Monday, July 15, 2013

The Theory of Change

Sometimes, when class is done and the day is over, I simply feel inspired to learn and make change in the world. Today was one of those days. The feeling I am experiencing right now is a rare one and I can't quite find the words to explain it, but the fact that this course on Social Justice has invoked this feeling multiple times makes me even more grateful that I was given this opportunity. 

We began class today with our Monday ritual, watching a slide show of the previous week. The pictures were amusing and interesting as usual. There were a lot last week so we will watch the slide show with the pictures specifically from Theater of the Oppressed tomorrow morning. I am excited to see those pictures because we were doing some pretty obscure activities and the photographer was said to be excellent. We had two guests with us in the morning. They were Dr. Filip Kovacevic and his friend. He came all the way from Montenegro to join us for the week and will be teaching us on Wednesday.

Dr. Kovacevic's illustrations of the world
After the introductions for the day, Professor Lamas read us a story called "The Black Sheep" by Italo Calvino. I highly recommend reading it. It's short and can be easily found on the internet. Basically, the story illustrated the cycle of creating different classes of people and the low likelihood of being able to escape it once it starts. After this, we came up with individual "theories of change" considering when we believed the world was at it's social highs and lows. Dr. Filip Kovacevic showed us his ideal world (an upward spiral figure) and the theory of Hegel (a circle). 

Following the discussion of our theories of change and ideal change, students shouted out historical events that have affected their lives personally. There were so many that it filled the whole board, which even Professor Lamas was surprised about. I continue to be impressed with how intelligent the people I am surrounded by are. We also discussed the unproductivity of the phrase "It just is that way" when thinking about why there are social injustices and why that phrase discourages doing something about it.

During lunch, I went back to my dorm and read an article that the afternoon speaker wished for us to read. I also completely cleaned my dorm room, which was needed. The article, or chapter of a book, was about how advertisements relate to feminism and the way women are portrayed by the media. It was very interesting. Even as a woman, I've never really been that interested in feminism but after today my eyes have been opened to the (often unconscious) problems women still face today. When we returned to our class, Dr. Felicity Paxton and her TA Nicole introduced themselves and the topics we will be covering until Wednesday. I immediately fell in love with parts of feminism which have been prevalent in my mind without me even knowing they were considered feminist thoughts. To explain the expectations of each gender, Dr. Paxton and Nicole literally threw us things such as congratulations greeting cards for new parents. We looked at the differences that are forced upon the different sexes from infantry and how it affects modern culture. It was really cool how much we could learn from something as simple as greeting cards! 

After class, there was an optional documentary titled "Killing Us Softly 4" but I was unable to attend because I had signed up to go bowling with Summer Discovery. Bowling was fun, I hadn't gone in a while so it took me a while to get back in the groove of things buts I ended up winning every game! That was a first. After bowling, I went out for ice cream with a couple friends and then came back and found some of the girls on my floor had borrowed the documentary from Dr. Paxton. Of course, I asked to watch with them and found the documentary extremely relevant to today's society. Jean Kilbourne, the creator of this series of four documentaries, discusses how women are objectified and made to believe they have to be a certain way. I'm very excited for learning more about this world of feminism I had yet to be introduced to!

1 comment:

  1. Well, certainly women have been victimized for millennia, but not any more. Certainly women will always be objectified, as they are more pleasing to the eye and men are more visually stimulated. Don't go on to hate men:-)