Sunday, November 30, 2008

statement pt. 2

In order to better understand international effects of business involvement, politics, and economic trends in the modern world, I will need to take a variety of courses from several disciplines related to globalization and social dynamics. The Political Science/ Anthropology course titled “Globalization” will be helpful, if not central, to my understanding of the processes surrounding global change.
The Anthropology course “Sustainable development in the Modern World System” will enable me to assess material, cultural, and social impacts on peoples around the world and in the U.S. In this course I will design a program of sustainable development in my area of focus, Latin America. This will give me analytical and problem-solving skills, and further develop my understanding of complex political and socio-economic factors involved in globalization, and specifically in Latin America. This course will build on a course I have already taken, “Principles of Sustainable Development”, which has been central to my understanding of historical, conceptual, and theoretical foundations of sustainability in relation to global issues of equity, wealth and poverty, and environments.
I will also take the Anthropology course “Agrarian Studies and Rural Development” in order to understand and analyze rural populations in the context of global economic and political influence. Because I will be focusing on Latin American populations, I will need a cultural of these populations, and thus and understanding of, and ideally a proficiency in, the Spanish language. I am taking four Spanish language courses to prepare me for studying abroad in Latin America. Spending time abroad will give me a better understanding of the culture, politics, and environment, as well as solidify and put into practice the base of Spanish that I will have accumulated.
While abroad, I specifically intend to take cultural courses, as well as language courses to increase my language proficiency. Hopefully I will be able to become familiar with the social movements resisting globalization while there. The final regionally-specific course I plan to take is the History course “Indigenous Resistance in Modern Latin America.” This course will give me an in-depth look at the social and political movements of indigenous and agrarian populations in response to forces of globalization, from an outside, academic perspective.
The effects of globalization and economic pressures are felt around the world, and resistances and uprisings are happening as a result. Because the other focus of my course of study revolves around issues of equity, democracy, power relations, and the nature of revolutions and social change in general, I will need to take courses addressing each of these topics. One course I will take is the History course “Revolutions in the Modern World.” This will develop analytical skills in comparative history, and aid in my basic understanding of the socio-economic and political forces contributing to modern revolutions and social upheavals. In order to understand the forces that impact society, and the nature of revolutions, I will take the Sociology course “Collective Behavior and Social Change.” This will give me an in-depth look at tactics, strategies, causes, and effects of social changes and upheavals. The questions of when, how, and by whom change is affected will be explored in this class.
In exploring globalization, effects on indigenous and agrarian populations, and collective behaviors of resistance, the issues of equality and power distribution will arise. To address the various problems of inequality and their consequences, I will take the Sociology course “Social Stratification.” In this course I will study the distribution of wealth, power, and privilege, and relate those studies to the current economic and political system in place in the U.S., and its spread to the global scene. Finally, I plan to take the Political Science course “Human Rights” , in order to have a solid basic understanding of what civil and political rights, among other human rights, must be preserved, and the relationship between globalization and preservation/infringement upon these rights.
From these areas of study, each related to my topic, I can gain a better understanding of globalization from various perspectives. I will develop anthropological, cultural, historical, sociological, and political understandings of the issues surrounding my study, and will consequently be equipped with analytical, comparative, and problem-solving skills to address these issues.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Senior Seminar Presentations

here is the invite for our presentations.

Dear all,

I'd like to kindly invite you to the Final Project Presentations of the students in the IDS Senior Seminar. The event will take place in Price Lake Room in the Plemmons Student Union on Reading Day, December 10, between 1:00 and 3:00 PM. I hope that you will have a moment to come by and reap some of the fruits of our IDS program. I am sure that you will be fascinated by the imaginative projects and research skills of these young people. The event could also present a great opportunity for students in your IDS classes to get an idea of the program's expectations.

In hopes to see you there,
Elitza Kotzeva

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Statement of Purpose II

Jimmy Hunt

Banner ID

Statement of Purpose

My concentration is Environmental and Social Aware Event Promotion, with specific attention toward the music industry.

My reason for attending college and the goals within the system have changed over the years. Initially, I thought college a necessity solely because I could obtain the necessary tools that are required in finding a “good” job. However, in part due to my change to IDS and part due to my personal working experience outside of college, I now recognize immeasurable knowledge as the primary advantage and goal of higher education. This realization is what I have focused my concentration around; approaching business with a higher value on social and environmental aspects, instead of success in terms of monetary value. My goal within the IDS program is to understand underlying themes from several theories of thought, which help connect the bigger picture. Specifically, I intend to draw strengths from social and environment ways of thought to help personalize and create my own niche within the business world. I need to fulfill a greater understanding of business than any business degree can offer. I need to understand why people work, specifically what fuels the overall working class, as well as the individual. In addition, I need to learn how my actions within event promotion affect the current and future state of the environment. Overall, by combining my past courses and major of Business Management with my current IDS courses, I wish to finally merge the gap between business and social and environment awareness. I hope to combine my concerns for the environment and social justice, with a successful and profitable event promotions career.

My first two years of college were spent at a private, liberal arts school, Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. I was a double major in Economics and Political Science. Looking back, doubling in those two majors was the closest thing to an IDS degree at that particular school. When I transferred to Appalachian State, I immediately declared myself as a Business Management Major. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the raw, fundamental style of teaching, I yearned for something deeper. Possibly because I transferred, I was unaware of the IDS program all together, until my friend discussed his enjoyment within the program. Though I regret the length of time spent outside of IDS, I do not regret the knowledge learned. By taking nearly 4 years of some type of business, I was able to build a firm base of solid tools and tactics to enter the overbearing business world.

All my different backgrounds, such as my two prior majors as well as my personal working experience, blend perfectly with my IDS major. This past year, I was bitten strongly by the entrepreneurial bug, pushing me to start my own business; Black Paw Entertainment, LLC. I, along with my friend and partner, created our own Promotion and Production Company, with the idea of organizing the first, all green Music Festival in Boone. After a years worth of fundraising, booking entertainment, marketing, advertising, management, and finally production, our event was a huge success. Our event, Music on the Mountain which took place August 23rd, 2008, was Boone’s largest music festival in nearly a decade drawing out over 2,500 attendees. We incorporated over ten non profits which specialize in renewable and alternative energy, as well as social justice. My move to IDS is in big part due to my journey with my business. There are countless music festivals offered today; however, few have tried combining raising awareness of social and environment issues as part of their overall scheme. These events are important because they are my medium to which I transfer other important life messages, such as sustainable living. Moreover, I use my business background to gage the correct logistics of large scale production, such as budgeting, finances, and break even points. By switching to IDS, and creating my own major, I can bring in the last aspects of my goal. I am now learning through Histories of Knowledge how and why people work, as well as how to plan and produce an event without destroying the land, though my Sustainable Development courses. Through the IDS program and my major I am able to carve out a new niche in event promotion.

