UW Passport Assingment- Social

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I went to the meeting of the Diamond Way Buddhist UW-Madison chapter on Nov 4th. The whole event is really interesting. People getting together meditating about meaning of life. I was really tired so I nearly fell asleep during the process. New people are welcomed to get participated in the event. As for me, I think it’s a brand new way of understanding the value of religions.

 

As you all know, Buddhism is a religion originated from China. There are different kinds of Buddhism in the world due to some historical background. However, here at Madison, people tend to focus more on one side of Buddhist—making a person peace through different ways.

I’ve seen people getting more peaceful during the meditating process based on their facial expressions. They are all willing to do something like this because they want to find the most efficient way to find the peace inside their heart. As far as I am concerned, the most effective way of finding peace inside is staying with the people you love and the people who love you. Surrounded by those people, you will find the peace and happiness within. We actually don’t need to meditate in order to find happiness.

In China, actually more people believe that the source of happiness only comes within one’s gratitude and inner peace. And basically all the peace and happiness are only can be found by those who don’t have any desire and aims. Buddhism encourages people to have no desire, which is absurd for me because people need motivation to set up goals, which can promote the evolution of the society and the world. If everyone wants nothing, the whole world would be totally a mess. People would cut off from the world and live in the inner world, which according to their thoughts is the meaning of peace.

I’m not saying the Buddhism is useless. It encourages people to be kind to one and another because everything in the world is related, so people can be easily effected by their own behaviors. If you are kind to others, others would send back their kindness to you as well. The reason is pretty obvious.

That’s just my personal thoughts, and I definitely suggest others coming for the next meeting if they are interested.

Frank Zhu (Pengfei)

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UW Passport Assingment- Social

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Yesterday, November 2nd, I attended a lecture by Juan de Marcos. This lecture, which is part of a series, was titled “European Influence on Cuban Popular Music.”

This was an interesting lecture to say the least. He discussed the different types of music in Spain, how they sounded (which instruments, what beats, what tempo, what stanzas, what vocals, etc) and how they compared with traditional and modern Cuban music.

This assignment was completely different than the other two events that I had attended. Both the Org Fair and the Majors Fair were a similar setup- many stands with many students in a relaxed but crowded atmosphere. This lecture, which took place in Memorial Union, was almost the opposite. Only 15 or so other people were in the stands. Most of the people looked to be upwards of 40 years old, and were probably full residents of Madison. The atmosphere was relaxed, but extremely quiet and adult-like. I would compare it to the atmosphere at a film festival critique. It was so strong that I couldn’t muster up the will to take a selfie!

One of the strongest vibes that I got from the crowd and the lecture was the general liberal college-y feel. The people attending were so into, excited, and interested on what Juan was saying. I was intrigued, but not to the level the other people were. Some were nodding their heads in agreeance, some clapped along with the music he would play, and others scribbled down notes. The only free lecture in my hometown that would get the audience so involved would be a lecture on Paul Ryan.

As you can see, I really got more out of the crowd than I did from the actual lecture. But the crowd of this event showed me a whole other side to Madison and the campus- the artsy, casually liberal side. I would never see this in my hometown, and I barely notice it on my day-to-day college routine. This crowd, I think, is defiantly part of the Wisconsin Experience; you have to see and experience different cultures and people, even within your own state. And I liked it a lot, actually! I came in with an open mind (much like Kevin in the book), and the experience ended up being fun, educational, and very enjoyable.

UW Passport Grading Rubric

(Excellent)= A

(Good)= B

(Fair)= C

(Inadequate)= D

Content

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Student describes, in detail, how the experience influences their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Gives some details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a basic reflection of the experience/activity. Provides few details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a very little reflection and focuses on a summary of the experience/activity. Provides few details or no details about the impact that the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Clarity & Organization

Ideas are clearly communicated.  Paragraph is logical, and organization is effective.

Minor problems with clarity. There are a few minor organizational problems that do not take away from the flow of the paragraphs . 

Paragraphs are unclear. Fairly significant organizational problems.  

Paragraphs are unclear and lack organization.

Formatting

Paragraphs follow the formatting requirements (font, size, margins, length, & title) and includes a picture.

Paragraphs follow most of the requirements.

Paragraphs follow some of the requirements.

Paragraphs do not follow the requirements.

Effort

Student clearly selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and somewhat describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an experience/activity that fulfills the category requirements, but student does not describe how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an event that does not meet the requirements of the category and does not describe how the event is outside of their comfort zone.

Grammar & Spelling

Paragraph is polished. No grammar or spelling errors.

A few minor grammar and spelling errors.

Many grammar and spelling errors.

Significant problems with grammar and spelling.

