Author Archives: Olivia Cosco

Post for 4/21/21

In this weeks readings and podcast, my biggest takeaway was that everyone contributes to any kind of difference made. For instance, in the podcast, Dr. Bezio tells us that our job as leadership scholars is to realize that the people on the podium are only the tip of the iceberg. It is not only their job to take action.
One quote that stuck out to me in the reading was, “the problem is not that we have so little power. The problem is that we don’t use the power that we have.” From this, I took away the fact that people assume that any effort they do to make change is so little and won’t add up to anything. In reality, we need smaller actions to impact or create a larger one. In regard to that, we cannot stand by and expect the “tip of the iceberg” leaders to do all the work. If we do, the whole system could come crashing down on us, because one person is not enough to hold together an entire system.

I also liked the quote, “The future Is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should.” I think this is important for people to understand. We must set the example that we want to see in the world. We cannot just stand by, think we have no power and think that someone higher up will do something. Our opinions and actions matter. They are what will build up to a larger action or change.

Post for 4/20

Reading about both Childish Gambino and Beyonce’s music and then watching the videos was very interesting. I felt that the reading set up what we were about to watch, which I really enjoyed. I honestly am the type of person to like music based on its tune and beat, rather than its words, not to say the words don’t matter at all. The reading about Beyonce told us that her message was that the future of visual art is black. This was something I was able to view in her “Formation” music video. Her video went back and forth between portraying a poor black community and herself in the luxurious life she lives. One lyric that stuck out to me was “you just may be a black Bill Gates in the making” I felt that she was saying that this is where she came from, and their future could look like this too. I also think it’s important that she says “black” Bill Gates. I think this emphasizes that white people are innately like Bill Gates or projected to be successful. At the end she is show laying on a cop car that is drowning and at the very end she is submerged with the car. I think this portrayed that she was protesting against police brutality.

In the reading about Childish Gambino’s we were told that we would see violence against black bodies. The music video takes place in what seems to be a parking garage of some sort. In different parts of the garage are different scenes portraying a black community. The one that stuck out to me most was when it showed the scene with the church choir. They were all smiling while singing and then all of a sudden Childish Gambino shot them all and says “This is America” For me it was very obvious that he was portraying the horrors that happen and protesting against violence.

Post for 3/15/21

The Yellow Wallpaper was a really interesting reading. I have read it before, but reading it again made me recognize things I didn’t before. For instance, I thought it was interesting that my interpretation switched (from the beginning to the end) from the narrator being in a nice summer house to her being locked up by her husband and scared. In the beginning she described her beautiful house that she was staying at with her husband, and then by the end was seeing things on the wallpaper. It seemed as though she was trapped, and possibly against her own will.

I also thought podcast #11 was really interesting because I have never thought of entertainment as more than just entertainment. The close reading part as well as the fact that every story has a lesson, made me thing of The Yellow Wallpaper. I wondered what the lesson in this story could be. While thinking about it, I thought this story could just be fictional and a form of entertainment, but after hearing the podcast, I realized there had to be more. I came to the conclusion that it’s possible the story was about a woman who was struggling with a mental disorder and her husband didn’t know what to do with her. By locking her in a room, she only got worse instead of better. This brought me to the conclusion that the lesson could be that without some freedom and outdoors time, anyone would go mentally insane – and possibly even start to see things on the wall.

Post for 4/13/21

I really liked the way that Harvey and Dr. Bezio discuss leadership and how important representation is to leadership. Harvey defines leadership as the process of individuals and activities that influence a group to achieve a common goal. What I thought was most interesting in the Harvey reading was the seven fundamental questions that groups and leaders must confront and answer. These questions are meant to essentially determine a plan to how achieve this goal and I think they are important questions that people don’t really think about. It’s essential to ask ourselves questions such as, “who are we, where are we, where are we going and how will we get there?” If we don’t, we may not have a solid plan for getting to the common goal.

I also really liked Dr. Bezio’s reading and podcast, which talks primarily about pop culture. She defines pop culture as literally popular culture, which tends to be associated with young people and the uneducated. What people don’t usually think about is the fact that if a culture is popular, then there is a wide audience exposed to it. This in turn means there is potential for this culture to induce change or influence us in a certain way. I also liked the point of pop culture being a form of story telling, which essentially is leadership. I think it’s important to realize that what we are surrounded by shapes our view on the world. If we only watch movies with black people portrayed as criminals, we will have a biased view on who is a “threat” to the world. But, if we see a movie like Just Mercy, we will be exposed to the fact that this bias has falsely incarcerated way too many black people.

Blog Post for 4/6

In podcast #9, Dr. Bezio discusses how history is more than what we are led to believe. History is supposed to inform us why any person, place or thing is the way it is. While this is true, before the printing press and other technological advances, we didn’t have a way to mass record history. There also wasn’t a quick way to do it. People would use a typewriter or before that, only ink. Because of this, only the important stuff was written down, and in early history this meant only events or facts having to do with important white men were recorded. While this is true, we have deterred other things about culture in that time period from other sources. It’s important to consider that the majority of our population is common people, so why do we focus on the great leaders.

Speaking of leaders, a term that Dr. Bezio discussed that caught my eye was invisible leadership. I learned about it last semester, but I had forgotten how important it is to consider when analyzing early history. Invisible leadership includes those who helped create history but aren’t recognized for it. For example, when we think about the civil rights movement, our minds usually go to Martin Luther King Jr. What we tend to disregard is the fact that there were so many other people involved in this movement. For example, we can consider all the black women who helped King with this movement to be invisible leaders because they aren’t mentioned in history records.

