Monday, August 3, 2009

A busy week ahead!

Hello everyone. It has been a few days from my previous blog and there have been so many things going on here! On Saturday, lectures covered most of our schedule, but one stood out the most. Dean Nick Coburn-Palo tried a different type of lesson, where we were more involved in the discussion. At some points, he even randomly pointed to people to reply to his questions. It was very intimidating and once again, I was able to see that the peers around me are very intelligent. Our discussion was about identity politics - how we identify ourselves and the difference we have in interpretation. The three subtopics were race, gender, and sexual orientation. We spent around 2 hours giving our opinion and listening to others. I was very amazed at how different our minds worked and it definitely opened up my mind to more than what I believe is true or correct.

On Sunday, everyone was excited because we actually had a "break" until 1:00 P.M. This was because some students had to go to church. For me, I still did not sleep in because I had two essays due (one by noon, and the other in the evening). Since I had not started any of them, I woke up at 5:00 A.M. to start. Luckily, on Saturday night, I was so tired that I went to bed at 11:00 P.M. (which is pretty early for me here...). I finished one essay (about a murder case where we had to declare the defendants as guilty or not guilty, using our knowledge of morality) and at 11:00 A.M, I decided to give myself a break. I met up with Stephanie and Yohanna on Broadway St., a block full of stores and restaurants and got a chance to get myself a Yale University sweatshirt! Best of all, it's in my favorite color: blue. Later on that night, I was able to finish my persuasive essay and at 8:30 P.M., we had to present our rough draft to a group of students and a staff member. I was the last person to present and if you ask anyone in that room, they will all say that I was so nervous and really red. My face was burning hot and my heart was pounding extremely fast. The students who went before me were pretty relaxed but as more went up to give their speeches, the more I was terrified.

The students in my group were very comforting. They tried to tell me to relax and even offered me water. When I started my speech (which was about my Marshall Brief Topic - Education), I stuttered a lot; but as I continued, I tried to focus and apparently, that was exactly what I did. Like always, I tend to get nervous for things that I do not have to be nervous about.

Today, we had more lectures, and tonight is our final speech. Two of the lectures really interested me today. One was about the Art of Psychological Maintenance and Self-Presentation and the other was Public Speaking for Women. I enjoyed the first one the most because we were told to "get out of our comfort zone." We did many activities such as putting headphones on and reading an article, then having loud music turned on. This would then make us read/speak louder because we cannot hear ourselves talk. Another thing we did was we went outside and walked forwards and backwards, visualizing the difference between being confident and having no courage. We had to picture that the more we walked forward, the more confident we were; and when we walked backwards, we were "supposed to be" feeling sad and well...miserable. In my opinion, it actually worked. To top it off, when we reached the "furthest point", our confidence was so high, that the sun came shining down on us. Seriously. (What a coincidence!)

I am currently trying to multitask between working on our Marshall Brief and blogging, but unfortunately, I must go now. I have lots to write still and will try to add pictures tomorrow. I hope that I will have time to blog tomorrow because I still have much to say. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica,

    Race, gender and sexual orientation. Throw politics and religion into the mix and you have all of the components for a full blown riot just waiting to happen.

    Sadly there are just some topics that cannot be openly discussed. Good and reasonable people allow their emotions to control their thought process and they’re unwilling to even consider viewpoints that differ from their own.

    Take, for example, the recent confirmation hearings of Judge Sotomayer for Supreme Court Justice. So much of the discussion revolved around her gender and her ethnicity and whether she might be capable of performing without either of those dominating her thinking. Consider some of her more controversial speeches and you might see where a concern might be in order.

    Reverse things, though, and turn her from a Hispanic woman into an old fat balding white male. The argument was that her comments shouldn’t be considered but if that old white guy had made comments supporting white males, would we be so forgiving? I doubt it.

    It’s much like the organizations we see every day promoting an ethnicity or a race. Instead of the NAACP, replace it with the NAAWP (white people) and ask if this would be acceptable. Of course not.

    Any organization or thinking process that promotes one race over another, one gender over another, one religion over another or anything over another—is wrong.

    But because it’s such a sensitive subject, we can’t even discuss it freely.

    Sorry you had so much anguish over the speech. Public speaking can be terrifying. One of the things we did with the other ILC teams was have a couple of them give a speech at each of their dinners. We even had them speak before their City Councils and the School Board. All of that was to help prepare them. We really didn’t have that chance with the Yalies all that much although we did have the one dinner where we had a few speeches.

    This doesn’t do you any good right now but usually the more you do it the more comfortable you become doing it.

    I like to look about the room and stare directly into the eyes of different people but as my eyesight has failed me most of the time the people are little more than a blur so I can’t even see their eyes let alone stare into them.

    You don’t know me well enough, Jessica, to know that I don’t like being teased. Throwing in a teaser at the end of this blog might make some of your readers want to tune in for the next installment but you already had me hooked so what gives?