Why We Notice that We Can Notice

A common thread throughout this course is drawing the current content of focus back to the past content. On the very first day of class, we focused on the epigraph which reads, “My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice.” (Dionne Brand). We were told that one purpose of this class was to read the literature given to us and see what it could mean in connection to this epigraph. The very first individual writing assignment for this class was analyzing this quote Within the essay asking ourselves are we focused on our ability to notice, the writers, or maybe the character’s ability? When you look outside of this question and think about the course there is an even broader question, did this epigraph feel relevant throughout the entirety of the course? Using the articles, novels, and other pieces of writing from the course these questions are easily answered. From the textual evidence of Medical Apartheid by Harriet A.Washington, Home by Toni Morrison, and Fortune’s Bones by Marilyn Nelson, I concluded that the epigraph is consistently relevant in all of these pieces and can be used to focus on our ability to notice while reading. Since I’ve established that our own ability to notice is a focus within the course how does this connect to GLOBE’s(Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education) requirement that as Geneseo students we need to be practicing the ability to reflect on how we learn over time and what these differences we see are? We can see a connection from this essay, it is asking us to look at the interpretation of the epigraph from the beginning of the semester and compare it to our opinions formed by the end of the semester. 

The first literary piece read within the course was Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington. This medical journal is the most factual writing we read throughout the semester. Washington takes her readers through the gruesome history of the medical world in relation to the mistreatment of Black individuals. Although this was the first work we looked at, we did not treat it like the rest of the novels we came to read. Medical Apartheid was not read in order of chapters, but in the order of which chapters connected to the other literature, we were reading at the time. This was the first time I had been in a class that approached a book in such a way. The effect that this had was interesting. Not only did it make the medical journal more understandable but it also made it feel more relevant. A quote that I found myself thinking a lot about is, “Dr. W. Montague Cobb…vociferously opposed abusive experimentation with blacks, but he defended Sims. ‘To refer to Anarcha and the five vesicovaginal patients whom Sims treated with her, as human guinea pigs would be grossly unfair… one of the great humanitarian as well as scientific landmarks of American surgery”(Washington 68-69). When I read this I think about the commonly used phrase, there is no black and white when it comes to good and bad, only gray. Although there is no denying that the lack of consensual experimentation happening was an act of cruelty, it becomes a tricky conversation when the medical advancements that come from it are monumental for the medical community. In this quote, Dr. W. Montague is not supporting the continuation of these experiments. However, he is acknowledging that medical advancements made from them should be appreciated and not only that the people who made them should be appreciated as well. This leads me to think about the epigraph, this literary work as I stated earlier, is a factual and historically accurate piece but the thinking it provokes goes beyond that. The thoughts I had led me to notice that there is no perfect way to look at history and no perfect way to villainize the people within it. The horrors found in medical history cannot be ignored but the advancements they made can also not be ignored. A simple way to interpret this book would be to see the names and the dates and memorize them as fact and move on. The epigraph pushed upon us encourages deeper thinking. It causes a much more important and difficult inner dialogue. Forcing us to deal with the possibility that there is no real answer on how to deal with the racist tragedies of the past. 

The novel Home by Toni Morrison also deals with manipulative behavior in medical experimentation. This is why the quote used above from Medical Apartheid was read during the same time as Home was. Showing that the importance of connecting literature to outside works was emphasized consistently throughout the course. We were encouraged to notice that the works, although very different from each other, could be tied to one another.  By connecting each novel to the other it paints a more detailed picture for me as a reader. The pain that we see the characters within Home experience is something many Black individuals in the real world had to experience in a similar or in a worse way. The character Cee in Morrison’s novel Home, finds herself in a situation where she falls victim to the horrendous acts of the medical community. A doctor named Dr. Beauregard “hires” her to perform gynecological experiments on her body. While she still worked for the doctor she has sickening thoughts such as,  “How pleasant she felt upon awakening after Dr. Beau had stuck her with a needle to put her to sleep; how passionate he was about the value of the examinations; how she believed the blood and pain that followed was a menstrual problem- nothing made them change their minds about the medical industry”(Morrison, 121-122). With the information from Medical Apartheid and the events, we see Cee experience I was able to see the gravity of danger the Black community was in when surrounded by the medical community. The manipulation that took place to make sure these non-consensual experiments took place is clear. The only reason Cee agrees to “work”, although I’m not sure what Cee is subjected to can be considered a job, is because she was vulnerable. She wanted reassurance and love she did not get from her stepmother or her husband. Sensing this vulnerability Dr. Beauregard took advantage of it. Though not all experiments that took place came to be in this exact way there are similarities in most. To elaborate, some experimentation would take place because a Black patient was not aware of proper protocol. Another reason could have been a lack of options presented when needing to seek health treatment. These situations may not be identical, but they all have the common thread that systematic racism was present and that power was abused by the race in control. Looking at the novels Medical Apartheid and Home individually would allow anyone to gain some knowledge about the racist past of medical advancement. However, since our course revolves around noticing, and in my opinion noticing connections between literature specifically, we are able to take the two novels and gain a deeper and more detailed understanding of this past. I am able to know not only what took place but how it took place. I was able to see how power was abused to dehumanize these Black individuals. 

