One of my earliest childhood memories was back in first grade in my art class. The art teacher would give us coloring papers to color whatever it is that was given to us. I had this habit of turning my paper around to the blank side to doodle. My doodles didn’t really have any meaning but they brought me so much joy and comfort. My art teacher didn’t like that, she turned the page around and asked me to stick to the rules and color my flower. That year I hated art class and I stopped doodling, even at home. A year later, I had a different art teacher who walked in with papers, canvases and different kinds of paint and asked each one to draw whatever they wanted. I gave my doodles another shot and Ms. Dina loved them. She encouraged me to keep drawing the kind of art that I loved. Ever since, art has been my therapy. When I paint, I express myself shamelessly and unapologetically. Had not Ms. Dina been my art teacher at that time, I’m not sure I would have had the peace of mind I have with art now.
What does that have to do with my final reflection? Well, it’s because in my opinion Dr. Maha Bali walked in this course with the same approach that ms. Dina did, with different tools allowing each person to explore it differently with the freedom of adding their own personal twist on it. I learned so many different things from this course through different kinds of assignments and activities. First of all, I gained knowledge from the articles, videos and activities we had. The article about othering and belonging (The Problem of Othering: Towards Inclusiveness and Belonging) was insightful and it really helped to have class discussions because everyone would interpret what they read in their own way and that helped take into consideration or pay attention to certain key points that I didn’t realize on my own. Another one of my favorites was the Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m local video. This video gave me a whole different perspective on how I view countries and I unconsciously sometimes identify people as their countries even though, like mentioned in the video, they might not have had the experience of what their country “represents” and It just really stuck with me that she said, “I am my experiences” because it really changed my outlook on how I view identity, specially my own. This course has also made me take a deeper look and appreciate the differences found in various point of views and this was also a product of the class discussions because there were many instances where I held a specific point of view and then someone would make an excellent point that would make rethink my own opinions. I learned about myself that I need to challenge myself more when it comes to expressing myself and I had the chance to do that in a number of assignments. One of the tools that I will definitely be using in my academic life is Hypothes.is because I found it to be a very smart and efficient way to use when writing papers and reflections because it really helped me organize my thoughts so I could write better. Through discussing equity, quality and sympathy i will use that knowledge in my social world. As for my career life I feel likd everything I just mentioned applies for that.
If i were to show someone my learning in this course (which I have) I would first, hands down show them my autism-game. Creating this game was very emotional for me because the topic was personal so being able to create this game truly allowed me to share a piece of my self and my family’s experience so that hopefully if someone plays it they could have a kinder and a more open minded approach when coming across a parent of autism or a child with autism. Another thing I would show would be my soliya-reflection. Soliya was a very positive experience for me and It brought out a different side of me, as I mentioned in my reflection because I was actually engaging and talking more than I would normally be. I would also show my digital-literacies-pathway because the information I gained from reading the articles relate so much to a lot of the course’s content. Also the information is extremely vital for anyone living in today’s digital world.
This isn’t necessarily something I would change about the course but it is a suggestion. Maybe in the future there could be ways for students to make up for participation (not in terms of attendance but in terms of speaking in class). For example, in one of my classes we had the option to meet up with the doctor once or twice a week to discuss class topics for students who found it harder to speak in class. I say this because I myself have struggled with trying to speak out and engage with the class discussions because I would get really anxious and it would take me a long time to put my thoughts together.
This course could be taken by anyone, it is inclusive, creative, open and just genuinely impactful.
I enjoyed presenting my learning through writing the blog posts and through google slides for my game where I learned how to use google slides differently for my game. I did not value using Twitter that much as I mentioned in my tools-reflection because it wasn’t a platform that I was comfortable using. I also wish we could have had more chances to have outdoor activities because I really found them delightful.
Overall, I can safely say that this class is just different. Most classes are routine driven. They ask for students to follow the same instructions and stick to the boring structure of the course assignments.So this course for me was like a breath of fresh air where my learning experience was powerful and inspirational.