It is extremely apparent that a regular major and minor within the business school would not suffice my goals and aspirations. I wanted more than the basic fundamental skills taught by a business school. I intend to draw upon many different aspects and relate them all back to my personal career goal, event promotion. The IDS program enables me to pull ideas from Marx Capitalism and fuse them with an environmental policy. I am free to fully understand, a privilege every college student should experience.

faith ringgold--

artist Faith Ringgold is coming to speak wednesday the 19th at 7pm---
she uses quilting to tell stories--which are really amazing-- one of them was in the Raleigh art museum i think----- she really is a fascinating person and a very good storyteller--and i am sure this event will be as well

Statement of Purpose II

William Lehman

Statement of Purpose II

I will have studied my particular interdisciplinary concentration by specifying my study of Asia to mainly Japanese based courses but then tried to expand the genre of my study to include: Language, Culture, Society, Identity, History, Anthropology, Geography, Religion, and Nutrition. I will have taken classes like Japanese Society and Identity through Literature, Japanese Society through the Visual Arts of Manga, Modern Japanese History, and hopefully Russo-Japanese Relations. I have already taken two Independent Studies with my Japanese teacher Misa Yamamoto. In these classes we had a focus on integration, a study of interaction, language, and modern conceptions. All of these classes are very relevant to my course of study because they all will have prepared me for integration into the Japanese school system and to educate Japanese students. Understanding that I will have to cross the cultural gap of the Japanese classroom is part of this educational agenda.
To further help me with teaching skills and getting into the Japanese mindset I was also an Instructional Assistant with Appalachian State’s Japanese classes. Here I learned to focus my methodologies and get some real world application of language learning from an instructor’s view point. An invaluable experience that gave me a better idea of what I have to look forward to in the educational field.
My minor courses are all based around Teaching English as a Second Language. I took these in order to be a more efficient teacher to non-native speakers. While in these courses I worked closely with exchange students and local non-native speakers to increase their fluency. Those are examples of how I will apply the knowledge I acquire in these courses. The courses have also allowed me to compile my personal pedagogy and a small lesson plan for second language acquisition to Japanese youth and post them to a personal webpage.
All of the classes I will have taken are relevant to my course of study, because they all will have prepared me for integration into the Japanese school system and to educate Japanese students. Because, it is my personal pedagogy to attempt to meet the students in a realm they know and can freely expand in, so that inspiring a thirst for knowledge is easier attained.
To further understand language I have sat in on, and attempted to fit into my course load, some other language courses that would help me as a language teacher. I attempted to fit an Arabic class to analyze the different language structure and therefore the teaching methods that accompany it. I also sat in on some Latin classes in order to help with root word and language progression over time. Understanding where a language comes from is very important to learning the flow of the language. And finally I completed a course in Introductory American Sign Language. It is a little more non-traditional then most languages but still a viable and important one. Like Japanese it is a high context language and requires a different mindset completely then English. Showing how culture plays strongly into the picture.

Monday, November 17, 2008

statement of purpose part 2

Christina Fisher
Statement of purpose, ii
November 18, 2008

Social justice through Environmental Stewardship

Social justice through environmental stewardship: a long string of words which simply entertain the notion that the only way to address today’s social problems is to address that of a fragile environment as well. Environmental stewardship is a concept or personal ethic which guides one to seek integration of several areas of community life to achieve the great goal of sustainability of resources in such a way that will extend or improve life on this earth for everyone. In seeking social justice, one must also weed through the various causes of family and community deterioration, such as wasteful consumerism in a tight budgeted economy.
Being that there are several avenues one can go down to incorporate these two issues in a constructive way, it is not always easy to decide which one to take. However, my background in interior design and building technologies, sociology, anthropology, and family and consumer sciences, has given a base for recognition that issues weighing heavily on society and the world at large put direct strain on the American family.
Experiences with the Tarahumara peoples of Chihuahua, Mexico during a crisis of famine caused by drought and McComb, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina show an inextricable link between environment and social problems of families affected. Believing in the truth that “you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and feed him forever”, makes the idea of working through issues from a more intimate level within communities appealing. What I learned especially from those situations is that Band-Aids only hold for so long in a crisis, but teaching people to live in a way that may lessen the brunt of a crisis before it occurs is more helpful. Also, building a strong sense of pride in their homes and faith in their communities to help one another can allow people to see the effects they have in the world and how important their roles in making positive ones can make people think twice about the weight of their personal decisions.
Being that stewards are the role models for the younger generations to look up to and learn from, parents and primary care takers of young children can make a huge impact in the future of the children if given the right tools. As money is tight nationwide and workdays are becoming increasingly longer to make ends meet, family health emotionally and physically can often get pushed onto the back burner, until symptoms are too large to ignore. However, there are several ways to help stimulate the healthy growth of a child by taking the time early in their lives to provide a safe and clean home and teach them responsibility through role modeling and play. Creating a good foundation for children in their early years will ultimately better their adult life and decision making. Incorporating actions of environmental stewardship through home activity as well as community involvement can be done if we as a society start to see our children as the gems that they are, as well as seeing what we have around us that can be utilized creatively.
Through classes as social problems in America; social deviance; criminology; gender, race and class; and even the addictive process and propaganda, I learned how our society works. How we treat one another based on social precepts brings understanding of the types of consumers we are of this world, and why we feel certain wants as needs, and how to redirect those desires positively. Through classes such as color and light in interior design, chemistry of consumer textiles, and building materials and finishes I learned not only just the aesthetic components of the home but also how color, lighting, and chemicals affect the general well being of people in homes as well as how to design efficiently for the economy and energy. Family development over the life cycle; Bodies, spaces, places, time and things; relationships; and my experiences as a nanny for children of special needs I learned the challenges of raising families through adversity as well as how individuals relate to one another in this culture and how to reach seemingly unreachable kids. Through my art classes and relationships to dance and music in the cognitive processes of infant and toddlers, I learned how to ease transitions and learning through creative and highly energetic means.
In continuing this process of helping households become homes that become community, I will be taking courses in child development, Birth-2, family economics, society and technology, planning for communities, social issues and ethics, environmental ethics for a more comprehensive arrangement of skills to help working class parents feel empowered in a non-abrasive way.
Along with my coursework incorporating social concerns and illustrating that the power of simple changes, I am planning to host a Boone version of a program from the West Coast called “swap-o-rama mama” in which the community gets involved in donating clothes and infant items, with the opportunity to trade for what they need. As well there will be on –hand volunteers with sewing skills who can revitalize or reconfigure outfits from favorite items, including the ever-popular baby blankets, in exchange for the opportunity to sell their own crafts, clothing or accessories. This process started in revolt to the amount of waste that good clothing materials take up in landfills as well as redeeming value from used items people felt original in the process, coming home with creations that are truly one of a kind in a fun community building exercise. Extra items or proceeds go to benefit organizations such as “women to work”. Having been involved in a large chain of traders of clothing and other expensive items through many children’s first three years, I saw the power of saving money, which freed people to have more fun with their families, knowing there was a network to help; but the ability to return the favor is empowerment of a much larger scale. Sustainability of this earth depends on the ability to convince people why it is worth it. If you reach out to people where they are and impact them directly in a positive and approachable way, you spread the seeds that will eventually lead to a great flourishing of our global community.

