We Were Just People
Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog. This is my very first post so we’ll see how this goes!
Man oh man, my history class was interesting today. It’s a class called American Civilization Since World War II and it is intensely fascinating.
In a typical public school education, we really don’t get to talk much about current things. In elementary school, we’re learning everything for the first time, middle school is reiterating that and then adding new bits of information, and high school (for me, at least) was primarily going over everything we already learned over and over. But this post-WWII class…wow. It blows me away because I’m finally understanding and learning about the world I’m living in and the political and historical events that tie us all together. And this professor is so lively! I swear, he is like an older version of Samuel L. Jackson – they both inflect their voices in the same way and are bald as can be. And MAN. This professor knows his stuff and knows how to captivate a class. That makes quite the difference.
Now, I’m never usually the type of gal that is ever overly thrilled for class discussions – and every teacher is different, of course, when it comes to how they’d like to teach a class – but today we had a class discussion before the lecture. And if you’re in a class like mine – and most classes at Wayne State are like this – you get a class with every different kind of person you could imagine. And generally, you will find that people from these various backgrounds knowing things. Things that change your mind and change your perspective on so many aspects of life. And we’re talking about the Korean War in the 1950s! And we’re mentioning bits of what is going on with our country and North Korea today!
People know about the world. And when they’re willing to share it in an open way – like in a class discussion – it can be a really beautiful thing. And this didn’t feel like the usually kinds of class discussions with forced conversation. It was more like, “wait, wasn’t this a thing that someone once did?” and responses like, “Ooh, yeah, I think so? And then this…” Or, “waaaaait, I don’t know if that’s how it went down. Wasn’t it that?” We listened to everything. It was free. It was engaging. And the professor would add little bits of information or play the Devil’s Advocate and think of some new aspect that no one had considered. This lesson today was everything that school is supposed to be and I didn’t even realize it in that moment.
It was brilliant. We put our phones down to truly focus on each other and engage in real, big ideas – without feeling like a liberal or a conservative or anything far and in-between. We were just people – exchanging ideas about the world without the fear of being ridiculed or shamed for not understanding or seeing the same perspectives.
That is a powerful thing.