As we’re approaching our Soliya Connect Program, I need to start by stating what I’ve learned in this course so far that I believe will be carried to my Soliya experience. I’ll be stating what I’ve learned by looking at three dimensions; what I learned intellectually, what I learned about myself, and what I’ve learned regarding my interactions with other people.

We have discussed racism, oppression, and micro-aggression in the course. For example, one can have prejudices and biases about a certain race, ethnicity, or culture, resulting in such aggression, which Binna Kandola described in his diffusing-bias lecture. Such biases don’t have to be lethal (such as African Americans getting murdered), but they can be highly offensive and insensitive, and they enforce stereotypes to grow and flourish. Hence, they can be considered “micro-aggression” (see What kind of Asian are you?). Moreover, in our class, we did an interesting exercise that involved getting divided into groups and thinking about micro-aggression statements that we get told almost every day, and we have to deal with it politely. I believe this exercise helped us apply what we watched, and hearing what other groups had to say was funny yet upsetting since it is a reality many had to live and endure. I think such racism, bias, oppression, and aggression are great topics that I’m glad we tackled for the sake of Soliya. When we’re assigned randomly to different groups in Soliya, we’ll be meeting people on whom we have biases and vice versa. This will help us get to know ourselves better, pinpoint any biases that we have on others, and think before we speak and offend others. Another activity that helps with our identity (as our identity and biases are intertwined topics) was thinking of 10 words to describe ourselves, then limiting them to three, then one. This exercise showed us what we have described ourselves as and what kind of word defines us. I think that since Soliya is about different identities and cultures, we should be able to get to know ourselves first before we rush to try to understand others. 

About 3 years ago, I was walking with my friends in front of our school, and a homeless, deaf person. He was asked for help and handed me a small sign language brochure, but I didn’t connect the dots, so he walked away. This encounter left me defeated and burdened, and made me feel like I failed at helping him. Since then, I’ve grown an interest in sign language. I tried to learn it by watching youtube videos, but eventually life got to me and I got busy, so I had to put this interest aside to focus on my studies. When I came into CORE 2096 class and I saw that we have four visually impaired students with us, it took me back to the homeless man, and I promised myself that I would make myself available for any help needed, and to make my assignments as accessible as it could, so they can give me feedback and be included in the discussion. One of our main scope of focus in this course is accessibility, whether it be for presentations, assignments forms, games, videos, etc. I think this fostered empathy and compassion for me, as well as understanding. I believe that this is what I learned about myself, and that bringing these traits to Soliya would make me a better listener and void of any judgment or pre-prejudices that I’ve had about any culture or country.

I believe that a good “global digital citizen” is one that carries all the traits and characteristics I’ve already mentioned. It is about being civilized, open-minded, accepting and understanding of other cultures and mindsets, and representing your country in a way that other foreigners will be able to love and be interested in your country. Soliya will be a testament to all the characteristics that I aspire to possess. Accordingly, I have learned from my interactions with others in my class to expand my horizons on certain topics that I might have a short-sighted view on. The interactions made me interested in discussing certain topics further, as I view different views as the puzzle pieces that help form and comprehend the overall image. 

Furthermore, due to contemporary events, the issue of Palestine will be inevitably brought up. Despite my clear stance, I acknowledge that some may not be aware of all the history and facts about this issue. Thus, I will make them aware of it. Since I’m only a student, I may not be fully equipped to discuss this issue, but I’ll make sure to send them sources about this issue from both views, and they can judge for themselves. Although Palestine holds a special place in my heart, I also acknowledge that some may not agree with me still. If that happens and I feel myself getting too aggressive, I think I’ll take a step back, change the topic, and revisit it later.

According to AI:

Initial text: write an essay about: what can someone learn in a digital literacies course regarding 3 dimensions: intellectually, personally, and interaction with others.

Second question to AI: Write about how such things they learned can possibly help them in a connect program

Prompts used: 

  • Reflecting on AI:

I found that AI wrote the reflection in a very academic, perfect and polished way, yet it lacked the normalcy of human factor. This factor adds the personal experience and reflection on the course topics, materials, videos, and activities. It was too perfect and lacked any flaws that it sounded monotonous and boring, which can discourage people from reading the whole piece. I have used AI many times before, and every time I try to make it sound more human, it fails to do so. Thus, the process was not successful in making it write a functional piece.


Facing History & Ourselves, “Day of Learning 2013 – Binna Kandola: Diffusing Bias,” video, last updated February 11, 2014. 

helpmefindparents. (2013, May 23). What kind of Asian are you? [Video]. YouTube.