What about SA&FS do you enjoy?
I’m a fan of the flexibility of SA&FS. I can change courses and subject focusses without switching my major. When I declared SA&FS as a major, I was focused on food justice and community development. Now, I’m more interested in developing reading and writing skills, and figuring out what ‘systems thinking’ is. I can rely on reading and writing to be useful and relevant.
How do you feel about the seven learning objectives?
I think we should always be looking critically at what we call a learning objective. Maybe there should be session on deconstructing these objectives coming into the program.They can be helpful when considering what you value and where you’d like to see your education go.
How do you think SA&FS can reach its full education potential?
I’d like to see the ‘systems’ aspect of SA&FS be drawn out more in the courses we take. But then again, everyone’s into different things, so upholding the flexibility of the major is important.
I would like to see the program be a neutral space that withholds assumptions, about each other, or about anything really. I think the existence of a “stereotypical SA&FS student” is incredibly limiting. SA&FS should encourage independent thinking.
Also, more cultural studies courses (esp. American studies, Chican@ studies, gender studies, Native american studies) need to be required for SA&FS students. There’s no way to understand a food system without grasping some of these ideas.
What do you wish you had known about the major and academic life?
To treat professors like people and not like gods. Professors are an invaluable resource and when we start seeing them as people, we can form legitimate relationships with them. Also, I wish I had done more of the class readings and went to more workshops and talks my first few years here.
To be self aware. To understand what values I hold and look at them critically, self-check, and make sure I’m never building ideas off of assumptions.
Everyone has a different style of learning. Most of the really important things I’ve learned haven’t been from lecture. I feel like I’ve learned most from conversations with other students and professors, and just making time for independent reading.
My plans change a lot. Hopefully current or past jobs and internships will take me somewhere, but I’m not in a rush to settle into anything. I am still fine-tuning the process. I really just want to work at a bookstore or aquarium.