On Wednesday April 1st, I attended the Noon Convocation. The speaker was Eric Dregni, a professor here at Concordia. The name of his speech was called, In Cod We Trust. The basis of his lecture was his experience over in Norway. He started off the chat, by reading an excerpt from his book. This created the fun interesting tone, for all the Norwegians in the Crowd, and a few Swedes to. Anyways, Professor Dregni had the opportunity to get a fellowship over to Norway to find his Norwegian roots. He read a part from his book discribing the interviewing process and how he didn't think he was necessarily going to get it. He then continued to talk about his experience in Norway. It was quite interesting because some of what he said made sense, others didn't so much. You could tell that he had a good time going over there.
I think the main point of this lecture was to get the word out about his book. After all, that's why he went to Norway in the first place. He wanted to connect with his heritage, and then get the chance to write on that. From what Prof. Dregni read alot as apart of his speech, the book seems quite entertaining. You could tell the passion that he had, and how much fun he did have going over there. My favorite story had to deal with babies. He said that in Norway, they have baby stroler parking outside of stores, while the parents go into to shop, get coffee, and what not. When he said this, I cracked up. I thought this was the funniest thing on the planet. The idea of leaving your baby outside while you go shop, is funny, but also some what scary. I just couldn't see leaving any child anywhere without a parent around to keep them safe. It's just interesting to hear about how different the culutre is over there and how much it differs.
One thing that stuck with me from the speech is when he was talking about the correlation between MN, and Norway. He said, that MN, has a lot of the same characteristics when it comes to people that Norway does. It has to do with the settlers that came over here many years ago. This just seemed so interesting to me. I would have never made that connection if he didn't encourage that thought. I really enjoyed going to this convocation. Even though I am swedish, it was good to hear about those crazy Norwegians :)
On Tuesday March 31, I attended the eighth annual lecture. The purpose of this lecture is for the well known speaker to talk about the connection between faith and learning. This year's speaker was Doctor Carl J Schoenbeck. The main point of his lecture was integrating faith and learning as a whole, and giving his input on how the two coincide. During his speech, he talked about how this was an approach for him. He did not want it to come off that these ideas are from what everyone thinks, but just how one man approaches the idea of integrating learning and faith. One of the main points that Dr. Schoenbeck touched on in his speech was the "Recipe for passion of learning". Through this analogy, Dr. Schoenbeck gave the opportunity for the mind to figure out how it conneted to everyone's live. He sparked the ideas of the people who where there and made great points, that the audience seemed to enjoy
During the speech, Dr. Schoenbeck talked about the honors class mutliple times. This was helpful, because it made more of a connection between the faith and learning process. At one point he said that the honors program is dealing with what he is saying. Since it's based on the intergration of faith and learning, it was basically what he model his speech after. It was a great idea. I really enjoyed listening to this!
I enjoyed listening to this speech. I agreed with a lot of what he said. I learned a lot, and it was a great experience for getting the chance to listen to why the integration of faith and learning is so important.
This week's guest speaker was Seexeng Lee. He was quite an enjoyable person to have come talk to the class. The main topic of his presentation was art, and the hmong culture. He started off with talking to all of us about the culture, and how it has progressed over the years. Through this, we were able to see what different types of art there is within the hmong culture, and also, kind of what has changed over the years also. Along with talking about art, Mr. Lee gave us some background about himself. He is a teacher over in Minneapolis, where he teaches art. You could tell that he was very passionate about this, and It was great to hear him talk about his experiences, and give insight on the hmong culture.
One apsect of his speech that I really enjoyed was that he made it pertain to us. He presented everything in such a matter which made it easier to understand, and even easier to relate to. Since he gave descriptions about everything, and then had the powerpoint to back up his descriptions, it was easy to stay focused, and even better because It was just so interesting. Art, is definitely one of his passions in life. The way he spoke, just created images, that seemed to almost be life like. It was a chance to explore the hmong culutre through art, and Mr. Lee was the tour guide which helped us a long. It was definitely a journey worth taking.
