*This is a blog post I wrote in the middle of the semester but forgot to publish. I can say that in retrospect, this semester was a challenge. Not only possibly the toughest in my college career but the most rewarding.
This last semester, it’s been a challenge to maintain a balance, with a challenging course load, extra-curricular activities, and lectures, while also planning for post-grad life with job applications and interviews.
In February, my friend and I started a show called “No más” on our college radio station KUPS, dedicated to advocating for the detainees of the Northwest Detention Center (the 4th largest detention center for undocumented immigrants, in the country). More about this in a future post!
I also had a role in Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”, a play for women’s empowerment. It was the first time I ever acted on stage, and I’m really proud to have been part it. The great thing about going to a small school is that there are plenty of opportunities to be a part of performance groups without any prior experience necessary, whereas in a much larger school you might have to audition and compete to get a part. In the past I’ve also danced at the Hui O Hawaii’s (Hawaiian club) annual Lu’au, and the Repertory Dance Group ((RDG). All of which require no prior experience!
Again, this semester I’m taking some of my dream classes with some spectacular professors.
My favorite is an International Political Economy class called “Tourism and the Global Order” where we’ve explored tourism and its social, political, economic, and environmental impact. Some of the topics we’ve explored in class are volunteer tourism, cultural authenticity, the effect of tourism on elephants, and how class and status are conveyed through tourism. The main take-away from this class is that tourism is imperfect. It has its trade-offs, and one should not moralize or be preachy about it.
In my Spanish seminar “Utopian Spaces in Latin-American Literature” focusing on the concept of utopia and magical realism in the novels Los pasos perdidos by Alejo Carpentier, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García-Márquez, and Waslala by Giaconda Belli. This has been a really great class. I feel like I developed my Spanish writing skills in a way I had not in other classes.
The Economics of Underdevelopment. A challenging class and heavy on the excel but also accessible and relevant. From micro-finance institutions, education, and market failure, the poverty trap, this class is a must for people interested in development work.
Biology. Which for someone who isn’t a science major and hasn’t taken a class since high school, is death (at least for me). But I am lucky to have had a professor who is really really awesome and I feel like I’ve taken away a lot of essential knowledge from this class . For my extra credit creative project I wrote and illustrated a children’s story book about the Beatle’s exploring the organelles of a eukaryotic cell, entitled “Across the Cellular Universe” of course, following the lyrics of the song.
The great thing about going to a small school is the resources available to you. I have been to the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching several times throughout the semester for help with Econ and Biology, as well as for help writing my papers. The tutors and writing advisors are excellent.
This is only a brief reflection of my academic engagement this semester. I honestly don’t think I could have had a better experience anywhere else.