IDS Statement of Purpose 2

Oliver 1

Brianna Oliver
Professor Stranovski
IDS 3150-101
18 November 2008
IDS Statement of Purpose 2
My course of study through the Interdisciplinary department was already somewhat planned out for me as I am taking the Third World Studies track, from which I choose specific classes in different categories already laid out, but what makes it interesting for me is how I am able to choose these classes and enjoy them. Because I am only a sophomore I am still managing my way through General Studies finishing core classes to graduate, but now beginning my track towards an Interdisciplinary degree is promising for what lays ahead in my coursework for the major.
My interest is within Latin American Studies, so my intention is to take classes geared towards a possible minor or just an emphasis in this field with the Interdisciplinary degree. So far with this I have began the Spanish track, just now in 1010, and will complete this next year. I have also taken Geography of Latin America this semester which has compelled me even more to take interest in the affairs of the Latin countries. Aside from this I plan to take course involving Latin American politics and history.
I also hope to take various types of courses like World Music, political classes, historical classes, literature classes, and anything else that sounds interesting to me. It is exciting to get the opportunity for variety in life, particularly while studying, and look
Oliver 2
forward to my next few semesters at Appalachian State in terms of what I will learn and take from each course.
In terms of integrated studies I feel like my two degrees I am working towards (Communication Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies) complete the idea of “integration”. Most people question my sanity when I tell them my course of study at Appalachian State, but when it comes to the motivation behind the two degrees, it makes sense to some after. Thus far I have taken classes based on public speaking and the incentive behind mass societies while simultaneously looking at the spatial distributions of Latin American indigenous populations and learning the basics of the Spanish language. I honestly would not have it any other way. So far these have aided in my sense of what I want to do and how, despite such different subjects, everything can interlock in some way or other. The interactions and communication between foreign relations directly affects the people involved, creating the basis for my studies and what I hope to potentially get from both.
Overall I anticipate what I will learn, but it is hard to get a good sense of what the outcome will be since I am still so young in my education process. The courses I look forward to taking are forthcoming, but I have gotten a good start in both of my fields and feel secure that I will be learning the things I wish to learn and take with me post-graduation.

Envisioning Bodies of Knowledge Situated in their Habitat

Theories of Interdisciplinarity
Envisioning Bodies of Knowledge Situated in their Habitat
John Fitzgerald

In Richard Carp’s article Integrative Praxes: Learning from Multiple Knowledge Formations, he seeks to respond to a Newell article and sharpens and focuses his view of Interdisciplinarity. Although summarizing Carp’s underlying theories of interdisciplinarity would provide analysis of his view, the method which seems more appropriate would be to draw contrast between the articulation of his view and how he differentiates it from Newell’s article. Studying under Carp leads to the assumption that our statements and our knowledge are situated within our bodies that also are situated within larger bodies in both the physical and mental senses. This flexible perspective of relationships allows for in-depth observation and the formation of knowledge through immersion in experiential learning and the recognition of patterns that are then further developed through the repetitive expression of relevant thought patterns. Learning relative ways for well being through the individualized and collective experiences we live, and building knowledge formations from well planned and correctly placed thoughts or truths from multiple fields or disciplines. Rather than confining interdisciplinarity to the weaving of theories from different disciplines to create a fabric of knowledge, the fitting metaphor would involve the formation of a new entity through the complete combination of the ingredients. Cooking soup, or baking bread, in the vein of addition of different properties and introduction of heat to disassemble the ingredients into basic elements which are then melded together to form a soup or loaf of bread. Although as metaphors often go some would prefer the term stew to relate to the degree of intertwining involved in the process, while others would yet still prefer cake. Whether the preference is for soup or stew the main ideals remain present. There will always be discussion as to the relevance of the disciplines in interdisciplinary studies as Carp sees it, and as long as the discussion resembles conversation rather than argumentation it will continue to be considered interdisciplinary or one of its synonyms and will deserve a presence in the academic realm. A presence that is much needed for the constant analysis required of the disciplines, and for the construction of new disciplines.

This view of interdisciplinarity can remain consistent when applied to the specific concentration of environmental policy and planning. The statement of purpose poses a useful synopsis description, “By combining a background in science with the perspectives of economics, planning, and political science, students will have the opportunity to consider public responses to ecological issues.” This initial section is a simplified statement regarding the specific disciplines that are highlighted within the concentration. The actual knowledge formations composed from the ideas generated in each field combining together form the interdisciplinary context of the concentration, while each field on it’s own is still grounded in the traditional structuring of university systems. The second part of the statement of purpose is where the concrete proof of the interdisciplinary weight of this concentration are conveyed, “They will learn to formulate and implement creative but practical public policy and procedures regarding the environment.” This portion ends the statement because it situates this concentration of knowledge in the abyssal space created between the planes of thought represented by disciplinary thought in comparison to the thought of knowledge as formations created between disciplinary planes. It ties together the disciplines to focus the concentration towards applying the skills and understanding acquired from each separate discipline in a new way that expresses a creative, progressive, and encompassing method of working within the world. Situating yourself as a knower in the world can be related to many different fields of study, however there are strong resemblances of interdisciplinary thought within environmental thought. The realization of the mind/body connection and the necessity of interaction with an intellectual and constructively critical social structure to justify and credit pursuits of truth are key requirements of both planes of thought. Overall the most significant requirement of pursuing truth in both interdisciplinarity and in environmentalism would be to never discredit ideas based on their initial perception, and to recognize the proper function of “gate keeping” in the development of these constantly changing fields. That is, understanding to what degree new ideas are accepted or published in the studies of interdisciplinary work, the importance of this filtration, and how it impacts the development of new fields by IDS.

This discussion of interdisciplinarity in comparison with the concentration of environmental policy and planning exposes the open fluidity required from serious attempts to study within these fields. There is great discipline required to open ones mind to many specific fields that could potentially (and often do) swallow people whole, and fight them off only to tame them and drive them in a co-coordinated manner towards a higher function. However there are some over-arching goals that require the strength to manage multiple planes of knowledge and access their inner workings in a functional and efficient manner. Interdisciplinary thought helps maintain a level of sanity when continually diving back and forth between multiple different pools of information. Tying together the anthropological, political, economical, and planning aspects of environmentalism requires lots of skill in managing, organizing, analyzing, and proper application of energy. Being situated between these heavily codependent social factors places the EP&P concentration on a balance beam of compromise. As is evident in much environmental work, as well as IDS work, patience functions as lubrication to a complex system of thought and action. Again discipline is largely a necessary trait of complicated realms of study. A current issue within this field is disregard for environment and disenfranchisement of people by large profit driven corporations. Beyond social control factors, are the instances of corruption within political systems driven by capitalistic greed. The method that seems to be arising in social and civil rights struggles is the promotion of popular resistance to this unfounded power. Although we have made great strides in improvement in the social, civil and political zones, if action is not kept persistent existing powers will see to the destruction of every step that has been taken rather. Informing ourselves about what is occurring in the world is a responsibility that we accept if we wish to act with political significance in mind. Analyzing and forming decisions on what we observe and recognizing the affective methods to fight for recognition of human rights and against environmental degradation are two main methods for combating these challenges. Helping disenfranchised people organize and assert their legal rights is a large part in the war of environmental protection, and putting an end to the destructive actions taken unjustly and defended by corruption and greed.

Campus Events

Apple iMovie Contest

The first campus event I attended was the Apple iMovie Contest and Festival. Being a film studies major I thought this would be so much fun. First I had to find some people to help me come up with a proposal for the theme ‘An Appalachian Experience,’ and then submit it to the two guys in charge. I ended up working with two close friends and we came up with the idea of a mockumentary of a day in the life of an Appalachian student. The only thing was that the day before we were to start the ‘documentary’ the main character’s girlfriend dumped him, so he’s just trying to get through the day so he can hang out with his friends at night. He ends up seeing Sara, his ex, just about everywhere he goes, so he gets frustrated and eventually ends up at Cook Out.
Everything for the contest was provided for us. We got a video camera for a week to shoot all of our footage, and then the next week they provided us with MacBook Pro laptops to edit on. Even though we only had about two weeks to make these films it was so much fun! My group did all of our shooting in two days but then had a few problems transferring the footage to the laptop. We got the film done and turned in on time and then we just had to wait until the premiere date to watch all the other ones. There were originally about ten groups but only four made it to the end. Out of the four groups my group got best drama and we won some things from the bookstore along with gift cards around Boone and two free lift tickets to App Ski Mountain.
I would say that this event was interdisciplinary because I had to draw from different disciplines. I had to draw from previous knowledge about shooting and editing. I had to draw from emotional experiences and think of what other people would think or feel in similar situations, and I also had to think about what would be appropriate or acceptable to the judges.