The one thing that I will always remember about the speaker is that he related to his audience. It was great getting to hear him talk about all of his culture especially with such passion. One could not have that enthusiasm if they didn't actually feel connected with the culutre. I will also, remember that he related his powerpoint to us too. He added Gran Torino, which was cool to hear about from a hmong's perspective, and he also added Brenda Song, who is an actress on the disney channel. That helped to make it known that this is happening all around us, whether it be media, everyday life, or on the screen, cultures are all around us.
Today is the day the Honors Students went on a field trip. Where might you ask did we go? Well we got the opportunity to go to Concordia's Convocation which focused on refugees. This was a different kind of convocation, compared to ones in the past. Convocation goers (including the honors kids) had the chance to look at different art pieces, made by mainly 5 different artist, and then hear from the artist why and what the piece was all about. It was located in the Music Galley.
When first arriving to the convocation we were encouraged to look at the pieces of art, and get some egg rolls and tea, and browse around at the art. The art ranged from photographs, to clothe, to big sculptures, to paintings, they each had a story, in which the artist was trying to portray. Some of the art, was somewhat difficult analyzing due to not knowing the whole background. After everyone got a chance to look at the art, we all gathered together to hear from many of the artist.
It's amazing how much more art make sense when the artist actually kind of explains it. They started the fire, but the brain making the connections just kept it the fire going. The one story that sticks out the most to me was the artist of a photograph. She was a muslim women, and she took a picture of a hand with henna on it, and the way the sun glistened, the way she was holding her hand on the was just so great for me. The artist told us, that in her culture which is Muslim, I believe, it is against the religion to drive a car. This impacted me a lot. I have never thought about that, how when refugees come over. they don't know the social norms in our society, and may not be acceptable, and what they are used too. Her photo was portraying how she was a muslim women driving, which she would have never done if she didn't come to america.
I really enjoyed going ot this exhibition. I liked being able to walk around, and analyze at our own pace. I enjoyed talking about the works of out with fellow class members. It was a good way to hear different ideas, and then using which ones each person interpretted. I am glad we had the opportunity to do this, I would love to go again!
REFERENCE STATEMENT FOR RESIDENT ASSISTANT APPLICANT
On Monday, February 15th, our honors class had two visitors
come speak to the class. They were Mr. Long Yang and Ms. Choua Thao. The
reason why they came to talk to our class was to give us an idea of the opinion
from the young adult point of view when they came over to the United States. Both
had a great story of how they ended up here, and they were both really willing
to share their thoughts with us.
Mr. Long Yang main job in life was being with the CIA. He worked with this
organization because it was the best option for him to have. Since he came over
to the United States when he was a young adult, he had to find a job to
support. He talked about how he was one of the first people to come to America.
What I found interesting, how he talked about the world, and what traditions he
brought over to the US that are still here now. Through his life, he seemed to
go through a lot. What he did to come over to the United States, just astounds
me, how much he went through just to live here. Growing up here, we definitely
take advantage of what our forefathers did for us. Mr. Yang, was really
enjoyable to listen to because he focused on details. He created a feeling of
what he was describing, and made me connect to ever word he was saying.
The other speaker was Ms. Choua Thao. Her story starts off with the move from
the United States also. She said she had 6 children which she brought over. So
that was definitely different from what Mr. Long was saying. As she continued
to talk, it was apparent that she was a strong women. She told stories of
courage, and strength, and then connected them to us. She gave the point across
as if she was the rock and strength, and that we can be too, no matter what
happens. She was a strong women, and she shared her ideas on life with us. She
made us have an enjoyable time together. I am glad she came to talk to us, she
definetly made it an interesting night.
