This morning my cohorts and I met in the lobby downstairs of Perkins Hall, our dorm building at 8:10 to eat breakfast together. It was about a ten minute walk to ‘The Ratty’, a cafeteria which serves breakfast from 7:30 AM-9:30 AM. Since there was a long line to the cafeteria, we all decided to leave our dorms 15 minutes earlier. We all ate breakfast before walking to our Women and Leadership class located in Watson CIT building room 219 with class starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 3:00 PM.
Our classroom was a few blocks away from ‘The Ratty’, so we all arrived about five minutes before class started. Mary Grace Almandrez, a Director of Third World Center, assistant Dean of the college and our instructor welcomed us into the classroom, with the inspiring Sara Bareilles song, ‘Unwritten’ playing in softly in the background. First, we did student introductions and then discussed these four class rules: 1) Be on time and in time 2) Seek first to understand; then be understood 3) Speak your truth 4) Expand your comfort zone. Dean Almandrez told us a Brown saying, “Don’t yuck my yum”, meaning to not put other people’s opinion down in a negative way and assume they are a different person based on it. I learned a detailed depth of how race, nationality, ethnicity is frequently used by society as a same meaning. It opened my mind that race is a physical difference and did not exist until society created it in social construction and political power. Nationality is your country of origin. Ethnicity is your culture. Dean Almandrez showed us a quote from Gloria Anzaldia, “A misinformed people is a subjugated people”. It is true in all societies, and raises many questions for me and how I identify myself. Today, I listened to my peer’s intricate answers to such complex analysis questions, based on what your sole beliefs are and knowledge you have learned. Also I have learned from Dean Almandrez that my classroom is everywhere around me. I was challenged today to think quickly on spot of what I believe in and what I can contribute to discussions. Also I learned that in college, students are exposed to break down what we are told is correct and is instilled in our minds. Tomorrow, we will learn about listening skills and I am looking forward to class.