The reflection is focused on my placement at the E4C Alberta Business, where my everyday experiences are closely related to some of the class readings." The article, in particular, examines slacktivism: raising consciousness by Dunning (2014) and out of the darkness by Fyfe and Milligan (2003).
I was fortunate to be given a placement opportunity at E4C to demonstrate my classroom skills and, most importantly, to advance my relationship with the real world. Nonetheless, I had the ability to study and comprehend all that my career entails. At E4C I was undertaking a project that is aligned with the focus area of the organization, community & collaboration, and I was undertaking a project on sharing circle event. During this time of the year, I was glad to interact with individuals such as Taro Hashimoto who was our community development officer and also Sharon who was both our guider and cultural helper in practice. Moreover, I was glad to have my partner Mohamed who double up to be my classmate too.
During late October the director of our project start outlining our project and the way forward in which we were supposed to conduct this exercise. We start by negotiating on the project outline in email – a sharing circle events. This event was to be held on November 13th 2017. All people were welcomed to join this event and become one of the participants in the circle and were expected to share their ideas based on the topics that were purported by the circle leader. The main task for us volunteers was to advertise this poster in different ways, I remember Sharon our guider outlining that we were to do our best I and Mohamed to ensure this information reach as many individuals as possible and use as many means as possible. One of the public means we utilized was Facebook, Instagram, and twitter among others. Together with Mohamed, we visited different aboriginal organization requesting them if they were able to join us for this essential event together with Taro (Susan, 2002). Working in groups was the effective thing I appreciated from the E4c as we group ourselves into different groups to cover more ground we interacted and enjoy the venture. We had to list this organization then visit them on my side I had Bigstone Cree Nation and Native Friendship Center.
Relation to Out of Shadows Reading
Volunteering was one of my first experiences and it’s when I noticed how hard it was to be one of a volunteering staff. As we were working to reach out this organization the winter was tolling on. The cold cut through our veins as we moved around to meet our director Taro. The first place where Taro drove us was the Boyle Street community Service a nonprofit agency that aid individuals and families. We were introduced by Taro and he pulls out one poster to show them what we were doing, at the moment we stayed as spectators with Mohamed and later we took some pictures as we uploaded them as our working (Morison, 2000). We were able to visit five different organization, and we were glad to have a large room that we will conduct the exercise. It was an educative way for both of us if not all three of us. Sometimes experience is not sufficient to give the students the full understanding of how to interact with people of different diversity such as race, culture, gender and different localities. Therefore, Taro our partner ensured we got a full understanding of the history of the circle and more so impart us with the perfect means and methods to appropriately run them. To attain this position, I had to have full information on some basic concept concerning volunteering.
Nevertheless knowing only about slacktivism was not a breakthrough to E4C we had to fully understand the aspect of out of the shadows as learned in our classes (Raji, 2007; Fyfe & Milligan, 2003). It has been perceived that only the voluntary sectors can come up with the only solution to some stream of problems concerning how the capital states meet the welfare of its population, decline of social capital and the erosion of citizenship. Therefore as an outline from the study in out of the shadows voluntarism portrays that political development need scrutiny and despite providing answers to these problems it is in a position to pose more questions on how far welfare need is addressed and raising the social capital (Smith, 2009; Fyfe & Milligan, 2003). Furthermore, voluntarism has help the geographer in building their interest in their different fields. The utilization of voluntarism analysis considering intellectually cohesive and distinctive ways triggers geographers to address their research in concise empirical methods (Fyfe & Milligan, 2003). Incorporating geographical approach in voluntarism helps both the volunteers and voluntary organization understand how the national policies affect both the rural and the urban areas. Using theatrical analysis in geographical research aid, the organization examines the economic and political factors of an area (Fyfe & Milligan, 2003). With this understanding the voluntary organization with the private sector might join hands to facilitate the delivery of social welfare (Smith, 2009). Therefore from the above set of reading, I was glad to disseminate some of the importance of such reading in my placement period.
Therefore in the field, I had to ensure I incorporated the understanding I gained from the reading in out of the shadows and slacktivism. First I had to outline our practices to be purely volunteerism where our time and contribution was purposely for the sake of learning community services. Furthermore, I had to ensure that I define slacktivism as concerned with our agendas. The process involved explaining how ineffective for someone to vote out alcoholism in the society on a social media platform. The practice is not effective in volunteering thus it is vital for every individual and families to advance their knowledge pertaining various social factors and responsibilities as a citizen (Morison, 2000). From this kind information where many individuals have full knowledge and awareness, the world better places to live.