I really enjoyed having these speakers come it. I felt that by having them come
in, they showed us a signed that we may not necessarily relate to, but give us
more strong background of what the move was like for them. Since both of them
were refugees, they kind of had the same basis for the story, but it was very interesting to hear about their experiences
On Monday, February 15th, our honors class had two visitors come speak
to the class. They were Mr. Long Yang and Ms. Choua Thao. The reason why they came to talk to our class
was to give us an idea of the opinion from the young adult point of
view when they came over to the United States. Both had a great story
of how they ended up here, and they were both really willing to share
their thoughts with us.
Mr. Long Yang main job in life was
being with the CIA. He worked with this organization because it was the
best option for him to have. Since he came over to the United States
when he was a young adult, he had to find a job to support. He talked
about how he was one of the first people to come to america. What I
found interesting, how he talked about the world, and what traditions
he brought over to the US that are still here now. Through his life, he
seemed to go through a lot. What he did to come over to the United
States, just astounds me, how much he went through just to live here.
Growing up here, we definitely take advantage of what our forefathers
did for us. Mr. Yang, was really enjoyable to listen to because he
focused on details. He created a feeling of what he was describing, and
made me connect to ever word he was saying.
The other speaker
was Ms. Choua Thao. Her story starts off with the move from the United
States also. She said she had 6 children which she brought over. So
that was definitely different from what Mr. Long was saying. As she
continued to talk, it was apparent that she was a strong women. She
told stories of courage, and strength, and then connected them to us.
She gave the point across as if she was the rock and strength, and that
we can be too, no matter what happens. She was a strong women, and she
shared her ideas on life with us. She made us have an enjoyable time
togehter. I am glad she came to talk to us, she definitely made it an
I really enjoyed having these speakers come
it. I felt that by having them come in, they showed us a signed that we
may not necessarily relate to, but give us more strong background of
what the move was like for them. Since both of them were refugees, they
On Monday night the Honors class had the privilege to go to the Hmong Center here on campus, and learn more about the hmong from Professor Lee Pao Xiong. It was quite an interesting thing, I have never really been to the hmong center before. Last year I had to do a set up in the Hmong Center for conference and events, but since that encounter, I have not been there since. I knew that this was going to be an interesting experience because, it seemed like, from what I heard, that it was a hands on place, so I was pretty pumped to go there.
Lee Pao Xiong was the honored guest for the evening. He seemed very much in his element. During his lecture, he gave us background information about the Hmong Center. I really enjoyed this because he gave us history about the hmong center, and even gave us some tips on some of the information he can eventually show to the public...but he did not share the details. Another thing that he shared with us was the story of how he came over to America. I really liked this part to. I love getting to know people's stories on how they came over. I think it's quite interesting how everyone has a different story, and it's really unique. Prof. Xiong had a great spirit and was definitely willing to share his story with strangers. It was easy to see how proud he was of his culture. The manner in which he explained everything was just amazing. He was very descriptive in what he was saying which was nice, because we all got the images in our heads.
One part in which Prof. Xiong talked about was the Hmong minor. After all of are studying so far about the hmon people, it's gotten me interested in other cultures. When he was talking about the minor, I was really intruiged. I am thinking that I might look more into it, because I just think the Hmong culture is so interesting. Growing up in the area, I have been surrounded by this amazing culture, and not until college have I found out the great stories and beliefs behind it. So, since I have not really declared anything yet, I am thinking about maybe pursuing a minor in Hmong Studies. What can I say, Prof. Xiong, got me hooked on it.
Comparing the stories from Kalia and Prof. Xiong, they both have in common the passion behind the story. Whether it be the way they describe it or the way they use the words to make it seem like the audience experienced it themselves. Both seemed to know exactly what they went through, to get here. I have really enjoyed getting to know more about the hmong culture, and can not wait to learn more about it.
On Friday, February 6th, a group of honors kids with Dr. Rhoda Schuler, went to go see Gran Torino at the theater. Gran Torino is about a man who is dealing with repressed memories, and making assumptions off of those ideas even though they might not be relevant anyore. I ejoyed seeing this movie. Some parts got a little long for me, but in the end, I really enjoyed it.
