Social Innovation Course

I was honestly very scared when we first met for class, mostly because our first exercise had us already doing a speech in front of everyone. While I loved seeing other people do it, it was very nerve-wracking when it came to my turn. That seemed to be a recurring theme of the classes as I have this social anxiety when it comes to large groups. However, I felt more and more at ease as the sessions went on, and we had to participate in more activities. It was very eye-opening to hear about the problems each country had, and I was honestly amazed at how real these issues became after each person shared their story. It was humbling to hear that my country was not the only one to have these problems and that each country has a different set and kind of issues that needed to be addressed.

While these were very informative for me, I particularly loved the ice-breakers and the exercises that had everyone talk to each other in small groups. I especially loved the morning exercises on September 16 because I could almost see the bond forming among everyone. It was very nice to hear other people’s stories and kind of relate to them even though we were brought up in vastly different environments and cultures. It made me realize that deep down, everyone is the same. We are all, at the very core, human, and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It also amazed me to find out more about myself because I can relate to the stories being told. It’s like I wasn’t even aware of how I felt until someone else was talking about it.

Flipping the tables, it’s also very comforting to hear that others also had the same problems I had as a child. It made me feel that I wasn’t the weird one or the odd one out. I was just a normal child going through my normal problems. That kind of boosted my confidence and encouraged me to share more.

Most of all, the best thing about all of the sharing is that I can actually talk to people at this deep level. Nowadays, it’s so rare to have deep conversations with the people around me. Most conversations seem to always be about something superficial, and it felt nice to share and to hear about people’s stories. I often felt throughout the course that it was the perfect way to start the semester with these new people because now, a connection, a bond, has been formed among everyone, and it runs deeply within each one of us. Even with what little time we had, I feel like Steven Asei Dantoni did very well in helping us form this very positive energy while at the same time discovering all these social problems and finding ways to solve them together.

With this, I thank Steven for being such a wonderful professor. He is the first professor I have had who has actually encouraged the students to treat him like an equal instead of someone above us. I can clearly see that he really cares for people and does his best to adjust to our pace even though it means taking some time to get us to be more active. I applaud him on that. :) His course was one of the funnest classes I have ever taken (I love how he jokes with us too), and I am sad it is coming to an end. Keep being awesome, Steven, and I wish you all the best :)

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