A unique piece of literature we looked at this semester was Fortune’s Bones by Marilyn Nelson. This was the first requiem that I had ever come across in an English class. It was actually the first time I had come across the term at all. Merriam-Webster defines it in a number of ways, “a mass for the dead: a solemn chant for the repose of the dead: a musical composition in honor of the dead”(Merriam-Webster). Essentially it is a type of poem-like song made to honor someone who has passed. Nelson wrote Fortune’s Bones after a skeleton was found in Connecticut. After doing research about the found remains it was discovered to be the bones of a slave named Fortune, owned by the local doctor. Nelson wrote this to honor Fortune and the lack of identity he was given in life and in death. A powerful piece within the requiem reads, “Fortune’s legacy was his inheritance: the hopeless hope of a people valued for their labor, not for their ability to watch and dream as vee of geese define fall evening skies.  Was Fortune bitter?  Was he good or bad?  Did he laugh sometimes, throw back his head and laugh?  His bones say only that he served and died, that he was useful, even into death, stripped of his name, his story, and his flesh” (Nelson, 13). As I read these words for the first time the true gravity of the situation came into picture, this was a man who was reduced to nothing but a piece of property. A man who gave his body to the medical achievements of a man who disregarded his bones with no true appreciation and honor. Fortune lived in a time of slavery, Cee and many stories within Medical Apartheid take place years after slavery was abolished. The combination of these works of writing has once again painted me a bigger picture. The history of medical mistreatment towards Black individuals goes back centuries. It also does not end with slavery, the continuation of experimentation is as brutal if not more brutal. The lack of identity is something that also continues long after slavery. The people who gave their bodies unwillingly for medicine advancing are rarely named or thanked. Combining these three works I am able to notice how many identities we do not know and how many people go unthanked. 

A word I use frequently throughout my essay is notice. Of course, the word is significant since the word is in the epigraph, “My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice.” (Dionne Brand). To clarify the points I have made, I feel I need to define what I mean when I am using the word notice. How I define notice is paying attention. When I make connections between all these writings I am paying attention to the way they are similar, the way they can build upon each other, or even how they contradict each other. The three works I mentioned throughout, Medical Apartheid by Harriet A.Washington, Home by Toni Morrison, and Fortune’s Bones by Marilyn Nelson, all connected to me because I paid attention while reading each piece. If I were to ignore the epigraph and read each novel as its own without referencing the others I would not have gained any of the knowledge I mentioned above. The importance of noticing things within the text individually was so important to fully utilize this course. It was the only way to get a well-rounded understanding of the content. As a student answering GLOBE’s question of how has my learning changed? I would say I thought the importance of noticing was something that needed to be done as a class. I now think the importance of noticing things as an individual is the main goal of this class, this way the class can compare thoughts and gain more interpretations overall. 


Everett, P. L. (1990). Zulus. The Permanent Press.

A Geneseo Education for a connected world. SUNY Geneseo. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2021, from https://www.geneseo.edu/provost/geneseo-education-connected-world.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Requiem definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 13, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/requiem.

Morrison, T. (2013). Home. Vintage Books.

Nelson, M., & Espeland, P. (2004). Fortune’s bones: The manumission requiem. Front Street.

Paw Prints. (2010). Medical apartheid the dark history of medical experimentation on Black Americans from colonial times to the present

Reparations for the Benefit of Other Human Beings?

