STEP reflection prompts
- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.
My project entailed taking on OSU in person course during this spring semester and then going abroad to London and Paris as a class. While in these two cities I explored the many scientific museums, art galleries, and significant structures known in history. While abroad I was really focusing on the culture of the people and atmosphere to try and get a better understanding of people as a whole.
- What about your understanding or yourself, your assumptions, or your view od the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?
The change that took place during this trip came to mind at the end of the trip when returning to the United States. While in the airport, waiting for my luggage, I realized how much I take for granted living in the US. The technology, clean water, free bathrooms, and the opportunities that people have in the United States is beyond anything that any other country has and most people do not realize this. I believe that if more people went abroad, more people would have a better understanding of people in general and would possibly be more kind.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?
As an example, people in the US always complain about people around them speaking different languages. But in Paris, everyone was always speaking different languages and it did not bother anybody. Instead most people just spoke multiple languages so they could communicate with almost anyone. It was very nice to see rather than the usual, “You live in America so you should speak English!”. Paris and London both did not have many bathrooms or clean drinking water in most places which is something that I take advantage of and 100% took for granted before now.
This affected me by teaching me to be more understanding in these situations when they occur in the US. By being a student at OSU, I am constantly around people of different cultures and languages than my own and that sometimes creates a barrier between people. Looking back on my freshman year here, I had too international roommates and it was very difficult to find similar interests to hang out and it was difficult to have lengthy conversations because their English was not the best. I never got mad at them or frustrated but I could have been more willing to put in more effort to get closer to them. Putting myself into their shoes, I would be scared in a different country than my own and I would probably be embarrassed not being about to communicate that well. So in the future in these situations, I will put in more effort to make a better situation out of it.
The overall atmosphere of being in the United States is also more of a clean feeling. London and Paris weren’t dirty but everything was very old and falling apart. So the fact that things in the United States get done so quickly with our technology is amazing. The buildings here are mostly modern and there is a very good system with the roads while in Paris and London that entire vibe is very different. The structure of the freeways, buildings, cleanliness did not seem as important in Europe versus the constant modern changes in the states.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable fro your life?
In the future I plan on being a teacher and this means that I will most likely be introduced to many different types of people throughout my career. I will also be working with children in the age range of 12-18 which is the range where they will most likely realize they are different than everyone else because students are not always the most accepting people. The more that I can travel and see how other people live will help me better communicate culturally to these students that come from other places besides the United States. Not necessarily talking about a possible language barrier, but more how they grew up with different cultural norms than we do in the US. This trip opened my eyes as to how unaccepting we are here in the US compared to other countries. One reason I think this is because the US is a separated country while France, for instance, is surrounded by many countries that all have cultural and language differences. Either way, I want to be a teacher one day that is most accepting understanding of everyone and the best way for me to be able to do this is to put myself in their shoes.