First Class 9.09 Summer Reading/Reflection
It goes without saying that the first day of classes every semester evokes an odd combination of excitement and angst from students. Perhaps it is the unknown that scares us; the unfamiliar teaching style of the professor, the uncharted territory of a new classroom, the awkward semi-forced embraces of peers. I can say, with confidence, that this phenomenon doesn't occur in Global Studies classes. As I walked into Global Activism on the first day, there was a feeling of ease and anticipation in the air. Finally, the "unknown" was something to look forward to.
With only nine of us in the class, including Jenn and Tom, it was clear that we were going to get to know each other really well, really quickly. This personal connection serves as the foundation for all GST classes, which in turn inspires students and motivates them to learn more and work harder. First, we had the chance to collaborate with one another and come up with a list of hopes, goals, fears and expectations that we'd hope to attain from this class. Since this is the first Global Activism course at PC we came up with a detailed and honest list, including the fear of not reaching goals or creating a sustainable project for future classes. Then Jenn gave us the idea to make rivers as a way to share with the class the significant and meaningful parts of our lives. The majority of us included our elementary school experiences, important family members, important milestones (ex: the day I liberated my teeth from metal mayhem) traveling, and involvement with activism. It was an amazing, effective and emotional way to convey to the class in a concise way the important things in our life. Jenn shared with us her experiences with living abroad, her involvement with activism and her wonderful family. While most of our life-size sheets were filled with winding rivers, mountains and trees, Tom's paper consisted only of a ying yang, in which he described the greatest tension in his life comes from love and anger (correct me if I'm wrong!). The "River of Life" was an honest testimony to the creativity, audacity and potential that each student and facilitator has to offer to the class and world. It made us all that much more excited to begin our journey with Global Activism.
The conclusion of class was spent debriefing (briefly) about the summer readings and the movie scheduled for the following week, TambiƩn la lluvia. Right from the start, it was unanimously understood that this class was going to be great.