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Me working on some Readings!

As I enter into the swing of spring term, along with my new classmate (aka dog) Maddie, I am experiencing a new way of learning at Dartmouth. One of these distinct ways of learning is under the credit/no-credit system. For this spring term, all classes at Dartmouth changed their grading system to either gaining a credit or not, eliminating letter grades common with Dartmouth. Now, this system has been in place for certain classes at Dartmouth, but this is the first time where all classes fall under this system. With this system, coupled with not having to go to clubs and organizations, I had to change which classes I would be taking. Two of the classes I decided to take are History, Culture, and Society: The Many Faces of Latin America, and African American Religion and Culture in Jim Crow America. And as an Afro-Panamanian student, both of these classes have helped me learn about the different parts of who I am!

The first course revolves around the creation of a distinct—yet unified—Latin identity from colonialism to the present day. With the new format of remote learning, this literature course has us focusing on reading about the different cultural aspects of Latin America and how they came about. I am currently reading about the history of Latin American cinema and how it drew from various sources. This class has helped me learn more about where my Latino ancestors came from and how they forged their identity over the years. I hope that by the end of this term, I will grow close to my roots and have a deeper appreciation for them!

One of my books for my Literature class
One of my books for my Literature class!
The second course has dealt with the interaction between African Americans and religion during the Jim Crow era in America. Through weekly discussion on Zoom, readings on subjects such as the use of "storefront" churches in Detroit, and watching videos for visual history, I see how African Americans have used religion to make a place for themselves in an era of severe inequality. Knowing this fight has allowed me to greatly appreciate the progress African Americans have made in civil rights, and has also shown me places where progress must still be done.

This term is very, very, different. However, so far I have still been able to learn more about who I am as a person; an integral part of the college experience. One can only imagine what's in store for the rest of the term!

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