Service Learning Hours-

UVU Basketball Game:

For my first few service learning hours, I helped with the event our class had put together for the refugee kids. We did a basketball clinic that AK was mainly in charge of. The kids absolutely love him. It was cute. At first it was hard to branch out of my shell. I felt uncomfortable and just wanted to stay with the classmates I knew. Once I started participating in the drills it became more fun. Even though I am not talented in basketball, it was still a good way to make conversation with some of the kids. 

 

When we had dinner I chose to sit with two girls whose names I can’t remember but it was fun. Our connecting piece was me letting them use snapchat on my phone. They loved playing with the dog filters. The girls kept gathering over to me since I was letting some of them play on my phone. 

After dinner, Brenna and I were showing the girls around campus. I think the best part about the campus tour was showing them a trick to do while in an elevator. This wasn’t good but I taught them how to time their jumps with the elevator. If they jumped up while the elevator was going up then the floor of the elevator would reach them sooner. If they jumped up while the elevator was going down, then they would feel as if they had jumped really high since it was somewhat prolonged. The girls loved this. They wanted to keep riding the elevator up and down. I even stayed with them while the game was going so that they could play in the bouncy house as well as ride the elevator again. It was a fun night.    

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A few of these girls added me on snapchat and message me pretty frequently asking when I would see them next. I personally I feel weird talking to them since they’re young girls but I still respond to their messages since I can tell how much it means to them.

I was at this event for a total of 7 hours. I was there from 2:00-9:00pm.

Service Cruise…

Reforestation:

While I was in the Dominican Republic, I had the opportunity to help plant 500 oak trees in the rain forest. This was really cool. I have never been in a rain forest so it was a fun experience. I can’t remember whether mud slides or land slides occur in rain forests but the leaders over this project told us we were planting these oak trees in the places we did so that it could help prevent future damage from when a mud slide occurs. As humid and hot as it was, I loved being able to help out. This was an experience that I don’t think I will ever have again.

I did this for 4 hours. From 8:00-12:00pm

     

Teaching English:

I can’t remember the name of the school I went to but I helped teach 12 year old children English while I was in the Dominican Republic. I was actually really nervous about this since I don’t know or speak any spanish. I can’t even roll my R’s. The teachers said it was actually better that I didn’t speak Spanish because it would force the kids to only speak English with me. Personally, I think they were lying to me just to make me feel better. This was fun. At first I had 3 girls I was helping teach English words to and then after lunch I only had one boy student. This boy challenged me. He thought I should be learning Spanish if I was teaching him English. The flash cards I was using had the word written in English on one side and then Spanish on the other side . We would take turns teaching each other. I would run through the stack of cards with him in English and then we would switch and he would teach me the words in Spanish. He was doing a much better job than I was. All of my credibility of teaching English was gone. It was a lot of fun.

I helped with this for 5 hours. From 8:00-1:00pm.

  

Art Day:

For the remainder of the hours I need I am choosing to help Brenna with the art day she will be doing on May 13th with, because he first loved us. I am excited about this opportunity because that means I get to see the girls I had met at the UVU basketball game! They are so cute.

I planned to be there for 5 hours but messed up on the paper I had turned in with my hours. The event is from 1:00-4:00pmand then clean up from 4:00-5:00pm. Either way, I will have enough hours for the service learning. 

Reflection:

All of these service activities made me get out of my comfort zone. I loved the opportunities they had presented for me to grow and expand my knowledge on cultural topics and issues. I have loved the experiences I had gained. I thank this class for broadening my view of the world and different cultures. There are so many scenarios that I look back on and realize I was probably being offensive in somethings I have said and thought of people. All of the experiences I have had within the service learning things I’ve done are experiences I won’t have again. All of them were special and unique to me. 

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Post 10-

I have really enjoyed this semester. It seems like it’s flown by so quickly. Our class discussions have been really good. I enjoyed hearing from all of our guest speakers and watching all of the videos we have watched while in class. This has been such an eye opening experience for me. I have enjoyed the service I have needed to do and all of the experiences that went along with it. It’s been really cool. I think the biggest thing that stood out for me would be the mockumentary on whites. That along with the movie outsourced, really helped put into perspective how I have been viewing different cultures and how wrong some of my opinionshave been. I know I have been so sheltered on certain things so I am happy I was able to take this class. I didn’t realize how closed minded I was on certain things. 

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Ethnic Event-

While I was in the Dominican Republic, I saw a performance of very interesting and unique kinds of dances. I wasn’t sure what it was for but it seemed like some sort of celebration. It was really cool to watch. The dancers were in a variety of different types of costumes that were all very colorful. It was so much fun!

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While I was in Cuba, there were these two street performers that kept following my family and I around singing very loudly and in our faces. At first it was cool but then became a little annoying since we were trying to talk over the noise to plan out what we were going to do that day. It wasn’t until we came home that we realized the song they were singing to us was a Cuban song called Guantanamera. The verses between this chorus was inspirational poetry that Cubans would write. After knowing this we had all wished that we had tipped them!

