Our cohort was unable to take moral problems (SOC 221) together, so it was quite different not knowing everyone in the class. At first I didn’t know what to expect of this class because I have never taken a sociology course before and the professor was fresh out of graduate school. There was something unique about this professor though. She had two little pig tails in her hair, was rather short, and wasn’t very old, maybe late twenties. Come to find out she was a great professor because she made you think about what was going on in the world today and what caused it and how it could have been prevented or what it may or may not affect.
During the hour and 15 minute class we talked about trends that were going on in the current society. We mostly talked about in her words, “Things that were fucked up.” She got every person’s mind in the room thinking every single day. Everyone in the class had something to say about the certain topic we were talking about that day. Whether that be how our society views homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual individuals or how our Earth is being destroyed at a faster rate than ever before.
At the end of this class it got me thinking more and more about how our society is changing each and every day. We can’t resist the change because we will never grow as human beings or as a society. Without change we are lifeless. I am going to take what I have learned from this class and use it in my decision making and how I treat other people. This world is all we have so by creating problems we are only shortening its lifespan.
When I was in my freshman year at Central my 2013 LAS cohort and I all went to Detroit to volunteer for a local nonprofit for the weekend. I loved the experience that I had so this year I decided I was going to be apart of the “LAS in the D” LEAD Team the the 2015-2016 academic school year. The LEAD Team is very small group made up of 4 to 5 students from each years cohort that are currently in their undergraduate degree at Central. It is overseen by our advisers Dan Gaken and Jesi Ekonen to help with any difficulties we may be faced with. The LEAD Team meets approximately once a month to discus fundraising for the trip and the trip criteria. The trip is scheduled to be in April and we will be staying in Detroit at the local CMU extension office in downtown.
Being apart of this LEAD Team allows me to organize and set up what the freshman LAS cohort will be doing on their trip to Detroit. It ranges from where they will be volunteering that day to where they will be eating and sleeping later that night. I wanted to be apart of this team because I wanted to plan the trip to Detroit for the freshman so that they had as great of an experience as I did when I went to Detroit. I also love volunteering to help better the community, so why not volunteer for a local nonprofit organization in Detroit!
A class and professor with which I still don’t know how to explain is how I felt about PHL 118L. When someone says “Philosophy” to me the first thing that comes to mind is something that is based on your own opinion. It doesn’t make sense to take a class that has to deal with everyone’s opinion because you will never know who’s opinion is right and who’s opinion is wrong. Well I found out their is one person in this big old world that can simply straiten all of this nonsense out. His name is Gary Fuller. He is one of the most widely educated, mysterious, awkward, funny, perverted and respectful individual I have ever came into contact with. There are some days where I can’t stand to be in his class because he is yelling “Keeyae” at the top of his lungs or making up this ridiculous story about a guy beating a cow with a bat called “Harry and the Battered Cow,” but there are other days where this man simply amazes me and what he has accomplished in his time here on Earth. For example, he invited us to his house for a Christmas Party and gave us a tour of his house when we all got there. When we went downstairs to his basement every wall was covered with bookshelves that were full of books that he had read throughout his life. He said he read all of them but doesn’t remember all of them. I will always remember Mr. Fuller for what he has taught us in Philosophy which is that there can be many different opinions but only the most convincing opinion is the one that matters.
It is hard to believe that it has almost been a year since I have been out of high school and one year in college. The first day of school felt like it was yesterday, but really it was nine months ago. During those nine months though I have changed a lot and have meet a lot of amazing new people. I have also involved myself in many different activities on campus. I have been a part of Global Medical/Dental Brigades, Intermural Sports, Relay for Life Lead Team, Basketball Coach for Mt.Pleasant Parks and Recreation as well as LAS. In our LDR 200 class we learned about different leadership theories and approaches throughout the year. There was one that stuck out to me though and that was Leadership and Culture. Coming from a small town I was never influenced by different cultures and ethnicities, but when I came to Central I was exposed to many different backgrounds. While being a leader it is important to be comfortable with different races.
The one element of our protocol that applies to the approach that stuck out to me was the service project we did for Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. It stuck out to me because I never worked with kids that came from a different background then me before. My town has about two hundred or so people in it and they are all the same race, so working with students from Detroit that have totally different backgrounds then where I come from really broadens my view of how Leadership and Culture are related. It doesn’t matter what a person’s race, color, or sex is they can be a leader no matter what if they put their mind and heart into what they believe.
I really enjoyed helping the Leadership Academy students learn more about leadership. I enjoyed watching the Jalen Rose students take charge in the activities and give their feed back in the debriefs we had for them. Also with coming up with their own definition of leadership and their own goals on what they wanted to learn from the initiative. It comes to show that everyone can be a leader if they are willing to listen and learn from different cultures and backgrounds.
One of the classes we had to take for our Leadership Advancement Scholarship protocol was HST 110L which is The American Experience. This class is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in Powers Hall. It is taught by a very spirited woman in her middle ages that knows a lot about history and definitely knows how to teach a laid back class while also being serious. Her name is Professor Catherine Tobin and she is a great teacher for American History.
