There are many reasons for a student to take a class about diversity. Most of these reasons, I assume, are personal, while some are related to department or certification requirements. In the following paragraphs, I will address my personal reasons for signing up for Diversity for a Global Society.
While emailing back and forth with my graduate advisor, I had asked her what courses were required to receive a master’s degree in animal and poultry sciences. My research advisor had mentioned that there were very few required courses that I would need to take and the rest would be completely up to my desires and interests. Before looking over the required courses, I assumed they would be related to animal science. Little did I know I would have to take a diversity course, however, I was pleasantly surprised.
Before glancing at the course description, or times offered, I decided that I would try to “get it out of the way” during my first semester on campus. I figured it would be a good way to get to know a few people outside of animal and poultry sciences. Other thoughts were also running through my mind as I clicked register on Hokie Spa. I started thinking about how this would be a great class, considering I grew up and attended undergrad in a community with little diversity. The majority of the people I was surrounded by had the same skin color, same religion, and the same ethnicity. I didn’t get exposed to a diverse anything for the first 20 or so years of my life.
Even though we have only met for class twice, I feel as though I have already learned an incredible amount information, from not only the class readings and discussions, but also the diverse student population that makes up the class. Some of the most interesting things, to me, that have been covered in class so far include the cycle of socialization and the difference between equity and equality. In classes and experiences in life, I knew there was a way in which humans socialize and learn “appropriate” behaviors, but I had never considered it to be a concept put to words.
Throughout the next 13, or so, weeks, I hope to make personal connections with Dr. Grimes and the students in the class. I hope to learn about their life experiences and how it has shaped who they are today. I also hope to get the opportunity to share my experiences and thoughts relating to topics covered in class.
As far a class content is concerned, I hope to be a sponge. A personal goal of mine is to stay open and accept new ideas and ways of thinking in regard to diversity and the world. By the end of the semester, I truly hope that the way I think about and approach diversity has changed, or I know how to commit to change. Currently, I am knowledgeable when it comes to words and definitions revolving around diversity. What I hope to get out of this class is practical application. I want to be overall more inclusive and willing to talk about the issues that are common and constantly seen surrounding diversity, on and off campus.