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Monday, July 13, 2015

An Open Mind

Like any other day, I started out my day with breakfast with my friends (the cohort) at the 1920 Commons. The food, as usual, was bland and a bit soggy. We were sitting at the same table with Robert, who one of the directors of the program, and he started talking the process of making different kinds of muffins. It was a very random conversation but very informative. 

After breakfast, Justeen and Rudy left early to be at their classroom. Elexis, Chiamaka, Jun, and I went to the lawn to do Qi Gong. Some people left to do an activity in the theater while the others stayed behind to do the workshops/lectures. Jun and I went to a workshop called "Radicalizing Digital Expression & Online Sharing for Social Justice" lead by one of the teaching fellows, Seth Schimmel. 

Seth started out with asking the class what we think of when we hear the word internet. Lots of people shouted out different things like exciting, scary, informative, new, etc. Then we did an activity where we had to do the same for Social Justice. We learned about how effective Social Media is for Social Justice. We ended class a little earlier than usual today. Jun and I walked over to the Houston Market to eat lunch and meet up with the others. After having some bad Chinese food today, I have been discouraged from eating anything Chinese related. I bought a bento box today from the Houston Market and it wasn't bad. I bought a box of six cookies from a place called Insomnia Cookies and split it evenly with Jun and Elexis. The cookies were delicious! Elexis, Jun, and I walked around the campus after we were done eating lunch and went to the bookstore. I had to buy myself a Caramel Macchiato because I knew that I would be tired as the day went on. 

At 1:30 PM, Jun and I parted ways with Elexis and went back to our classroom. In the afternoon session, we had a guest speaker named Xeno. Xeno came to talk about bringing social justice to those  who are transgender and disabled. He talks from experience because he himself is a transgender and autistic. It was very interesting to talk about how the world views disabilities around people and how the government categories people with disabilities. Xeno talked a lot about how transgender people are often catagorized as mentally ill people and he strongly disagrees with that. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, he said that homosexuality and gender identity is called "identity confusion." According to Xeno, most people who are transgender and disabled are often dehumanized, deviant, dangerous, disposable, and undesirable. I thought that his lecture was very interesting because it's always nice to see hear things from a different person's point of view. Ignorance is not bliss and the way to bring social justice to others is by being open minded and listen from different point of views. 

Jun and I did some shopping before going back to our dorms. We met up with Justeen in Jun's dorm and then went to the bookstore to wait for Elexis and Chiamaka. My lanyard broke after I went inside my dorm room. Luckily, my keys did not fall out and I had another spare but I was not happy with the quality of the lanyards. If I did not discover that my lanyard was broken, I probably would have had to pay at least $300 for my keys and probably an extra $70 for my ID card. It was good thing I bought a lanyard from Emory University and knew that it would come in handy someday. 
We did a little bit of shopping before eating dinner. For dinner, we decided to go to Wawa because it was simple and after the horrible experience with the Chinese restaurant, we just wanted some good simple food so we each bought a sandwich and a smoothie. I wish there was Wawa on the West Coast because it is literally the best store ever, with the exception of Costco. We ate dinner on Justeen's building's lounge and then went back to our dorms. I later met up with the others in Justeen's room to have a mini blog party. 

Tomorrow we will be going to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. I have no idea where it is but I am excited to go on another adventure with the others in the program. 

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