Dan Bast, Sarah Bryk, Phil Cai, Connor Canfield, Delaney Carnahan, Taylor Kerr, Maya Nunez, Bryanna Spaulding

Reparations are made when a group in power takes action in good faith to amend the wrongdoings towards those affected. In William A. Darity, Jr.’s and A. Kirsten Mullen’s work, Here to Equality: Reparation for Black Americans in the Twenty-first Century, they argue their perspective on the modern-day perceptions and actions towards reparations for Black people. As a group, Black individuals have suffered greatly at the hands of white Americans having been forced to work with no just compensation. Darity and Mullen tackle the difficult conversation on how compensation would be fulfilled today. They make their opinions about reparations abundantly clear, however, they are not naive enough to ignore the complications that go with it. In voicing their concerns about the impact of reparations they write,  “…I fear that reparations would be an excuse for some to say “we’ve paid our debt” and to avoid the much harder work of enforcing our anti-discrimination laws in employment and housing; the much harder work of making sure that our schools are not separate but unequal; the much harder work of lifting thirty-seven million Americans of all races out of poverty.”(Darity, Mullen). This quote shows the complex nature of reparations and how some promises may never be fully kept. It is important that all aspects of reparations are considered in order to act in good faith and amend wrongdoings. Paying back reparations will take more than “paying off our debt”, it will take recognizing and breaking down systematic and oppressive structures in American society that place Black individuals at a disadvantage. This theme of reducing a person to one quality can be tied in most literature dealing with the grotesque history of the mistreatment of Black Americans. Some of these works being; Zulus by Percival Everett, Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler, and Zone One by Colson Whitehead. In all of these novels, the primary characters are reduced to one characteristic or role.

Within the novel Zulus, Everett writes his main character, Alice Achitophel, as a “fat” woman whose sole value from society’s perspective is reproducing. When Lucinda finds out Alice is pregnant their reaction triggers her thoughts regarding her place in the current desolate community. Following this interaction, Alice thinks, “She could hardly save herself much less us and her brain swelled with fear as she wondered what would be expected of her. Would she be asked to bear many children, by many men, and what if the baby was malformed, a product of a disturbed planet” (Everett, 70). Her sole ability to produce children felt like a tool to be used for other people’s benefit. Instead of being a contributing member of society, she was reduced to a single identity, a single purpose. Alice’s feelings can be equated to the emotions of Black individuals in America. Much like how Alice’s identity has been reduced to a single aspect, the struggles of Black Americans throughout our nation’s history have been similarly reduced to a single fix. Although we acknowledge the fact that it will take more than “paying them back” to fully repair the damage that has been done, we fail to take the necessary steps to amend systemic and structural abuses that black people face and continue to face today. Reducing the abuses towards Black Americans into one aspect like this is not the right step towards reparations. Reducing Alice to her ability to reproduce was not the right step as we saw towards the end of the book. Despite the seemingly kind treatment of Alice towards the beginning, these actions were not made in good faith. To simplify reparations to being paid a sum of money is an attempt at an easy fix, void of genuine concern or regard for the generational trauma inflicted upon these people. Just as the rebel camp wanted to silence Alice, those in power are using money to try and silence the Black community.

Octavia Butler approaches her main character Blake and his daughters, in the novel Clay’s Ark in a similar way to Everett. Clay’s Ark portrays a world taken hold by a disease that has the unusual side effect of loss of autonomy. Once Blake and his daughters are captured by Eli and his community, all self-autonomy is taken away. Meda and the others begin to infect them with this malicious disease, and Meda explains it to Blake, “We want you on our side because you might be able to help us save more converts–that’s what Eli calls them. We…we care about the people we lose. But we have to be sure of you, and we can’t until you’re one of us. Right now you’re sort of in-between….”(43). By infecting Blake first, Meda has guaranteed his moral compass and fear for his daughter’s safety. None of the converts take into consideration what Blake and his daughter’s want in life, they were taken from the safety of their car and forced onto this farm in the middle of nowhere. Once they escape, Blake feels he is doing the right thing, yet Eli’s opinions differ as he could spread the disease at a greater impact, but if Eli had considered the freedom he was taking from the family then maybe he would have seen their willingness to fight back. Eli isn’t asking for Blake’s input similar to the way the United States isn’t asking for Black people’s input. In the article by Darity and Mullen, they touch on how the people in power making these reparations do not always reflect those they are being made for. A common thread between government and minorities is that the government sees itself as “intellectually superior” to the minority. Eli sees himself in the same way, making him unable to listen to the advice around him. The people in charge of these reparations do not have many people who can speak on the behalf of the Black community; they have a lack of voices representing them. These reparations will not be effective in helping people the way Eli’s advice was not.

