What can be learned?

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PC: Jon Small

One of the biggest lessons that I can take away from me experience in the class about how writers approach diverse cultures and how they represent diverse cultures is through a variety of ways. However, there is one main idea that connects a point of what everyone had to say:you are not the sole voice or reason for any culture. Here, anyone can say and write anything, but everyone must be aware of the word’s consequences and context. I have learned as a writer, academic, and human that everyone’s story, voice, and culture have great significance, and that I should never stop searching for that significance. I learned a lot about different theories and personal stories that I did not expect for this class in the beginning. For example, “ Speaking should always carry with it an accountability and responsibility for what one says,” from Linda Martin Alcoff has really stuck with me. This has caused me to separate words and people to just people’s words. Another writer, Savy Janssen wrote,All cultures are naturally diverse; each is unique to its place of origin. Thus the term “diverse cultures” is redundant, and problematically highlights that these cultures are not just different from each other, but different from something.” This idea has been with me since the beginning and constantly works at the true meaning of diversity. Some of the goals that I set for the semester were out of the scope of class, but I was able to able to work at the idea of better blog posts and having a better written pieces. I thought we were going to learn about one model or theory that a perfect diverse community would be, but if this did somehow happen, it would not have been about diverse cultures.

Tomorrow…

“As those who enjoy reading will know, books have an extraordinary power to take you out of yourself and into someone else’s mindset, so that, for a while at least, you look at the world through different eyes.” -Ann Morgan, My year reading a book from every country in the world. 

With the power of seeing the world through different eyes, reading diverse texts would be the best way to accomplish this goal. With so many different books to read, the best place to start would be with the country that I live in now so that I can better understand why people immigrate to the United States and once they are here, how do they live. This idea is in response to the 2016 election of Donald Trump and his anti-immigration policies. I would want to get an idea of how so many diverse people exist together in one country all the while the leader of the country does not make an effort to fix our incomplete immigration policy.

A few rules for my plan would be that I would read novels, memoirs, and graphic novels as the book material. The main theme or topic would focus on immigration and the stories that surround people’s story in migrating into the United States.

My Five Point Plan

  1. Finish reading The Hero’s Walk by the end of May
  2. Write a review for The Hero’s Walk on Amazon and Good Reads
  3. Find popular immigration books that represent each of the 50 states
  4. Read one book from each state until I graduate
  5. At the end of each book write a review on Amazon, Good Reads, and my blog

I would want to have a solid foundation of diverse voices in America first to then use those stories as a starting point to find other countries that share a similar story. Here, I would want to connect the United States to the rest of the world so that everyone who reads my work can connect the United States to other diverse countries and those countries to the United States. With this idea, I hope to tear down the idea of an “Us vs Them” mentality, but as a “We are one” idea. My time frame would be to finish the book that I have already started and jump into the creation of a book list that has an immigration story that is placed in each state in America. I would like to keep the list favoring popular reads, but I would also read anything that no one has heard of before. If the search yields an unwieldy list, then I will narrow my focus on environmental undertones as another search term. I would want to finish this by my graduation which is 2 years away this week. After I finished with the United States, I would want to work with a book from every country in my life after undergraduate school.

I will finish The Hero’s Walk this month.

Why echo experience?

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I want to have a space online that anyone can access and use a starting point to figure out why each individual experience matters in the United States and how policy makers can transform diversity into a meaningful policy plan that incorporates everyone. In this way, my blog formed as a simple classroom assignment, but has moved beyond into a rational appeal for change.

In a simple idea, echo experience is asking for thoughts on policy proposals like immigration and being able to to hear what comes back to take that into effect. The only way for the policy to work well for everyone, is that everyone is open to new ideas, especially the experiences that everyone has had. This way every diverse idea is included.

Why did I enroll in this class?

The main reason I enrolled in this class was to fulfill a requirement for my English minor in the form of an elective. Now, I could have picked any elective, but this class caught my interest for two reasons. I have never been formally taught about diversity in school and wanted to find out what diversity meant to the world and me. The other reason directly relates to the election of President Trump and how diversity applies to him and the political culture. I want to learn about a “PC” way of writing diversity of if any writing can apply.

Specific Techniques

  1. I would like to explore the main differences in cultures that make others seem hostile.
  2. I would like to explore writing high quality informal writing.
  3. I would like to experiment with different culture writing rules.
  4. I would like to experiment with idea of comparing politics and diversity.
  5. I would like to work at writing the best blog posts that I can.

Identities

  1. I am of white race so I might use a flag of Ireland and Scotland since that is where my ancestors came from.
  2. I am from lower middle class, so I would use a picture of fractured dollar sign.
  3. I consider myself an environmentalist, so I would a picture of the Earth.
  4. I am an atheist, so I would use a picture of a microscope.
  5. I am a student pursuing two BA’s so I would use a picture of a library.