Weekly Journal Update 10/19
Thursday, October 12, 9:40am–11:00am. Today in class we took our quiz for module 6. I did not feel as strongly about this quiz because I am not great with names. I did, however, understand the purpose of the module and I have an understanding of suppliant interaction. After the quiz, we discussed listening for leadership three and four.
In the second part of the Shelter From the Storm module, the chorus labeled themselves as aliens and emphasized being kind and respectful, making sure not to upset anyone they interacted with. This practice was employed to persuade the rulers to support them. The chorus also attempted to establish links to the physical land by way of lineage and heritage. While these types of empathetic appeal may have worked in the ancient world, I do not see it working in modern America. Americans do not care about lineage. We prioritize personal gain. For example, when people argue that Native Americans occupied America before “Americans,” the topic is brushed off nonchalantly as though the native’s heritage is insignificant. This has been an ongoing issue and I believe it is not properly addressed because the “We were here first” argument is no longer a strong statement. Now, a strong argument falls along the lines of “If you do this for me, then I can do this for you.” The arguments where the suppliant can provide a good or service to the supplier seem to be the most effective in modern day politics.
In listening for leadership four, Theseus has to decide if he will help the mothers of sons who died in civil war. The mothers request that Theseus initiate war. At this point, Theseus has to decide if he will become the defender of the mistreated. To better understand this leadership scenario, Dr. Sandridge asked me what I would do if my family members were harmed and not given a proper burial. My response to him was that I would definitely be vocal and stand up for what I believed was right. However, I would not look to initiate acts of violence. In my opinion, violence is not a productive means of bringing about change. Dr. Sandridge then expanded the scenario to the families of me and my friends. I told him that the scenario would call for a greater response, but violence still would not be the proper response. I am a defender of the mistreated, but I defend people vocally, not physically.
The last discussion we had in class for the day was about America’s roll as “the world’s policeman.” Since World War II, America has been viewed as the world’s protector/mediator. Any time there were issues in foreign countries, America was looked to for support. While there is nothing wrong with supporting other countries, America can not support every country every time help is requested. I believe that if America were not in every other country’s business, and focused on itself, we would be able to see more positive progression domestically.
Friday, October 13, 2:40pm-4:40pm + 9:30pm-11:00pm. Today I took time to work on listening for leadership one. I found it interesting that this module urged the discussion of immigration laws because it is a topic that I have never considered. I do not have any personal experience working with immigrants or as an immigrant. However, I do believe that all people deserve opportunities to prove themselves. If I wanted to propose an imigration law, I would establish my credibility by holding conversations with some of my friends who are immigrants as well as my friends who may or may not be affected by it. Speaking with immigrants would serve as a primary source of information regarding the topic.
I am not sure how i feel about Trump’s immigration policy as a whole. Trump’s goal is to cut the number of immigrants allowed in the country by nearly 50%, place favor in english speaking and financially stable immigrants while making sure struggling Americans are prioritized over other struggling families. There are some points I agree with and some that I don’t. If i had to develop three criteria points for immigrants, i would say they have to be englosh speaking, be able to be productive and advance society, and hold no criminal record.
I am well aware that America is a melting pot containing people of varying races and ethnic backgrounds. With this diverse group of people comes many languages. However, English is still the country’s most prominent language. This is not to say anyone who doesn’t speak English cant be allowed in the country. Rather, any non-English speaking immigrant who wishes to come to America needs to be willing to learn English as it will serve beneficial in many work environments. Secondly, the idea that people need to “be productive” is important. It is ideal that everyone is working in some form or another. An immigrant’s ability to “be productive” would be assessed over time. Finally, the absence of a criminal record is vital because the safety of citizens is a priority. In order to ensure a low-stress transition into America, I would provide “english language education,” “housing support,” and “job placement” services.
