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This week we got our first glimpse at some of the girls coming to Eureka! In the orientation, a few of the girls had their cameras on, and we got to see a little of their personalities. They are super sweet, and we have a lot in common. They love concerts and music and art and reading like me. I am super excited to hear more about their talents and interests as we start Eureka.


We were also able to have our second race affinity group. We got to learn more about the psychology and myths of racism. The most fascinating part was the explanation and example of race as a social and political construct rather than biological. In the past, the designation of white versus not white had been changed based on who the government wanted to keep out or keep in with regards to immigration. Furthermore, the meaning of white was changed by the supreme court based on who asked. One defendant argued they were white because they spoke English and were educated and had lighter skin than some other people considered white. The court told them that they only were white if they were Caucasian, and the defendant was Asian, not Caucasian. Another defendant, a Sikh Indian, came later and learned from the previous case by claiming to be Caucasian rather than white in order to be deemed white by the law. The court went against their previous ruling and changed the definition of whiteness as something that the average man can see, and this man was most definitely not white. This story demonstrates how fickle race is and how the dominant culture has the power to change the narrative and construct a story and even definition that fits their needs.


The end of our week saw my DukeEngage group reflecting on our week together and talking about our own experiences in summer camps. Surprisingly, a good amount of the OC DukeEngagers have never been to summer camp including our site coordinator and program director. I have been to a few summer camps, and I loved them. I went to a pottery camp, a paint the plate camp, and a more traditional lake/pool/games camp. Another member had been to some and had mixed experiences. The point of this discussion on summer camps was to think about the normal summer camp experience and the best ways we can replicate a great one for the girls at Eureka. In our reflection, we also got to learn more about each other in breakout rooms. In the previous week, a few of us became closer by working on our lesson plans one-on-one. To replicate this interaction, we were all put in breakout rooms with someone we did not work with previously.  It was really great to learn more about the other girls and talk to them about things other than preparing for camp. I’m excited to learn even more about them and build a strong unit that will allow us to be even better role models for the Eureka girls.