The novel Zone One by Colson Whitehead follows a man known as Mark Spitz in a version of the world much different from the one today. In this world, the population and quality of life have been reduced making Mark Spitz above the average man. This is something Mark Spitz is aware of shown to the readers through his thoughts, “He was a mediocre man. He had led a mediocre life exceptional only in the magnitude of its unexceptionality. Now the world was mediocre, rendering him perfect.” (148). Mark Spitz’s awareness is not a gift, he feels the pressure of being exceptional. The pressure of rebuilding the world from a place of despair is felt by himself and his peers. However, what Mark Spitz does not appreciate is the recognition that he receives. Darity and Mullen make the loud statement, “ The greatest contribution of this country was that which was contributed by the Black man”. In context to the article, they are pointing out the lack of recognition the Black men in the past received for helping to build this country to where it is today. Connecting this to reparations Darity and Mullen argue that the Black community will not feel “repaid” until they have been acknowledged for the contributions they have made. Just as Mark Spitz will not feel at peace until he is in a world like he remembered as a child, the Black community will not feel at peace until they are in a world that they have worked for.

In the article, Darity and Mullen discuss the significance of reparations. The injustice cannot be repaired simply by monetary means, and the attempt of the government to “silence” the minorities is unacceptable. As stated by Darity and Mullen, “But the failure to pay a debt in a timely fashion does not extinguish the obligation, particularly since the consequences of past injustices continue to be visited upon the descendants of the direct victims. A national act of procrastination does not eliminate the debt” (Darity, Mullen). Reparations for the long history of injustice cannot simply be put off to be forgotten forever. While there are very few survivors left who were directly involved in slavery, this does not mean that the injustice ceases to exist. Minorities such as Black Americans continue to feel the inequality and trauma from years past, and simply ignoring this fact will not make it disappear. Reparations need to be paid to these individuals directly, to make up for the injustices and unfulfilled promises from years back in history. Acknowledgment of the sacrifice made by these Black Americans must be made before even beginning to pay reparations to these individuals. These Black individuals have been trapped in a box of slavery and racist stereotypes for centuries. The damage this has caused to their community is something that must be acknowledged. Just as the characters in the novel felt isolated as they were reduced to one quality, one aspect of their lives, so are African Americans when their hard work and struggles are being reduced to having one end solution. The characters in the novels above felt confined in the role they had been placed in, because of this, they were unable to feel connected to the people around them. If the right steps towards reparations are not taken, Black Americans will continue to feel the same way.

The Untold Legacy of Medicine

Dan Bast, Delaney Carnahan, Samuel Comstock, Taylor Kerr, Jose Romero, Bryanna Spaulding

Through the works of Harriet A. Washington, Marilyn Nelson, and Toni Morrison readers can witness the influence of racism that has created disparities in medical care, highlighted by the inhumane medical treatment of those suffering from racial injustice among society. It is evident that Black Americans have suffered improper and unfair treatment when compared to White Americans. When we read Fortune’s Bones, we can see that Marilyn Nelson emphasizes the idea that being born a slave also enslaves possibilities and expectations of freedom, shown in institutions that perform medical experiments on enslaved people. This highlights the severe mistreatment and dehumanization of Black Americans that altered and limited the basic essential parts of life that are still seen in today’s demographic. “Fortune was born; he died”- the simplicity of life summarized in a simple sentence with no context to what Fortune did. It’s almost as though Fortune had no reason to be alive, a shadow of a man whose body was merely property and his soul only being released in death. At the time of his death, his body portrayed his life of servitude, and he was stripped of his identity by Porter when he was simply renamed “Larry.” Fortune’s life was defined by his work, and in his death, his body was nonconsensually used for medical research, further dehumanizing him. He was no longer an individual person, he served for Dr. Porter and he was not recognized as a man with his own life for years after his death. Fortune represents one of many instances where the life of a black individual is viewed as insignificant. 

