Hailey's Blog

all about the world, written by a college girl

Month: December 2016

I’m going to Italy!!!!

Dear reader,

So a couple of days ago, well actually about a week ago, I was accepted into OU’s Summer in Arezzo program to study abroad this summer! I am doing a different course than most people going because I will be traveling, and staying with the leadership group I am apart of called President’s Community Scholars. I couldn’t be more excited for this amazing opportunity and I am thrilled to be able to experience it with my best friends. While in Arezzo, we will be traveling to Rome, Florence, and Assisi. I have been to Europe before, but never Italy, and I am so excited. When we are there, we will be performing an act of community service as a group, and we will even get to go to a joust. I am really excited to experience Europe individually. The past couple times I have went I have been with my family, which don’t get me wrong, have been extraordinary, however, I am excited to get to plan my own day trips, and see things from a different prospective.

yours,

hailey

what we avoid talking about

 

Terrorism is something none of us want to talk about. It is dark, scary, and unknown. To me, it is one of the scariest acts that could ever be performed on people. In my class, Understanding the Global Community, we had to watch a documentary from Vice News for class, and this documentary was based on the crisis within ISIS and Syria. Instead of being a documentary that just spilled facts, it was filmed in Syria. The film crew got to interview a young school of boys who were training to be in the Jihad. This documentary was chilling, and not uplifting but any means, but it was informative and eye opening. This documentary intrigued me, and I realized I wanted to learn more about this topic, that no one really wants to talk about.

The problem in the Middle East is scary, and spreading, and it is hateful. I was eggar to learn more about how this all began, and the details of what was going on currently. For President’s Community Scholars, the leadership group I am apart of,  we were invited to attend the Presidents Associates Dinner with Dr. Joshua Landis as the guest speaker. Dr. Landis had came and spoke to our class, but I wanted to hear more so I eagerly signed up. My good friend Molly and I attended the dinner together, however, we were split up and placed on different sides of the huge ballroom. I was placed at a table with professors, and one law student, which was ironic because her specialty was something I was looking into for law school as well. Anyways, Dr. Landis came up on the stage and was introduced by President Boren, and the discussion began. Dr. Landis explained how he thinks that the crisis in the Middle East is something like a “great sorting out”. He compared the crisis to World War II, and even to the American Civil War. He believes it is occurring because of Nationalism, however, he did contrast it with America because the nationalism over there is more centered around religion, while here in the States it is mostly around the constitution. He explained how from their viewpoint, the Islamic people were upset, because we came in on their land, and started taking sides and blowing up peoples homes. This prospective, through nationalism, was stunning, and scary because it was so very true. After the long discussion, many people asked questions. Some asked about the current situation, and some asked about what would happen when the election here in the states was over, regarding ISIS and the crisis. Leaving the talk, I was more than inspired and in awe. For some reason, this topic is so interesting to me, and it was such an honor to hear about it from an expert firsthand. I titled this post “what we avoid talking about” because I think that crisis is a topic we refrain from, and although it makes sense, it is saddening in away, because being informed on what is occurring in other cultures and regions is so vital and important. ISIS is scary to say the least, and no one wants to think about it. But we have to, we cannot live our lives in fear, tragedy is occurring and we have to overcome it in some way, even if that starts with just being informed.

yours,

hailey

Finals Week

Sometimes, no matter how much homework or studying you must do, you just want to curl up in bed with a blanket and a good book. This is one of those afternoons. It is the week before finals here at OU, known as dead week. My dead week was suppose to be filled of studying and late night library exhaustion, however, instead I ended up really sick with a fever and sore throat this week. It is difficult to admit, but I think this week was probably one of the hardest so far for me this semester. However, although it has been a stressful, tiring week, these are the weeks that make us stronger. College has not been easy by any means, but it hasn’t necessarily been impossible either. It is weeks when we are sick away from home, bomb a Spanish presentation, and cry lots. These are the weeks that make us stronger. I know this blog is usually for school purposes and mostly about the world,  but on this cold blustery day in Oklahoma, I thought i’d just write about myself, with no coherent prompt. Next Saturday, I head home for Christmas Break for a month and I couldn’t be more excited. I am from San Antonio, Texas so every time I go home, I fly home. I am so excited to just be home, and be with my family more than anything. Anyways, I probably should not write for much longer considering I am actually feeling better for the first time this week, I should start studying for my chem final, scary, I know. Thanks for reading! (‘:

yours,

-hailey

What’s all the talk about OU cousins..

Dear Reader,

Ou cousins is an international club I joined this semester and I absolutely love it. At the beginning of the year they had a matching party where we got to walk around and talk to international students and it was probably one of my favorite memories from this semester. My OU cousin is from Egypt and she is absolutely so amazing! OU cousins has provided a lot of fun events this year but sadly I have not been able to go to any of the off campus ones, but I have been to the Thanksgiving dinner they hosted for the American students with their international cousins. OU cousins really opened up my eyes to how many international students we have on OU’s campus and it is amazing.

At the matching party, I got to talk to people from Spain, England, France, and even a guy from Australia. Most of the students I talked to were upperclassmen and had studied abroad before. It was so inspiring to hear there stories and to hear what they thought about our campus. I am so excited to continue being a member of this great organization throughout the year, and hopefully getting to connect with even more international students.

yours,

-hailey

It’s time to talk about Islamophobia

Dear Reader,

Amreeka was a film I went to go see on a Thursday night for my class Understanding the Global community, however, the extra credit opportunity turned into something much more important. In our class, we had been talking about islamophobia, especially with the election unfolding in surprising, and quite scary ways. Before watching this film, I knew there was islamophobia in the united States, however, I did not realize to the extent of how awful, and harsh it can be towards those who do not deserve it at all. I think within the past year, the country has seen a rise of islamophobia and it scares me deeply.

I do not want our country to be divided by religion, race or sexual orientation. Events like these truly open my eyes to more issues regarding the mistreatment of Islamic people in our country, and ways we can work to put a stop to islamophobia.

yours,

-hailey

When I went to a panel discussion

Dear Reader,

Right around when the election was occurring, I attended a panel discussion on foreign policies of both candidates. This discussion was interesting to say the least, and it taught me a lot about more issues that the candidates stood by.  At the discussion, there were 5 professors representing different areas of foreign policy. I attended this panel discussion not only because I have an interest in politics, but because I have a huge interest in the Middle East, and Dr. Joshua Landis was the one who spoke about the middle east. He talked about ISIS and Syria and how both candidates stood on how they would alleviate the issues and problems in the middle east.

From this discussion, I learned a lot about foreign policy and what it entails and how the government administration plans to handle these huge, important issues.

yours,

hailey

hello! hola!

Hello! My name is Hailey Thomas and I am a freshman here at The University of Oklahoma. I am a global engagement fellow and I am using this blog to write about my experiences, life, and the international community. Right now, I am working to obtain my minor in Spanish, and I am not sure what I am majoring in yet. Recently, I have been leaning towards pre-law because I am passionate about social justice, politics, and culture. Follow me on this journey and I hope you like my blog.

Thanks!

-hailey

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