This course has made me think more in depth about the region. For example, I like many others did believe the stereotypes surrounding Appalachia before this course. Through the course of this class though we have addressed why they aren’t necessarily true, but why they exist. On a deeper level, this class has allowed me to continue asking critical questions. Challenging authorities and existing norms is critical to societies development.
The part of this course that stood out to me the most was the trip to Kayford Mountain. This trip opened my mind to a whole another world, one that I never knew existed. Coming into this course I spent little time thinking about coal or energy, and all I knew was that some people thought coal is dirty. I never would have imagined how obscure the energy industry is.
The other aspect of the course that I really enjoyed was the final project. I liked how we had a few guidelines, but were able to take it in any direction we wanted. I especially enjoyed interviewing people from Montebello. This taught me more about the region and lifestyle than any textbook or reading ever would.
The best part of this class for me was the out of class assignments. Except for reading. I really don’t like reading. The projects and field trips were lots of fun and very educational. I think I learned more from my final project and experiential learning than I did from any of the readings.
Overall I really enjoyed this course. I love living in Appalachia, and I have loved learning about the region, both in class and on my own.
Abby Nunes, Freshman, Dairy Science & Animal Science double major, Fall 2016, Midlothian, VA, HUM 1704