CRIS Mural Painting

The service event I chose to attend for this semester was the CRIS Mural Painting, which took place at the Columbus Global Academy on December 1st. During this event, the International Scholars were asked to design and paint a mural in the school, which provides an ESL program for immigrant students here in Columbus.

The CRIS mentorship program is particularly meaningful to me, as I have my own mentee; a young man from Sudan. The program helps connect these kids with students who have a desire to help them transition culturally into the United States, provide assistance with language, and overall be a companion and friend to them. CRIS works with a lot of children who go to Global Academy, so naturally I volunteered to help paint the mural in the school.

The mural is on the outside wall of the library; on one wall, the word library is translated into multiple different languages and painted on the wall. The main portion of the mural features animals from different stories or fables that have varying origins of countries that represent students attending the Academy.

I arrived and immediately we got to work. It was a fun work environment; we played music on a bluetooth speaker and chatted lightly as we worked. Most of us were painting larger portions of the mural that required less precision; the blue of the sky, and the green of the grass. Some of the more skilled artists did more of the detail work such as a fox’s face or a serpent’s tongue.

I enjoyed painting the mural, because painting is not one of my particular strong suits. As a business major, I do not get that many opportunities for creative outlets. In addition, most of my creative abilities lie within singing and theater, so to be able to explore the world of physical art and watch the students who created the mural at work was particularly inspiring. The ladies who created the mural all made drafts of the sketch, and they were combined digitally into the final piece. Then, it was sketched on the wall and we approached a “paint-by-numbers” technique where different portions called for different colors.

The mural serves as a visual representation of what a library is meant to be (especially to younger children) ; a room filled with books that contain myriad stories and information. Some of the students might be intimidated by the English language and shy away from speaking or reading, but this mural provides a colorful illustration of the surprises that await them in the books. The translations of the word “library” in different languages also facilitates this, as kids can find the word that they are familiar with and make a connection to it and thus, perhaps learn a new word simply from viewing the mural.

My hope would be that the mural would be a vibrant and intriguing advertisement of sorts that would pique the interest of the students and entice them to visit and pick up a book so that they could find reading fun, and thus improve their command of the English language.

 

Decolonizing Queer Identities and Experience

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a first year success series entitled “Decolonizing Queer Identities and Experience”. This event took place on October 25th, 2018 in the Tanya Rutner Hartman Room in the Ohio Union.

This session was particularly informative, and I was able to learn about how decolonization is affecting the queer identity here in the United States in regards to Native Americans and their views on sexuality and gender. Native Americans traditionally did not work with the binary male-female system we have today, but had myriad gender identities, as well as openly accepting homosexual relationships. Colonization has effectively “washed” Native American history of this face, and thus, has wiped it from Native Americans’ own interpretation of their history, as they have internalized this colonization. Thus, we have the process of decolonization. This involves being critical of self and questioning why we think the way we do, amongst other methods, in order to tackle colonizations effects. I think this topic is particularly useful not only to first year students but to all citizens of the United States, because the process of decolonization has to happen on an individual level. We cannot begin to tackle the problems systematically until more people or on the bandwagon. It requires a complete paradigm shift, and thus, will not be easy. I will use the information I have learned from this session to actively work to decolonize my mind and make sure those around me are not contributing to these toxic mindsets.

Earlier in the seminar, we studied Queer Migrations and the LGBT communities in Russia as well as reading an article about Queer Migrations globally. Queer Migration relating to the fleeing of one’s country due to persecution based on sexuality or gender identity. Guest Speaker Randall Rowe, in sum, let on that the way we see LGBT persecution represented in the media, and our interpretations of the stories, are not necessarily Russia’s take on the matters.  “… some of the Russian speaking immigrants, with whom I spoke, noted a tension in having to adopt a victim narrative as an LGBT immigrant from the former Soviet Union due to expectations fostered by media coverage” (Randall Rowe, Queer Migration: Identity and Representation Challenges). We find that although queer identities are not celebrated or expressed openly, they are tolerated and allowed to exist within the community with relatively low consequence. This, however, cannot be said about some countries in which migration was necessary for some members of the LGBT community, in order to continue living their lives without fear of persecution. And even so, queer folk such as author Reinaldo Arenas were denied access to a safer country to the U.S. because homosexuality was not considered a valid reason for immigration.

It’s quite ironic that the United States has had such a battle with queer rights, much as it is ironic that we have such an issue with immigration, seeing as how not only was this country founded on slaughtering and redistributing countless natives, but these very tribes had their own gender and sexuality identities that were akin to conversations we are just now beginning to have in the 21st century, the late 2000’s. This resistance to queer identity due to colonization is projected upon Native Americans, and thus, they completely lose part of their culture. This is why we must actively fight colonization so that we can allow both the native and queer identities to coexist.

 

International Affairs Scholars: Academic Event Reflection, Study Abroad Expo

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Study Abroad Expo: an informative and engaging event that provided me with useful information regarding the study abroad possibilities here at OSU. This event was on September 4th, 2018 in the Ohio Union, and fulfilled the Academic Event requirement.

Fitting the theme of International Affairs, the Study Abroad Expo presented a wide variety of ways I can fit studying abroad into my educational experience here at The Ohio State University. Representatives from different programs, as well as various partner schools set up booths where we could inquire about said programs.

As a student in The Fisher School of Business, I learned about a few programs that sounded particularly interesting. There are freshman global labs, one of which takes place in Hamburg, Germany, where I would receive the equivalent in credits for BSML 3380: Logistics; a 1.5 credit hour class.

I have also chosen to pursue a minor in Spanish, and there are extensive and myriad of possibilities in this track. Countries include Spain and various other South American countries such as Ecuador or Chile. There are summer options, as well as exchanges and semesters abroad.

One qualm I have with the Study Abroad options is the lack of crossover available. As a business major with a minor in foreign language, it would behoove me to have options to cover some of my bases for both majors during a semester abroad, as to not fall behind with credits for my major whilst also fulfilling requirements for my minor. Due to some restrictions with Fisher, however, there isn’t a lot of room for this double dipping, so to speak.

My ideal study abroad trip would be to Chile, where I could take classes in Spanish that both fulfill Business requirements as well as Spanish requirements. I would take courses that would fit under the culture categories for a Spanish minor, as well as the courses offered by Fisher at that particular University. I have an inclination towards Chile because a dear friend of mine is from Santiago, and when I was learning Spanish she was instrumental in teaching me. I enjoy the accent, understand it with ease, and have even picked up a few of the colloquialisms.

Studying abroad is particularly helpful in the professional world, as it broadens your experience and expands your worldview to make a well balanced student and future employee. As a student immersing myself in the study abroad experience, my goals would be to absorb as much of the culture as I could whilst in another country. The enriching part of studying abroad is learning more of people that are different than I, and stepping out of my comfort zone. Having studied abroad before, I feel that I would be fairly comfortable and adjust quickly, but there are always exceptions to this depending on circumstances.

Overall, I am excited about the study abroad opportunities here at OSU. I believe studying abroad will be an important part of my educational experience here, and I cannot wait to see the possibilities that await.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Artifacts

[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation.  An annotation includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

[Your “About Me” is a brief biographical statement that might include your intended major, your academic interests, your goals, as well as the things that make you unique.  Definitely include a picture! Also, remember that you can always update this post at any point. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]