UW Passport Assignment- Diversity and Social Justice

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Today I attended the event presented by the Multicultural Student Center (MSC). It was called “A Place at the Table- Community Meal”, located in the Red Gym. I was able to learn more about the Indian culture through an assortment of popular Indian dishes and also by collaborating with different people from all different cultures and backgrounds.

This event made me feel extremely outside my comfort zone. At the event the majority of the students were from different backgrounds and cultures than I. Usually this is not the case, I am used to being in the majority so being put in this situation made me feel very uncomfortable at first. I felt much like Kevin did when he first approached Liberty, timid and awkward. However, once I started to engage with others about their experiences and what they knew about the different types of foods being served. I felt more comfortable and realized that I’m not so different after all. I associated with the man who brought this event to life. He told me about some of the different dishes along with some of the culture behind it.

The food available at this event was, a famous orange curry that you can find almost anywhere in India, a fried donut and a rice and a garbanzo bean dish with a vegan curry. I was a little resistant to try the food at first. I do like to try new things but, I haven’t tried much Indian food due to the fact that I am quite sensitive to spicy foods. However, I was pleasantly surprised by my results. I really enjoyed the orange curry with rice and I enjoyed the donut even though the texture wasn’t what I expected it to be. The garbanzo bean dish with a vegan curry was very spicy for me but, overall I did have a good time and enjoyed the dishes.

After my experience, I learned that I have to be aware of other people’s cultural backgrounds and be more open to meeting people from all walks of life. This was a truly eye opening experience and it made me realize that it is amazing that Madison has such a diverse community. I also realized that I should take advantage of that more in order to expand my Wisconsin experience.

UW Passport Grading Rubric

(Excellent)= A

(Good)= B

(Fair)= C

(Inadequate)= D

Content

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Student describes, in detail, how the experience influences their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Gives some details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a basic reflection of the experience/activity. Provides few details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a very little reflection and focuses on a summary of the experience/activity. Provides few details or no details about the impact that the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Clarity & Organization

Ideas are clearly communicated.  Paragraph is logical, and organization is effective.

Minor problems with clarity. There are a few minor organizational problems that do not take away from the flow of the paragraphs . 

Paragraphs are unclear. Fairly significant organizational problems.  

Paragraphs are unclear and lack organization.

Formatting

Paragraphs follow the formatting requirements (font, size, margins, length, & title) and includes a picture.

Paragraphs follow most of the requirements.

Paragraphs follow some of the requirements.

Paragraphs do not follow the requirements.

Effort

Student clearly selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and somewhat describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an experience/activity that fulfills the category requirements, but student does not describe how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an event that does not meet the requirements of the category and does not describe how the event is outside of their comfort zone.

Grammar & Spelling

Paragraph is polished. No grammar or spelling errors.

A few minor grammar and spelling errors.

Many grammar and spelling errors.

Significant problems with grammar and spelling.

UW Passport 3 – Diversity

When I first knew that we were going to attend a event held by a religious group, I didn’t know what to expect. I grew up in a completely religion-free environment and almost everyone I know including families and friends are atheists. I have never prayed before meals and have never meditated in my whole life. I know that a lot of Asians are Buddhists and I have seen people handing out brochures about Buddhism on the street to promote the spirit of their religion. That was basically all I knew about Buddhism.
Yesterday I went to the meeting of the Diamond Way Buddhist UW-Madison chapter. I went a little bit early so at first it was very awkward standing there alone. After a few minutes two girls came in and I got to talk to one of them. She was from New Zealand and it was also her first time being in a group like this. She mentioned that she is in a rowing team and that is why she came to Madison. I found it very interesting because it is always good to know people who come from different countries and have different experience from me. We started meditation after the leader talked about what Buddhism is and how people find internal peace by believing in it. During the meditation, I tried to stay focus on what he was talking about but I just couldn’t because the whole process was such a new experience to me and I wanted to see what people were like when they meditate. It felt a little bit odd when they started to say words that didn’t make sense to me, but the overall experience was very interesting and meaningful.
I couldn’t say that I found internal peace just by this one meditation, but it definitely feels good when I step out of my comfort zone and try to see the world from a different angle. I learned about the life of people who live differently from me and I realized that everyone has their own definition of what “normal” is. I will start to think more about what I hope my life will be like and I will use these four years in UW Madison to try to achieve this goal.

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UW Passport Assignment – Diversity

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On Wednesday, November 4th I attended an event hosted by the multicultural student center titled ‘A Place at the Table Community Meal.’ The event was located at the MSC Lounge in the Red Gym. I fulfilled my diversity and social justice category through this event. The point of this event was to hang out, educate ourselves on different cultures, and get fed by the food they provided, free of charge and open to all. The type of food they offered this week was Indian food. Specifically, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried white rice with orange curry, a spicy garbanzo bean and vegan curry dish, and fried doughnut for a special treat.