The Hayter reading was interesting because I felt like he recognized some of history that isn’t normally recorded. One thing that really stuck out to me in the reading was the fact that in the mid 1960’s, Richmond’s black voter population had out registered and out organized white voters. The reason this stuck out to me so much is that (maybe this is just me) it isn’t a fact that has ever really been taught to me when learning about the civil rights movement. It was always that one day black people were given the right to vote, but only as 3/5 of a person and then another day, they were given the right to vote. None of these small facts about the black population gaining the right to vote were ever taught to me, especially ones that said black people out registered white people.

The Living Room Candidate Ads

I was assigned to watch the republican ads for the 2012 election, which included Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. In every sing one of these ads, Romney attacked Obama for something. No matter what Romney’s campaign comercial was discussing, it always attacked Obama for something. I think this aspect is clearly demonstrate in this commercial, which is why I chose it to be my favorite.

Romney opens up with, “did you see what president Obama said today?” which almost sounds like a form of ‘gossiping.’ He then describes what Obama said and emphasizes it in his voice by repeating himself. What was interesting to me was that when the comercial showed the clip of of Obama speaking, what he said was “voting is the best revenge.” We were given absolutely no context, yet Romney took Obamas words and slightly twisted them in front of the public. To me, I kind of laughed at this commercial, because it just seems like either side is saying, “they’re bad because they did this… but me, I would never!” In a sense I feel like Romney’s whole campaign was just beating Obama down instead of discussing why he would be a good president, or how he would benefit our country.

MVS game

This game was a lot harder than I was expecting. In the first round, Fatou and Kodjo lost over 50% of their health. I didn’t really know what the right settings were, and what aspects to focus on in order to give them the best health possible. After the first round, what I did know was that I wasn’t doing it right. I noticed specifically, the water cleanliness was in danger. To be honest, I wasn’t sure exactly what settings to change in order to fix this, as well as make their health increase. After only playing with one setting in the next round, Fatou and Kodjo died.

What I then noticed was that I was doing it all wrong. Instead of starting off slow and making small decisions, I went all in in the first round and changed a lot of the settings. Part of me felt like because this was a game, I wanted to just see what would happen. Looking back, if this were a real village and system that I was interfering with, I definitely should have made smaller decisions. I think making smaller decisions in the first round would have allowed me to figure out what went wrong in the second round, to then be able to fix it. Another thing I recognized after playing the game was that I should have thought more long term when it came to my decisions. For instance, I should have thought about what my decisions would do if they maintained a homeostatic feedback loop. Would it be a good thing or a bad thing for the villages system?

Blog Post for 3/18 – ad

I picked this ad because I feel that it demonstrates what we read. To begin, it uses the appeal to popularity through a celebrity. While not everyone may like Heinz ketchup, if they are drawn to Ed Sheeran, they may be more inclined to purchase this specific brand of ketchup.

Along with that, the ad exaggerates the waiter and chefs response to Ed using ketchup. I think that if this really happened, while people might look at him strange, the reactions would not be dramatic. This emphasizes the fact that Ed Sheeran is going against norms and we should follow him.

Lastly, this ad uses a celebrity, but makes him seem relatable to the average person. While some of us may dine in a setting that is pictured here, most of us don’t. Most of us dine in a place where ketchup is already on the table. Because this ad portrays Ed Sheeran preferring to dine with Heinz ketchup rather than his “farm to table blah blah blah,” we are more likely to feel like we can relate to him, and therefore want to buy the product.

Post for 3/16

The readings and podcast were extremely interesting to me. It all sounded very familiar as I am also majoring in psychology and a big part of that subject is dealing with data and statistics. While it sounded familiar, it was interesting to look at it through a leadership lens. In the podcast, Dr. Bezio discussed the importance of looking at what information is collected and how. Specifically, she talked about numbers in statistics and how they are presented. I think the presentation aspect stuck out to me most because it isn’t something I’d normally think about. The example Dr. Bezio mentioned was that saying 1 in 4 people will be asymptomatic with COVID-19 sounds different than saying there is a 1 in 4 chance of winning. I’ve never really thought about the fact that while these chances sound slightly different, they are actually exactly the same.

Another thing that stuck out to me was in the reading when Huff discussed the different types of correlations. A correlation can happen completely by chance. It be a real correlation, but you can’t tell which variables are the cause and effect. Lastly, it can be a real correlation but the variables don’t affect each other at all. I think for me this was most interesting because I have always thought of correlations as something that means the two variables effect each other. I also thought it was very interesting that correlations can be real and still be worthless to the data. Personally, I have always thought that if there is a correlation, it is showing something and is meaningful to the data. Thinking more about it in terms of leadership and what we’ve been doing, this makes sense to me when I think about the articles we’re reading for our project. Some of the articles have correlations that mean nothing to our subject. I’m not sure if this is exactly what Huff was saying, but this is what I took from it.


This is my favorite chart because it shows that we are FINALLY going down with COVID-19 cases instead of up. Hopefully we remain this way.

Ryland and Freeman were both racist people, who now done money to the University of Richmond. Because of the BLM movement and our society moving towards more inclusivity, these names no longer represent “important” and “influential” people, because they aren’t people that others want to look up to. While I do believe it’s important to be aware of our history so that it isn’t ever repeated, I don’t think this a valid reason to keep these names on our buildings. There are many views that I can see how one would believe that, but not this one. There are so many other ways of remembering history rather than plastering slave owners names on buildings. For me, I’m picturing the trolley image from class and wondering, what are the costs and benefits to keeping and changing the names on buildings? If we keep these names, we are hurting more people than we probably even know, but if we take the names down, the university could potentially lose donors. While I can understand the university doesn’t want this, but do they even care how their student body feels about the matter? And if we take these two options and picture the trolley image, what is the ethically right decision?