plan.

Searching for Something....

Charades in class was exciting! I know I jumped straight to class, but I believe that if my mornings are the same as usual, there is no reason to write the same things over and over again. I was part of Team One, and even though we lost, I learned a valuable lesson. Timers are scary. This version of Charades was exhilarating yet disappointing because I became too competitive. After Team Two won, our next major activity was the Scavenger Hunt. I was with Cynthia, Carlin, Cameron, and Michelle. The five of us went together from point A to point B. We were the last group, but it was nice to be last because we were together the entire time. It was a lot of walking and I felt a stronger bond with Carlin and Cameron, the two who I haven't bonded with as much. At the end of the Scavenger Hunt, we discussed the activity after lunch. It was surprising to realize how we are competitive by nature. To be honest, we all could have gotten together and split the list into 5 equal parts, since there were 5 groups. I was disappointed to figure out how competitive we all gotten, and I even tried to hide my own competitiveness. I really wanted to win, but after realizing that those in my group were not as competitive, I decided to go with their flow. It was fun to check off our list, but what Dean Almandrez said was inspiring. 

Maria and I embracing
After discussing about the Scavenger Hunt, we transitioned  into the practice Action Plans. It was nerve wracking to go up and talk about my action plan, but I did it. The hard part for me was the flow, and I got nervous when I was up there. I lasted, and the questions were pretty good. I liked the feedback I got, and was able to cope with it. The feedback from my fellow peers were motivating for me because I finally realize why people take my lightly. It has to do with the tone of my voice, and the body language that I portray. I am ready for tomorrow, or so I hope, because now I know how to make my speech better. 

Eventful Days

The days are numbered now it’s a crazy thought that we only have two more days left at Brown University. We are returning for dinner with admissions officers but it’s not the same we will not be staying in the dorms that we currently reside in now. The people we saw on an everyday basis will not be here with the days numbered the day to present our action plans are also numbered. The actions plans need to be turned in by tomorrow morning before 8 AM, so I will be turning it in tonight. Then I will be presenting tomorrow afternoon.

Scavenger Hunt!
 The morning class consisted of us, first playing Guesstures. Let’s just say my acting skills have not improved since I was a child but the game was fun and it was good to do something fun and different for class today. The game also had an educational aspect behind it, it was meant to show us how we behave and how our leadership skills are affected in a competitive setting. Expanding on this we had to do a scavenger hunt. Dear God, I have never had a scavenger hunt on such a big “playing field”. The Brown Campus is huge, so we had to run to Perkins Hall to the V-Dub. Perkins Hall is the farthest housing units from the campus and the V-Dub is across the campus. 

The afternoon class was spent practicing for our action plans that the ILC presents Thursday, so we all practiced today. Others will practice tomorrow morning before the afternoon session when the ILC will actually present.  Running through these practice rounds was very helpful, we were given feedback and that feedback will improve our speeches. I am very excited and can’t wait to present. 

Sierra's done with all the walking

Dean Almandrez Is The Best!

Unlike other days I woke up very sad, it's actually hitting me that my days at Brown are down to two to three days left. When I arrived to class Dean Almandrez had Dunkin'Donuts , I was entirely full from breakfast so I didn't bother grabbing a donut. The class began with a game called Guestures, the class was split into two. The game was basically about guessing what your teammate was acting out, we had a time limit, and were competing for points. Sadly my team lost but it was okay we all had fun. After the game we were counted by fives and five groups were divided, we were given a scavenger hunt sheet. We were told to look all over campus for bear status, the Van Wicked Gates, Sarah Doyle's Women Center, Pembroke college seal, and other stuff. It was nice to walk around campus and explore more I learned where more things were. There was definitely lots of competition. After the scavenger hunt everyone was released to go to lunch.
                                                  We had to ask them to pose super women.
                                                   One of the guys that supports feminism.

When we gathered once again for our afternoon class, Dean Almandrez asked us what we thought about the scavenger hunt, we all said it was fun, competitive, and exploring. Dean Almandrez mentioned to us that the rules simply said "Stay as a group" obviously nobody followed instructions. Dean Almandrez tested us she knew we were going to be very competitive we could of easily walked as a class to find all the items on the list. I agree with the Dean that we should of worked together but it was really fun to walk around and ask people for directions or even pictures. After we finished talking about the scavenger hunt we began doing our action plan presentation practices for those who won't be able to do them Friday afternoon. I was the fifth out of ten people to present I felt like I was speaking from my heart, I seemed to inspire my classmates as well. I felt more comfortable and aware of what I was saying compared to my speech from The School Board Meeting a few months ago. My classmates gave me lots of good feed back, I feel prepared for my actual presentation tomorrow.