Final Reflection: Letter to future students: Race and Oral History (HIUS 144)

Hi all, welcome aboard! Congrats on enrolling in Race and Oral History (HIUS 144). I hope you all are excited to experience a new journey in the outer area of UC San Diego. In this course, you will have the opportunity to explore Southeast, San Diego and learn about the people and its history. I am sure you all have heard incredible things about this course thus far. I was unaware of how challenging this class would be and how much time it would require outside of the classroom. Also, it was the first time the course was offered which was thrilling yet a bit difficult with the work needed in ten weeks.

One thing I found difficulty with was choosing a community partner and a person to interview. So, I suggest you all began to do your research on the community partners available. Once you have selected your community partner to choose a person you would be interested in interviewing and hearing their story. It’s essential to establish a relationship ahead of time to feel more comfortable when interviewing your interviewee. Additionally, if you have a group of students in your community group attending the center the same day get each other’s contact information. It will save you all money if you carpool and it will help you all build a significant relationship to make more visits. Secondly, I would highly suggest when commuting to your community partners destination make sure to track your mileage each time. It will save you time and money.

In this course, you will have to communicate with other colleagues and work with each other on readings and assignment. By interacting with students, you will connect with each other and digest class readings together. It will help you navigate the course better once you meet other students enrolled in the same major and field. Also, it will help you will build a greater relationship to work collaboratively. When working as a collaborative, you can talk about your experience with your community partners and learn about what works well for each other.

Lastly, for some of you, it might be the first time conducting an hour-long interview with another individual. Therefore, please make sure to set aside some time to practice using the equipment such as the recording devices and microphone. I suggest you check it out and practice with each other in a quiet room inside of the library. It will make your interview much, and it will sound clearer. Make sure to create some questions that will suit your interviewee and forward the questions to them in advance. Your interviewee can tell you which questions they feel comfortable answering. Once, you have completed your interview start to transcribe. It will take a lot of time to transcribe your entire interview. These are some of the difficulties that I had a hard time with and thus the reason I am sharing to make your experience less complicated and enjoyable.

In conclusion, this course is different from any other classes you will take at UCSD. It will require a lot of commitment inside and outside the classroom. However, it will be rewarding after completing the course. Having the opportunity to explore San Diego and learn about people’s oral histories. Please make sure to communicate with your TA’s and instructors if you are experiencing any difficulties. Overall, my experience has been fantastic thus far. I am glad I chose to participate in this course and chose United Women of East Africa as my community partner. I have connected and learned from the children, staff, and employees at UWEAST. They are a fantastic group of people who are very welcoming and care about helping underserved/underrepresented children and families. Thus, it has been a privilege attending United Women of East African Center. I have learned and connected with the community at this place, and I would like to continue to participate in events. I have connected with not only the students in this class but also the folks at UWEAST.