Appalachian Leadership Forum

The second event that I attended was ALF, the Appalachian Leadership Forum. This event started with a key note speaker and then had three different sessions that had about four or five speakers each on different topics. The key note speaker talked about failure and how for you to succeed you have to fail first. He was a little dry but he got his point across. The sessions I attended were ‘Finding a Job: making your resume,’ ‘Civic Involvement,’ and ‘Financial Planning.’ Then after the sessions there were refreshments and a concluding speech by the Leadership Team.
The first session I attended was very eye opening to me. I had not put a resume together before this because I did not really know how. Now I have a general idea of how but I do not have very many things to put on it. If I were to make one right now all it would have on it would be my education history and the one club I am a member of. The session went beyond resumes too, which was nice. The speaker also talked about what to do after you land an interview. Overall, that session was every informative.
The next session I attended was ‘Civic Involvement,’ and I did not particularly enjoy it. It was informative, but not my cup of tea. The speakers talked about problems in the local, state, and country-wide environments and economies. My only contribution to this session was that I thought the campus smoking policy should be strictly enforced. I have asthma so it is hard for me to breathe when there are people all around me smoking constantly. We talked about how to strictly enforce the policy, but there really is no way to ensure enforcement. I have not seen anyone actually enforce this policy and it is very upsetting. I’m sure that if someone were to say something to someone smoking less than 50 feet from any campus building nothing would happen short of a flick on the wrist or a disappointing finger shake.
The last session I attended was just about as eye opening as the first. I am no good with managing money and this only furthered my fear of being on my own. The speakers talked about IRAs and managing your money and estate and even talked about insurance, death, and wills. After the session I walked out scared to graduate and be out from under my parents insurance!
I would definitely say that this event was interdisciplinary because it took from many different disciplines. Some of the other speakers in the three sessions that were offered talked about Yoga, playing games to de-stress, time management, and making and keeping commitments. I only wish there had been more than three sessions because I would have liked to have gone to more of the presentations.

Campus Events

Campus Event #1 Dance Marathon
For my campus event I went to Dance Marathon this past weekend. This is an annual event where students pledge to raise $240 and then come and dance for 24 hours. All of the money raised goes to Parent to Parent Family Support Network which is an organization that works with families who have children with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or who have passed away. They connect families and have support groups to assist parents in the transitions as well as in coping. The other organization is Western Youth Network that works to give positive influences to middle school youth in the high country through mentoring, tutoring and after school programs. This year we had 70 full time dancers and a good amount of morale dancers, people who come for 2 hour time slots to support dancers. This was an event that I posted to the blog because it is a fundraiser. I want to make a non-profit and in order to do that I have to learn to write grants and use the local community to help fund the program.
I was the chair for this event and responsible for over seeing all the positions and committee members. My job included running the planning meetings and checking in with team members to make sure they were following through with their responsibilities. We had 8 volunteer committee members who met twice a week. Positions included food chair that was responsible for getting food donations for the day of, the advertisement chair that created posters and flyers to get the word out, community partner chair that worked side by side with the Executive Directors of the organizations, as well as a fundraising chair, entertainment chair, and a registration chair. This event, more the planning of it could be considered interdisciplinary because it took a lot of different skills to pull it off. We needed to know how to draw peoples attention to get them interested, how to budget and stay within our limits, how to ask for donations and write letters for businesses, etc. This event takes integrated knowledge from several areas of study.
Three days after the event, I am still recovering but it was worth it. Western Youth Network and Parent to Parent received a little over $10,000 and now have money to continue their efforts to help out the community. This was a great event to get involved in, especially to prepare myself for the future.

Campus Event #2: The Tunnel of Oppression
For my second event I went to the Tunnel of Oppression this past week. This is a great and very impacting event that is put on by SGA every year. I have gone the past three years and every time I learn something new and am impacted in a new way. The people who participate and help in putting it on transform the Blue Ridge Ballroom in the Student Union. The rooms are divided among issues and show a different act of oppression. You walk into this dark room to come across a wall of words, some you know and some you don’t. The words are of hate, and sometimes you use them not knowing the context behind them and also who the word is offending. The next section you walk into is video clips of past events, clips from Philadelphia showing hatred against the homosexual population, scenes from the Pianist that shows the Holocaust and the horrible treatment of Jews and more. Other rooms show sexual assault, abuse, self-image and eating disorders, disabilities, and racial issues. Each scene has people acting or talking and then facts that are given about the issue. At the end, and this part is my favorite, they give students the opportunity to express their feelings on what they just saw. You can read comments others have made and it is interesting to hear what they do. A lot of people are shocked at what they hear, or angry. Many emotions are played out in this tunnel. The group you walk through with is then led to a room where they can have a discussion about what they learned or found interesting.
This is an event that could be considered interdisciplinary because it takes a lot of planning and thought process to make sure that students learn and are rattled in their standings, but not offended or close minded in the process. Many different campus groups came together to put this event on and each bring different skills and talents to it. I as an attendee had to draw from all of the disciplines I have studied in order to get the most of it. Knowing the history of oppression helps to internalize what is happening now as well as what could happen in the future.
This is a great event that everyone should attend. You learn a lot and it is free, so why not!?

Theories of Interdisciplinary

Kegan Refalo
Moving through these lines of text was a mix of nostalgic rediscovery and head-tilting reinterpretation. My reading of “Interactive Praxis: Learning from Multiple Knowledge Formations” was situated in my past experience of being a student and advisee of Richard Carp. The article felt like a synthesized version of the course, “Histories of Knowledges,” that first introduced me to Carp and the Interdisciplinary program at Appalachian. I was surprised to see how I have employed the concepts discussed in this article in my IDS: individually designed major and senior thesis project.

In this article Carp is responding to William Newell’s work “A Theory of Interdisciplinary Studies.” Carp critiques Newell’s article because he presupposes a common understanding of the term interdisciplinary, an understanding that situates disciplines as unquestioned natural occurrences. Newell’s position also ignores the body and inhibits the progression into the unknowable future (2001, p. 87).

Carp details his argument against rallying behind the term interdisciplinary because the term focuses too much on disciplines, thus erasing the legitimacy of non-academic knowledge formations (2001, p. 75). It ignores the history, the power dynamics and the cultural situation of disciplines, of research, and of knowledge. Carp suggests that the tendency of interdisciplinary studies to ask questions and find solutions only within the pre-established boundaries of disciplines and thus academia, limits the person’s ability to progress into the unforeseeable future (2001, p. 87). Disciplines, instead, serve the economy and the industrial complex. The false notion of objectivity is used to support and create the hierarchy of knowledge that lines more pocket than it expands minds. He also discusses the absence of bodies in the discussion of knowledges and in the structures of imparting knowledge on to others. Academia trains the body to be disciplined, still and invisible (2001, p. 101), which is counter to the lived experience of knowledge formation where formation, knowing, learning, and investigation all intermingled and dynamic (2001, p. 75).

