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Summary Essay of Portfolio

This class as a whole, was both familiar and foreign at the same time. While some
concepts were very comfortable, and relatively easy from the start, others proved to be much
more unanticipated and explorative from an educational standpoint. To me, the class was divided
into two portions, one half being highly focused on the writing/speaking aspect of teaching, and
the other centering around cultural exploration and how that concept would tie into the first half
of the classs instruction.
The content of this portfolio directly follows the pattern of instruction that was presented
throughout this class. The minor assignments form a summary of the fundamental concepts that
we as students of the class must become familiar with, in order to effectively transition into the
main projects that class would assign. These three represented concepts, conflict style,
communication within culture, and perception all directly correlate to what we would be asked to
do later on in the class. Each of these three concepts also directly relate to one another, therefore
making it possible for them to serve a collective purpose in the future.
The exploring culture essay was easily the most thought provoking, as well as
challenging assignment that I completed throughout my time in this course. I believe this is due
in part to the extensive amount of preparation that the assignment initially required. This also
proved to be extremely helpful. By far the most exciting portion of the assignment required that
each student obtain two interviews of members of the culture that each student had chosen to
research. I like to believe that I took full initiative in this endeavor by visiting a local mosque and
interviewing two individuals who had come straight from Islamic worship. Every single aspect

of this experience was new and exciting for me. Prior to this, I had very little experience in being
submersed in this culture. Now that interviews had been carried out, I had solid resources that
could form a firm foundation of my cultural research essay. The downside to this however is that
the interviews seemed to dominate the main focal point of my paper. Over utilization of the
interviews took away from other aspects of the culture, specifically the daily events that people
within this culture experience.
The cultural research essay was only half of the instructional content. Next, we were
tasked with taking the information that we had learned from our previous research, then
implement it into a speech. The speech however, also had to utilize an artifact from popular
culture. After much research, my personally implemented article was The Muslims are Coming, a
documentary film following four Islamic comedians in rural America. This documentary was a
perfect choice for the purpose of my speech. My goal was to provide in depth look into modern
Islam, and how it is transitioning away from its public negative stigma.
This portfolio does more than display a collection of instructional work. It marks a time
of cultural journey for myself. An introduction of new and exciting ideas, beliefs, and people that
I had never known before. This class has not only forced me to grow academically, but
personally as well. Proving that genuine interest in those that are different than you, can really go
a long way.