On the other hand, I and Mohamed notice we have to portray some knowledge from geographical research. With this guideline purported by out of the shadows, we confronted our community supervisor Taro and asked if it was appropriate to use previous research by geographers in the area as we were selecting the organization to ensure that both the rural and the urban environment was incorporated in the circle sharing.
Relation to Slacktivism: Raising Awareness Reading
One of the major knowledge I had to have full understanding was the slacktivism as implied in the revolution. Slacktivism hence, therefore, act as a media that introduce negative insight by the support of meaningful development which is involved with less amount of money or time to be implemented (Dunning, 2014). Slacktivism, therefore, has been developed more on the internet and the social media platform. It has been utilized to promote deliberate frauds; this can be portrayed by the platform such as Twitter which has been utilized by many individuals all over the world to spread inappropriate information and welcoming a lot of responses (Raji, 2007; Dunning, 2014). On the other hand, despite slacktivism perceived as an unfortunate aspect, it has posted an important role in passing information other platforms such as Facebook where it is straightforward to pass awareness information by using just a like button (Dunning, 2014). When an individual like a page they are slacking and only make themselves feel good and hence triggers the act of one finding out the solution to solving such problems. Therefore, what led me to E4C was how I outline my definition concerning slacktivism that expands to include an act of activism that is portrayed by individuals to ensure better living and solving of a social problem and hence do research and find out way in which this problem can be mitigated.
Community Service-Learning Reflection
From E4C there are a lot of things that I have learned from circle sharing. Circle sharing, therefore, has been outlined to be technical talks held in circles with the aim of approaching cultural aspects and developing objective that are educational (Morison, 2000). In most cases sharing circles fosters healing process mainly to those individuals who are oppressed or socially suffering (Fyfe & Milligan, 2003). The practice creates an environment in which the affected individuals feel free to let this oppressive spirit out resulting in relieving and peaceful mind in the long-run.
Life hence has been portrayed as a journey involved with various kinds of difficulties and hardship, and sometimes individuals find themselves lost. And I such cases it is essential to have a stop and breath to ensure a smooth journey. According to my experience in E4C, I understood the effectiveness of some certain community activities (Smith, 2009). I noticed we have to learn to speak out our problems and consider our life different from others, and further understand how similar we are when we narrow our paths. At the end of the circle talks, my spirit was redeemed and I started considering individuals and the world at large in a different way. Hence appreciating such activities in our communities is of significance.
The process was not quite the way I was expecting, but it contains some undersides. The statement does not imply that the practice was fully negative, but to some extent it was disappointing in regards to the realization of not meeting the expectations. What we did in E4C was not what I was expecting as outlined in the email during the placement time. I expected vigorous engagement of activities but as Sharon our guide claimed, some students understand what they are supposed to do in the placement (Susan, 2002). Meanwhile, the placement is unable to offer a bridge to connect the depth of the learning between in-class courses and placement itself.” Furthermore, every staff in the E4C was bustling and hence limiting the time of interaction to learn more and hence can assume that the E4C was too busy to organize some substantial time for the volunteers (us) and the staff.
Dunning, B., (2014). Slacktivism: Raising Awareness. Retrieved from https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4419
Fyfe, N. R., & Milligan, C., (2003). Out of the Shadows: Exploring Contemporary Geographies of Voluntarism. Progress in Human Geography 27(4), pp. 397–413. DOI: 10.1191/0309132503ph435oa
Morison, J., (2000). The government-voluntary sector compacts: governance, governmentality, and civil society. Journal of Law and Society. 27(1), 98-132.
Raji Swaminathan (2007) Educating for the “Real World”: The Hidden Curriculum of Community Service-Learning. Equity & Excellence in Education, 40:2, 134-143, DOI: 10.1080/10665680701246450
Smith, M. K., (2009). ‘Social capital’, the encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/social-capital/
Susan R. J., (2002). The Underside of Service Learning. Journal of College Student Development. Retrieved from https://eclass.srv.ualberta.ca/pluginfile.php/3847346/mod_resource/content/1/underside.pdf
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