This course started as any other. A look at the syllabus and wondering if the material will be interesting enough to keep me from longing to be at home instead. Honestly, it is difficult to work all day then come to school when I would rather be at home with my children. However, who would have thought I would actually have something to take home and share with my family? I thought I had a pretty good idea of things I was teaching my children until I took this course. How humbling to know there was so much I did not know. It never really occurred to me to treat people unfairly because of race or gender but I had to really pick myself apart to see those little hidden demons I might have regarding my thoughts and feelings and how I displayed them to others. I would never have checked my behavior because quite honestly, I thought if I was just nice to everyone, in most cases, they would be nice back. I learned through the different theories and hypothesis that there is a reason I have to do more than just be nice. I have to try to see the world through eyes that don’t see the world the same way I do. That in itself seems like a pretty boxed up with a pretty bow statement. However, I was one of those people raised to believe that if you want something all you have to do is work hard enough for it. It never truly understood how false that can be for many people. I never realized how terribly difficult it can be for people to not be as fortunate as I have been. In many cases it has nothing to do with how bad you want it, but how willing others are to allow you to have the freedom to gain it.
Mr. Blauner taught me that some people may have to wait years to be treated fairly on every level, or wait with hope that the next generation will. Mr. Noel taught me how people can be disadvantaged from the gate as they are immediately judged and placed in our society. Mr. Flatt taught me to think, not just about these theories, but to be part of them. To seek the truths out in them and where I stood on being part of the problem or part of the solution. All of these lessons made me seek out faces in the general populace. Those offending and those being offended. Those defending their actions and those asking for excuses to stop and solutions to begin. I never knew that the politeness in keeping quiet could do more damage than shaking a fist at injustice. I never knew I could take a course where I could be in a class full of so many different people with different opinions and feel free enough to express mine. Our instructor has never told us how to feel. He has never scolded or praised our opinions according to his own opinions. What he has asked us to do is think on all sides of what we are learning. That in itself is very freeing. It gives you the room to form an opinion all on your own. To have a mind of your own.
This has been my journey. It has been painful in some aspects and hopeful in others. Overall, I would say that we have so much to do in our society to make things better for those who have been slighted. However, I do feel hopeful that it can change.