In our second class we continued to get to know each other but through an exercise the professor gave us. As opposed to the first class where everyone just introduced themselves and said what their interests and backgrounds are. It was very interesting to have a time and goal aspect (from the exercise) to getting to know someone. It was helpful to keep it concise and in fact did get us to know each other better, contrary to what you would think (Will post the exercise details later).
We later moved to another exercise where we would take some time to think about what we suspect to get out of this course. In a roadmap themed exercise we thought about, and later shared with the rest of the class, the three major themes and five sub-themes of the course, our point of departure (the extent of our knowledge of the subject matter) and our destination (where we would like to reach by the end of the course, what would people say about us upon reading a piece we write). This for me seemed like no big deal when I first thought about it but when I started to write and reflect quietly I found it pretty beneficial. I usually think better when I write and the fact that I put my thoughts down in written form made me reflect and realize them more efficiently than when they were only floating around in my head.
The second half of the class we heard the song ‘I Get Out’ by Lauryn Hill, which is all about social and regime reform and activism, corruption in political and educational systems and knowing one’s condition in order to be able to change it. This was influential in more ways than one for me. One of the main things I liked about it is that it asks us to change our condition if we don’t like it. In my opinion, this is one of the main issues in a lot of societies; people force themselves to accept things they aren’t initially comfortable with; everyone is encouraged to stick to the status quo and not question regimes or policies or even policy makers. We also watched a video that similarly discusses revolutionary thought and action. The video was Angela Davis
interviewing Grace Lea Boggs and she was talking about revolution, the need to foster imagination and re-imagination, seeing dangers as well as opportunities and creating a new humanity, a new society. This was very inspirational and to see a woman born in 1915 being an activist at heart was eye-opening and motivated me to think at the deeper level of societies and how they are created, formed, reformed, changed, imagined and re-imagined. A phrase she said, which is originally a quote by Einstein, really touched me and forced my eyes open to the importance of imagination. It’s “Imagination is more important than education.” This does not at all belittle the importance of education, it just says that imagination without education is nothing and that imagination has absolutely no limits and in reality this is how we can deeply and effectively achieve reform; by imagination and re-imagination.