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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hip Hop, College Sports, and Education

Today was a bittersweet day because it sort of felt like the last day. The lectures today were student led and they were very...interesting. I chose to go to the lecture on Hip Hop because I'm a big fan of the Hip Hop/Rap genre and I wanted to see what Injur and Edgar would have to say about it. The lecture started out well but things started to go downhill. There was some offensive things said; while most were mild, some were inflammatory. I won't go into detail on the micro-aggression that took place but I had to step out of the room and remove myself from the situation when students started arguing on the validity of white rappers. I have no problem with different types of people joining the rap community but people need to recognize that Rap is a black thing first and foremost. I also believe the minute we start to accept and encourage the garbage that is Iggy Azalea's music, is when Hip Hop is dead. We'll have another case of the Rock and Roll where Elvis Presley is considered "the King of Rock and Roll" when in fact, Rock and Roll was a "black" thing.

After the Hip Hop lecture, I chose the lecture on the struggle that college athletes have to face. College athletes are so under represented and are usually overlooked on the conversation of social justice. I learned that the NCAA treats college athletes like "amateurs" in order to keep from paying them. There was one particular player who didn't have enough money to buy food, he called his coach to bring him food, and apparently that was a NCAA violation. I think it is disgusting that these athletes are more or less treated like slaves and are not being paid for the work they do. College sports bring in billions of dollars every year and that means that there is more than enough money to go around. In the documentary that we watched, there were different cases that showed how the NCAA is very unfair to the players. There was a particular player that was charged for academic fraud even though he didn't do anything and the paper they were accusing him of was from 2 years prior to the accusation. After watching the documentary, I'm very worried about the future of college sports. I have a very close family member who is going to play college soccer in less than two months and I don't want her to be taken advantage of. The sad thing is, there is not really an effective way to fight against the NCAA because they are such a huge cooperation.

Lunch was particularly uneventful, I am trying to spend all the extra money that I have in my Penn card before it's too late. I have a little ove
r 36 dollars left and it was fun to indulge in some ice cream and fries. After lunch, I attended a lecture on education. During the lecture, we spoke on the good and bad aspects of our education system. Obviously we had more good things than bad. It was very interesting to hear the different perspectives of the education system from people from around the world. I didn't speak much during this lecture because I found it fascinating to hear the private school kids complain about things I wish my school could afford. I thought that the international school students had very interesting things to say about their school. I learned that our education system mainly functions on a Dewey system where it is best for everyone to learn a little bit of everything, rather than a Plato system where individuals should focus on one thing and become the best they can be in that one occupation. I agree with the Dewey system a bit more because I think students should be well rounded and should be critical thinkers. One of the student lecturers believed that critical thinking should be a mandatory class for high school students and I completely agree because critical thinking is one of the most crucial characteristics that we all need to possess,

After class, Jun, Elexis, Justeen, Joanne, and I winded down by heading to center city for a bit of shopping. Like I said before, H&M is one of my new favorite stores and I have also found a liking for Uniqlo. I think that going to center city was a good way to end our stay in Philadelphia. I can officially say that I've been to most parts of this gigantic city. My favorite would have to  be North Philly because of the urban, chill vibe it has going on. I also like the University City area because there is so much to do, but it is so easy to get caught in the bubble and never leave because almost everything is at our disposal. 

There is only a day and a half left here and I'm a bit sad. There are somethings I wish I was brave enough to do. This year I didn't really put myself out there to make friends because I don't like goodbyes. I made really good, close friends last year in Vanderbilt and I still am not 100 percent ok with the fact that I will probably never see them again. I didn't want to deal with the sad goodbyes this year but if I were to start over, I would have put myself out there more. I wish I had the chance to eat at different restaurants in different parts of Philadelphia, not just University City. But there is no redo button in life. I'll be sad to leave this class because I've grown so much as a person because of this class. I want to be able to have deep conversations with everyone I meet. I want to be more informed about social issues. Last but not least, I want to have the courage to act on what I believe in. 

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