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Daniel Bryant

Professor Sandra Kikuchi

Learn from the Water’s Echo

Do you know Ms. Parrot? 4th grade, Baker elementary, San Jose, CA
1994. I am eight years old and fast. Man, am I fast. I’m such an arrogant,
cocky little fast runner that I challenge anyone in the school to a race. But
Anthony Ponce is faster, I just don’t know it yet. I don’t know, because no one
has the heart to tell me I am not the fastest. But, Ms. Parrot does, and she goes
on to become one of the most influential people in my life. I now know Ms.

As a kid in the fourth grade, my assumptions of the world were that
everyone treated people as they wanted to be treated. (Golden Rule). Even
though this was clearly not the case, Ms. Parrot made an environment that was
clear of any discrimination based on the way any of her pupils looked. She was
also brutally honest, and was completely just in all her judgments and discipline
that were required within the classroom.

She is the reason I decided to pursue secondary education, and to
apply what modest skill I have and share some knowledge with these students. I
want to have an impact on someone and do some fulfilling and meaningful work
in the process.
The thing is, we’re all students. Studying life everyday, and our cultural
competence is something that is tested and challenged but is also that wondrous
thing that is at stake as we journey through our relatively short lives on this
beautiful planet.

This class has made me consider our ignorance, limitations, and
room for improvement that we all have. Although I have Asian heritage in half of
my blood, I never realized such a specified course could have so broad and
encompassing an impact as this. What a surprise; it’s a good surprise.

Because I am majoring in secondary education, I have come to realize
that there will always be people that you come across who come from unfamiliar

territory, cultural patterns that seem strange; but always significantly examining
myself to see that I do not become to ethno-centric in my perspective, and
ignorantly pass judgment on someone or something that I have no place in.

3 outcomes:

According to outcome 1 in the syllabus, mentioned it substantive knowledge that
would help students once they’re done with school in their workplace
environment. As much as I believe in product or personal knowledge and being
knowledgeable in your field, I think that the secondary part of the first outcome is
the main priority. “demonstrate competencies required by employers to be hired
and succeed in the workplace.” The cultural competency that we all strive to
achieve may never be manifested completely and accurately in our dystopian
world that we inhabit, but there are other endeavors and futures to hope for. But,
by demonstrating these competencies to the best of our limited abilities now, we
will be able to make a difference in classrooms; and through social work. This
class has made it possible for me to see my future career in a different light. In a
classroom, there will always be students form different backgrounds than our
own. It is important that we never impose our own culture, or that we are so
ethno-centric, that we fail to see the human being in front of us, the human that
needs our help, and require attention, love, and compassion. Those are the
qualities that each of us will need to develop over time, higher priorities and more
honorable than those lower, base needs found on the foundations of pyramid
models like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

#2 Outcome is that of effective communication. In this class, we learned
about certain standards like the fifth standard of service delivery, or the fourth of
cross-cultural skills, where we need to realize in these professions of education
and social work, there will be challenges and obstacles regarding communicating
with students and clients that might make it more difficult and sometimes

discouraging when we need to overcome what might hit us later on. By taking
courses like this, we have a time for preparation, so that we can emotionally
prepare and formulate a strategy that will help us be successful in the future.
When we covered these specific standards in the class that the NASW came up
with, I was at first very skeptical because they seemed like idealistic methods
that wouldn’t be practical in the field for real. But, “Indicators for the
Achievement of the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence” implies that this
is a realistic view that we need to pay attention to these indicators if we are to
improve our competence as a workforce and lift our standards in order to come
to understand people the way they would love to be treated.
This is something that I took for granted as a young 4th grader, but
now I know what Ms. Parrot’s stance was. To be impartial, and to strive to know
her students. This is something that I would love to progress towards; to drop
my biases, and move towards progressing to as impartial a person as possible.
This course helped me to feel growth and development towards a new attitude
and perspective on my secular training. I am grateful to have this opportunity
since it is not all the time you’re exposed to new trainings and experiences that
make lasting impressions and motivate and manifest change in someone to do
something different on their own accord. And now, I can someday pass on a
similar, although at first not understood, message to my own students and
continue this process for the greater good, passing it on to the next generation.
I have grown tremendously, but again not just in superficial knowledge,
but something more practical and wise. The ability to practice and put into
motion an idea, the idea that we’re all humans, deserving of something much
more than a subscription to retired and white-flagged fatalism. We are powerful
and in charge of our destiny. William Ernest Henley said it best in his poem,
Invictus: “I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”