It's hard to believe that I'm already half way through my third year at the University. The semester has come to an end and we will be saying goodbye to 2009.
In terms of courses, this semester has been fairly easy on me. I had some great courses! My two favorites were AAS 1101: Imagining Asian America and ENGL 1501W: Literature of the Public Life. When I declared my BIS degree major late this last summer, I had chosen Asian American Studies as one of my areas of focus, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. After taking the introductory course, I feel reassured. It reaffirms AAS as on my degree areas. I'm very proud of myself for the level of commitment I had to the course. Though you should put be equally committed to all your classes, some are just more important to you. This was one of them.
This course was very intriguing. I learned a lot of new things. We had some great memoirs on our list of required readings. One of these included The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang. This book really struck a cord with me because I felt like Yang was telling the story of my family as well. Reading the memoir reminded me of how grateful I am for my wonderful parents and of how I don't go home nearly as often as I should for being so close to home.
I believe that I was also as committed as I was to the course because of the instructor: Dr. Erika Lee. She is an inspiring woman. She is so passionate about the work that she does. She teaches in both the History and Asian American Studies departments. She was such a good teacher, totally committed to the success of her students. It is rare that instructors such as these come along which is why I consider myself lucky to have come across two of them in one semester!
My ENGL 1501W course was taught by Dr. Dan Mrozowski. What a cool guy. For the class being at 8:15 in the morning, he was really great at waking us up! I initally chose this course to fulfill my literature Liberal Education requirement. I had no idea what an effect it would have on me as a student and as a member of our society. In this course, I had the option to choose a service-learning track in which I would get a chance to go out into the community and do some volunteer work.
We always want to do some more volunteer work, but we find reasons not to. I was like that too, but this course was good for me because it forced me to do what I couldn't do on my own. Through this course, I volunteered at a homeless shelter. It was a humbling experience and made me start to think more about the invisibility of the issue of homelessness. People just don't think and talk about it enough.
Not only am I more interested in social policy and reform, I'm also now thinking about the Community Engagement Scholars Program. For more information on that go to . Also, for a list of upcoming courses with service learning, please visit .