Sunday, July 1, 2012

Irene Rojas Carroll - Part II

In my message to you all after my first semester at Brown, I wrote that I felt as much at home at Brown as one can feel at home in a new place. Now I can truly say that I’ve made a new, real, amazingly supportive home for myself at Brown. I returned from winter break focused on making the most of my time in college because I was shocked by the fact that the first eighth of my college career was already gone. So, I stopped thinking of being in Providence as temporary, planned out more of my future classes and ways to spend breaks between semesters, concentrated more on building interpersonal connections, and joined intentional communities such as the co-ed frat I’m pledging in the fall (Zeta Delta Xi). This philosophy change led to a much happier and more fulfilling semester (not that my first was really unpleasant). I’m spending my summer here researching with the professor who taught my fall Brown v. Board seminar (funded by a Brown undergraduate research award), planning a community service pre-orientation program that I participated in (UCAAP), and preparing a workshop at another pre-orientation program (Third World Transition Program). I think it speaks volumes that less than a year ago I was clueless about what was going on in Providence, and now I’m leading a Gender and Sexuality Activism tour of the area for UCAAP (the pre-orientation program that gave me my first introduction to the social and political landscapes of Brown and Providence). Looking ahead to the fall, I’ll be exploring classes in the Education, Public Policy, History, Urban Studies, and Africana departments for my tentative concentration of Education History and Policy. I’ll continue my commitments as co-Head Chair of the Queer Alliance, a Minority Peer Counselor Friend, and a pledge of Zeta Delta Xi. I’m excited for fall, especially academically. My writing and discussion skills were definitely lacking coming into college. Although I’m in a much better position now especially after taking advantage of the support available to me through Writing Center tutors, class-specific Writing Fellows, and professor attention, I still had to work harder to perform as well as other students who came from better schools before Brown. This points to a lack of rigor in WCCUSD that goes beyond numbers like test scores and percentage of students passing classes. If I was struggling with all the support I have, what does that mean for students who are in systems where that’s harder to seek out? In the past year, I learned that Providence and Brown are communities that are possible to embrace and be a part of. I grew my writing and discussion skills tremendously and learned how to manage large organizations with diverse membership. I feel fully supported and want to extend that to current ILCers; if you have any questions about Brown or what it takes to come here I’d love to talk to you! Happy college matchmaking, Irene Irene Rojas-Carroll Brown University 2015 c: (510) 439-6648

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