Saturday, July 23, 2016

Gateway to a Better Society

Our final day of the Social Justice Research Academy has finally reached its climax. The final day where we would all spend together and when we would present our capstone projects. My capstone project is about domestic violence and child abuse. I would show the problems a child endures and develops while maturing in a domestically violent home and how we may be able to prevent this. 

Waiting to be next built up so much anticipation in my heart. I had butterflies fluttering in my stomach urging to be released from this trapped tension. I always feel as if I'm going to do horrible like my past presentations where I have a facial spasm and begin to blink abnormal amounts or talk really fast to get it over with. You would think that being in speech and debate would've helped me out with being comfortable before presenting. I was the tenth presenter, second to last. They say the last speakers are the ones you remember the most. With that thought in my mind, it added more fuel of nerves to the fire. 

Before I knew it, Yun had called me up for my turn to present. All of my previous feelings had disappeared and I felt like myself again. My comfort levels had come back as if it was always there with me. I walked up to the front of the room with my Dell Laptop secured in my hands. I placed it on a nearby desk and plugged in a cord allowing my screen to be projected to the public one (sorry I don't know its technical term). I started off my presentation with an introduction video showing a family with domestic violence from the child's point of view witnessing domestic violence. From there on everything began to flow into place along with the words rolling off my tongue. What helped the most is making the group become interactive as I presented; It made it less boring and kept the audience awake and focused on the content of what I was saying. I chose to do this because it gets annoying being talked at and personally, I like feeling as if i am being talked to instead of lectured. I felt satisfied with my comfort and the compliments I received after. 
Chris Snapped Me Preparing for the Presentation
For lunch, the program bought pizza for all of us to indulge. They were fat, cheesy slices but by the time we got there, it was already cold. I took a seat and chatted with some friends for the final time. It was weird thinking that this was it, the final day. It felt as if it were the last day of school all over again. 

As soon as everyone finished up their last bites, we were required to do a few activities before receiving our program completion certificates. The professor, along with student teachers, had given us blank sheets of paper to write answers to three questions projected onto the white screen. The first one was, "Name an AHA! moment that you've had while being a part of the program." I was just as confused as you are thinking in my mind, "What is an AHA! moment?" An"AHA! moment" is a moment when you know a topic or specific thing but what you know, isn't the depth of or reality of it, such as defining what exactly social justice is or gender. The second question was, "What are you looking forward to share with others when you come back home in regards to the program." The final question was "What are your goals for implementing social change within your school, community, and/or world and what will you use to make this happen?"

My AHA! moment is learning about social impact and what we actually give back to society. It incorporates health, education, safety, art, infrastructure, money, etc. all play an important role in benefiting the public. The slightest choice we make can have a chain reaction to all of society. If people chose not to get vaccines or to become educated or even abandon or remove art, the future of the world will be in chaos. It gave me a shock of reality of how important the choices we make are done with well-thought and care. In all honesty, I am not going to share anything when I get back, I am going to brag about every little detail I enjoyed so much about this program and the opportunities I have been connected with. Writing down what my goals are for social change is practically time consuming and pointless. The list is so extensive and the reality of it is that I probably won't even know half of what I actually will do until I do it. I do know for sure that I am going to stay in contact with many of the guest speakers and use their advice to my advantage later on to help steer me in the correct direction or open doors to other people who may have a stronger support to what I am trying to accomplish. This is all only scratching the surface of what my plans are.

We spoke with one another in groups and actually shared our thoughts or opinions on our experience there, what we liked/disliked, our answers to the writing prompts, how we could improve the program, etc. My favorite response that I heard was this guy stating how amazing it was being here because he can actually speak with other people on the same intellect level as him. Where he comes from, people are mainly republican and Donald Trump. It was funny but also eye-opening to what people actually think in other areas. 
Group Photo With My Section: House of  Representatives
From that point on, we received our certificates in a small graduation style ceremony and a final speech given to us by Professor Hanson himself with mini cupcakes for all of us if we wanted one. We all took a group picture together as a class and in our individual section groups. It was a nice way to close out our program and say our farewells to everyone before we all departed ways back to where we are from. This experience is honestly unforgettable and to those reading, if you do not attend this program, you have not been exposed to raw reality of the society and world we live in today. It is a gateway to seeing past your ignorance and opening your mind up to things that you probably believed you knew but actually don't. I strongly suggest if you have the opportunity to do this, take it, you will be mind-blown. 

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