ELENA ALBERTI: In thinking about what was the most impactful takeaway from this course, I really realized that the most important part for me was the self-reflection, and kind of delving into what I thought my racial identity was, as I am multiracial. So I just kind of identify with different things at different times, and seeing how that actually fits my personality and what that means for myself. What about you guys?
DANA VIGUE: Yeah, going off of that, as another multiracial person, I started to realize as we engaged with the social scientific theory behind the way people code-switch, that there is a science behind it. And it's not arbitrary. It's not chaotic. It's part of a larger social system with institutionalized expectations for the way people engage with one another and other institutions in place. And understanding that we're sort of following by an unspoken set, and occasionally very vehemently spoken set of rules, when we do that-- when we identify differently in different circumstances-- was something I hadn't actually explicitly realized.
ELENA ALBERTI: Mhm.
LORRAINE WONG: I agree that the self-exploration and the self-reflection was the most important takeaway, I think, that I could get personally from the course, in addition to all the academic readings that we did-- all of the engagement with the outside world that we did. I think, in order to be able to change the world, first we have to understand ourselves. And it helped me do all of that, and navigate the tensions between how I am read and how I am, and trying to figure out those differences.
COLIN GODWIN: I think what I most enjoyed about the class was, outside of the self-awareness, increasingly reading into the patterns that we see in society, and how that influences how we see others. A really impactful part was when we delved into why creole and other developing languages are considered to be lesser languages. And how there wasn't really much science behind that. It was more just cultural leading of whites being superior to blacks and the preservation of slavery through another form-- through both the disparagement of Creole and African-American English.
ELENA ALBERTI: Bouncing off that as well, I think another important part was, I mentioned before, the multiracial aspect. But in class, Dana. You were talking about how one of the more ant parts was also talking about how historically under-represented groups or-- I forgot the exact terminology you used-- can form alliances. And how there are similarities, but also dissimilarities between how the groups work. And I think classes like these allow you to discuss people in general who are in those situations, but also allows you delve into the nitty-gritty like you're talking about with Creole.
DANA VIGUE: Yeah, I was surprised how much a class entitled Black Matters dealt with things that you would never identify as a specifically black issue. And we ended up talking about populations that are not read, or may not identify, as black. And that was relevant. These were not tangentially related political issues or social issues or economic injustices. And I started to see how black issues and black matters and black experiences are really not something that can be studied in isolation, and play into larger global networks.
ELENA ALBERTI: Mhm.
COLIN GODWIN: Yeah, because a lot of themes in the course were centered around the mechanisms of oppression instead of what the oppression of a particular group. So it was really nice having those case studies inside of immigrant populations and American populations as well.