Learning More Each Day

Days like these really make me wish we were already in the Dominican Republic. This snow is killing me, but I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life so you’d think I’d be used to it by now. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the Sustainable Science class, but I have been brainstorming on my own. Last year I was a teaching assistant for the class “Chemistry in the Kitchen.” The students in this class learned all about what composed some of the things they consumed each day. This class helped me develop ideas for my lesson plan for the Boca Chica children. I plan to teach the children about basic food science by using the food pyramid. I realize that they do not have access to all of the resources that we have. Hopefully I will be able to structure my lesson plan around what resources are available to them.

On the other end of the spectrum, the History class for the students going on the trip has been hard at work. We have been spending most of our time learning about the culture and history of the Dominican Republic. Sugar is a very important part of both of these topics. We have completed excerpts from Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History and Slave Revolution in the Caribbean and composed our first papers speculating why Saint Domingue was so vulnerable to the slave revolution they experienced in 1791.
Learning of the history of the Dominican Republic has been somewhat painful. The documentary Sugar Babies has given us a vivid look at the lives of the children of the Dominican Republic. It is upsetting to see so many children displaced or simply forgotten by the government. Professor Bill Fillner brought up a very important point after watching the film. He noticed that many of us had been gasping or sighing while viewing the film. He informed us that while in the Dominican, we too would come across people living in extreme poverty. We discussed planning a day in class where we would figure out how to handle our emotions in these situations and better prepare for the road that lies ahead. Our next step is to read “Why the Cocks Fight.” This documentary novel will take us deeper into the Haitian and Dominican Republic conflict and help us understand what started it all.    -Becca

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