“Global Citizenship, A Primer,” has without a doubt been one of the most interesting and fulfilling interim term courses that I have ever taken at Kinkaid. I have learned so much about not only myself, but also the big world around me. Through movies, discussions, readings, and more, the class was able to get worldwide perspectives on several issues. These issues included homosexuality and gay marriage around the world, global warming, and health care.
One specific thing I learned about was “Blue Zones.” “Blue Zones” are areas where the inhabitants live to be extremely old. They lead active lives until their last days. In “Blue Zones,” it is not unheard of for residents to live to be over one hundred years old. Generally, I learned about the customs of other countries, the roles that different people play in different cultures, and the differing political and religious views in the world.
Many things throughout this course surprised me. I was assigned to research gay marriage in Italy. I entered the assignment thinking that Italy would have very liberal views on this subject. However, after doing further research and investigation, I was proved wrong. I discovered that Italy has relatively conservative views on this topic. I was also surprised about the complete lack of toleration towards homosexuals exhibited in places like China.
When I researched global warming and its effects, my thoughts that this was a very serious matter that needed to be changed were confirmed. The excess of greenhouse gases is a huge cause of the warming of Earth’s surface. If not properly taken into account, sea levels will eventually rise, icy landforms will melt, and extreme weather conditions will hit.
Aside from my previous ideas about liberal views on homosexuality in Italy, I do not think that I “un-learned” anything. I came into the class with an open mind. I tried to set all previous biases or stereotypes aside, and I think I did a good job of that. That being said, I do think it is important to “un-learn” certain things in order to be a successful global citizen and to become globally aware. It is no secret that many people make false assumptions based on things that they have heard or ideas that they have about different people and places around the world. One must “un-learn” all of these things to discover the truth and become a globally competent citizen.
I think older audiences who have not been exposed to diverse viewpoints and ways of life need the most help in widening their global lens. These people already have ideas that they have formed on their own drilled into their head, whether they are true or not. So, they need the most assistance in changing the way they view the world. I can help make that happen by spreading the knowledge that I have learned in this course. I will discuss what I have learned with my family and friends and anyone who is willing to listen. I will do further research on cultures that interest me, and hopefully be able to travel to these places one day.
As for improvements in the course, not many come to mind. I think more movies would add some spice to the class and make things more fun. Also, it would be great to be able to try food from different places, or maybe even learn a cultural dance. But other than that, this course needs no adjustments. I’ve had a great time these past three weeks, and I have grown not only as a person but also as a citizen of the world.