A-

Posted on May 3, 2010

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I almost forgot to tell you what grade I got for my Environment, Culture and Society class last semester:

A-

I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I knew it was what I deserved given my newbie’s knowledge on environmental issues. I had to put double (well, it felt like triple!) effort into studying the required readings and into writing and researching for the weekly papers. Getting a grade of A- was, I suppose, a feat, giving my background as a Communication student with limited technical knowledge on sociology and the environment.

On the other hand, I knew I could have done better. I could have pushed myself a little bit harder for a grade of A. But that would have meant neglecting my other responsibilities in my other class, my work, and my personal life.

But I am happy with what I learned in that class, of course. It was a very demanding and different experience from my usual easy-going Communication classes. But what I loved most about that class was our field work at Naic in Cavite, where we got to do participatory action research with fisherfolk. I realized that we “educated” people don’t own a monopoly on knowledge, and that we don’t always know best. Even fisherfolk know something we don’t. They can even lead and mobilize themselves given the right impetus and the willpower.

This led me to take a related class this summer. This time, it’s Development Communication where participatory action research takes on a slightly different name: participatory communication. It’s basically the same, though. And I’m glad to connect my learnings from my Environment class with my DevCom class. I hope to write more about this in the coming days.

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