Carps discussion on knowledge formation can be compared to a mobius strip where there is no beginning or end and all oppositions are inherently integrated and codependent. He “propose[s] that we abandon altogether the metaphor of “interdisciplinary” and its dependence on the image of the disciplines, replacing it with an image of integrative praxis that learn from multiple knowledge formations.” (2001, p. 109). He focuses on the importance in integration as a way to employ all of the tools available in order to actualize “living well,” which he sees as the aim of reason (2001, p. 73).

The desire to take theories and apply them to the world in a way that improves the daily quality of life is a main motivation for my concentration. I have come to terms with the reality that I cannot aspire to change the minds of others or inspire empathy. However I can provide tools. I can send ripples in the pond of status quo to stir the American zombies. I can believe in the ideal of “mindful bodies and embodied minds.” (2001, p. 87). My concentration on fashion draws upon the inclusion of the body as a legitimate source of knowledge. It supports the inclusion of visual signifiers, as embedded semiotic codes, in the meaning making process. My concentration draws from numerous disciplines, from my memories, lived experiences and observations of my surrounding communities. I could not properly articulate “fashion as a social skin” without this foundation of knowledge formations, which relay on the interdependencies of theory and praxis and of academic and non-academic knowledge.

An interesting point made by Carp is how the formation of disciplines and the western academic structure is dependent on the formation of a new understanding of self. The modern idea of an engaged self that is actively education, examining and inscribing their discoveries upon their bodies is foundational to my analysis of the role of fashion in the display of the self. Especially Haraway’s idea that the self is never a finished whole, but constantly being constructed and “stitched together.” (2001, p. 74). The fluidity of fashion that I propose is the praxis of the fluidity of self. I see fashion as a conversation. It is a negotiation between intention, contexts and environment. It is simultaneously an exploration and formation of knowledges.

As I solidify my senior thesis project, I struggle with what information should be included. I have a wide base of theory and study situated within disciplines. I have the last four years of poignant experiences in fashion related spaces and analysis. Theses experiences are built upon memories, memories that until recent reflection I was unaware of their influence on my ideas. I am situated in layers of context and acutely aware of my subjectivity. It is my narrative that keeps sparking people’s attention. It is the non-disciplinary knowledge that enriches my thesis and enables it to be more accessible. I choose to create an artist’s book instead of a research thesis paper because I wanted to engage the body. The formation of the book brought to surface my narrative. Presently, I am interweaving the theory, my narrative, images of my body and interactive textural elements into the presentation of my thesis. This culmination of my last four and a half years of studying is an integrated praxis of my knowledge formations. It is a manifestation of my attempt to “ imagine the world so that [my] imaginings reveal us to be in that very world [I am] imagining.” (2001, p. 111). My artist’s book is a conversation with the reader; it is the most recent manifestation of the “conversation without end” that I am engaging in as a knower.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Campus Events

For my two campus events, I attended the opening of the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Turchin Center and the Tunnel of Oppression. Both of these events can be described as interdisciplinary as well as related to my specific area of study.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts started The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy program to broaden the publics’ access to Warhol’s work. They managed to do this by donating 28,500 original Polaroid’s and silver gelatin prints to universities across the country. The Turchin Center was given 102 Polaroid’s and 50 black and white photographs to add to their permanent collection.

The Turchin center displayed Warhol’s photos from wall to wall as well as displaying a replica of one of Andy Warhol’s New York studios. This particular studio Andy and friends had covered the entire space in silver foil and metallic paint. So in one corner of the Turchin center, there was a mock up of this silver space. There was also two photo booths set up in the center of the exhibit so anyone and everyone could have their turn at being one of Andy’s photo subjects.

This exhibit and event can be described as interdisciplinary for many reasons. One, the artist himself was commenting on the art world, popular culture, and societal issues. Two, by the way this concept was both captured and displayed pulls from many different disciplines and viewpoints.

The second event I attended was the Tunnel of Oppression, which was held in the Blue Ridge Ballroom. This was my first experience with this event and it was an interesting one. You are guided through the different scenes depicting oppression as a small group. You witness reenactments of oppression in its many forms. I remember seeing and hearing a Native American tell about how little Native culture is left. I remember seeing racial scenes from movies, physical and mental abuse, the forced separation and brutal shower deaths from the holocaust, trans gendered discrimination in the workplace, wheelchair bound persons talking about inability to get around on campus, and many other scenarios. After the guided tour was over, our group was lead to a room to discuss what we had all just experienced.

This event could also be described as interdisciplinary on many levels. Again, for the concept coming from many forms of oppression and also how this idea was displayed to the viewer. It was a performance piece speaking on the issue of oppression, which is an interdisciplinary approach.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Tunnel of Oppression is being held on Monday, November the 10th from 5-10pm in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of the Student Union. The tunnel is a maze of scenes of oppression affecting various groups, ranging from transgender workplace discrimination to eating disorders to individuals living with AIDS. It is generally an intense and thought provoking experience, and I highly recommend attending. I will be performing this year, and I hope to see a few of y'all there...

it is free, btw.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Campus Events Paper

Jimmy Hunt
IDS Praxis
Two Events

Campus Events

I attended the speech by Robert Kennedy Jr. at Farthing Auditorium on Oct. 23rd as one of my two campus events. I thoroughly enjoyed this event, and was able to connect and take away a lot from his beliefs. I consider myself fortunate to hear first hand Mr. Kennedy speak, mainly because an essential part of my major and business deals directly with sustainable living. Though I was aware of his current activism, I did not know his extensive background and educational resume, which built upon the respect I already had for him.

My favorite part was when he got off topic, which was roughly the last hour. He seemed truly passionate, not taking a glance at a single note card or referencing a power point. Throughout that rant, I connected most with his approach toward the issues. Too many speakers and politicians today give the obvious problem, but offer no answer. Kennedy gave a specific and direct plan which would not only help our current environmental crisis, but also directly benefit our economic status.

I was also very fortunate to know the director of Appalachian Voices because we worked together on my green event this past Fall. She was able to let me go early to the event and meet with Mr. Kennedy very shortly. He was just as warm and approachable in person as his presence on stage.

I relate this event to IDS because his speech was formulated from many different aspects; environmental, social, and economically. Kennedy tied in both current and past examples to strengthen his arguments. He used the multidisciplinary route as well to highlight his main points on environmental activism.

The second event I attended was the Do it to Julia CD Release show, hosted by APPS and Split Rail Records at Legends, Oct. 29th. This was a very fun show and the music was amazing. Do it to Julia is a band made up of all ASU students and over the last year have been boosted up and supported by the ASU community tremendously.

It related to IDS because there were several different, yet similar organizations working together to produce one event. Split Rail Records, the student run record label, and APPS, the student run promotional team, organized, promoted, and produced the event. They used print, radio, and tv promotion to help spread the word prior to the show. APPS monitored the music and sound and provided the essential necessities for a live music show.

