Ever Wanted to Apply Classroom Knowledge to the Real World?
Looking for More than Your Average Class for Fall Semester?
Come to “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Hands” and find out more about the Immigrant Support Services Practicum, one of Brandeis’s Experiential Learning Courses!
Listen to students share their experiences applying International Global Studies to working in the Waltham Community with various community organizations and enjoy a free catered lunch!
BE THERE on Wednesday, April 25th @ 1:00-2:30pm @ Levin Ross Hassenfeld Conference Room (Upper Sherman)
3 Replies to “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Hands”
I really enjoyed hearing about the students’ experiences in the ISSP practicum. The requirement of the Immigrant Support Services Praticum that struck me the most was the immigrant interview. One of the students decided to interview two people: a Japanese immigrant and a Haitian immigrant. Although Japan and Haiti are both island countries, they are on opposite sides of the world and have few commonalities, except as the student discovered–their love of soccer. Despite the recent tragedies that have affected each country respectively (the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake/tsunami), they have both rallied around soccer. The recent win of the Japanese women’s soccer team at the Women’s 2011 World Cup has helped Japan recover its spirits in the wake of tragedy. Another student mentioned that she chose to interview a Vietnamese woman, but in doing so, she found that there were implicit cultural rules that she had not seen before. For example, this student noted that her interviewee’s niece had recently been accepted into Brandeis University and although the student saw it as a happy, positive occasion, the interviewee saw it as a more private matter that should not have been shared with people outside of her family. That just shows the diversity of perspectives within different cultures. Lastly, I thought that an idea that another student brought up was similar to today’s lecture on “Global Environment” –the idea that organizations such as Casa Guatemala were originally small groups that over time evolved into larger NGOs that were able to enact change (in Casa Guatemala’s case, more resources to provide education and health care to the children of Guatemala); it shows that simple, small groups actually can coordinate on a global level without the help of the government and that top-down governmental action is not necessary.
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Hands is the perfect explanation of the students’ works. Their individual experiences were only inspirational for me to get more involved. Some of the works they have done were improving education opportunities for children and adults through activities and literacy programs. Several of the students were also involved with preparing youth and especially adults for economic success by teaching them how to use the internet. Clearly, they have been addressing and serving the needs of immigrants. This open event was very appealing because it was very personal and relatable. I completely agree with the statement said that Brandeis is very well connected to each other; however, many of us are not and possibly will never be associated with the bigger Waltham community, where many immigrants live. This opportunity allowed them to connect to the Waltham community. I was also surprised to learn that there are a significant amount of immigrants, all from different countries. There are also many white immigrants from Irish, who have chosen to live here. They shared that some of the obstacles they had in working with immigrants was definitely the language barrier and to show respect, but be able to teach as a leader when encountering adults. Nonetheless, they revealed that despite barriers in the beginning, it was through these barriers they became even closer with participants and were able to successfully address their personal needs. It was very interesting how the students noticed that many immigrants dealt with civic and ethnic nationalism, as they were immersing in a new American culture and language.
I just wanted to thank everyone who could have made it to this event. We all worked really hard throughout the semester in our individual internships and it was great just having people to share our work with. I think the course overall was very eye opening and I am truly grateful for the experience. If anyone wants to take part in this program in the future, it will be offered in the intro course for anthropology in the Fall 2012 semester. Thank you again for all of your support.