YOUR PLANS: What excites you about CEP? How does CEP fit into your educational plans, personal values, and/or ambitions? What will you bring to the CEP program and how may the community benefit from your presence? Feel free to include possible double majors, minors, areas of academic focus, internships, field experiences, and/or study abroad plans.
YOUR FUTURE: Describe some of your current plans for the future. How will the academic program of CEP, i.e. core seminars, service activities, and governance, help enable you to achieve these goals? This is a vision essay. Please communicate to us your vision for yourself in the world.
A well known fact among astrologers is that Gemini’s are not gifted at sticking to decisions. My June 4 birthday combined with my history as a college student has led me to be far less suspicious of divination. I began college as a dedicated communication student and soon moved on to psychology. By the time I had rejected Comparative Ethnic Studies, Political Science, and Philosophy I knew little more about my education path than I had at the onset of my freshman year. I knew I wanted to travel, to understand the world, and to speak as many languages as possible. I also wanted to make a contribution, a need which has ultimately defined my vision for myself in the world.
What I did gain through my experience with various fields was that education has value disconnected entirely from the degree it leaves you with. The process of learning is a process of growth that cannot be measured by grades or by transcripts. I believe that CEP understands that process on a level I have not previously seen in a major and I am excited at the opportunity to enter a community with such values. Yet it is more than the intrinsic value of education that draws me to the CEP program.
In an effort to determine the most skillful and effective way to make a contribution I weighed many options. Social work was for no insignificant period of my life a primary goal. As I heard continual examples of the bitter struggles individuals face from day to day I saw an opportunity to contribute on an individual level. Yet, during a seventeen month stint working with the Department of Children and Family Services as a Human Service Assistant I saw another side of social work. Societal and Governmental influences both financial and legal play an incalculable role in limiting the effectiveness of social work. Thus I decided upon a vocation in law as a means in which I could achieve the education and system knowledge to facilitate change and have a true influence.
Despite my current interest in the law I do not wish to loose sight the values I have come to hold. The interconnectivity within a community, within individuals, within life is of paramount interest to me. I believe that CEP understands this interconnectivity and symbiosis between ourselves and our environment, ourselves and our community and of ourselves among all humans. I furthermore believe that the program can contribute greatly to my current awareness and experience with the subject. In addition I am hoping to gain an overview of the techniques and planning processes that can influence such connections in order to broaden my perspective and comprehension.
My objective in life is not to merely contribute at the pinnacle of my educational endeavors, but at each point along the path. CEP will, I believe, give me a unique opportunity to contribute to the educational growth of others while learning from their wisdom and outlook. My interest in law, social welfare and my personal convictions give me a unique perspective on a major where the diversity of interests is vast. I also bring an international view having studied abroad in Spain for a semester and having traveled to ten countries within the European Union as well as several other regions of the world.
I have a specific interest in Latin American Countries which rises out of a fascination with Latin American literature and the Spanish language. Though Washington State University has awarded me a minor in Spanish, the University of Washington does not honor it and I will be attempting to complete a Spanish Major along with my degree in Community, Environment and Planning. Such a degree will hopefully expand my opportunities within the United States and potentially into an international field as I progress in life.
It is difficult for me to constrict my life goals into a singular vision. I have a desire to spend my immediately post college years traveling and as a Peace Corps volunteer. At the culmination of my time abroad I hope to be admitted to law school and obtain the education I see as mandatory for my future. Yet what will happen post law school is entirely uncertain. Again I return to my initial goal of making a contribution, and with that as an anchor I hope to find a career that is fulfilling as well as beneficial.
I have been inspired by many women and men working in unique fields of law. Non profit organizations, NGO’s, community run agencies, adoption law, and immigration all strike particular chords of interest. My vision lies anywhere within the scope of working towards equality of marriage on a national scale and working with a rape crisis center assisting the organization and each individual in their efforts for justice. In any of such organizations I believe the knowledge, understanding, experience, and perspective I will gain from the CEP program will be beneficial.
Judging from my current experience having attended the 302 core seminar and winter quarter governance CEP is an enriching and highly communicative major. This dynamic of learning within a tightly bound community of intellectual and socially conscious peers with diverse interests is appealing in many senses. Not only do I expect to be challenged to see the world in many different lights, but I expect to challenge others. Only through such dialogue and personal growth can I hope to enable myself to achieve high goals and contribute to my utmost potential.
