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Monday, July 13, 2015

Penn's Roach Problem

Today is what one would constitute as a bad day for me. Nothing drastic happened, I would have to describe it as a collection of things that nagged me until my spirits were broken down. I woke up earlier than my alarm today and took my time getting ready. I met my cohort and headed down for breakfast. Nothing out of the ordinary happened besides the massive line that formed once we entered the dining hall. The food options were better than usual but I still had a small breakfast.

Once we finished breakfast, we headed down to where our class usually met for Qi Gong but I was part of the group that was taking part in the "Theater of the Oppressed" workshop. I did not really know what to expect going in, so I was pleasantly surprised. We started our with a check in my introducing ourselves and our preferred pronouns then we went around and introduced ourselves to others using a body shake and a sound instead of a hand shake and a hello. This was awkward and weird to do at first, but I kind of laughed it off and went with the flow. 

We then took sticky notes and wrote down our thoughts on what we thought social Justice was and what were the different branches of the social justice tree. We chose a category that we will create a scene for tomorrow. Because I'm in the racism category, our scene is focused around a teacher who is not really sensitive to his students races, and goes about his day spitting out micro aggression after micro aggression. For those who do not know, micro aggression are offensive phrases or actions that don't inherently seem racist but are. For example if a teacher were to make a joke about a student's head covering, others might see it as a joke, but in reality it is offensive.

During lunch, my teaching fellow group met for frozen yogurt because we haven't really had a lot of time for small group discussions in the past couple of days. I thought the whole gathering was kind of funny because if an outsider were to have walked in the yogurt shop, they would have witnessed 15+ people having deep conversations about gender issues, rape, and criminals. I think our setting for the conversation wasn't very appropriate, but that's what made it funny. 

After lunch we went back to the workshop and put more detail into our scenes. Everyone's scenes seem to be very powerful so far. I appreciate how it's open for the audience to interpret it any which way because there were no words involved yet. During our presentation of our image, some people were pretty close to what we were aiming for while others were digging a bit too deep. 

After class, I had initially had plans to meet up with my floor mates to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary but that didn't work out. We made plans for another day but I'm not sure if it'll work again. I sort of felt like the odd one out because it was an odd number of girls in the group. It's always hard to feel like an outsider, I guess that's kind of what brought my spirits down. I tried to stay out of my head by keeping myself busy but my alternate plan of going to BINGO night was an ultimate fail. After about 20 minutes of BINGO I opted out to go back to my room for a nap. After waking up and realizing that I almost overslept and forgot to sign in, I saw a cockroach rear it's ugly head in my room. Naturally I screamed, but that didn't help the situation. I hate bugs in all shapes and forms, I ran down to the office for some help but of course, once I came back with back up, the bug had hidden away somewhere. 

I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight knowing that there's a giant bug somewhere in my room. The living situation is just less than ideal and I guess I just had too high of an expectation for an Ivy League. 

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