Statement of Purpose Part Two

Erin Devlin
Statement of Purpose: Part Two

My Interdisciplinary studies have been more of a natural progression than a strict plan of attack. My art degree, linked with my Interdisciplinary work has given way to a bigger picture of my overall lifestyle than just a four-year degree track.
To earn my degree, with a major in Art and a minor in interdisciplinary studies I have had to take many classes that may not outwardly seem to relate, but they have all come together to give me a foundation for a lifetime of study. The art classes that I have chosen to take were very basically because of interest. However, paired with my interdisciplinary classes, those art classes taught me more than just the ability to work with a particular medium, they taught me life lessons that I will take with me forever.
A perfect example was my decision to take a ceramics class. I had always admired my fellow classmates who could work functionally and conceptually with clay, but more importantly I admired their patience with the clay. At that time I was apprenticing with a jeweler and my lack of patience was a common conversation topic. The retired jeweler was now working with clay and when I had some down time in the studio I would wander around looking at different pieces he was working on. I would always ask him about different surfaces he had created and he would always reply with the same answer, patience, you have to be patient. I enrolled in the ceramics course, yes to play with clay, but also to slow down and be patient with a new art form. By no means did I master the art of patience, but when working with a new medium, you have to be patient. Many of my art classes have been taken to learn a bit about the medium, but also they all teach so much more, and the student has to decide how those lessons shape over time.
Besides ceramics, my art degree has taken me through two drawing courses, which have developed my skill of observation and given me the ability to sketch out my ideas. I have taken metals classes purely on the love of casting and the dirtiness of it. I have taken art history classes, which give me a basis, sculpture classes, which entertained my childhood imagination, a fibers course, and currently a bookbinding course to broaden my ideas and interests in art.
The interdisciplinary courses I have taken helped me to make connections where otherwise I might not have. The most helpful and meaning course I have taken in IDS is by far Histories of Knowledge’s. It gave me the tools to be able to be comfortable in the sometimes-uncomfortable grey areas of life and experiences. I have taken a Chinese medicine course that taught me the philosophy and culture behind this form of healthcare. It also appeased my interest in acupuncture, medicinal herbs, and overall well being. Through IDS I have also studied at Penland, which taught me that learning does not end once you’re out of school. Penland also taught me that there are many ways of accomplishing a task, you just have to find or create a way that works for you. All of my Interdisciplinary and art courses have taught me something, whether I see it now or will recognize it in the future.
I have chosen to approach my studies in this fashion because it seems like a natural progression. In my opinion, learning is not a concrete structure. Instead you, follow the route to get to your specific destination. However, once on that route, you may find you need to go this way or that depending on what you have learned thus far. It is constantly changing, therefore I know I am a life long learner and my December graduation is only a point along my way.

Campus Events

William Lehman
IDS 3300-101
Dr. Derek Stanovsky
November 4, 2008
Campus Events

On October 6th, I attended a small lecture/informational meeting in Raley Hall. The event was hosted by a Business school professor; the guest was a multi-cultural, international businessman. He has worked significantly in globalistic settings. He spoke mainly on the inter-cultural struggles that he has overcome as an African educated in China and now working mainly with Germany, Mexico, and the United States. He discussed how he had overcome language barriers and how he had to struggle to connect to workers in the manufacturing plant in Mexico. He also talked about how we should have a very open mindset when working in an international setting.
This was an Interdisciplinary event because there was a melding of Linguistic, Socio-Political, and International Business. I consider this event a Socio-Political because he spoke of trying to understand the workings of the group in an official and unofficial setting. There is also an aspect of Linguistics portion to the lecture because of how of the language barriers that must be overcome to accurately represent expectations and meaning. International Business from the aspect of how a global business should be approached and managed.
The second event I attended was, on October 10th, the High Country Global Opportunities Conference. It was hosted by the AIESIC Club on campus; the guests were several successful business men ranging from niche entrepreneurs (Freddie Davis), to government employees from the US Dept. of Commerce (Greg Sizemore). The US Commercial Service is a government office that is there to help businesses go international, because of the significant amount of revenue that can be made through international trading. The business men went over the market that is available for us to capitalize on.
The Opportunity Conference was not particularly interdisciplinary. There was a significant amount of knowledge to be gained but it was mostly economical, possibly some International Law but to no great extent beyond that. It was informative but altogether not very helpful to me furthering education in Interdisciplinarity.

Monday, November 3, 2008

statement of purpose -part one

Christina Fisher

November 4, 2008

Statement of Purpose: Part One

In the field of Interdisciplinary Studies, I am self-designing a program that merges the concept of environmental stewardship with the social and emotional growth of our young people. In 2000, I began my study in the field of Interior Design. I planned to design rooms ergonomically fit for small children. I had been a child care provider from a middle school age. In working with small children, I actively studied phases of developmental growth and tools by which to best facilitate that growth and learning in early childhood. I soon realized that a lot of struggles that young children dealt with the fact that they are very small in a big world. Preschool aged children can often learn to accomplish tasks mentally before they may so easily do them physically. In many situations, adjustments of chair height and ease of access to move from room to room as well as the ability to reach their own things gives them the confidence to explore beginning skills in areas earlier than if they to have constant help.

I originally thought that in would spend my life as a care giver because of all the wonderful things that little ones have to offer. However, in realizing the growing need for child friendly furniture and organization, I felt that an interior design degree would allow me the access to better achieve my ultimate goal of aiding in the development of the children. As I studied design, I also took classes in several other disciplines that I felt would help my future in the field. As I got further in my degree program I realized that the classes I liked the most and I felt satisfied my general goals, would only be a small niche in the design field, but seemed to come together for something that I was not quite sure at that time.

I have completed minors in sociology and art, which helped me see deeper into the roots of why children learn the way they do, what stands in their way, and a myriad of possibilities to facilitate better family communications and household needs with an approach that can hold their attention. At that time, as well, I was learning about issues in our society at large that were beginning to emerge.

By 2005, I felt that I needed time to reflect on what I was actually going to do. I felt further away from basic interior design goals and more focused on social issues at hand. Beyond the social or abstract areas I had studied, my interior design programmed classes addressed such a wide variety of skills that I was accepted into the Peace Corps. I was either going to work in Asia on a water and sanitation project or to work in Africa to help patients with AIDS. I was excited, because my program had led me to that path. However, my department head and advisor felt that it took me away from their goals for their graduates and that I no longer had the “heart for interior design”. I was stunned because I thought that they would be proud that I was taught such a range of things through them that allowed me to come to this point.

I did not that year go away to Asia or Africa, but I knew then that I obviously was looking at a much broader picture than I would be allowed to piece together as a basic interior designer. I left school to explore opportunities at home, the first of which was a trip to help rebuild a convent school in Mexico. On that trip, I learned much more than how to paint a classroom. I actually learned about the unique approach that nuns in this area were using to teach Spanish to the indigenous Tarahumara people of the mountains of Chihuahua, so that they could work certain trades as opposed to begging from tourists. Also I took note that the reason the people needed this help was that the drought they experienced, left them with nothing in their fields but licorice which is obviously not going to sustain a mainly agricultural society.

About a month after I came back from that trip, hoping and praying for those people to get rain, the rains did come. Unfortunately our prayers must not have been quite specific enough because where the rain fell was in Mississippi and Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina hit hard that fall and because of my interim of unemployment, I was able to be deployed with the Red Cross to help. Still having my college experiences fresh on my mind, with my use of Spanish and sign language I was able to help in ways I could never have expected. More than food or money, the people just needed compassion, because they were simply never given the tools to handle such a situation.

I started again piecing my experiences and my education together, this time realizing how much I felt the need for incorporation of my knowledge on basic geology and sustainability of our lands. Even after my return, my experience as a nanny for a family whose home in Florida was demolished by Hurricane Dennis made me realize even more that one of the biggest needs for our growing children at this time is rooted in our ecological state.

