Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Listening is Key

Surprisingly, I got at least 7 hours of sleep last night, four more hours than yesterday. I woke up NEMOW(the nickname for the 9 girls participating in Women and Leadership at Brown) at 6:30 because we didn’t want to go to breakfast late again. We decided to go to V Dub for breakfast because it was closer to our morning workshop. We didn’t have to rush because we woke up early today. Finding Smith-Buonanno 106, which is where we had the workshop, was easy because it was close and a located in a tall church-like building. NEMOW were the first ones to get to class so we all felt so responsible during the 10 minutes we were alone.

The professor for today’s workshop, Kisa Takesue, was an instructor for the Women and Leadership (W&L) program for six years. I thought that she was a really great person to be around and made us feel welcomed. There were three things that we focused at the workshop: 1. positive nonverbals, 2. open ended questions, 3. summarized and reflecting. Nonverbals are movements that you make that could mean something to someone else. Examples of a negative nonverbal communication would be rolling your eyes or crossing your arms. We learned that even the smallest things could make it feel uncomfortable for the person talking. Even teachers get nervous and distracted when a student is not paying attention. Next, open ended questions like “what _______?” is good because it is not a simple yes or no question and can keep a conversation going. Lastly, we have to summarize what someone says to make sure that we understood what they said correctly and to assure the other person that we are listening. Overall, this part of the workshop helped me realize that sometimes we express our emotions and just need someone to listen, instead of someone to solve our problems. Kisa said to give feedback in order to receive some back. Also, we were taught to express our feelings when we want to because the other person can understand if we say the right words. We had to say “I feel (insert a specific behavior) when you (nonjudgemental) because (reason). I thought that this was a great way to tell someone that something is bothering you without keeping it inside. Overall, this workshop really helped me to see how people’s feelings could be hurt without me knowing it most of the time.

After lunch, we had class with Professor Mary Grace at Watson CIT building. We talked about the cycle of socialization based on the reading we had to do last night. The readings made us all realize that we go through a cycle and don’t notice it. We are all born without a chance to choose our identities. We can’t control the family or place we are born into. As time goes on, we are socialized by the people around us like family and friends. They are our role models, so we assume that everything they tell us is the truth and don’t question it. As time goes by, some of us start contradicting what we learn at home and get out of the cycle. On the other hand, most people don’t come out of the cycle and pass down ideas that are taught to them as though they were facts. After reading this, it made me wonder why I believe the things people tell us even though there is no factual evidence that it is true. NEMOW and I were all talking in Cynthia’s room today and we felt bad about ever assuming something although there was no proof that supported that conclusion.

After talking about the cycle of socialization, we went into talking with a partner. We randomly picked a card and had to find someone else with the same letter or number as us without making a sound. I got a girl who seemed so confident about everything she did. After I asked her questions like “who are you,” “what do you pretend to be,” and “who do you think I am” I feel like she was a totally different person. This tie into what we learned about earlier in the workshop. Why do we judge and make assumptions about a person based on nothing factual? There was no proof that she was confident other than the fact that she spoke fast and answered a lot of questions in class. 

When class ended, NEMOW walked to our dorms and got started on our blogs. At 5:15 PM, we all met our chaperone, Jenny, in from of our dorm, Perkin Halls. Then, we walked to “the Duck & Bunny,” which was a cafe that sold tea, coffee, cupcakes, wine, and soft drinks. I thought that the place was very vintage and decorative looking with the queen bed theme wallpapers. I drank coffee because the humidity in Rhode Island takes so much energy out of me. I usually don’t drink coffee because it gets me hyper and tastes bitter, but it seemed very much needed today. Because the coffee didn’t kick in until a couple hours later, I am finishing my blog late at night. I felt bad for having the ILC spend so much money on the things we eat. I had always told myself,” don’t buy anything unless I need it.” It’s really something that I can’t change about myself. For now, all I can say is thank you to the Ivy League Connection for everything that you have provided me and the other girls.

After coffee at “the Duck & Bunny,” NEMOW went back to campus to try and figure out how to do laundry on Wednesday. We said our goodbyes to Jenny and went to eat dinner at the Ratty. The food didn’t taste good because we were all pretty full from the cupcakes and drink. Even though we were all full, we went to eat because we knew were going to get hungry later. Walking back to our dorm, we stopped by a small market because Cynthia wanted to buy chips and Arizona Tea in case she got hungry again. Later, we ate her Cheetos as a night snack. After coming back to Perkins Hall, we worked on our blogs and Isabell went to go for a run. I was afraid that running in the dark was too dangerous but she ended up coming back early. In the dorms, most of us went on webcam with our family or friends at home, because we were feeling a little home sick.  Although we miss them, I feel like there is no other place that we would rather be right now. 

1 comment:

  1. We're glad you're enjoying your vacation/ educational trip in the east coast. We miss you too! Be safe and enjoy the time you have there.