Wow, what a crazy ride this class has been! It seems like just a week ago that we were starting this class, and now in a few days we will be presenting our final timelines. I have had great teammates who put up with so much from me, and were so patient with everything. I would be lying if I said it was not hard at times, because it was, but I think it was still valuable to have such different and diverse people around to talk to all the time. Our Groningen counterparts were incredible; they brought such character and insight to our chats, as well as a bit of humor at times!
Overall, this class has been difficult for me. I had to open myself up to ideas that I was not necessarily familiar with, which frustrated me at times. But, through it all, I obviously survived, and I think that this class is good for those who are very interested in the way the world works. Our globalization timeline, our first project really forced us to think critically, and evaluate all the most important advances from a human in the future standpoint. Though I do not know if I am really qualified to speak to what I think is important about the history of the world, I still do think we did a good job of objectively including points that really influenced globalization around the world; that project was so fun to do, and I think our final result turned out really well! Next, our photo journal project (my personal favorite!) was, in my opinion, gave the best indications of globalization, because we were able to see all the effects to clearly in the community in which we live. I loved this project so much, because, more than anything, globalization was seen in the smallest of details– the owners of different ethnic eateries, the news media that was around, and transportation and traffic signs. All told a story of a community that itself is connected, and is then connected with the people of the Arlington area. The diversity of the Columbia Pike community that we went to really highlighted the best parts of the Metro DC area. There must be communication between our teammates in Groningen, the community of Columbia Pike, and my teammates in Arlington in order to make this project go off without a hitch. Finally, our last project (that is actually not yet finished as of today) is so incredibly interesting– we have used everything from this class to make this last project our most successful. Individual team discussions, personal conversations, other teams’ insights, notes, previous projects, community observations, and other classmates’ blog posts– everything, because all opinions and voices have validity and deserve to be heard. That itself is a facet of globalization!
Ah, the blog posts. If I’m honest, I wish I had paid them more care and attention. I don’t think I did a bad job, but I know that I could have put more of my heart and head into them. I found them, honestly, to be the best part of this class. I love reading my classmates’ insights, because we all have different experiences, backgrounds, and opinions from one another, but we all share the same goal of making the world a better place, or at least seeing it as one, and that is such a great thing to know. The mere globalization of the two parts of our class being able to communicate so effectively over such a long distance was so amazing, and it shows that we can get along, no matter how diverse a group is!
Globalization and intercultural communication are connected– they both have to do with the communication and connections that are prevalent around the world today. Intercultural communication is what facilitates globalization; it allows us to make those valuable connections that are essential to the meaning behind globalization. Everything that we did in class started with intercultural communication between all of our group mates, and thus lead to, not only our understanding, but our utilization and recognition of globalization!
Every single discussion that we had in class was an opportunity to open my eyes– it opened me to opinions and ways of thinking that I might not have explored before. Arguing, discussing, and debating is how I learn best, so it was very effective in doing that during our class and doing it during our team meetings. It was very respectful, which opens up more people to wanting to share, which leads to more eye-opening epiphanies!
Lastly, I just want to say thank you to my two wonderful instructors, and to all of my great classmates! Also, I want every student who takes this class after me to know this– be open. Be openminded, open to discussion, open to changing your opinion, open to taking leadership, open to learning more about your teammates/classmates, and open to getting to know your professors more. Learn as much as you can from the people who are surrounding you in this class, because, despite all of the work that goes into doing well in this class, you will learn the most from your classmates and instructors, so learn as much about them as you can. Thank you so much, and I hope you all have a great finals week and great break! It was great to get to know you all, and to learn about what globalization can and will do for our great world. 🙂