When you start a new course, specifically something that has to do with history, you don’t really expect to get much out of it, besides a pile of facts that are most likely going to be forgotten toward the end of the year. You don’t really expect to walk away with something meaningful. Then again, looking at something from one perspective has never really led to any kind of positive influence.
There is so much that can be said, so much insight that can be provided. Sometimes, speaking up is the difference between complete success and absolute failure. No opinion is wrong, but staying quiet can be the wrong option
Those who are taking the backend of the abuse, be it economics, for example, and are able to truthfully speak out about an issue are considered greedy, unappreciative, and asking for too much.” Journal #40 (Full journal here)
Asanextreme introvert, I have a ton of thoughts that I keep to myself, most of which, when concerning different problems can go from a broad spectrum to completely subtle to totally blatant, and really blunt. Before taking this course, I didn’t keep a keen eye on things that really mattered, on a global spectrum. When I did know something, I didn’t know enough to form any kind of opinion. As the year went on, that mindset completely changed. While in a conversation, I still struggle to let my ideas be known, in writing, I can be extremely opinionated, and sound somewhat like I know what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t have really developed that skill, if I didn’t have the class. I wouldn’t have been able to look at things from a different, less biased way, This course specifically, has shown the positive effects of expressing an opinion without fear of judgement.
“We, as an entire nation,are greedy, judgmental, and arrogant. Judging from the treatment of almost every, ‘new,’ ethnicity besides white, America is nothing close to what it was originally supposed to be.” - Vine Deloria: Custer Died for Your Sins. Full page here
As the year went on, we had a different array of things to look at, most of which challenged thinking, and even stepping out of our comfort zones, and switching our ways of thinking altogether. From the thoughts of someone extremely sensitive to almost every possible thing, this was really a strong part of the course overall. It wasn’t just sitting and learning. It can literally be described as experiencing different pieces of history, with a hands-on attempt. When you have both the power and the space to have an opinion spoken about, while being both supported and not-judged, is a pretty unique aspect of a class in total. This specific quote, while seeming a bit too blunt, shows that throughout the year, I became a bit of a risk taker with my words, something this World History course has shown a lot of.
“The poor girl. She has so much to lose if they actually think something’s wrong. There isn’t anything wrong. She has an overactive imagination. Yes, that’s what it’s called. There’s nothing serious about this. We just need to find a cure. Something to keep it at bay, until we can figure out what to do with Victoria. Ah, Miss Victoria. Such a wretched fool she is. It doesn’t matter that she’s the life and death of my job, she needs to step up and become an actual mother to her child, if that is her child, that is. The icy demeanor between the two of them is simply outrageous We need to figure out something, anything. to fix this family.- We’re All Mad Here
This course had an exponential amount of writing, something I found to be completely within my interest. Toward the middle of the year, we began creating our own plays, pushing ourselves to an idea of a problem within the world around us. Because of my extremely close history with mental illness, my play, written from the perspective of a schizophrenic’s family, displays the unjust, and sometimes cruel world of behavioral health, and the dangerous path that little support can lead to. While the play itself has its flaws, it makes a prominent point toward society’s views on it, specifically during a time when it wasn’t as common as it is today. Using ideas from my own life, with historical prevalence, the piece was created, almost to show that in a completely imperfect world, certain things will continue to stay the way they are.
“There is nothing diverse if your race is shunned, and you must act a certain way, or face the consequences.” Vine Deloria: Custer Died for Your Sins.
The most memorable part of this course in total, has to be the recording of our initial reaction to various topics, sometimes even coming directly from documents found in history itself. I can only speak for myself when I say that history has always appeared to be something that you go over, and continuously is forgotten. This time around, I was actually engaged. I was able to look at the world in an entirely new perspective, and that, in itself, makes all the difference.
We're All Mad Here: Bonus Artwork
Journal #40: Bonus Artwork