INDIVIDUAL STUDY PLAN
Majors: Community, Environment and Planning
Winter 2006 [CURRENT]
CEP 302 Environmental Response (5) I&S/NW
Explores issues of environmental crisis and societal responses. Readings and reflective analysis from broad selection of authoritative sources to develop grounded perspective in ecological literacy and consciousness. Concurrently, experiential education in challenges and practical responses to building sustainable society through participation in community-based environmental effort. Credit/no credit only. Offered: W.
SPAN 310 Accelerated Intermediate-Advanced Grammar and Lexicon (10) VLPA
Intensive Web-enhanced grammar and writing, combining SPAN 301 and SPAN 302. Designed to develop skills at the intermediate-advanced level in areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Prerequisite: SPAN 203
This is a requirement for the Spanish Major (301-303 series)
CEP 303 Social Structures and Processes (5) I&S
Investigates use of formal and informal social structures and processes within context of community and environment. Looks culturally at patterns and institutions of social organization and relationships among different sectors. Issues of interrelatedness, citizenship, knowledge, and communication. Participation in local community service organization. Credit/no credit only. Offered: Sp.
SPAN 303 Introduction to Stylistics Through Composition (5) VLPA
Prerequisite: either SPAN 302.
This is a requirement for the Spanish Major.(301-303 series)
SPAN 322 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies (5) I&S/VLPA
Introduces students to elite, mass, and folk cultures of Latin America, Spain, and Latinos in the United States. Sample topics include transculturation, globalization, border culture, and relations between culture, democratization, and human rights. Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 314, either of which may be taken concurrently. Offered: Sp.
This is a requirement for the Spanish Major.(321-323 requirement)
SPAN 333 Hispanic Film Studies (3) I&S/VLPA
Introduction to major issues in the study of Hispanic cinema from various national contexts. The relationship of film to other types of narrative, and of film to society, specifically relations between class, gender, ethnicity, and artistic production, as well as between cinema and social change. Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 314, either of which may be taken concurrently.
This is a requirement of the Spanish Major (1 of 3 300 electives)
CEP 460 Planning in Context (5) I&S
Examines theory against backdrop of practice for broad, historical understanding of social, political, environmental planning. Critique from viewpoints, e.g., planning history, ethics, ecofeminism, environmental justice, class and capitalism, planning and global economy. Develop personalized history reflecting individual experience, professional experience, and philosophical heritage of planning profession. Credit/no credit only. Offered: A.
CEP 446 Internship (5, max. 10)
Connects core and individual courses with field work. Group and individual readings develop understanding of how students' internships and field placements constitute particular element of community and environmental planning. Explores how what we do for a living is part of our lives as citizens and public service. Credit/no credit only. Offered: AWSp. Instructor Course Description: Dennis M Ryan
SPAN 321 Introduction to Hispanic Literary Studies (5) VLPA
Acquaints the third-year student with elementary techniques of literary analysis, as applied to examples of narrative, poetry and theater, within the context of the Spanish and Latin American literary traditions. Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 314, either of which may be taken concurrently. Offered: A.
Instructor Course Description: Suzanne Helen Petersen
This is a requirement to the Spanish Major.(321-323 requirement)
SPAN 306 Survey of Spanish Literature: 1681 to the Present (3) VLPA
Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 314, either of which may be taken concurrently.
This is a requirement of the Spanish Major. (1 of 3 300 level electives)
CEP 461 Ethics and Identity (5) I&S
Examination of personal, societal, vocational, environmental, planning ethics. Readings and discourse on ethical foundations for public life. Individual and group readings on values, human potential. Develops understanding of ecological context, moral responsibility, self-awareness. Constructs positive, diverse view of humanity, environment regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, beliefs. Credit/no credit only. Offered: W.
SPAN 323 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (5) VLPA
Synchronic and diachronic linguistic analysis of Spanish, including Spanish phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and evolution of the language. Prerequisite: either SPAN 301 or SPAN 314, either of which may be taken concurrently. Offered: W.