In literature dealing with this subject matter, we witness corruption in the medical industry. These works emphasize the toll this corruption had and continues to have on African Americans and other black people. Whether it be a lack of consent or belligerent plans made by medical professionals without fear of repercussions. “His bones say only that he served and died, that he was useful, even into death, stripped of his name, his story, and his flesh” (Nelson 13). Nelson conveys to the readers in this quote that Fortune was not seen as a human being but rather as a tool that could be used when convenient. He was viewed not as an individual person with his own thoughts and ideas, he was seen as a mechanism for physical labor. Fortune’s bones are the framework for basic human autonomy and functioning in society; in this instance, the bones of Fortune are no longer individually owned, but rather owned and used by the owners bidding beyond free will. When Nelson speaks of Fortune being stripped of his story this can be connected to the concept of legacy. His individuality was not respected during his life and his body was used and continued to be disrespected in death. With that being said, the inhumane treatment and corruption on Fortune’s bones ultimately contaminates the legacy of those who wish to bring their stories of hardship and racial disparity, to be known. A loss of individuality is an opportunity lost to obtain a legacy. By reading works like Fortune’s Bones, it highlights the mistreatment black people experienced within the medical field and allows this piece of the medical community’s legacy to come to light. Similarly in Home by Toni Morrison, the author writes about Cee, a young black woman, and details her loss of legacy in a different way. After Cee endures the intensity of her recovery, Miss Ethel informs her saying, “Your womb can never bear fruit” (Morrison 128).  This displays the true (non-consensual) sacrifice made by African Americans in terms of medical research. Cee was not aware of what was being done to her, and she never gave consent nor accepted her medical fate. Dr. Beauregard performed experiments that not only left her body in an almost unrecoverable state but also made a drastic life decision for her, that she can never bear children of her own. She not only was used for her body non consensually, but she was in such a poor state that she herself could barely survive on her own. In losing the opportunity to bear children her choice to continue her legacy through children was no longer available to her. Although Cee was not a slave to the extent that Fortune was, she still experienced that same loss of autonomy. When taking this job, she was not aware of the true nature of the position making it impossible for her to have consented to the repercussions that came along with it. 

Many influential characters in history can be tied to the mistreatment of minority groups which define the success of their accomplishments. When reflecting upon the medical examinations that have changed over the duration of time, Washington’s Medical Apartheid highlights the corrupt mistreatment of African Americans and almost compares them to animals upon examination. We’re able to truly see the faults and degradation in our medical systems in her writing. This comparison can be seen within the quote “Dr. W. Montaguene Cobb…vociferously opposed abusive experimentation with blacks, but he defended Sims. ‘To refer to Anarcha and the five vesicovaginal patients whom Sims treated with her, as human guinea pigs would be grossly unfair… one of the great humanitarian as well as scientific landmarks of American surgery” (Washington 68-69). While the nonconsensual and inhumane experiments performed on these African American individuals were in no way justified, they did contribute to further medical advancements and treatments that benefited patients in a whole new aspect. Even though this research was ultimately beneficial to the world of medicine and future patients, the experiments performed cannot be excused. This is evidence of the brutal dehumanization of African Americans and no matter the benefits, racial discrimination in the medical field is unacceptable. 

In order to commit to health equity, racism has to be acknowledged as an obstacle and while there is more progression, there is still an evident lack of reparations seen through the mistreatment of people of color. Through Geneseo’s DEI initiatives, the school works to inclusify the community while providing knowledge that is so wrongly excluded from most school curriculums. This course acknowledges those issues and pushes us to reflect on the tragedies and learn from them so we can move forward as scholars. Students in this course are also from different backgrounds which allows us to work collaboratively and provide different points of view on the stories we are reading. We believe these ideas are reflected in Marilyn Nelson’s words interpreting Fortune stating, “And I am humbled by ignorance, humbled by ignorance” (Nelson 19). Ignorance is a crutch utilized in order to ignore the reality of racism that still exists in our society today. The weight of our actions as a society is robbing those who deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices towards the advancement of medical research.  

Goal Setting Essay: Conversing with the Reading, Peers, and World

Bryanna Spaulding

ENGL 439

Dr. Beth McCoy

Course epigraph:

“My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice.” –Dionne Brand

This course emphasizes the importance of thinking about what the content in the course means. This differs from some other English courses where the importance that is emphasized is writing skills. On the very first day of class, we were welcomed with this epigraph, “My job is to notice… and to notice that you can notice” –Dionne Brand. Dr. McCoy then explains where she heard this, during a question-and-answer session after Brand’s reading at the Northeast Modern Language Association in Toronto. After hearing this statement and the context in which it was said, I had a few initial thoughts.