I felt outside of my comfort zone at this event primarily because I was a minority. There were approximately forty people in attendance and out of those forty people there were around five white people, including myself. In order to include myself rather than stand out, I conversed with a boy who is from India and the man in charge of the event. The boy from India informed me that orange curry is a famous and popular food in India and a few other interesting facts about his Indian culture. He also said that the the fried doughnut is a very sweet dessert and recommended that I try it. The man in charge of the event and I discussed the success of this event in the past and how the atmosphere creates a positive vibe and a small community. The food smelled delicious and I enjoyed the taste of the white rice and orange curry, but not the spicy garbanzo bean and vegan curry dish or the fried doughnut. I didn’t like the garbanzo bean dish because it was too spicy for my liking and the fried doughnut did not taste good to me because it was too sweet and it had been sitting in grease. However, I’m glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried the food.

Overall, this event significantly impacted my Wisconsin experience for the better. I felt privileged to be able to attend this event, try new food, and become educated on a culture that I would have most likely not made time for if not for this assignment. From this experience, I have learned how most of the time I am a majority rather than a minority, but feeling like an outcast is very uncomfortable and how I am very interested in learning about other cultures in order to become more familiar with the diverse community represented in Madison.

UW Passport Assignment–Diversity

I went to my friend Michael’s Small Group Bible Study in Asian American Intervarsity yesterday evening. Both of my parents are agnostics, so naturally I became an agnostic as well. Though my maternal grandfather who is a Christian paster has been trying very hard to convince me to convert ever since I was born, I never budged. Nevertheless, I thought I should at least try things out and understand more about Christians like my grandfather.

At first, I was a little bit uncomfortable and nervous being the only non-christian in the room. Fortunately, everyone was being really friendly and welcoming to me. They were just like the rest of us when they were not talking about God or religion. The group leader Brandon gave us a handout from the Gospel of John 1:35-51. Then we sat in a circle and each one of us read two verses in order. The next thing we did was the observation of the text, like finding rhetorical strategies and what messages John was trying to convey. The one I found was that the “Lamb of God” was a metaphor. Then we asked questions about things that we did not understand and tried to answer each other’s questions. They would constantly slow down or stop to make sure that I was following, which helped me understand the text a lot better. They also reflected on the past semester and the retreat they went last week. Most of it was confessing about what they did wrong and how they could do better. Afterwards, they ended the session with prayers.

Studying the text with other people was definitely more helpful than just reading this section of Bible by myself. They pointed out a lot of things that I would not notice otherwise. I would not say that going to this Bible study session has made me want to convert, but it was absolutely eye-opening for me. I am truly amazed of how much they actually believe in Jesus. Especially at the end, someone said only God can bring us the eternal joy and peace. I personally don’t believe in that, but I respect their beliefs and the part of their religion that I don’t really understand.

All in all, the passport assignments have had more impact on me than I first expected. I am glad that I went to all the events, which have opened up new paths for me and have made me a slightly different person.

 

Bible study

UW Passport Grading Rubric

(Excellent)= A

(Good)= B

(Fair)= C

(Inadequate)= D

Content

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Student describes, in detail, how the experience influences their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Gives some details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts. 

Paragraphs offer a basic reflection of the experience/activity. Provides few details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a very little reflection and focuses on a summary of the experience/activity. Provides few details or no details about the impact that the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Clarity & Organization

Ideas are clearly communicated.  Paragraph is logical, and organization is effective.

Minor problems with clarity. There are a few minor organizational problems that do not take away from the flow of the paragraphs . 

Paragraphs are unclear. Fairly significant organizational problems.  

Paragraphs are unclear and lack organization. 

Formatting 

Paragraphs follow the formatting requirements (font, size, margins, length, & title) and includes a picture. 

Paragraphs follow most of the requirements.

Paragraphs follow some of the requirements.

Paragraphs do not follow the requirements.

Effort

Student clearly selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone. 

Student selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and somewhat describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone. 

Student selected an experience/activity that fulfills the category requirements, but student does not describe how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an event that does not meet the requirements of the category and does not describe how the event is outside of their comfort zone. 

Grammar & Spelling

Paragraph is polished. No grammar or spelling errors.

A few minor grammar and spelling errors.

Many grammar and spelling errors. 

Significant problems with grammar and spelling.

