During college, almost any day is a day of learning. When we’re not learning about science, art or writing, we’re discovering new things about our fellow students, other cultures and God.
But the upcoming Day of Learning in Community on Feb. 15 is set aside as a day to learn about unique topics outside of our current classes. It will consist of a number of different events hosted by a variety of speakers.
Students are looking forward to the broad range of subjects being covered.
“I love getting a new perspective on things,” said sophomore Meghan Thomson, a science major who plans to attend the “Neuroscience of Difference” event. Her family history gives her a special interest in the topic. “My grandfather was an immigrant from Hungary, so I love learning about people who are different from us.”
The neuroscience event focuses on people with mental conditions like autism and William’s syndrome, and will examine the differences and similarities they share with us. “We have a lot we can learn from them,” said junior Amanda Hussman, a student leader of the event.
In her presentation, Hussman will show how a certain part of the brain connects us all and bridges the gap that mental disorders can create. “Even people with these conditions are children of God,” she said.
Kai-Hao Chen, a senior music major, is looking forward to an event regarding the role of gender in our lives. It relates to part of his major. “I’m taking a special music topic that looks at women in jazz during the 1940s,” Chen said. “It will be interesting to hear about [the role of women] outside of class.”
Cami Turner is one of the speakers. She will begin with the question of how your life would change if you woke up as the opposite sex.
“We want students to see what we have discovered through taking the Sociology of Gender class,” Turner said, “but also what they can learn themselves.” The event will address a number of gender stereotypes in today’s world.
Junior Elisa Banninga is interested in the “Ebonics” event. Even after several years at Northwestern, she has been drawn specifically to this kind of topic. “Linguistics has been my favorite class so far,” Banninga said. “Anything about different languages fascinates me.”
Ebonics is a dialect of English specific to African-Americans. “During the slave trade, they were not taught proper English,” said Angelica Perez, a senior and one of the leading speakers. “So they began saying things that were considered improper.” This way of speaking became known as Ebonics.
During part of their presentation, they will even be using this dialect themselves. “We want to expose students to that kind of language,” Perez said. They will also focus on the role it plays on Northwestern’s campus.
The Day of Learning is meant to be a time when students can come together to learn about each other and hear new perspectives. It will start with a presentation in Christ Chapel at 9:30 a.m. and will end with an interactive discussion session at 2:30 p.m. in the RSC. Lunch will be available at noon.
Classes and other regular activities will be canceled to make this day possible. All students are encouraged to attend so that we can explore our unique voices together.