The American Experience focuses on the changing concepts of American democracy, the role of the frontier, immigration, labor and business in and a thematic survey of American history. It also teaches us the history of how America was founded and who lived here before Christopher Columbus arrived. I took a history class in high school and it has helped because I am not lost in class when the teacher is speaking, but I have definitely learned a lot more in HST 110L then in my high school history class. We have learned more about the presidents and what their daily lives consist of and more about the way America has been shaped over the years.
At the end of this class I am going to know even more about our past American history and how we can manage not to repeat history. With this knowledge it will help broaden my leadership skills because if I choose to go into something like teaching a history class, I will have the basic knowledge of American history with me that I learned in HST 110L. It will change my behavior because if we were to repeat history, lets say for example we had another World War, then there would be nothing left of our World because so many countries have atomic weapons that not only could they wipe people out, but those who did survive the bomb at first would eventually die of radiation poisoning.
After getting about two hours of sleep we were all up bright and early to go and volunteer for the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. When we showed up to the first sight we were told this was where the LAS cohort from last year volunteered and that we would be heading somewhere else to volunteer this time. So we headed deeper into the heart of Detroit and when we got to the place where we were going to be volunteering it was a sight I was not use to seeing. Some houses were being torn apart, some looked like they were lit on fire, and others looked like no one had lived their for awhile. The house that we were going to work on though was under construction and being ripped down to its original structure.
Tyson, the guy that was the head of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, handed out jobs to my cohort. Some were told to pick up trash around the block, some were told to help inside the house, some were told to haul trash bags full of plaster to the side to the streets for mass pick up day on Tuesday, and others were told to burn the pieces of wood that were in the trash bags. I was one of the people who were given the job of cleaning up inside the house. When we got into the house we were told to put on white cloth suits, breathing masks, and eye protection so that we wouldn’t get hurt or breathe any dust particles. We were then told to go upstairs and pick up and separate the plaster, insulation, and wood pieces. The plaster and insulation were to be put in garbage bags and the wood pieces were to be put in plastic containers. After we got done with upstairs we hauled the materials downstairs and into the street were the other LAS students were putting the bags on the side of the streets and the wood in the fire. When we got outside though a police officer had shown up and asked were the supervisor was. Tyson came out and talked to the officer and after a couple of fire trucks and hazardous waste trucks later the whole situation was cleared and we got back to work. Tyson then told us we had to separate the garbage bags that were on the side of the streets into bigger sections and smaller piles. By the time we got done separating the bags it was time for a quick picture and then time to hit the road back to Mt. Pleasant.
This experience taught me a lot about who I am and how other people might have a harder time then me in life. I realized that people in Detroit jump to conclusions before they actually know what is going on because so much hatred and crime has happened that not very often a glimpse of light shows through the cracks in the sidewalks. I also learned that when leading a group there is plenty of factors that can contribute to a good or bad experience and in an instant things can go from good to bad and bad to good. Something that I am going to definitely take away from this service trip is that you can change a lot in only a few hours. You can clean a yard with mounds of trash and a house full of plaster and pieces of wood to a clean yard and house in a matter of hours. Just imagine what a group of people can do to a block in a week. Changing communities by helping them clean up will always be a inspiration to me.
The experience I received from this service trip was not only eye opening, but also a reminder that there are other people in this world that have it harder than me. I am so happy to have been able to share this experience with my LAS cohort because together we changed other peoples lives while also changing each others.
I never heard of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy before. I never knew what they taught their students or how their students school schedule worked, until now. I found out that the students go seven days a week for seven hours a day. I found out that their teachers and faculty don’t put up with horse play and are very strict in order to keep the school running smoothly. This year the faculty decided to create a PILOT program, almost like a honor roll class, for a certain amount of Juniors that showed excellence both in and out of the classroom and displayed leadership to the other people around them. We meet with the students of the PILOT program to teach them more about leadership and how they can teach it to others simply by creating an initiative that has a few activities, lays out what leadership means, and what each group wants to accomplish through experience. I was group yellow and we started off by playing an activity called the noodle game which gets the group to interact and learn the names of the people in the group. After that we were more familiar with each other, so we moved on to the next activity which was coming up with what leadership meant to the PILOT program students and what their goals were to get out of our time together. The last activity we did for the day as a group was called gutter ball. This activity was designed to help a group interact even more while also learning on how to build relationships and teamwork within a group. After the activity we said goodbye to the PILOT program students as they went with Jesi and Dan to learn about how they personally can do an initiative. After Jesi and Dan got done meeting with the students we got to talk with the co-principle of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and ask him some questions about how a typical day goes or how his journey to this position came true.
This experience to me was amazing. The co-principle was a Stanford graduate who could have went anywhere in the world he wanted to, but he decided to come to a city that has had a lot of hard times and build an academy from the ground up. He has put his heart and soul into this school and would do anything for the students of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. He has worked so hard for the academy and it definitely shows. Everyone wasn’t on board at first, but after they noticed that it can be done and will be done they jumped on board and went along with it. What I am definitely going to take away this experience is that if you put your heart and soul into something you truly love, then nothing will ever stop you from reaching your ultimate goal in life.