Thursday, July 24, 2014

Challenge Accepted!

Seriously, every day has been getting better and funner at Brown University. I am actually feeling more at home as the days pass by. Even the distance from my dorm to class and the dining halls have actually been faster. I remember on our first day hauling our load of luggages to Perkins Hall was a nightmare and it felt like we were walking forever. But now walking is a breeze and I enjoy it traveling from place to place around the campus. 

Emma Watson's dorm room
Today was the challenge course, and it was such an amazing day filled with laughter and amusement. The Women and Leadership group was joined with the Social Justice group for this course and we all met early morning at 8 AM downstairs at the lounge. Then we made our way to Sayles Hall which was a couple of blocks near our dorm. The day was ready to begin. The Social Justice was divided into four small groups, whereas the Women and Leadership was divided only into two. My group consisted of Cynthia, Sierra, Muang, Stacy, Carlen, Angelique, Michelle, Savannah, Julia, Amy, Sarita, YeonSoo, and our two group leaders; Cynthia and Isabella. Throughout the whole day we were presented with activities that tested our teamwork, listening/communicating skills, and of course friendship. But through most of they time, I found this course to be very amusing since all the activites that we did together were super fun but at the same time we made a complete fool our of ourselves. But hey, at least we looked like fools together. Most of the activities took place outside and we were very fortunate enough that it did not rain, so we didn't need our ponchos or rain gear. (Thank you Don for the ponchos though.) Our first official activity was an energizer: we all joined together in a circle and looked down at the ground. At the count of three, we put our heads up and look at anyone within the circle. If two were to make eye contact with each other, then they would have to go on our a scream off and scream their lungs out to find a winner. The person who who screams the longest stays in the circle, while the loser is eliminated. Of course I'm not a screamer, so I lost. 

The next activity was with the ropes. The first part of the rope was untangling it as a whole team. I'd have to thank Stacy for leading/facilitating that activity, she really lead the way for all of us and we finished in about 5 minutes, which was maybe a record time. The following part of the rope was a bit trickier. We all had to grab a part of the rope and spread out to form a specific shape that Isabella would say. Sounds easy right? But of course there's a catch; eyes closed and only specific people had the privilege to talk. This was one of the most difficult out of all the activities, since it really involved trust and forms of communication that excluded talking. 

One of my favorite activities that we did was definitely the rolling the ball in a bucket. Each person had a tube and the object of the activity was to let the ball pass each person's tube into the bucket without dropping it. And of course since it is a called a challenge course, there was a catch (yay); nobody could talk and the tubes could not touch one another. It took us a couple of tries to find a strategy and once we did, we were successfully able to put the ball into the bucket. You couldn't imagine the excitement and emotion we felt after the ball dropped in, it was very intense. 

The very last activity of the day were the "spider webs". This time, everyone in the Women and Leadership group came together to assist in transferring one person to the side of the web based on the strategy we practiced earlier in the day called "spotting". Each hole of the web were of different sizes, so we carefully chose and appointed those who would fit in each space. Every person from one side of the web had to move to the opposite side by passing through one of the spaces. It may seem easier said than done, but we ended succeeding and transferring everyone to the other side in just the average amount of time. 

I was really satisfied and amused with this day. I felt very accomplished doing this challenge course and I believe that improved a lot of things about my leadership. I have also became very close with most of my classmates and now I feel more comfortable around them. This whole day involved a lot of trust, communication, respect, attentive listening, and patience. But one thing that I got most out of the challenge course was the fact that we enjoyed each other's company and just had fun. 

Locked out of my dorm room
The challenge course was the positive highlight of my day, but there was also a negative; getting locked out of my room. Yes, unfortunately my little nap time turned into a bad time. I was on my way to blog to Cynthia's room, taking my laptop and charger with me, but out of all the several things that I could possibly forget, it had to be my room key. (Silly Maria) I was lucky enough for my roommate Ofir, to kindly walk back to the dorms from her workshop just to open the door for me. I really learned a lot today, including to ALWAYS to check to see if you have your room key before you leave.

1 comment:

  1. I can picture your competitive side and how you handle trusting. I am glad you are growing and love seeing it through your blog.