When thinking back to the weekend we had of our QU301 class I found it very interesting. I was not expecting to have any interest in QU301 and just thought it would be another QU seminar lecture class. I was super surprised when we began talking about the Rites of Passage and watching videos that really caught my attention. I remember watching the “Crossing Borders” film and thinking how true it all really is. The “ugly American” stereotype can become a reality for many people unless a person really tries to learn about the culture they are living in. I took this very seriously this summer because I wanted to make sure I do not fall into that stereotype. I have been trying to learn as much as possible about the Irish culture altogether. Whether it has been talking to people or researching, I want to know as much as possible before I leave to go live in what I hear is a great land.
In reading the beginning of Slimbach’s book, Becoming World Wise, I became aware of many things that I would have never thought about. One quote that really stuck out to me was, “The world becomes a living classroom—a place to watch and wonder, to enter into the experiences and perspectives of others, to communicate across differences, and to use knowledge on behalf of the common good” (Slimbach 5). I feel that this is completely true. Everyday while in Ireland will be a learning experience for me, not only in the classroom, but every discussion I encounter with locals. Each day will be a chance to learn about the world in a completely different sense than what it has been growing up and in school for my whole life. Being abroad will put everything into context.
I am starting to understand that just being in the country does not mean I am really experiencing what the country has to offer. Slimbach touches on this thought when he says that, “Although the potential for acquiring a truly global education has never been greater, actually achieving it requires more than simply “being there” (Slimbach 7). I completely agree that a person needs to put themselves out there and really try to learn about what the country has to offer. It is more than just experiences the night life or talking to a few people in a class. Of course this will be difficult especially because this means your truly have to go through the separation phase and move on. You have to be open to learning a new way of life in some cases and experiencing all new things.
Personally, I am a thinker also known as cognition in the ABC model of Culture Contact. I have many thoughts in my head and it can sometimes be difficult to act out on my thoughts. I will need to put myself out there and really try to adapt and learn the new culture in order to really separate. It will for sure help me that I have been through a separation phase before though. Coming to college was a huge separation from everything because of the distance. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. When I chose to come to Connecticut for college I never realized what that actually meant. Having already gone through something like that will help me because I understand the feelings and anxiety that can come with being so far from home. Of course it will be a completely different experience, especially being out of the country, but to be completely honest, Connecticut can sometimes feel like a different world to me compared to Los Angeles sometimes. I hope that my experience at college will only help with the separation I will soon be going through.
I chose to read the book McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy. I picked this book because I think it will be a great read while traveling through Ireland. It is about a man telling his story in his mother’s homeland, which is a place he came to as he was growing up. I think I will enjoy reading this book a lot and hopefully learn a lot from it.