Instructor Course Description: Ganeshdath D. Basdeo
This is a requirement to the Spanish Major.(321-323 requirement)
SPAN 466 Chicano Literature: Fiction (5) VLPA
Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fiction, as well as contemporary works, are examined in attempts to trace the development of Chicano fiction in the proper historical trajectory. Prerequisite: either either SPAN 303 or SPAN 316; SPAN 321; one additional 300-level course above SPAN 303.
Instructor Course Description: Lauro H Flores
This is a requirement of the Spanish Major (1 of 3 400 level electives)
SPAN 485 Cultural Studies of Latin America (5) I&S/VLPA
Identity, representation, and transculturation in Latin American popular culture. Topics vary but may include cinema, folk art, and historical, ethnographic, and travel writing. Prerequisite: either SPAN 303 or SPAN 316; SPAN 322; one additional 300-level course above SPAN 303. Offered: jointly with SISLA 485.
This is a requirement of the Spanish Major.(1 of 3 400 level elective)
CEP 462 Community and Environment (5) I&S
Capstone quarter merges core seminars, disciplinary courses in major, community field experiences for mastery of personal knowledge and skills. Reflection and synthesis of themes in major; engagement with contemporary issues. Compares theoretical definitions of community and environment with individual philosophies and knowledge within thoughtful, applied context. Credit/no credit only. Offered: Sp.
SPAN 406 Advanced Spanish Grammar (5) VLPA
Problems of Spanish grammar. Differences from English grammar. Techniques for the effective teaching of Spanish. Prerequisite: either SPAN 303 or SPAN 316; SPAN 323. Offered: jointly with SPLING 406.
Instructor Course Description: Alison M. Stevens Farris Furman Anderson
This is a requirement of the Spanish Major. (400-409 elective)
SPAN 305 Survey of Spanish Literature: 1498-1681 (3) VLPA
Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 314, either of which may be taken concurrently.
This is a requirement for the Spanish Major (1 of 3 300 level courses).
SPAN 476 Contemporary Latin American Poetry (5) VLPA
Evolution of Latin American poetry, from postmodernism and vanguardism to the most recent poetic expression: Prerequisite: either SPAN 303 or SPAN 316; SPAN 321; one additional 300-level course above SPAN 303
This is a requirement of the Spanish Major. (1 of 3 400 level elective)
Part Two: Please describe a literary work, current issue, piece of music, or work of art that has made a significant impression on you. How has it influenced and impacted your worldview and how you live today?
Arundhati Roy entered my life during a period of cultural draught. My high school had much to be desired when it came to diversity and differing perspectives. Having attended Seventh Day Adventist private schools since preschool I knew very little outside the scope of fundamentalism. Seeped in an institution run by white males, prohibiting any unorthodox behavior or thinking I was unexposed to any variety of world views. Homosexuality was punishable by expulsion and forced exposure to parents, music was confiscated if not pre-approved by the campus deans, and even literature was restricted among students. I was overdue for my initiation into the real world and Arundhati Roy’s book “The God of Small Things” was a meaningful element in my integration.
The book “The God of Small Things” depicted the childhood of two twins growing up in the south Indian state of Kerala. Though it beautifully describes internal horrors they grow up with I was primarily struck by the beauty in their world and in each individual. Throughout my childhood I was bombarded with images of non Christians as riddled in sin, incapable of the moral and ethical fiber that was afforded only by the grace of God. Although I never believed fully in their orthodoxy I admit I was struck every time I found such clear and irrefutable evidence of merit outside of the context of Christianity. Moreover I was struck by the bitter taint of humanity I viewed within the religion.
What began as a fascinating novel left me reeling and with an intense desire to understand humanity. I began with a goal to break down the mystery behind non-Christian religions and soon owned a copy of the Koran, the Baghdad Gita, several Buddhist texts and a score of novels relating to religions and spirituality. What I unfailingly found in each book was an accumulation of wisdom. I found, along with small differentiating details and rare particulars with which I disagreed, that each had merit, value and relevance to my life.
Three years later I am far from finishing my search but have expanded it to encompass much more than religion. I believe each human has positive and negative attributes and no polarized vision of the world can see the beauty inherent in every element of an individual. In the book “The God of Small Things” societal bigotry against the “untouchables” prohibited love and tore the lives of the characters apart. In my own life I have seen such intolerance have lasting results. Regardless of religious orientation, political views, and lifestyles I have seen close mindedness and lack of understanding separate and cause destruction.