The setting of this movie is somewhere in the Midwest. It never says exactly where it takes place, the only thing that matters is that it's a place that has a rising hmog population. The main character, a Korean War Vetran, Walt is trying to deal with life after his dear wife dies. The nieghborhood, in which he lived in, was becoming more of a Hmong dominated area. Walt, had a problem with this because he was very opinionated and definitely did not get along with the hmong people. He first acted like this, but in the movie, he started to lighten up. This was all because of 2 people Tao and Sou. These are Walt's neighbors. Through the nieghbors, the audience gets to see what life is like for the Hmong people in the nieghborhood. It definitely is not the safest nieghborhood. There is gangs, theft, and uncontrolable people. Since it's such an intense neighboorhood, Walt, is definitely on edge when it comes to keeping people safe. Numerous times Walt pulls out a gun, and threatens people to keep other's safe.
Through the movie, the audience is taken through the long journey of Walt. We see his sacrifices, and how in the end he completely changed from what the person he was like in the beginning of the movie. It was truly an interesting movie to watch.
Since we did read the Latehomecomer, it was interesting to compare the two different sides of a story. With the movie, it seemed as if it was more of an attacking opinion on the hmong. While the book, talked about the Hmong in strong detail. It's just interesting to see that both have a common idea of sharing a story of the hmong, but they are completly different. They are different in the ways as telling a coming home story, and then how the movie is showing someone who comes think differently.
Just like a lot of people, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this movie. Since a group of people went before I did, I heard a lot of what they had to say about the movie, and making judgements on what the movie was going to be about. Boy was I wrong. I didn't think I would get into this movie. But I really did. In the end, I cried, and it started me thinking about life. Walt did a amazing thing at the end of the movie, and I don't think I could ever do something like that.
Monday night we discussed the book, The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher. When I first started reading this book, I had somewhat of an issue getting into it. At first I thought, what did this book have to do with me, why would we be reading this for honors, I am just a single person who can not change the world and that I can not relate to this people. But then, after reading, and then some processing that went a long with it, I started to change my pessimistic view towards the book. Even though, I still have some question dealing with the book, I realized, being more optimistic was really the way to go. By examining my previous view points, I started to realize this book had a lot more meaning to it, then I thought. The key was just giving it a chance. The discussion also helped me to get over some of the negative thoughts I had towards this book.
Some of the stories shocked me in a way that I felt I was better off compared to these people, but later after reading, and processing all of this information, my views on life changed. I definitely had an elitist viewpoint when I started reading this book. Me, being a middle class, caucasian girl, I really haven't faced too much turmoils in my life. There were a few times, that incidents happened which changed my life, but nothing that really was relatable to this book. But I think it was with this idea which I realized that I need to change my view points about life. Since I am a better off comparatively, I need to learn to appreciate what I have more. I can not be such an elitist any more, I need to start really recognizing the greatness around me. Whether it be a college education, strong faith or awesome family values, I need to start really appreciate them more, because I really am blessed to have all of these things in my life.
During the discussion we had in class, I enjoyed hearing from everyone. Their thoughts on life, the book, and how they pertain to each life, just keep the discussion fresh, and interesting to see how different each persons' family is. The discussion seemed really beneficial to getting to understanding the strong points within the book. I would have like though, to see more how the book influenced others' lives or using knowledge from the book to make conclusion about our society.
One experience that I think relates to this concept was when I went on a mission trip to Puerto Rico. It was definitely a culture shock for me. First of all not knowing the language, was challenge, but that was not the only thing that was hard for me. I definitely had a problem relating to the people. I know it might sound bad, but I guess, I was just kind of uncomfortable with what was going on. We went down to Puerto Rico to help the people, but really after all the time, and work put into helping out these people, I definitely got more out of the experience then I thought I would. I got the feeling, that all of the people I worked for, helped me learn about myself. I became stronger in my faith, my attitude towards life, and everything else I had a pessimistic view on. But, this feeling only last so long. It's kind of like the few months high of the trip, and then, it goes away. The reason why this story pertains to the book is that, the book helped me reconnect with those feelings of being helped, instead of being the helper. I am changing my outlook on life.
