Journal #4 Ideas in Antiquity
By: Rikita Spencer
September 17, 2020 6:43pm
The exercise we did today in class was similar to the Binti Master Harmonizer academy exercise we did last week. It was actually the same thing, just different things applied and new people your working with. We were group three so we chose question 3. We knew we were going to approach it one of two ways. We had to come up with ways on how students could improve on openly exchange opinions and arrive at best plan to execute. Apply it to ourselves as college students who have already gone through K-12, or what we would have wanted in K-12. It was also an additional option about how we would want our education going forward into the future. I said incorporating a Brainstorming and Creativity Lectures. Everyone is born creative in some way. The issue is a lot of people think creativity is one-dimensional and their is a certain way to be creative. Creativity is not linear at all. How one chooses to express themself is unique to them and only them. Lectures on this topic and others will help students expand their minds and think beyond the societal box. Brainstorming is also something everyone has the capability to do. Your just throwing ideas out there. This is where a lot of artists/students may face difficulty because they experience things like writers block or musicians block where they can’t come up with anything new. Anything they bring up has already been done, or is too close to something they have already done. A lecture pertaining to these two topics could drastically help students break societal expectations and rules, and truly start to think freely. One of my group members put teamwork and collaborative exercises, and she used the example of an escape room. I have never been to an escape room. They honestly do not really interest me. Why would I volunteer to be locked up somewhere? As a black woman? No thank you Lol. I get it though. A lot of people find thrill in that. They like a challenge. They like the rush. They like to crack codes and solve mysteries. An exercise like this could help a group of people really familiarize themselves with one another and bond. Escape rooms help improve motor skills, improve your mood, improve your communication and social skills. The bigger ones also incorporate a lot of physical exercise. Another one of my members said participating in debates on controversial topics. At first, I was like what? It makes sense though. Everyone has differing opinions, and people will clash. Some people like to sit back and observe, some are in the pullpit spitting fire out like a dragon. Approaching heavy, controversial topics should be taken on head on. At the end of the day, a decision must be made. Whether your all on one accord, or you agree to disagree. Your coming to one accord. My member also mentioned incorporating feedback at the end of the debate. Allowing others to talk about what they liked or disliked about the debate is creating a safe space for all participants. Speaking of creating a safe space, that is the next thing on the list. When trying to reach a conclusion, its important that students feel welcomed to share their opinions, whether its agree or to respectfully disagree. In 2020, their are so many types of different who identify with so many different cultures. it is important to be respectful of everyones identities. For example, I grew up in a Christian, non-denominational household. We went to church every Sunday (and Wednesday if they had it) and we had bible study at home somedays. I’ve always had a very personal relationship with God that went beyond church. I tie in a lot of my faith and religion to my everyday life and choices. I respect all religions. No matter if your Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindusim, or you don’t believe in anything, it’s important to respect everyones decisions to believe in what they want to believe in. Whether your part of a religious group, or have an idealistic upbringing, everyone should feel comfortable and respected to arrive at the best plan to execute.
September 21, 2020 2:47pm
When I clicked on Chapter 5 on Kallion, and saw it was another Greek story, I sighed. I am not a fan of Greek mythology. Even when translated, it is hard for me to comprehend the plots. To really understand what I’m reading, I have to do extensive research to familiarize myself with the text. This particular text, Philoctetes, to me displays what we talked about last week, denial of agency, and denial of experience. I have unfortunately gone through both. I talked about some of the agencies in my journal last week. Being too young, not big enough, not “wild” enough. I was told I could not carry out a plan because of my age. Not my actual experience, but purely how old I was, something I could not control. I can act independently, and make my own free choices. Some people may experience denial of agency solely based on their skin color. For example when a bad cop pulls over and African American, they already assume their ability to carry out a plan based on their skin color. Anyway, in Philoctetes’ case, its his past upbringing, and mistakes that dehumanize him. Philoctetes was a very confusing piece for me. As stated previously, I do not like greek mythology. It’s very difficult to understand.
September 22, 2020 6:38pm
Today, at the beginning of class, Dr. Sandridge put us in groups to discuss how the class had been going so far, and things we could do to improve. I was grouped with Alexa and Alexia. We talked about how starting our journals early, helps us stay on track and be ahead of them. I think I could increase my study habits by incorporating more time. Like Dr. S said, we shouldn’t leave class on Thursday and not have any contact or familiarity in the class until Monday. I wasn’t that excited about this class when I first saw it on my schedule, but after only a week, I started to really enjoy it. Going forward, I think I’m going to start doing more research on every reading we come across during the week. I usually only do research on the Greek stuff, but I am going to begin to incorporate everything. I did a little bit of research on Binti after I read it. The author has an African name, but I’m pretty sure she is from Illinois. Alexia mentioned how she takes a lot of notes and that helps her a lot for the class. I’m not a big note taker, especially if its verbal. I only really take notes when its a powerpoint or what I need to write is on the screen. I have always been able to retain information really well just through my brain. I do not have photographic memory though. I wish I did. I feel like you have to be really talented to be able to take verbal notes. So, yes, that is something I am going to incorporate more in this class. I think because of this, is why I would never be able to work for myself. Anyway, this week is all about Philoctetes and dehumanization. Let’s talk about the most obvious form and group of people who have been dehumanized, black people. In this particular sense, I will be speaking about American Africans in particular. You are probably wondering why I worded it “American African”. No I am not talking about Africans who’s parents or grandparents migrated here to the United States. I am talking about the millions of Black Americans across the country who are the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans who were kidnapped from their home during the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. I say American Africans because African should be the noun, and American should be the adjective. I learned that today in Afro-American Studies. Anyway, this dehumanization comes in so many forms. Some intentional, some non-intentional. We were dehumanized throughout the entire duration of enslavement, and abundantly afterwards as-well. Slaves were treated as property. Masters only saw them as working machines, something they could sell, borrow, or lend. This form of dehumanization could be applied to one of the five scenarios in the introduction. It is applied to the “have power over them” one. But that’s the thing, white slave owners did not have power over us. They thought they did. They thought they were superior and we were inferior because of our skin color. They saw our dark-skin, exterior extremities, and labeled us as animals. All because our pigment is different? Ignorance is bliss am I right? Even after the abolishment of enslavement, we were dehumanized through segregation. Because I am black, and you are Caucasian, we cannot use the same restroom? Because of my skin color, they thought we cannot possibly sit near each other on a bus? Did they think my darker pigment would spread diseases near them? When in reality, my pigment allows me to not be burned from the sun, which their pigment is susceptible too. White people could see the full humanity of black people by not implementing stereotypes and prejudgements on us. Prejudging someone is not okay. That’s like me walking up to a girl named Katherine and assuming her name is Becky just because she is white. It’s harmful and dangerous. I feel like in today’s society, white people see, even after everything, that black people are thriving and cultivating. We are sanitation workers, doctors, lawyers, barbers, mathematicians, interior decorators, professors, contractors, sales agents, musicians, animators, appraisers, architects, art therapists, technicians, caterers, consultants, chocolatier, city planners, civil engineers, columnists, organizers, cryptographers, ecologists, editors, and so much more. I included so many jobs to show that even though Black Americans have been through so much, there is no limit to the possibilities. This is another way that Black Americans (a group that suffer the effects of dehumanization) could see the full humanity in themselves.