I was skeptical about Summit when I came here. It sounded vague and too broad and didn’t really seem to have much substance to it. When I started the global course in the fall, my views didn’t change. I thought my LDR class was really great, but the global class just seemed to lag behind. Nobody took it seriously, including me. I showed up to (most of) the lectures and I dozed off until it was time for lunch, when I raced my friends to Evans. LDR meant writing a lot of papers, which I didn’t much appreciate, but I learned something at least. Even at its most educational, the fall global course taught me very little; I already knew why I should travel, and if there were so many different answers to the question, “What is global?” then why did our answer matter? I was really looking forward to traveling in the spring, so I focused my energy on powering through until I got there.
And when I got there, not much had changed. LDR was still amazing (I mean, I had President Kiss, so who could blame me for loving it?) and global was still not my favorite. It was definitely more effective than the fall course– probably because we were finally in a classroom and didn’t have to shout into a microphone to be heard. I loved the readings. Especially the readings from Jamaica Kincaid! They really grabbed my attention, and I enjoyed the perspective I got from those readings and our discussions in class. I still wasn’t sure what the point of knowing what “global” meant was, but I was more receptive to the idea that my opinion on the subject mattered. I loved our class discussions about tourism and travel. When we got to learning about digital storytelling– the reason I’d chosen the course– I was a little let down that we couldn’t do more than one. While the technical parts were frustrating and challenging, I loved writing the stories and listening to everyone share and bonding with my group through it all. I loved watching the stories, too. I loved taking the pictures and thinking about the hidden meanings behind every sentence, and why each word was chosen, and why those words had survived multiple rounds of editing. The trip was pretty fun, if a smidge too structured–– then again, I’m used to sneaking around cities at night with my mom, looking around to see what fancy buildings keep their doors unlocked, so perhaps it was better the other way. But I thought it was an awesome experience; I gained some incredible insight from the Japanese-Canadians we worked with, and I hope I never forget that interaction. We all bonded over that trip, and I appreciated that, too. When we got back, class lagged a little, because our main mission was completed. But nevertheless, I thought this course, though not totally amazing, was really interesting and engaging.