From the years of 2005 through 2007, I worked as a nanny, but constantly dealt with issues involving weather changes and our need for changes in our cultural climate of complacency. I was able to assist children from ages 1 to 9, not only by ‘babysitting them’ but engaging them in more healthful activities that encouraged them to be conscious of other people and respectful for what they had. In very nontraditional ways, including art projects from collected materials, and with their families, teaching them to take care of the toys they had so that they last longer, and to give away instead of throw away things they no longer needed or wanted. I got into recycling furniture and clothing for children and was able to create a small network of people who all traded toys and clothes which saved many people a lot of money, but also helped keep things out of landfills and gave the children a sense of pride in doing one act of kindness that would help in so many ways.

Because of the results I saw in the clothes recycling projects and work to help limit chemicals in the children’s foods and homes. I saw its importance for their social and emotional growth. I caught an ‘eco-bug’. I recognized a growing interest in parents of young children to participate in environmental activities, not just for their children’s own health but also to save money in this economy. Elements of functional clean design fit for children coupled with more energetic attitudes that empower them through art, dancing, and just being silly, can create not just fun learning environments, but can help them to be healthier in body and spirit. I have come back to Appalachian State to become more informed in my social and ecological efforts. I want to learn more inventive ways to utilize that which I have already learned, with a more refined touch that will give me the tools to be more effective in my endeavor.

The Dissemination of Environmental Awareness

There is no doubt in my mind that sustainability will become increasingly more important in the near future. A future of Sustainability in regards to the principles of human rights, environmental protection, encouraging positive ecological economical investments is the goal of my concentration and personal life. My major concentration in environmental policy and planning is a framework of courses that encourage the development of a conceptual knowledge of our environment and our interactions with it. The best method for environmental protection is to teach respect and appreciation for the environment we inhabit. Our race populates this earth in common existence with many other life-forms. To reconnect people to the earth which bore them is a fundamental idea behind positive environmental action and inspiring others to open their minds to a more natural existence. There are many changes we need to make in order to attempt to adopt a lifestyle of sustainability, the root of which occur with the initial change of perception from trying to compete with nature and control it, to developing with nature in mind. The principles of sustainability in conjunction with social leadership skills, a foundation in biology, and an array of classes spanning anthropology, geography and planning, and Japanese language and culture classes, are the preparatory subjects I have studied and continue to hold an interest in. Slowly drawing connections between these fields and observing their interactions helps formulate a plan of action with efficiency in mind. Understanding the systems of our environment and the systems of our society and trying to tie them together while remaining balanced and not viewed as radical, hypocritical, overly liberal, or ecocentric, but rather rational, logical, and impartial is how I will approach my concentration.

Creating a community garden helps to provide positive physical work for multiple people to contribute and gain from. Helping to reach compromise among contributing neighbors, developing an overall conceptual functioning idea of the land available, organizing diversity and efficiency in the plots, and finally the physical work of planting everything, are managerial tasks I am currently employing to help develop my skills. What I aim to do could be considered to cause social change by providing a positive example for action, however there are many formations of knowledge functioning at the same time, not only will I provide a positive role model for environmental responsibility, but I am also in a location where understanding the power relationships between the rental company which may or may not own the land being worked, the neighbors who have different priorities in what should be planted, what should actually be planted there considering the climate, and surrounding plants, as well as sunlight are my responsibility to take into consideration. Developing a community garden helps promote diverse social growth, for plants and humans and it helps restore the connection between people and the environment that helps support them. Growing fresh food and preparing it can function as a conduit between people and our habitat, and works to help restore a respectful view of land.

Developing environmental policy and planning for a sustainable future are two tremendous goals that cannot be accomplished without the skills required to manage and organize huge efforts. By redeveloping a cultural respect for the land which feeds us, and recognizing the potential of organized social progression we can make strides toward a sustainable future. Beyond the conglomeration of different subjects and their connections the IDS core classes help develop a method of meditation designed to help organize and renew the thought processes which are used most in academic studies. Observing the learning method by participation in it and analyzing it, helps to increase efficiency in personal understanding, as well as promote healthy emotional growth. By combining these courses and the ideas they promote I will develop and employ my skills to organize and inspire others to create a positive change in the way we think about and interact with our habitat.

Reflections on Campus Events

The two campus events I attended were the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speech on environmental policies and progressions and the Hispanic Heritage Festival.
Robert Kennedy Junior came to Appalachian State October 23 and spoke at Farthing Auditorium at 8:00 pm on his ideas for the environmental issues and the emphasis that we as a nation should be putting on these policies. His passion for his field of work was fascinating and inspiring as he spoke well over his time limit and was never exasperated on everything he mentioned. His statements, facts, statistics and ideas were nothing less than impressive and displayed his wide range of knowledge on everything dealing with the environment. He spoke on such issues as mountain-top removal-where his relationship with Appalachian Voices Executive Director Mary Ann Hitt is very close-, maintaining the rivers, creeks and streams that comprise our water systems, and essential sustainable advancements for all environmental issues. An example used to prove potential environmental political necessity on the American economics is that Americans use 700 billion dollars on foreign oil each year, which was the exact amount of the bailout this year, and if we outsource that amount of foreign oil on other ways of creating efficient energy through bio-fuels or whatnot, then the deficit would meet par. His campaign for the environment was very moving and the Watauga county audience was deeply moved. He ended his speech with this, “It is time to restore American prestige. It is time for every American to become an entrepreneur and every home a power plant, making everyone the ‘dogs of war.’”
The other event I attended was the Hispanic Heritage Festival which was held on October 24 at 7:00pm in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of the Student Union. This event was completely for fun and to bring awareness to the Latin culture that is present on the Appalachian campus. The evening was filled with enormous amounts of food, eating contests, educational power points on the different Latin American countries, and salsa dancing. It was very much enjoyed by myself and the international community that was present there, as most of the students studying abroad here are friends. Learning the salsa was a feat unto itself, but was very much enjoyable, despite my inability to salsa even after lessons.
Neither events were really interdisciplinary because both focused on a specific subject and advocating for their educational purposes. I did share qualities with both events though. Kennedy’s passion reflects my own, not necessarily the same passions, but passion none-the-less. His passion is for the environment, and while I agree that much emphasis needs to be put on ways to make the environment top-priority, my passion lies within people and helping those who are unable to help themselves because of political or economic oppression. With the Hispanic Heritage Festival, I compare with the event because I am concentrating in Latin American Studies and enjoy everything international. Education was inevitable, however, through both events, but both were very enjoyable.

Statement of Purpose Part Two

In order to be able to create Yahweh’s World, the non-profit organization, I need to be skilled in a lot of different areas. I decided to major in IDS because it gave me the chance to do that. I have taken classes such as Communication in Organizations and Public Speaking in the Communication Department which has helped develop my ability to speak in front of large groups, as well as, understand how people interact within a group. I have taken Careers in non-profit in order to understand the tasks and basis of a non-profit organization. This was a service-learning class that enabled me to assist in fundraising and program planning for a local non-profit called Sugar Grove Developmental Day School. I learned from the Executive Board what the needs of a non-profit are and helped raise a few hundred dollars in an ink-cartridge drive. I got a lot of good experience and got to interview all the different positions including an essential member, the grant writer. I am in the process of getting a minor in sociology and have taken Social Problems in America. Through this department I have gained an understanding of the problems in our society and also how to make a step towards progress. I have also been taking Special Education classes since that is the target population for the organization. In the future, I am taking a Business writing course that will give me a chance to write grants and memos, and some leadership classes that will help build the skills needed to lead a team of workers.

