Dear future students,

Hi, I’m LeAnn! Spring quarter just ended, so that means I am now currently a 3rd year majoring in Sociology (concentrated in culture & communication) and minoring in Ethnic Studies. If I only had one thing to say to you, I’d say: taking this course was the best decision of my entire academic year. I am so completely serious and this is not an exaggeration on my end. I only hope you end up feeling the same way as well.

When I first enrolled in this course, the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet in full swing, so I was looking forward to contributing and working with local communities/ community organizations hands on and face-to-face. As I found out spring quarter was going to be all online via Zoom, I wondered how this course would specifically play out, since I knew one of the main end goals of this class was to conduct and complete our very own Oral History on a community organizer/member from the organization I will end up working together with.

Here is how the course generally went *for me* and what to expect:

Within the first two weeks, the course will teach you about Oral Histories and its importance (and trust me, they are incredibly significant for a multitude of reasons). It is also within the first two weeks where you will find out which community organization you will be working with (alongside your other group mates) for the rest of the quarter. After the first two weeks, you will begin to work with your group and communicate with your partnered, designated organization on carrying out whatever project or assistance they currently need. You will also be learning in class about how to prepare for your Oral History interview. This includes how to record, transcribe, upload, etc. It is through this process where I met the most incredible people whom I will never forget- Faiza (Program coordinator of UWEAST) and my groupmates Anaïs, Laura, Sabrina, Jamilah and Katrina. (Also shoutout to our professor Yen Espiritu and my group’s amazing TA Young Oh) While this entire course was online and yours will most likely be in person, (I am so jealous of you) I assume the process will be similar.

One piece of advice that I hope you keep in mind is to simply be open-minded! Also, be proactive. You are going to want to schedule your interview ASAP because time flies and sh*t/life happens. There is no need to freak out. Do a little mock interview and practice your questions. *MAKE SURE YOUR QUESTIONS ARE OPEN-ENDED AND AVOID YES/NO ANSWERS* You’ll get really unique and insightful answers that way. Sort out any technological aspects. In short, I know you will do great! And remember: you get out what you put in. I hope for your success and most of all, I hope you learn, experience, and keep the momentum going.

Kindly, LeAnn