My first interpretation was from the perspective of the teacher. I tried to see things through McCoy’s eyes and how she needs to notice the importance of our class materials. Once she’s done this, she then has to teach us the material without taking away the opportunity for us to notice the important things ourselves. Once she’s given us this opportunity she then has to evaluate if we can interpret the content in the meaningful way the course requires. Although this may be an accurate description of what the job Dr. McCoy has, it is not what the epigraph is supposed to convey.

The epigraph is meant to be more about the students as individual learners and how they work together with their peers in the classroom. The first part of the epigraph, “my job is to notice” (Dionne Brand), is about the individual learner’s job in the class. My job, and all my classmate’s job, is to read the material but go beyond doing just that. Going further than just reading means breakdown and evaluate the text. How each student does that is different of course. However, I think Dr. McCoy has a specific goal for her students when annotating her assigned readings. In every class, it is treated as a conversation. Sort of like a next-level book club. I think Dr. McCoy does this because that is how she wants us to read the text. In a way that is like we’re having a conversation with the text. To elaborate, I believe she wants us to react from our initial instinct from the reading and digger deeper. For example, in “Home” by Toni Morrison, as a class we were all surprised by Frank’s action revealed at the end of the book. Rather than just acknowledging that it was shocking McCoy encourages us to get to the root as to why we are shocked. An internal conversation each reader has with themselves, why do I feel this way? This is not the only conversation to be had with the reading. Multiple times in this class we have discussed the author’s intent. When reading “Fortune’s Bones” by Marilyn Nelson, the sentence, “Fortune was born; he died” (Marilyn, 13), was discussed at great length. Dr. McCoy present the class with questions such as why is the sentence so short yet so impactful, why would the author start this requiem in this way? When we come to class, we should have asked the author of that week’s reading a similar question. The author is not there to reply so we must use their work to try and achieve the answer they would give.

Once we have all had a long and thoughtful conversation with the reading, we must move on to having a conversation with our classmates. That is what this part of the epigraph is addressing, “… and to notice that you can notice” (Dionne Brand). After we all have made out own opinions discussing them with our peers will accomplish several productive things. The first one being, making you reflect on your initial thoughts. Many times, in class I have found myself questioning and even changing my opinions based on other student’s comments. A memorable example of this connects to Cee’s infertility. When we discussed Cee’s healing process after Dr. Beauregard Scott, one of my groupmates suggested that Miss Ethel could be equally responsible for her inability to have children. I would have never asked myself this question. Another positive result from these conversations is affirming your original reactions. Just as they can change your ideas, they can also reassure us and instill confidence when reading and forming thoughts. The final productive outcome I can recall is providing a motivation to be engaged in class. By allowing us to have so much control over class time and discussion it makes it hard not to participate. Not just for fear of failing the class but it instills a curiosity to want to know why your classmates think this way and what part of the text made them think so.

Now that I’ve broken down the epigraph, I can build my goals for this class around my interpretation of it. I have come up with three main goals to accomplish with this course. The first goal being, ask myself questions that I think will challenge my viewpoints on literature. Being a Junior, I have read and worked with a lot of different books and articles, so my annotating skills have become a little repetitive. I want this class to help me form new ways of thinking. A way that makes me question in a fresh perspective. The second goal I have set myself is, find enjoyment in what we read. Taking English for so many years has made me see reading as a bit of a chore. I want to change this mindset and look at it more like an opportunity to grow as a person and a learner. The third and major goal I have is, connecting what is learned in this course to my lesson outside of it. The purpose of so many of my classes is to prepare for a future job. I want to use this class differently. Using it to become a better listener to the people who don’t look like me. Use it to be more understanding, less judgmental, and more helpful. This course has already made me aware of things in history that I was completely unaware of. My goal is to take this and try and prevent that ignorance from being common in every school, community, and person. I plan on taking full advantage of Dr. McCoy’s teaching style and educational freedom. This class provides a comfortable environment to ask questions and that makes for a unique experience that I am very interested to see the result of.