From: Christie M. Thomas
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Date: 05 Oct 1996
My interest in the course sparked immediately when I saw the description on the flyer stating this course would be added Fall Quarter. A seminar with a field placement (at Barrios Unidos, at that) was very appealing to me because I had spent the past four years almost solely in the classroom. I was anxious to apply what I've learned thus far in a practical way.
Over the past year I had become acquainted with Barrios Unidos because they did some T-shirts for a student organization I'm involved in and through some research I was doing in trying to design a community violence prevention program which I modeled largely off what I learned about Barrios Unidos. It is a fabulous organization and I'm excited to be working with the program.
My interest has primarily been psychology and computer science. These are two dynamic fields of study. I am interested in personally furthering the limits of technology and assisting others who may not have the opportunities or the access that I have had to make the technological transition. My interests can be described a very diverse, I want to do a lot of things. I want a career in computing. I want to work with people. I want to be active in criminal justice. I want to stay involved at grassroots levels, and continue in public service. I would like to use this experience to further define my goals and to realize my strengths and weakness in that respect.
I have "learned" in many different ways. I believe that experience is the best teacher, however clique that may be. I am a compilation of learning from so many different settings. To name a few: in the home, in formal school, in the street, in playgroups (with peers), in my extracurricular and service activities. To broaden knowledge you have to expose individuals (groups) to as wide a range of settings and learning environments as possible. That is why I feel more alive again getting out of the classroom which can be after a certain amount of time very limiting, and expanding my experiences (therefore learning) at Barrios Unidos. The same will hopefully happen for the kids who will have a new experience from being a part of this program. I'm very excited by the possibilities that lay ahead with this project.