Sunday, November 29, 2009

And for the finale...

I forgot to write about what I found surprising (or discomforting) about this semester. Probably the aspect of our class that surprised and upset me most was the ungodly amount of stereotypes our culture has. Now, we basically go out of our way to make sure we're NOT stereotyping, and sometimes, doing that makes us unconsciously commit the crime we're trying to avoid. In most of the books we've read, there has been some model of a stereotype, whether it be racial, social, economical, or just out of pop culture (Meg as the stereotypical nerd, anyone?) What I learned from this experience is to be open to new people as much as possible, even when you still have unconscious feelings you may not be able to control. I especially learned not to stereotype when it came to my service-learning site in Baltimore. I can now say I know the kids I've worked with, and I don't just see them as a "representative of a certain culture." Literature has revealed how biased and flat out unfair our society has been in the past, and it made me appreciate how much we have grown since then. On the other hand, this literature from the past still calls for social justice issues that are still present today to be addressed. That's the magic of a good book-- it works in any time and place.

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