Blog 8: Final Class Thoughts

When I signed up for this class, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I had never heard of the Tohono O’odham nation, and I certainly couldn’t pronounce their name correctly. Nonetheless, I was excited to have the opportunity to travel during spring term, and I was excited to learn about something new.  Once class began, I quickly realized that I was interested in the culture and history of the Tohono O’odham people, and my excitement continued to grow for the trip we would be taking.

The trip to Arizona was everything I expected (aside from the flight cancellations, I didn’t see that coming). We had opportunities to see the things we were studying in person, and meet with some of the most dedicated and prominent members of the Tohono O’odham nation. I may have learned most of my knowledge about the nation in the classroom, but I think that the people that we spoke to on the Nation were a crucial addition to the experience of our class.

Today, May 17th, we presented our posters at the library, and I felt that it was a great way to wrap up our class. I got to share my presentation with some friends, some professors, and even some new faces. While I was giving my presentations this afternoon, I realized how much I learned about not just the border wall issue, but about the Tohono O’odham nation in general. This was easily the best of my three spring terms at Washington and Lee; thank you everyone for being a part of it.


3 Replies to “Blog 8: Final Class Thoughts”

  1. I also agree that it was cool to see just how much we learned while talking to people today! I saw you talking about your presentation and then hopping over to the Border poster by Emily and Grayson because you were tying their topic into yours. This class taught us about a large variety of subjects in a very short of time and it sort of happened without me realizing, especially on the field trip.

  2. It was great hearing all of you talk about your posters. I was incredibly pleased about how much you had all learned over the course of the four weeks and especially from the speakers we got to listen to in Topeka and elsewhere. Great work Donnie and all of you.

  3. I agree with you man, this was such a cool experience. It was really valuable to get both sides of the experience. There was more than enough to learn in the classroom because there are lots of things that can be analyzed and discussed about their culture, natural resources, water rights, the border, etc. It is important to be able to have the time to delve into that stuff so we could have enough knowledge to feel comfortable actually traveling there and understanding their situation somewhat by the time we arrived. But I feel like the travel component sets this course apart because it becomes an experience instead of just a course. We’re no longer just learning, but experiencing. I think culture is something you can educate yourself about to an extent, but without being able to experience the culture firsthand, I feel like that education plateaus a little bit. But we got to actually go there and see the land and talk to people and it helped everything set into place. Glad I got to spend the class with you dude.

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