Dear Future Students,
I’m not sure how helpful this letter will be, given I’m taking this class at a time that’s best described as… strange. We’re currently facing the COVID-19 pandemic, fiercely fighting to create a humane environment for others and ourselves, and just overall struggling to come to terms with our current realities. I am not sure what the future will be like when you take this class. I, for one, had no idea I would be living through all this, but I will do my best to give you advice.
First, remember to be flexible! You never know what can happen in the world, and you need to be able to quickly adapt to these changes. I had classmates who had to move across the world in the middle of the quarter to get to their families. Be prepared to have plans changed. We were unable to meet our communities in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, please remember to take care of yourself. You are a person and sometimes you can get burned out and overwhelmed. Just know you cannot help anybody if you yourself are struggling. Lastly, ten weeks may seem like a lot of time, but it is not. Get to know your community members as soon as possible, and dedicate as much time as you can to them, because those ten weeks will be up before you know it. Remember to center the voices of the community and not your own.
Hopefully things are much better when you are taking the class, and you can get up in personal with the community you’re working with. Oral History is a fun and rewarding process! There is so much to learn and experience. You will make mistakes, but as long as you do your best, the end result you make with the community will be something amazing.