End of 196

I am actually in Denver, Colorado right now, spending winter break with my family.  So, by saying that, the Fall semester has ended.  I took all my finals last week, and now I would like to reflect on some thoughts about the past semester, especially about 196.

Overall, 196 is definitely one of favorite classes that I have ever taken at Cal.  I had a great professor.  My classmates were awesome.  We had great discussions.  We were reflective about our practice experience and about our lives in general.  I think the most unique aspect about this class is that it focuses on the future.

Okay, I’m legitimately terrible about keeping a blog (sorry!!)

But, I’m back in Berkeley now.  I returned to Los Angeles from Denver on New Year’s Day, and then, returned to Berkeley a few days after that.  I’ve been in Berkeley for about a week and a half now, working on stuff and working in the Scandinavian Department.  School officially starts next week.  I am going on a retreat with Project SMILE this weekend.  I am already stressed and sleep deprived, and I still haven’t reflected on what happened last semester. Oops.

So, let’s go back to 196.

There was an aspect about focusing on the future.  I mean, unless you are taking a class solely as a requirement class (breadth courses / general education courses), I feel like you are taking a class that is somewhat related to what you’re going to do in the future.  This is not true for all classes, but I think true for most.  You might take a class for interest and because it interests you, you might do something with it in the future (it doesn’t have to be for a career, maybe a hobby).

Anyway, 196 is a little different.  196 was a reflection course, and it is solely meant to reflection upon the Practice Experience and close out the Global Poverty & Practice Minor.

On the final day of class, my professor asked us four questions.  For the life of me, I won’t be able to remember them because it was too long ago, but I think they were:

  • What has been your main takeaway from the minor?
  • What do you want to do in the future?
  • What has been the biggest challenges?
  • How do you hope to keep the ideas and lessons from the minor in the future?

Something like that.

It was deeply reflective.  Then, we were asked to write a letter to our future selves a year from now.  And in one year, what am I going to do to keep the minor alive?

Something like that.

I remember the prompt being very long and struggling to write the letter because I wasn’t sure if I was addressing the question.  But, we wrote our letters, sealed them up, addressed them, and turned them in. [Confession: I didn’t get the chance to finish my letter, so my professor let me take it home and give it him the next day.]  And that was the end of 196.


think I learned a lot from 196.  We discussed a lot of topics that made me think about the role I’m going to serve in the world and how I’m going to act.  I think I’ve realized that I’m kind of a coward because I really don’t want to act upon the world and mess it up.  Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I am afraid that my quest for security ultimately hinders me from doing meaningful social justice work.

I don’t know much about what my future is going to look like.  I feel like there are so many opportunities out there, so many that I don’t even know about, that I can’t choose what I’m going to do right now.  So, I hope to explore and be open-minded about what may lie ahead.

I don’t know if I should admit this (because I feel like once I put it out there, it can be judged or that I have to do it), but right now, I’m thinking about doing a master’s degree in Public Policy.  [And maybe a double master’s in Business Administration??]  And honestly, I want to do research and teach. But, also working for the government.  Foreign service?

Okay, I’m just throwing out things now…

I don’t know if the things above are what I’m going to do.  They have been mellowing in my head for so long.  But like I said, I feel like there’s soooooo many things in the world and I hope that I will be able to find something that I love and something that could put food on the table.  Something that will be meaningful for me as a career and gives me room for a meaningful life outside work (family, friends, travel, reading Harry Potter, etc).  Is that too much to ask?

So, 196 has ended, but really, it has opened up more questions and more thought and to a certain extent, more confusion.  I feel like I’m an ideas oriented person that I don’t really take a lot of action.  So, now it’s time to action.

… whatever that looks like. :)

Over and out.

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