Had a great class today. My Intercultural Communication students gave final presentations (we’re ending our short “Summer 1” session), and it’s really gratifying to see what they’ve learned in a few short weeks. They now enter the world with some new insights about living in community with others.
For this project, they conduct an extensive interview with someone from a culture to which they (the student) don’t belong. The student will examine cultural rites and rituals, language use, assimilation and integration, stereotypes, and a host of other course terminology. I’ve been teaching this course for several years, and have learned from my students about a wide variety of cultural groups, such as deaf culture, rodeo culture, Coachella culture, and (today) the Beyhive, i.e. Beyonce fan culture (which is deeply layered and quite fascinating). We also had presentations on various ethnic, religious, and political cultures.
Some of you may notice I changed my site tagline to “Teacher, Learner, Critical Thinker.” I love these moments when I can learn from my students, and they also take part in teaching each other. As they present their projects and facilitate class discussion of their chosen topics, I see the passion, insight, and great future potential of these young people. They’re smart, and they care. They’re going to move mountains, just you wait.
It saddens me when adults say they’ve lost faith in today’s young people, and that they expect little of this generation. All I can say is, I spend my days with young adults, and I see great things ahead for them, and for all of us.
Keep the faith, my friends. These “kids” are fantastic.