What “The God of Small Things” afforded me was an opportunity to turn an introspective eye on my own world view. In understanding myself and the limitations of my youth I become conscious of my bigotries and the judgment interwoven into my perspective. The process of breaking down such bigotries and of fully appreciating equality has not come in the form of an instantaneous epiphany but of a long term reprogramming of my thought processes. Yet I believe true acceptance of the negative and positive elements in every act, every human being, and every institution has been a lesson fully worth the struggle.
Part One: Tell us about an experience, project, extra curricular activity, or personal challenge that you have confronted or participated in. How does/did this influence your path today?
The disk paused for a moment and then turned over in the cassette player, again blasting the same fiery songs we had heard for the last six hours. The truck player pointed to it roughly and resolutely exclaimed “turkey” responding to our nods with a satisfied grin. The Turkish flag dangled over the dashboard, and the stained carpet I sat cross legged upon in the sleeper cabin of the truck added to the ambiance.
“Turkey” was the only lucid English word the driver spoke. I spoke neither Turkish nor French which the driver grudgingly accepted while continuing to call me “Mademoiselle”. I had hoped my years studying Spanish would provide that much needed link, but it was not the case. In desperation my brother pulled out his rusty high school German skills, and though we drove through Germany beyond his recognition of “guten Tag” they fell flat. Regardless of the impasse we had reached I know this; Turkish beer is the best there is, Turkish music is unbeatable, and when it comes to Turkish soccer nothing compares. His name was Ahmed, and his two daughters and wife saw him only every three months as his job was to transport cargo throughout Europe. We relied on our innovation to communicate and when stick figures on the side of a rusty truck taught us all we could know we relied on lessons words couldn’t speak.
My brother and I had spent significant time hitch-hiking in several countries throughout Europe when we met him. The generosity of our various hosts was sometimes overwhelming and more than occasionally embarrassing. Ahmed reached new heights and it was a personal struggle not to reject his hospitality. My prideful spirit resisted his continuous benevolence, yet I found there are lessons beyond the scope of self reliance.
After crudely asking if we were hungry our driver pulled the truck into a petrol station and we unloaded expecting to grab the fruit snacks and packages of nuts out of our backpacks. Instead he pulled down the storage bin of his truck revealing a full kitchen, complete with propane stove which he pulled down and insisted I, as the woman, use as a stool. Feta cheese was sliced into thick portions and loaded along with tomato slices onto pungent bread. Every serving was followed by the insistence of another and our stomachs swelled with appreciation. We were given a thick spicy beer to wash everything down and the pint sized bottles were replaced before reloading into the truck.
Our next meal was provided as well and consisted of eggs scrambled into a tomato paste he mashed upon his make shift cutting board. Bread was dipped into the self spiced mixture to create a filling and surprisingly delicious fare. As night had obscured all he unscrewed reflectors from the bottom of the truck which revealed a tiny light ideal for the illumination of his tiny kitchen. Every element of his habitat, though it was merely an outdated semi-truck, was perfectly honed and orchestrated for efficiency.
That night I slept in his sleeper cabin while my brother and our host struggled to gain comfort in the rigid front seats. I stayed awake for some time unsettled by the selflessness such a stranger had shown two kids hitch-hiking off of the autobahn. By the time we parted I had begun to deeply question my own programmed view of the world where each human takes care of himself first and foremost. Without intending to gain anything but transportation between the Netherlands and Berlin I had experienced enough to devastate a lifetime of comfortable thought.
We stepped down from his truck just outside the town of Magdeburg and finally retrieving our phrasebook from our backpacks made a feeble attempt at pronouncing “tepekkür” to which he laughed, waved, and drove away. Through our brief interaction I realized my inadequacy at accepting others into my life beyond a superficial level. Though I had experienced previously the challenges and rewards of communicating across a language barrier the day I spent with Ahmed gave me a new understanding of the interconnectedness of human beings. Such a small glimpse into his life has lead down a path focused on artfully constructing an existence for myself in harmony with my environment and with the human race.