As a human being, we all bring something unique to the table. With that being said we are all diverse and come from several different backgrounds and upbringings as well. Although we may all have these differences, many of them are oppressed. With in HDF, Oppression: Roots and Impact, we jumped around the many tough topics that make us the people we are today. Those are containing gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion and sexual identification and not limited to only these. As we surveyed these categories in which we identify ourselves in society, we were challenged multiple times to dig into these areas and discover why some have negative connotations and how one thing can govern and identity of one whole group of people. For example, race is a huge identifier in the world and the fact that just being a certain race brings up other controversy among others shouldn’t be a thing. Continue reading
As I attended Connections Conference, one of the educational workshops stuck out to me. That happened to be the Identity and Fierce Conversations workshop. It was put on by Stacy Jaska and Rachelle Stawinski. It really portrayed how our identities really influence the way we communicate with one another. We need to break this barrier, and come out with what we are trying to say and not hold back. We must concentrate on the meaningful, beneficial conversations while keeping in mind that our identity carries a role in the triumph of being an exceptional communicator.
In these conversations as a leader we must step up to the plate and have these interactions with people. We must master the courage to interrogate reality, come out from behind yourself and make the conversation real, be prepared to be nowhere else except the conversation, tackle your toughest challenge, remain still to your instincts, take responsibility to your emotional wake, and finally let silence do the heavy talking. Those are the 7 principles of having those tough conversations, now put it to the test.
This class is a requirement for the LAS protocol. That means that I got to take it with half of the members of my cohort which was around 20 or more. At the beginning of the year I was excited to take this class because it would allow me to grow as not only a speaker, but in ways to be more argumentative. This did not happen though. I thought that it was one of my most dreaded classes. Our professor, Dr. Kai, was very well rounded and was able to let me see the areas I needed to develop more in, but he wanted us to debate primarily on politics.
He referred to us as his Master Debaters every time he walked into class by saying, “Good afternoon Master Debaters,” and we’d have to respond with, “Good afternoon Dr. Kai.” I feel like he was unsure if he wanted to be serious with us or joke with us during the semester. Eventually he warmed up to us and we would have our laughs.
Even though this class overall was not my favorite, I would have to say that it has made me realize what places I need to improve on while debating. Since I know the general areas I need to work on you’d think that I’d know how to fix them right? I expected to get input from the debates so we could fix those problems the next time we went to debate, but we didn’t debate that many times anyways. Our first debate was dragged on because we had to do research on the resolved and form arguments which is understandable, but then he had to give us quizzes on material he didn’t go over which would have helped substantially in our debates. The only skill that I picked up from this class is how to find information on Cmu’s database in the library (even though he showed us how to do this AFTER we got all of our briefs/information for the debate).
I can see how this relates to leadership in that every great leaders should possess argumentative skills, but we spent over half the semester doing basically everything reverse of how we were suppose to do it with little to no feedback. As a leader, I will strive to tackle these breaks in my argumentation and create ways to enable my ability to ague better in the long run. As the semester Dr. Kai warmed up to all of us and he did do a good job with the class, he just needed to come in a little more prepared.
Great Wolf Lodge was the place to be the weekend of November 7th-8th. They hosted a conference put on by Central Michigan University called Connections.
The whole thing behind connections was to build your leadership skills within yourself for the organizations you went there for, but it was also to build connections with the others around you so campus could be connected a grow together. This conference was a success in my eyes. Once we got there we were separated into institutes named after people who impacted campus and promoted connections on campus as well. My institute was Coles Institute.
Within those groups we created an asset map that connects all of our assets together to show that they all coincide and rely on one another. Whether it was an individual asset, institutional, organizational, whatever it was we wrote it down. We can all feed off of each other and become assets for one another.
Throughout the day we went to educational sessions that branched off onto many different topics on leadership. I loved these because they educated you on things that will actually help you tackle problems that surface either when you’re in a rut, struggling with time, or conversations.
Everyone would say that the water park and the pizza speed dating was probably the best part about connections because it was the time to connect with the people around you. With the help of connections I was able to see that our campus is filled with several people, and probably more, who are filled with the passion to make a difference at CMU. If we could bring all of these people together, we could make Centrals campus a great one.