Saturday 14th March – I attended a workshop at RIT called “Connectology”. It was a leadership conference and had speakers from different walks of life right from current students who are involved in various campus activities and societies to professionals from the industry. I woke up late for it but managed to go for all the sessions i intended to. Weekends are days when bus access is limited so i had to walk and it was drizzling. Anyone who knows me knows i don’t exactly like getting wet in the rain/drizzle. Sure, i love water and long warm showers and the swimming pool too, just not the drizzle so much but i had a gift in the form of the deer from the woods waiting for me. Just looking at them roaming free, crossing the road made my walk from home to campus worth the effort.
The first two sessions were good but what really made a difference to my day were the sessions in the afternoon
1. Leading with a Purpose
2. Women’s leadership
What resonated with me was the personality of the speakers both of whom were more hands on, seemed more passionate about what they did and most of all didn’t use power point slides to read their material from. I don’t mean to say those who did were any less good or that those who use power point slides don’t drive a message home. These were two people one male, one female who spoke like true leaders in their own way, these were people who inspire others on a daily basis, either as part of their job or as part of their personality. Leaders always in some way give a call to action and an effective leader manages to elicit some action from the followers.
Joshua Myers, from the YMCA spoke to us, he made us draw out who we are! What we are passionate about? without allowing us to associate ourselves with others and what we mean to them or what they think we are. He asked us to spend time reflecting what it is in us that helps us wake up each day and go to school or keep moving forward as it might be. He spoke about how his childhood was tough and how life isn’t always fair or rosy but that didn’t mean we couldn’t change things around just like he did and that’s what struck a chord.
Jennie Erdle on the other hand made us all laugh, giggle, showed us some great videos
She asked us about our experiences, successes, failures and how we as women need to help each other to achieve each others dreams because you never know who else might be going through what you are or who might be needing that one push to achieve greatness.
Watching this video made me realize that it is not only men that stereotype women. Stereotyping is so ingrained in us, women do it to women all the time. Women do it to men too. I have caught myself telling my guy friends – stop being a girl. Yes, guilty i am, not realizing how damaging it might be to them but more so to myself because i am indirectly giving them an opportunity to look down upon me and letting them off easy for not treating me right or letting them say something nasty and get away with it.
We need to be more encouraging, a little less self critical, a lot less critical of others. We need people who impact others positively. It is easy to get stuck into the rut, getting stuck needs no action. Just stay where you are and you have guaranteed a place for yourself in a swampy gutter without a doubt. Falling down happens – and i learned that when i went ice skating for the very first time last Sunday. I fell a good number of times but i learned to ask for help. Rob and Nadia were awesome. They picked me up when i fell, taught me the basics of ice skating but also taught me how to get up without help. Picking yourself up many times is tough. Imagine balancing your entire weight on a foot that has a metal blade under for the skate and getting up. It isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible either.
Along with all these experiences, i am also volunteering as a team member for the Newman Community at RIT for the Relay for Life. It is a charitable event and we are raising funds for American Society for Cancer. I have set a personal goal of $500 since it will motivate me to get somewhere with it. Also since i have lost someone to cancer not so long ago – this somehow made sense to me.Relay for Life RIT please make a donation if you can.
The point is to walk in the relay and show support – there is no pressure to run but running is what i think i am passionate about and want to practice. I have started and fallen short on many occasions but this time it is NO EXCUSES. (Eileen Fisher – i love the vision and i am using it, Learned about her in my Packaging and the Environment class.)Eileen Fisher – No Excuses
So after the two sessions, i felt really charged in a good way. Ready to achieve what i have been dreaming of. NO EXCUSES. Embracing my real beauty
Well, the real beauty campaign – i didn’t know has been so successful in the US that people here are promoting it. It was huge in India and i am so glad i was associated with the organisation that brand is a part of.
After the terrific day, i managed to get some studying done and decided to start practicing running for the relay on April 11th. This is my commitment to myself, to run everyday, the countdown has begun. I need to run just like i did today, i ran without the fear of being judged and yes, i ran like a girl!