I haven’t received written feedback yet on Tina Pippin’s class blog, The Bible and Human Rights in Atlanta, but after speaking briefly with her on the phone, I’m even more excited to see it! I asked on the evaluation if students thought they would refer to the class blog after the course ends and Tina said they asked in class if they could continue using it! This feedback is especially surprising because the class overall seemed pretty resistant to blogging in the beginning.
She also said that the blog represents how honest students were this semester. Instead of writing what they thought the professor wanted to hear, they seemed to speak directly and honestly about their thought processes and beliefs. Isn’t that what every professor actually wants? To me, that honesty and willingness to explore and express ideas is what a liberal arts education should be about!
One success I see in this particular class blog is that it made transformations students experienced visible to those of us outside the course. One student in particular wrote a post about her transformation that gave me chills. Her screen name is enough to communicate the resistance she felt to the blog and course in the beginning: dontcare23. Her first post communicated indifference again, as she titled it “Something Random from my reflection on the death penalty.” However, mid-semester, she wrote another post titled “Hey Kid,” a creative response to the class’s visit to Peoplestown, a historic neighborhood in Atlanta. She addresses it to a boy she met while she was there.
After the post, she left this comment:
I was inspired to write this reflection because I saw in Jabarri, a great kid in a struggle to be successful and not be a product of his environment. I was touched by his humbleness and inspired by his light spirit. Although I grew up in a neighborhood similar to his, I feel like we were “playing hood”. I’ve never lived in public housing, never experienced being put out of my home because rent doubled. In fact,there was hardly ever a such thing as rent in my home. My parents paid a mortgage. I however have experienced schools, segregated by race and class, the lack of necessary technology to compete globally with other students, and teachers just showing up for a paycheck as opposed to being passionate about teaching and facilitating the development of a brighter future for students. This is my mid semester statement just to say… Jabarri and kids just like him can make it… Nothing is impossible for God… (Hey kid…dontcare23 cares…)
What a piece to share… who else votes that the class blog was worth it?