Like most ethnic studies classes, there is a ton of assigned readings and in-class discussion. But its conventionality ends there. Rather than locking yourself in Geisel and binge-studying for a midterm, you’ll be out in the San Diego community, helping make it a better place.
One thing that I learned from this experience is to be open to learning. When I first got into my partnership with the Filipino American National Historical Society, I was expecting to meet other Filipino Americans (like me) and learn about the gentrification of National City, Chula Vista, and Mira Mesa — amongst other San Diego FilAm issues. Instead, I learned about mental health, microaggressions, and identity. I learned that creating dialogue and sharing stories is one of the most uplifting experiences you can have, and that my voice and vulnerability has the ability to influence many. The same goes with my interview. Prior to the interview, I didn’t know what to expect or what I’d learn. I ended up sharing an extremely beautiful, extremely emotional moment with my mentor and interviewee. It’s something I will never forget.
If you’re on the fence about joining this class — just do it! It’s honestly one of (if not, the) best class at UCSD.