Sunday, September 4, 2011

Learning, Wisdom, and The African World Experience Lecture Blog Entry #2

Learning, Wisdom, and The African World Experience

“Fruitful learning experiences involve more than the acquisition of academic knowledge. They facilitate the gaining of wisdom, helping to build an enduring capacity to apply learning to meet communal challenges.” (Syllabus, 1) Well what does this mean? In my own words, to encompass all aspects of learning, concepts other than those of the academic nature must be taught and ingrained into our minds in order to equip us with the tools to become contributing, educated members of society. Dr. Carr said it best, “Learning and wisdom is the celebration of life through the mastery of it.” Being alive gives us the chance to learn about the world around us, take it by storm, and gain wisdom through our years. The ability to do that is a celebration in itself.

In this lecture, I learned small parts of the richness of African history. “To be African is to be brilliant and excellent.” (Carr) As members of the black heritage, no one has been reading and writing longer than us. In addition, the originating basis of modern civilization is Africana. These facts led me to add, “To be African is to be a founder, a creator, and a leader.” So, human brilliance must be connected to African brilliance, if we are the true originators of such things. As well as the notion that human excellence is tied to African excellence. But with this being true, why are we as a people so crippled today, I thought. Then Dr. Carr answered my question with this statement: “The most serious threat to African dignity is the domain of intellectual ability.” With realization of our abilities as a people, backed with wisdom from our history, our dignity is indestructible. The challenge is that this knowledge is rarely known. We must close the gap between our current performance and our true capability to reach maximum potential.

In conclusion, the Mbongi is one of the many tools that will help us reach that. An Mbongi is a physical and intellectual space, or a common shelter which constitutes many traditional African functions. There is no privacy in the Mbongi; everything is shared or is a shared space. I feel that the rules of the Mbongi support and enforce responsibility and “togetherness”; two characteristics that can be used positively in regaining strength in numbers as African-Americans in today’s world.

Remember, “What you think belongs to you, what you say belongs to the public.” – Traditional Kongo

Kelvonna Goode

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The Howard Experience" - Week One

Howard University is an institution that easily surpasses my expectations after finally arriving and settling in. After what seemed like the longest summer ever, I arrived to campus on August 13th and every day after that I’ve seen more reasons why choosing Howard was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Freshman week activities, lectures, and showcases were just a sneak preview to what we have to look forward to for the next four years. And I must say I’m impressed and excited all at the same time.
            Freshman Seminar was a pleasant surprise for me because the course title “Freshman Seminar” was misleading and caused me to think the class would be about totally different material than it actually is. When registering for courses, I didn’t think much of this class because I thought it would be about adjusting to college life, navigating resources, effective note taking, studying, and things of that nature. I thought to myself, “Those are things I already know.” Now I see that Freshman Seminar is a special course exclusive to Howard University and one that should be especially taken seriously because it’s based on the mission of The Mecca, as well as teaching us some history and opening our eyes to concepts we might not have been introduced to before.
            Upon completion of Freshman Seminar, I expect to have a greater understanding of what being African descent means and also the importance of lifelong learning and research. The lectures that catch my eye are “Omoluabi: Self Actualization and Communal Responsibility”, “Abandonment and Dismemberment: Something Torn and New”, and “Research and Methodology: Inscription as Liberating Practice”. This course will definitely help me meet my academic goals because I see it as a foundation and a motivation. A foundation because it teaches and gives me historic information to stand on, and a motivation because the history is what pushes to me to succeed.
            On another note, Howard is a great place and I see why so many influential, successful people are Howard Alum. College is a different ballgame than high school though, and it took a week for me to actually get hit with reality and understand that. After attending class for a week, we will get settled into our daily routines and slowly but surely the weeding process will begin. Not everyone will make it through these four years. My goal is to not become a “weed” and be picked. With hard work, persistence, balance, and time management I’ll be sure to meet this goal and others.

Kelvonna Goode
HU C/O 2015