RAP Session Descriptions
CLOSED-Schooling v. Education—Lifelong Learning Connections
Dr. Brian Yontz, Education Department
Participants will consider the difference between education and schooling and that becoming highly educated might provide more life fulfillment than becoming much schooled. Participants will hopefully come to an understanding that engagement in community and with others leads to a high level of education that perhaps can’t be captured in schooling. Additionally participants will consider how becoming educated is really a lifelong process.
Building Connections Through Service
Community Service Staff
Who are we in relation to the community and the world around us? This session will explore the meaning of ‘connectedness’ through the use of current media sources and other written works, while engaging in discussion.
CLOSED Engaging with Difference
Brandon Sipes, Project Jericho
This session will focus on ways to overcome our resistance to working with or being in relationship with those that are very different from us. In almost every career or stage of life, we encounter those who have different working styles, different personalities, different outlooks and different passions than us. And often, our response is to avoid them, or judge them. During this conversation, we will explore the possibility that the some of our most creative partnerships and dynamic relationships could be with those that are not like us.
OFFERED ON NOVEMBER 5TH Service and Citizenship: Related or Not?
Dr. Warren Copeland, Hagen Center
Sometimes we assume that community service will lead people to be more active citizens. In this RAP we will think about whether that assumption is correct. Wittenberg and other educational institutions have been requiring or encouraging community service for some years but the younger generation is still less likely to vote or otherwise participate as citizens than are we old folks. How about you? Have you seen or done anything in your service assignment that makes it more likely that you will be an active citizen? Let’s talk about it.
OFFERED ON NOVEMBER 5TH Service as a Ministry of Hospitality
Rachel Tune, Campus Pastor
This session will look at spiritual dimensions of service and of the people we serve, through the lens of hospitality. We’ll look at biblical passages (Judeo-Christian) describing hospitality, but also a passage about Japanese tea ceremonies, to discuss what it means to have a holy understanding of the people we serve.
CLOSED-Christian Service and the Communitarian Imperative
Dr. Chris Duncan, Provost
The Christian activist Dorothy Day once argued that before serving the poor we should first ask their forgiveness. There are a number of ways to interpret this provocative claim. One of those ways is to understand the way in which an act of service, that on its face is a positive good, can reinforce a hierarchical relationship and inadvertently place those being served in a position of subservience to those who are performing the service. True Christian service must strive not to recreate relationships of power, but instead must have as its goal solidarity. To help frame this RAP session, we will explore the Christian narrative and its relationship to service and then explore an important distinction between what we will call “service for” and “service with.”
CLOSED-I-Thou: In Search of a Beloved Community
Dr. Julius Bailey, Philosophy Department
Any vision of community begins with an extension of the self toward something bigger than oneself. In this reflection section, we will consider the spiritual dimension of humanity and its call for an I-Thou relationship. Such a relationship refers to the joining of souls that occurs when we come together in an authentic, meaningful way.
CLOSED-The Emotional Toll of Helping Others: Transforming Negative Emotions into Fuel for Social Change
Dr. Brooke Wagner, Sociology Department
In this RAP session, we will reflect on the relationship between different opportunity structures and how these structures shape life expectations. We will explore the uncomfortable feelings many experience while conducting service work, like frustration, helplessness, and guilt. Through an artistic project, we will examine how these feelings are shaped by the systems of privilege that we each inherit, and we will work to transform these negative emotions into positive community outcomes. This session is most appropriate for students participating in service with groups who are disadvantaged.
CLOSED-What is a Good Citizen?: Generational Differences in the Meaning of Citizenship
Dr. Rob Baker, Political Science Department
Recent research using extensive longitudinal national survey data has uncovered sgnificant generational differences in the meaning of citizenship. Two paradigms-- "Duty-Bound Citizenship" and "Engaged Citizenship" -- are offered as ways of thinking about what it means to be a good citizen. Research will be presented on the topic with a discussion on its implications for community service and young citizens.
CLOSED- “To See a World in a Grain of Sand”: Mining Moments of Experience
Dr. Rick Incorvati, English Department
Stories are perfectly fine ways to capture events, but they can misrepresent experiences that don’t exactly lend themselves to linear narratives and systematic description. This RAP session will test the proposition that some memories are more meaningful than we think they are—perhaps even more meaningful than we can ever fully know. Come prepared to conjure a moment from your service experience as we look for surprising meaning and ask some questions about the nature of powerful experience.
CLOSED-Radical Individualism: Why do we need a more communitarian spirit?
Dr. Ed Hasecke, Political Science Department
While individualism is deeply ingrained in the American spirit, it also threatens the ability of our democracy to function. In this RAP session, we will explore the nature of individualism in America and discuss how the loss of community could threaten our democracy. Drawing on the service experiences of the class we will reflect on our own motivations for service and what that means for society.