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UW 1020 M 32 University Writing


CourseUW 1020: UW 1020 M 32 University Writing - M/W 10:00-11:15 and hybrid class Fridays, (41987)
University Writing Professor Ryder

Our city is a powerful place to learn how to read structures of power and mobilize for change. Washington, D.C. houses the world's most powerful political leaders and institutions.  Yet, just a few miles from the National Mall, children rush home from school to avoid being shot.  They try to finish their math problems while their empty stomachs ache. In this service-learning course, you will partner with DC community leaders who address social inequities in areas such housing, education, criminal justice, and the environment.  In class, we will analyze local sites to learn how to research and write for community action: How do community leaders discover and name the systems that reproduce inequalities? How do they choose the right course of action? How do they mobilize people to respond? How can you contribute to this work? You will write for both academic and public audiences. (Spring 2019 Traditional - Placement)
Semester:Spring 2019
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CausesArts & Culture At-Risk Youth Civic Engagement Community Early Childhood Education Education Food Insecurity, Hunger Gender Incarcerated, Formerly Incarcerated Marginalized Populations Nutrition Race & Ethnicity Social Justice Sports & Recreation
22 People | 142 Impacts | 352 Hours




The presentation that stood out to me was the one about the aging city. They presented the changes in the demographics of Ward 1, which has been a historically black neighborhood. Their theme was Aging in Place, which means that that same place that has once been the epicenter of black life, is now replaced with white residents. I like how they discussed this topic and I learned something new about DC in addition to what I already know. Next, I presented in a panel, so my experience was more about listening to the other presenters from another class. The other class presenter talked about their experience with people with non-speaking autism and how their research stemmed from this experience. One of the ladies talked about the role of identity and especially how the identity of non-speaking autism can differ from person to person. I really enjoyed listening to the other people.
The showcase presentations that were most impactful to me were the ones about public health and incarceration. One that stuck out the most was the fully automated CPR Machine for babies. Even though I am a certified first aider and have had training on how to administer CPR to babies I am not comfortable doing it so that I believe is a revolutionary invention, The only thing is that it did not appear to be very mobile so just thinking about the situation that might call for an infant to need CPR I was a bit skeptical if it could be transported quick enough to get the job done on time. I attended the Round Table with Dr. Ryder on community engagement volunteering and Autism. I have a very limited understanding of autism and the spectrum of which people can have it, however something I learned is that People with autism know that they are different and they understand it as their identity and trying to find a way to make them just like us is, in a way trying to get rid of a people. Also it is better to use a person-first identity. for example it is polite to refer to them as "people with autism" and n to "autistic people.
I was unable to attend the sessions due to it being during my time at US Dream Academy, however I did spend as much time as possible at the showcase presentations. Two in particular stuck out to me. The first was a device designed to perform CPR on children in order to free up hands during an emergency situation. I just found it interesting because it was a creative use of technology, and while it was very much an early stage prototype, I could see potential in it.

The second presentation that stuck out to me did so in a different way. The presenter discussed how our perceptions of service affect the way we evaluate our experiences. Specifically referencing the "self-fulfilling prophecy," ( the presenter discussed how he changed his perceptions of service by changing his mindset. For example, rather than seeing his service as "taking up time," waking up early on a day where he would otherwise sleep in opened a lot of time in his day. More so, starting his day with service had the effect of being a positive boost to his mood.
I had an art history discussion during the presentations, but I attended the round table discussion session with our UW peers and students of an autism-related class. First going into the session, I thought I was going to hear the same things as I had in class on Wednesday. I was happily surprised to hear a new topic brought into the discussion, though. My mom is a special ed specialist in Richmond, Virginia public schools, so the topic of autism sparked my interest. I agreed with everything the speakers said until the nomenclature for referring to people with autism was brought up. One of the students said that people with the disorder can be referred to as "people with autism" or as "an autistic person." Growing up with a mom whose whole life was making sure that people with disabilities had their needs met, I was taught what was appropriate to say and what was not. "Autistic people" is not appropriate. Otherwise, I am glad I was able to heat what they had to say.