In the book, Galileo, Darwin,
and Hawking, the author, Phil Dowe, brings up many interesting topics about
the co existence of religion and science and how they interconnect.Dowe appealed to each sense in a different way,
with explaining the innovated ways these two highly debatable topics, as
science and religion always are.Dowe
uses both Francis Bacon and René Descartes as a way to describe his feelings
towards the connection of rationalism and empiricism combining the two to make
an argument which is shown in this book.
believes that a person can prove the existence of God through the ideas of
rationalism and empiricism. Dowe says that "Rationalist claim we can acquire
knowledge through sheer reasoning alone," while he continues to say that "Empiricists
claim that we cannot know anything by pure reasoning alone" (62). Through these two concepts in which Dowe
believes, he establishes a strong argument why it is easy to prove the fact of
God. Whether it is through the ideas of Descartes or Bacon, each one is a
prominent exponent to the argument. Dowe used Descartes as an example due to
his idea of rationalism. What Descartes believed was that "knowledge could be
derived as part of a systematic deductive edifice based on the Cartesian
system" (63).What Descartes is saying,
is that everything can be proved through rational thinking. When a person is
using their brain, then it is creating a process of deductive thinking, which
causes the brain to create its own conclusion. This can be taken in the way of
God, Dowe believes. He argues that if one can think through a process, and then
it the brain kicks in and takes over the ideas. When it comes to God, Dowe
The existence of
the image of God in humanity explains why nature is perspicuous to us. Because
we have a rational mind, which is like the mind of God, we can expect to be
able to understand the rationality of the world he created. Thus in Descartes'
philosophy there is optimism about our ability to understand and have knowledge
about the world.
What this is saying is that having
the same complex ideas of having a rational mind, just like God, then that
creates a strong basis where to start off the thinking of the true image of
God. Therefore, by combining the complex ideas of science, and the way religion
is in the mind, it creates the idea of sharing the two ideas. The idea of rational fits more into the
category of the mind thinking and adopting religion as another concept to stash
in the brain.
other subject in which Dowe basis his ideas on is, the ideas of Bacon and
empiricism. Empiricism is figuring out something using data to back it up. In
order to have something be true, it has to have some sort of evidence in order
to say that it is true. Bacon believed that everything needs to have evidence
for it to be true.What Bacon believes
is that through "the use of the cultural mandate lies a view of human nature
with an accompanying theory of 'the image of God' (69).By using back up information, and evidence,
one can make a strong argument and created and that's what is used to asset the
both of these arguments, there are strengths and weaknesses into why it proves
God. The strengths in these arguments include the fact that Dowe uses
information from world renowned philosophers who have credit in society.
Throughout history, many have quoted this and created it so that believers can
become stronger in faith, and others can just stay as it is. Also, Dowe, uses a
lot of evidence within the book to make it stronger, and create a stronger bond
between everything that he believes is right. To strengthen his argument Dowe writes:
We have seen that
the belief in the image of God is humanity, in two separate but related guises,
provided a powerful impetus and motivation for the development of science in
the Seventeenth century. Someone who believes God has given us a mind like the
divine mind therefore expects to understand the world that God has created
This quote describes the strong
points of the ideas Dowe combines.
The weakness of his argument
includes not including the agnostic opinion. Whether it be because lack of
evidence in certain areas, or just making the connections on a bias level,
these all are aspects in which could be considered to be weaknesses. Bias
opinion is something that could take a big role into not reaching out to what
the agnostics would agree to. With these
arguments one could think that it was a good thing for it to be done.
all of these points made, Dowe brought up some pretty interesting issues, and
ended up creating a different approach into affirming the Image of God.
Everything has something to do with eachother, and it is something Dowe takes
highly into consideration. Both rational and empiricism all combines this, and
makes it a strong argument into why the image of God is true. Also creates a
solid foundation in describing the true parts of Christianity.