Another term is almost completed. In a couple of days exams will start and the rigorous schedules of classes and homework deadlines will be all but a bad dream. In the process of learning and sitting in these classes you meet lots and lots of people along the way, and over the fourteen weeks you form friendships and bond to the whole class and the instructor. Also, the fourth year classes are smaller, 25 or less students in them, and the students that are in them are connected and passionate about why they are there, so a forged sense of unity is developed.
When it all comes to a sudden end, the last of the papers are handed in and the presentation are finished, we will all part and go our separate ways. Some of us will graduate, while others will start planning for the next term.
This class, today’s, was a good class, and one that I will miss. The prof., Mr. Tom Allen had the forethought of bringing in his camera and taking a class photograph for us for the memories of our fourteen week adventure in CRIM4235: Minorities and the Criminal Justice System. The photo is really his, but we all got a copy of it and I thought I would share it here.
This course is about the racial tensions in Canada, and goes into great detail about our history and current affairs when dealing with minorities in the criminal justice system. It was a real eye opener and some of the research papers that I have read for this class have literally shocked me—I never knew just how deep racism is rooted in this country? From taking this class I believe that I am now better equipped in becoming an advocate of stopping racism here. Now that I have seen some of the areas in the criminal justice system that need to be corrected, I also see the need that I too must change. Language is the very first thing I must work on.
My last paper in this class was on “Othering,” and the process of othering. Othering is simply the way in which we refer to other people in a unequalled sense, or labelling someone that we feel is not one of us. In some of these papers I found that our daily narratives most often shape how we see ourselves as the dominant culture and how we separate ourselves from what see as someone as different and detached from us. This form of othering occurs at so many levels: racism, sexism, classism, that even our own laws have being built around it.
But to my fellow students of Criminology 4235, and to the instructor Mr. Tom Allen, I hope to see you all soon next term.