All posts by Kim Ewanyk

Just a thought :)

I was very nervous at first about the thought of trying to create a MOOC as mentioned in my previous blog post, but I feel like it is all coming together quite beautifully! I loved the measures we took to create it with the guidance of Nikki as well as having our very own subpage to work on. Though it was my first time working on this type of webpage, Maria and I killed it and were able to get our video and pictures on to our subpage. (not without a little bit of difficulty though I may add)

I love what this class is doing and the thought of others joining our conversation in the next four weeks is very exciting! This class has turned out to be SOO much more than just a class and so much more than I ever expected it to be! It is a movement! And one that I am very proud to be apart of.

Blog #5

To be completely honest, the thought of developing a MOOC is a little frightening only because I have no background experience with it and never knew of MOOC before last weeks class. Though it is comforting to know that Dr. Zamora as well as a few classmates are very familiar with this type of project. I'm sure that I am not the only one who is unfamiliar with MOOC (well, I hope that I am not). That would truly make me feel like the undergrad that I am!

In all seriousness, I think this is great idea because it seems very powerful. Powerful in the sense that we will reach people beyond our classroom in an active learning environment about why race matters. I whole-heartedly believe that this idea of a MOOC will leave room for more conversation and make this topic not so "silent" or "sensitive" any longer.

As for our projects, I have been waiting to get the ball rolling with the video that Kathy and I are working on by putting together experiences from classmates, strangers, family, and professors with microaggression. Hopefully today will be the day that our consent form will be approved so that we can finally get started! We are also composing a visual of negative comments towards microaggression that shows the OTHER side of this topic. The people who think microaggression isn't racist at all and that we are simply being too "sensitive" and need to get over it.. we will explore this with the class by pulling comments that stand out to us and see which ones stand out to YOU and why you think some people feel that this is unimportant as well as the people that feel this is indeed important.

Blog #4 Why this MATTERS

Saturday night I was hanging out with my older brother, Michael. He's 28 and works as a graphic designer and he is also one of my absolute best friends. Anyways, we got to talking about the particular topic of why race matters (because I brought it up in conversation since we are learning so much I just HAD to share it with him too). And my brother's first response to me was, "Isn't that a subject that is still just too sensitive?"

And he was right. Of course its a sensitive subject, but the more we talk about it, the less "sensitive" it will be! AND THAT'S WHY THIS MATTERS!

He was very interested in knowing about micro aggression, in which I then proceeded to tell him about the twitter hashtag and to check it out cause we have some good stuff under there. A little class promotion never hurt, right?

We began talking about micro aggression that we have experienced in our life (which is only a small amount compared to other stories that I have heard) and his response to THAT was that he always considered those kind of remarks as racist and never saw the "micro" in it.

We were at Chevys, which in case you were wondering is not as good as Jose Tejas. My brother and I love Mexican food and he often makes it a lot at home too. A few weeks ago some of his friends were over his place and they said it smelled like Mexican food and he told them he has just cooked some really good tacos and one of his friends said something like. "Oh you must be Spanish." For cooking tacos. Damn, what does it take to be considered American then? Having a house that smells like McDonalds? I just don't get it...

I was happy to inform at least one person of this topic. Imagine what it would be like to inform MILLIONS. We need to make it a topic that people aren't afraid to talk about.

Blog #3 race & identity

I love that I am a part of the race and identity group and I think we are going to present something awesome- once we figure out what that something is of course :)

My group members and I have been talking a lot about micro-aggression and even found some amazing links and videos on YouTube of other college students who have already beat us to the punch on this particular topic. I love the idea of holding up signs for a video and the signs would state an act of micro-aggression that we have personally experienced. 

We could go around the class and have others participate in our video or we can step outside the classroom and get participants from the general college campus... Or both. 

I think a great example that I have that I can put towards this project is that whenever I smile I've been asked by complete strangers, "Are you part Asian?" And I reply somewhere along the lines of "Maybe, why do you ask?" And they proceed to tell me that when I smile or laugh my eyes get real squinty. So I guess that makes me Asian? What? I have had this conversation with a handful of people...

Also, when my mom and I stand next to each other in the summer, people never believe I am her child or the fact that she is Italian. My mom stays very fair skinned in the summer while I get tanned. So a lot of people find themselves asking my mom, "If you are Italian then why are you so WHITE?" I find it absurd that people could question ones race and then follow it with oh well you are just too white to be Italian. Have you ever heard of anything so absurd? I'm sure you have all experienced this at some point.

As for what I can bring to the table (besides experiences) is I have a camera to video if we decide to do a micro-aggression themed video. I can also edit the video and piece it together with some help of my brother who loves doing that kind of stuff and is currently teaching me. I think it would make for a great interactive visual on our website!

Blog #2

I think that once I figure out my true identity it would be a real interesting project to ask others, walking around campus, pacing the aisles of the grocery store, even while exploring the mall what THEY think WE are. Get an outsiders opinion of race and identity with the simple question: "What do you think I am?" given the fact that that is a loaded question and can be answered numerous ways.

Racially - you are white, black, spanish, etc.
Logically - you are human/ a girl/ a boy/ a person.
Amongst other creative responses, I'm sure...

It would be a good chance to incorporate people outside of our classroom into our project while also getting the knowledge of how people think racially by their immediate responses. Is this a question that is more than just skin-deep? Can people look beyond our physical features to answer this question?

This project could be done solo or as a group project or even as a small team.
Items needed: a video camera (I have a GoPro), a computer, and maybe something video-making background skills to piece it all together. An obvious must would be consent forms for the people we are questioning and filming so that it is 100% legit and legal.

This could be a main visual source for the "Race & Identity" tab on the overall website.

I'd like to think of this as a reverse "Catfish" type documentary where the participants see who we are, what we look like, our names, etc and it is up to them to answer the question of "What do you think I am?" which I think is such a versatile question to get feedback from.

Blog #1

As discussed in our very first class in our individual groups, my group made some great points focussing on race and identity. For the most part, all I know is that my mother's side of the family is completely Italian. As for my father's side of the family, I am not quite sure. I know that I am partially Ukranian from his side, but other than that, I am left in the dark about my origins. I had very few relatives on his side of the family, all of which were gone before I was born, therefore; it would be impossible to gather information through family, which would make this a bit of a challenge.

I would love to delve deeper into my own identity, and since I cant do that through living relatives, I would have to get creative. I could explore the options by researching maiden names of family members or even something like could play a key role. However, I think I could get more solid results from a blood test (which I have always wanted to get done out of curiosity). The blood test locates each part of the world that your family is from. I know that it can not pinpoint exact areas, but it does give general locations. So since I am partially Italian, the blood test would locate Europe. I think it would be completely interesting to see my whole family history spread out on a map showing each location that defines who I am. Also, this would allow me to see how my heritage has effected me as a writer, a learner, and the person that I am today.

I would also love to learn about other individuals journeys to find out their complete backgrounds if there are still some unknown pieces of their family history puzzle that they have yet to put together just like I have. I think it would be an interesting idea to share background histories and stereotypes from our own points-of-view and how it has effected us growing up and formed us to be the writers that we are today. 

  • Standards... 
  • Traditions... 
  • The social "norm"... that creates us as individuals. 

We have such a diverse class and I think this idea of sharing our backgrounds and how it effects us as writers and learners could really give us so much more knowledge on the subject than any type of text book ever could.