Along with these classes, I am doing a lot of extracurricular things to help in my integration of all my studies. I am a Resident Assistant in the dorms, so I am in charge of 36 residents. This position allows me to work on my managing and leadership skills. Each semester I have to do a certain amount of programs and also keep the hall clean and positive. This takes a lot of patience and time management, two skills that will help in the future. I work in the ACT office as a co-chair for the impact team. This is a volunteer group of students to help raise awareness about social issues in our community in Boone. We put on the big events on campus such as MLK Challenge, a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King, and Dance Marathon, which is an event that you raise money for 2 local non-profits and then dance for 24 hours. With this organization, I am learning how to encourage and motivate volunteers with things other than money. I am learning cool fundraisers that I can do in the future and building my network for the future. On top of these two things, I try and volunteer as much as possible and also at a variety of organization. I have worked with the Hospitality House that gives warm meals and shelter to people living in homelessness, and with the Humane Society that works to get homes for abandoned and abused animals; I have also worked on trails and with environmental groups like Appalachian Voices, and a mass of groups in between. I have helped with groups that were just getting started to groups that are well known and established. This is very helpful because it is helping me make a checklist of what needs to be done in each stage. All of my extracurricular stuff is giving me the hands on experience I will need in the future.

I am working towards an internship with a local non-profit. I try to apply everything I learn in class to what I do outside of the classroom. The outside stuff is helping to integrate the many disciplinary subjects together. In working with Sugar Grove I put on a Thanksgiving feast, but because the school had a lack in funds I had to work on getting donations. This didn’t just require my programming skills but also my ability to write for a non-profit to be able to get donations. Everything is interconnected just sometimes it takes an unexpected circumstance to see how they fit together.

Statement of Purpose Part One

I am an Interdisciplinary Studies Major, individually designing my course of study. My concentration is Non-profit development, learning the skills and the abilities one must have in order to create an organization. I aspire to make one that gives positive influences to children and adults with disabilities, as well as, help parents learn the skills needed raise their child. The question I am working towards is “How can I educate the surrounding population about the different disabilities while at the same time developing more opportunities for the disabled population to succeed and grow?” The organization I would like to create is going to be called Yahweh’s World- Come as you are, be who you be. The word Yahweh in Greek means “I be who I be”. This phrase applies to this population perfectly, what one child with Down syndrome can’t do another can. I hope that this will become a safe haven and a place of guidance.

There are four parts to this program. Part one, will be a life skills program set up for the adults in the area. This will give them a chance to work on skills such as setting the table, counting change and using cleaning supplies. There are a good percentage of people who could live in a group home or even with a small group of friends, if they had extra training and practice. This part of the program will hopefully give adults with disabilities more opportunities for jobs and positive feedback. This will also be a way for them to get out and meet people, by having social gatherings and doing service projects. Part two, will be a summer camp. Counselors will have a child with disabilities and a child without disabilities. The counselor will be responsible for facilitating growth between campers to teach love and acceptance at a younger age. Part Three, will be a mentorship program set up in a similar way to the camp where the Big Sibling will have two younger ones. This will occur throughout the year, and the requirements will be to do at least three hours of service as a group and have at least two social gatherings each month. I believe the best way to be accepted into a community is to give back to it. Part four, will be a support network for the parents of the organization. This will be a chance for them to get out and have fun, as well as, learn skills as a parent with a child with disabilities. This gives them a chance to talk with, to learn from and encourage each other. I hope to have Parent’s Night Out at least once a month.

I chose this area of study out of inspiration from my friends Ronda, Cameron and Will. They have a range of disabilities from Down syndrome to Microcephaly. I have been hanging out with them for the last 7 years and each day they amaze me. Before I met them, I had no knowledge of disabilities and I was very ignorant. I was one of the people that pitied them and felt bad that they were born incapable. I have learned so much from them and had my expectations thrown out. This year Will is graduating from High School, Ronda and Cameron are going to be seniors. Each child, whether born with disabilities or without one is special and capable, things may take longer but one thing that helps is having expectations and love for what they are capable of. I think we do a poor job of loving on people for who they are, without comparisons to others. This is something that happens in all populations of people, Ronda is a girl who happened to be born with Down syndrome, she is not her disability. We get so hung up on titles whether it is disabled, freak, jock or prep and forget that we are all people who crave relationships. I feel a calling to teach this to the world: that we are more alike than we think.

Everyone deserves an opportunity to develop and grow while being loved in their struggles. I feel called to create this program. I know it is going to be hard and there is a lot of work that will go into it, but this is something I have been planning out for over 5 years now. My concentration is giving me the opportunity to develop all the skills needed to accomplish my goal.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

statement of purpose, part 1

Katy Barnard

Here at Appalachian State University I am studying film. This school doesn’t technically have a film studies program so I am studying it through Interdisciplinary Studies. I could have majored in English with a concentration in film, but I decided English was not my forte and I would find a better way to study what I really wanted. What I really want to study is the technical aspect of film because that really interests me, and the English department didn’t have anything on the technical aspect of film.

I hadn’t really put any thought into what I wanted to study nor do with my life my first couple of semesters here. I was focused on taking all of the classes I had to in order to graduate. While taking those classes I couldn’t seem find anything that I liked enough to take more of or that had potential for me to work in after graduating. After putting a little more thought into it I remembered a class I was placed into in high school. One class I wanted to take was full so the school placed me in a literature and film class. Looking back that was the best thing that could have happened. That made me look into film classes offered here. I took the Introduction to Film class with Craig Fischer and I was hooked. I remember asking him one day after class if there was any way to study film outside of the English department. He was the one who told me about the Interdisciplinary Studies department and how students before me had wanted to do the same thing. He also gave me recommendations of teachers and classes in other departments that would help me out.

I’m studying the technical aspect of film through the Interdisciplinary Studies department because it allows me to take classes from different departments and put them together in a specific way that helps me plan what I want to do career-wise. The classes I have taken so far have been very enjoyable and I look forward to taking as many more as I can. I would really like to be a part of the whole film making process. I have only just recently learned how to use a camcorder to shoot scenes and to edit them with different software, but I love it! I don’t necessarily want to be the next big Hollywood producer or cinematographer, I would be perfectly happy working on independent films. Just about anything that involves being hands on in the process of making films would make me incredibly happy.

I don’t know how many times I have walked away from a film thinking, “Wow! I never thought about that before,” but I love that feeling. There have been countless films that have changed my point of view about certain subjects, whether they were documentaries or major motion pictures. I know that most films have to be taken with a grain of salt because there can be major biases present, but sometimes they hit home for people. I think it would be amazing to help change someone’s life through a film. But, then there’s the lighter side of films that interest me too. Sometimes I see films just to escape reality for a little while. I would also like to assist others in doing the same.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Third Annual Diversity and Social Justice Conference will be held Friday, Nov. 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union.

Registration is $7 and includes lunch and giveaways. To register and for detailed information about the conference’s sessions, visit or call 262-6252 for more information. The registration deadline is Nov. 5.

The keynote speaker is Jamar Banks, director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at Appalachian.

Participants can choose from concurrent sessions that begin at 1:10, 2:10 and 3:10 p.m.

All of the sessions would relate to my course of study, and all seem very interesting...I'm not sure yet which ones I will attend....