Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The preflection, a warm-up exercise to get us thinking outside of the box, for today was a video called "Do Something Like a Girl." It compared the definition of "being a girl" according to people who already went through puberty with those who haven't. Adults define it as being cute, while kids see it as being the best that they can be. I think that this is because kids have big dreams and don't think that anything would get in the way of them. Over time, people have changed the meaning of what it means to be a girl so that our natural instinct when we hear "act like a girl" isn't to be ourselves, but a girly girl. But how do we act like a girl when we are a girl?

Professor Mary Grace had us come up with a number of words and phrases that people hear about boys or girls. Boys are seen as always checking out girls and bullying boys who watch sweet movies in high school. On the other hand, girls are known for being competitive and judgmental. Mary Grace pointed out today that the less of the stereotypical boy or girl that you are, the more you are accused of being lesbian, bi, or gay. I thought that it was very wrong that you have to be a specific way in order for people to accept you. This is the reason why many people can't be themselves around their friends. It's always a constant reminder to us that people will judge you for being you.

During the second half of the course, we watched a film called "Miss Representation" for about two hours. The video made me realize that the media teaches us so many things that contributes to the way women are mistreated in society. Media makes it seem like looks are important and changes us into someone we are not. After watching the film, I can definitely say that I was able to better see how much women are looked down upon in the radio or news. The film stated a lot of statistics on how women are less heard than men. For an example, movie protagonists and most seats in the White House are not women. Mary Grace also mentioned that teachers earn less than professors because professors are usually men. It's the same for a cook and a chef; a chef is usually a man and is paid more. I can't believe how unfair women are treated just because the stereotypes and assumptions made about them.

From 4 to 6 PM, we had a diversity workshop at Petteruti Lounge. When I first came into the room, I would never have thought that we were going to talk about a sensitive topic. We first got into groups based on an aspect of our life that you can't go a day without thinking. For me, it was my ethnicity. Although I am not illegally in America, I don't qualify for a lot of things. As it gets closer to my senior year, I worry that applying for scholarships will become a problem. It's not just school that my ethnicity pops up in. Even though I've been in America for more than 10 years, I am still very traditional and keep my culture very close to me. I don't plan on loosing my Korean culture because that is who I am and where I am from. I didn't realize this until we had this exercise to think about what we actually think about every day.

Lastly, we had an exercise where we took a step inside the circle whenever something that Isabella or Claire (two people who put the workshop together) said something that happened to us before. After stepping inside the box, I looked around to see not only who is inside the circle, but also those who aren't. This exercise helped me to get to know people without having to talk to them. The assumptions that I made about people, before this exercise, were wrong. This helps to show that you shouldn't assume something about a person based on something so small. Another valuable thing that I learned was that we are all diverse but there are people going through the same thing as me right now; I'm not the only one. Also, it made me feel more thankful for the things that I do have.

When the workshop ended, I asked Isabella if I could take a picture of the class for my blog. I am really glad that it turned out nice. After the workshop, we ate dinner and went to buy BROWN sweaters at the bookstore with my chaperone, Jenny. The dinner was very delicious to me and I wish I ate twice. I had three different types of pasta so I didn't get tired of one flavor easily. While we were walking in the streets on Rhode Island, I noted a tree that had hundreds of staples attached to it. I thought it was interesting because I've never seen a tree without When we came back to our dorms, I worked on my blog in the lobby for the first time. It was a different vibe being in the lobby after being in a noisy dorm room. I look forward to many more days in the lobby and to meet new people from different parts of the world in the next week.
Women and Leadership group picture at the diversity workshop
Our new sweaters thanks to the Ivy League Connection!
1,000,000 STAPLES on a tree

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