In this module, there were multiple readings that characterized various aspects of immigration. In Thycydidies’ text, History of the Peloponnesian war, tribes were forced to migrate, they only tilled the land for daily needs, and they mingled with fear of other tribes. The tribes were often times secluded and not very welcoming to outsiders. Also, the ctizens of Hellenic cities were defined by the cities in which they lived and the languages they spoke. In the other readings, citizens were defined by ancestry and links to the physical land, shared names by fathers and nourishment from a “mother-country.”
The questions in listening for leadership one also discussed the advantages and disadvantages to having a strict set of immigration laws. One of the biggest advantages of strict laws is that they will lower the population of the cuntry by defining who laws and rights apply to. However, with a structured and concrete definition of citizenship, there are people who will be left out. These people will be forced into deportation or slavery and subject to maltreatment, which is a major drawback to strict immigration laws.
Out of the four readings under listening for leadership one, Plato’s Menexenus would best help me explain my immigration policy. In this text, he expresses how citizenship is defined by the “mother-country.” In my mind, all people who live on american soil should be considered citizens. The grant of a person’s citizenship however, would be based on certain criteria.
As I was finishing the first listening for leadership activity, i began to second guess my criteria for immigration policy, so I reached out to my friend to see what she thought. She asked my the big “why’s” about the reasoning for my policy decisions and that forced me to better explain my though process regarding the issue. She also gave me ideas as to how i could possibly improve my criteria without changing it. For example, she mentioned that there are some regions in America that have high Spanish speaking populations. She stated that it wouldn’t be as vital for a Spanish speaking person to learn English when they live in an area with a high Spanish speaking population. I took her comments into account and used them to improve and better explain my criteria.
Saturday, October 14, 9:00pm-10:00pm. Today I finished up listening for leadership one and began listening for leadership two. Listening for leadership two focused on foreigners and their part in a community. I personally am not against immigration because they add diversity and alternative perspectives to a community. Because of this, I do not believe immigrants should only be allowed to into a community for communal profit. They should be allowed to enter any community in which they can be productive citizens and grow personally. Many people fear immigrants when they enter a new environment. I don’t believe that it is reasonable to fear an immigrant unless they show that they are a threat by physical means. Suspicion is not a reason to fear. It is a reason to question.The simple fact that someone is different will give rise to tension and fear, and this fear often results in dehumanization by was of exclusion.
Xenophon’s text, Means and Ways, encourages that the natives of a land study foreign/alien interest. He notes that relieving foreign immigrants of their feelings of disability and making them feel more like citizens can be beneficial for a state. If immigrants feel they are being treated as equals, they will be more willing to support their “mother-country.” This means they will serve in the military, and be more loyal towards the country. The inclusion of immigrants as citizens also eliminates the idea of “relying on the foreigner for help.” In general, accepting immigrants who reside in America as citizens can be very beneficial.
Tuesday, October 17, 7:00pm-9:30pm. Today, I continued working on listening for leadership two and began writing my journal for the week. I looked at Aristotle’s Politics article and Euripides, Medea. Politics, was a short read but also difficult to understand. What i pulled from it was the fact that the size of a population has an affect on a community’s self-sufficiency, as well as the ability for immigrants to integrate themselves in a new region. I know the text also says that when citizens of a community do not know or understand each other, the process of electing leaders can be difficult, but I’m not entirely sure as to why.
I had a similar understanding of Medea. I know the text was addressing the idea of foreign status in relationships between a native and a non-native. Medea, the foreigner, was viewed as an enemy to her kin but also made enemies of people whom “ought not be harmed.” I understand that the couple was dysfunctional because the relationship was bi-cultural and they were both held to different standards but I am not sure how to give advice to them when they are not the ones who would be making the laws and regulations that make them equals.
My understanding of the word “cosmopolitan” is someone who can find a home and life anywhere. I would love to consider myself a cosmopolitan. However, I know there are places in the world that I wold not be able to reside and call “home.” This is mostly due to existing racism, so there are places I am not welcomed due to the color of my skin. A cosmopolitan is never foreign and is considered a welcomed citizen everywhere.
Wednesday, October 18, 6:30pm-7:30-pm + 9:00pm-9:40pm. Today I finished typing my journal for the week.