During this course I have honestly learned a lot of things. Things that may not be concrete but I believe are important. This course is one of the few courses in the institution i’m enrolled in that manage to captivate my attention the most simply because it contains several life lessons and facts which are given to us -students- as a articles, games, videos or even discussions. What I really liked about this class was that it contained to actual lesson in the sense that the doctor talks about a certain topic which we students are supposed to take notes of. I personally think this is the best way to teach (even though it may not be applicable to all types of courses).
I have never been the scholar type of guy. I have always hated educational systems / exams / note taking but I had to do them because this was just the annoying way of how to learn. The first thing I learned was that classes do not have to be a burden for you to learn. Going into a class and discussing the topic decided by the doctor with the other students in the class made me learn that there is a way easier way of memorizing information then writing them down and reading them back and forth. I have also learned from this class that students -in such courses- always have something to add to what the doctor has to say. Most of the time the additions that students have are what we end up memorizing. This automatically lead me to learn that one often learns more while having a dialogue than by attending a lesson and taking notes. I noticed I was learning from dialogues when we were talking about social media and someone added that China did not have Facebook (which I had already heard about) but then someone else said that facebook is replaced by a platform called WECHAT which I had no idea about. This is general knowledge that could only do you good.
The second thing I have learned revolves around empathy. I had always thought that I had some kind of weak side in myself as I always felt empathy towards people that are put in bad life situations and experiences. I have learned that empathy is a feeling that more or less everyone felt when we heard about some other person that is passing my atrocious events. The difference is only that some people show empathy more than others. In our society, people tend to be raised with a set idea that women have more empathy than men. In this class I have learnt that this is simply a myth. The myth of the strong wreck-less man the cute puppy hearted woman. I have learned that this was absolutely not what was actually happening when we had to read Lina Mounzer’s article which – I must admit – was written in the deepest details giving it a lot of weight knowing that it was talking about deaths and war. An example of very touching passage which made me feel so much empathy was : ‘I have been threatened, beaten, strip-searched, thrown in prison, tortured and made to watch as my mother knelt weeping at the dirty feet of tribal leaders to beg for any information about my kidnapped father.’
The third thing I have learned was about Syrians. More specifically about the journey Syrians had to pass by in order to leave their country and go somewhere where they can be safe and start a new life in which they could assure a certain standard of living for their kids and families. We all know Syrians have a hard time in their country. We all know they struggle and that a lot of them die. But I honestly had no idea it was this difficult to leave the country. I must admit I was kind of uninformed concerning this topic but I thought that Syrians could go to their port and leave the country to get somewhere else where they could start all over. I had no idea the journey was this long, was this risky, was this tiring, this expensive. I did not know all these details and I am very glad I got to learn that because this lead me to realize how much we -AUC students- are blessed to be able to live in such standards while others -Syrians- have to struggle to simply try to live in another country in which they won’t always be treated well. I got to learn about this while playing the game Syrian Journey in which the player was put in situations Syrians are put in and had to take the decisions to try to reach a country that could be considered a safe land. I personally had no idea that the decisions were this difficult -which is what I really liked about the game-. It is eye-opening to how atrociously hard it can be for Syrians. I personally failed to get the family to Europe and drowned in the sea with my family which gave me a deeper understanding of how difficult it could be.
I honestly think this course is very well built in the sense that the material is not to heavy nor to light, the activities are interesting and make you become interested in the topic. I would definitely not remove anything from the syllabus of this course except maybe reducing the Solyia call durations. However, if I was to add something to the course it would be an activity which would consist in forming groups in the class that would later on have to do a survey based on questions related to equity in which they would have to interview people from different social levels and different jobs. To be able to know what the majority of the population of our country thinks knowing that it will most probably not be the same thoughts as ours (AUC students which are privileged in a certain way.