 

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Ethnic Food-

While I was on the service cruise, I was able to try a variety of different types of food. Every day the ship had new meats, sides and desserts to try. This prepared us on what to expect while on land. When we were in  Cuba, we went to this tiny, quaint restaurant. They served french fries and banana chips as their appetizers. How they served their meats was unique. Everyone at the table was able to choose which meats they wanted with their rice and beans. They brought out four different kinds of meat; chicken, fish, pork, and beef.

In the Dominican Republic, I tried papaya for the first time. I personally didn’t like it. Probably because I was eating all the fruits I am used to eating so when I tried papaya it was such a different flavor and texture than what I was expecting. 

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Movie on an Intercultural Topic-

I had the opportunity of watching Lion a few weeks ago. It’s about a little boy who got separated from his brother and then lost while being on a train. Once the train finally stopped he was thousands of miles away from his home. He needed to learn how to survive on his own and stay safe from predators. I personally can’t imagine needing to survive like this while I was 5 years old. Watching this was heartbreaking. Luckily, he was later adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later he was able to miraculously find his family through using Google Earth. This was such a great movie to see. I had experienced so many different emotions while watching it. I loved this movie and recommend people to see it.

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Attending a UVU International Event-

For my ethnic event I chose to attend UVU’s Chinese New Years. here were a bunch of little kids there dressed up because they were doing performances for it. It was really cute to watch. There were booths all around the ballroom of different things like food, treats, games, and information. All in all, it was a fun event. I had some pictures of the event but actually deleted them because I didn’t think I would have needed them. I am now regretting doing so!

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Talking w/ an ESL Student-

I had the opportunity to be a note taker for a student in one of my classes who was deaf. This was a unique experience for me. How the class is ran, is we were divided into groups of 6 for the entire semester and he happened to be in my group. In every class period we had an interpreter for him. This made doing group work slightly different. We needed to speak loud enough so that the interpreter as well as the group could hear us. When we speak we look at the Daniel, the deaf student and engage in normal conversation. 

This has made me much more aware of how I interact with people. Usually, while I am listening to others I tend to interrupt them by saying words like, “yeah”, and “uh-huh” to let them know I am listening. Having an interpreter need to sign everything the group is saying made me realize how much of an inconvenience I was making it for them. Though I thought I was a helpful group member it turns out I wasn’t. I have actually been making the interpreters job more hectic. 

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Post 9-

How does popular media influence our culture? 

Some down sides of how popular media influences our culture is through creating insecurities among men, women, and even children. I did a research paper a couple of years ago regarding how social media effects body image. Pinecrest creates unrealistic expectations that women feel obligated to try and replicate. Speaking from experience, when I try to do a DIY thing off Pinecrest it has never quite turned out the way it was posted on pinerest.

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Another example is social media such as Instagram. There was a time I brought my younger to the gym with me so that we could work out but it turned out he was more concerned with posting pictures of himself while at the gym than with actually being at the gym. I fear for the generation right below ours exactly for this reason. There are so many kids and teens who are completely caught up with their Instagram posts getting the most likes. Seeing this is not only sad but disappointing. This is a generation we have all helped raise. They have had to learn this from us. Their parents, siblings and neighbors. 

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On the most positive aspect, seeing the way popular media has grown has been so helpful for us. We have so much knowledge right at our fingertips. Not only is it entertaining but it has helped push us in a direction for innovation. People are always trying to improve and makes things better.  

 

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NPR article

 

For my NPR/Ted Talk assignment, I chose a popular Ted talk by Eric X. Li and his views regarding the hierarchy of political systems and used China’s communism as an example of an alternative to a two party system. Growing up in China and having experienced rations, communist practices and other forms of economic distribution, he challenges the benefits and value of a two party system. He was raised to believe that in the hierachy of political systems, all societies ultimately end up in a communist order, providing all resources and social programs to the masses.
The one caveat in is argument, is that as Americans, we believe the most powerful form of government requires a logical poplous being free to vote freely in a democratic process. This requisite may be compromised. During the last few rounds of the US Democratic process, many have questioned the rationale and logic of the American people. Therefore, he exhorts that we not cancel out the idea of a one party system. Maybe the America system needs additional monitoring or change.
Having spent the last week in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, I have a few thoughts in regards to this subject. I couldn’t help but compare the two countries as I walked streets, spoke with others and learned a bit about their satisfaction with their political system. One of the biggest differences I saw was, Cubans were more beggars and asking for hand outs while Dominicans would volunteer services for you without you asking in hopes that they would be tipped. I link this to Cuba being under communist rule while the Dominican Republic has been a democracy for quite some time. Therefore, I challenge the belief of Eric X. Li because communism would only work in a society of honesty, integrity, and a higher set of communalism. While that may be found in some parts of China, I don’t believe that quality exists worldwide.

An open mind to a new form of government isn’t a bad idea because of how our voters have lost faith in the voting system.

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Post 7

My views regarding privilege haven’t necessarily changed, if anything the activities we have done reassured my existing views. I feel like I was able to become more exposed to situations that I had already believed existed. The one that stuck with me the most was the one regarding different classes. I was able to see first hand how the people within a class starts to stick together. I really enjoyed discussing all of this stuff.

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