UW Passport Assignment-Diversity

For my diversity passport assignment, I attended a meditation session put on by the Diamond Way Buddhist chapter of UW Madison. Diamond Way is a local group that has an active group on campus as well as their own center located near the capitol. When I arrived at the meeting, I had no idea what to expect. I had an idea about what Buddhism was, but I didn’t know too many details. While we were waiting for more people to arrive, one of the advisers for the group came up to me and we began to discuss what Buddhism and meditation was. She described it as a lifestyle that people follow. The meditation is designed to help a person unlock their greatest potential and gain control of the way they think. The person I talked to is a post-doc working on cancer research here, and she said that meditating helps her control how she balances work and her research. She also told me that while Buddhism is a religion, it is less strict and rigid from other religions. Buddhism helps a person reach their goals by providing them their own path to improving themselves and helping others.

The meditation experience was a very interesting experience. After the leader of the meditation arrived, he explained that we would go through a twenty minute meditation session following one of the routines that the group does a lot. We began by focusing our breathing and clearing our minds. He then began reading descriptions of a being for us to visualize. This was to help us reach clarity through mind and body to let us realize solutions to problems we may be facing. By the time we were complete with the meditation, I felt incredibly relaxed. They told us that people normally have to meditate regularly to get the most out of the practice. I have even thought about returning to participate in more meditation sessions.

Going to the meditation session put on by the Diamond Way Buddhist chapter was a great experience. At first I felt very out of place and out of my comfortable zone, but I ended up having a great experience. I have realized that sometimes we need to go out of our comfort zone because it can lead to something you would have never experienced. I will continue this mentality during my time at UW Madison, so I can experience as much as this campus has to offer.

UW Passport Assignment–Diversity

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Since I have arrived at UW-Madison, I have had the unbelievable opportunity to attend the Navigators bible study. I have also expanded my horizons in attending a Catholic Church, St. Paul’s, on Sundays with some friends. Where as at home I attend a Lutheran Church. So, obviously attending a church where I am unfamiliar their traditions were extremely uncomfortable for me, but as the weeks have gone on I have adapted to the traditions and rituals of a Catholic Church. My friends have made learning their faith and ways easy and without making me feel like I am being judged. In comparison with Navs, I have been able to feel comfortable ever since joining. Everyone within the program is extremely welcoming, warm, and accepting to new members.

Involving myself in these opportunities has changed my views on a number of things. First of all, I was always hesitant to attend a different church instead of my home church. But upon finding this church, even though it is not the same as all of my beliefs, I have discovered that diversity within my beliefs is better for my soul. By attending this Catholic Church, I have been able to pick out and listen more closely to see if my beliefs match theirs. In doing this, I have grown stronger in my faith but I remain open to new concepts and ideas that seem to fit my religion. It is the same within my bible study. Everyone feels free to share their own opinions, and by being open to those new ideas I have been able to accept and add new concepts to my life and religion. It has really shaped me more as a Christian.

Having these two events weekly really impacts my Wisconsin Experience.   Through them, I have met a number of people who I know will be life-long friends and have and will continue to help me in my beliefs. It is nice to know that the campus is here to support any kind of beliefs and person.   With the wide spread of diversity, social, and academic programs it has been easy to find some that fit me the best. Overall the Passport Assignments has helped me tremendously in realizing that even more.

UW Passport 2 – Academic Success

Three weeks ago, I was struggling for the first research overview in my life. It was a very difficult and tiring process to write an eight-page long research paper, especially for me, a freshman and a non-native English speaker. I spent most nights before the due date working on the first draft. After I have received the feedback from my writing fellow Emma (we have two writing fellows for the class), I was anxious about writing the final draft, because according to her comments, some of the paragraphs were not entirely related to the topic and some were not in the right place. With a nervous mind, I went to the Open Book Cafe in the college library and met with her. When I walked in, she was just finishing off the last meeting. I saw her once before in the library when she introduced herself to the entire class, but this time she looked much more approachable in a much closer distance with a smile on her face.

I thought this meeting would be a fairly formal one, but as it turned out, it was not the case at all. Instead of playing a role of a teacher, Emma was more like a friend helping me sort through my thoughts and find the best way to express them. We talked about the topic and structures of my paper, and she expanded on her comments. With her explanation, the seemingly overwhelming comments were not so scary any more. Together we figured out where my problems and shortcomings were and what I could do to improve my writing. She also mentioned that the resources provided by the writing center might be helpful to my paper. I went through every link she sent me and actually used some of the techniques and skills to build my final draft.

This meeting was both meaningful and educational. I walked in anxiously, with no idea how to make my paper better. Yet I walked out confidently, having so many details planned out that I could not wait to start working on it. UW Madison provides hundreds of good services and resources and the writing center is definitely one of the best and the most useful asset. After this meeting, I would never again hesitate to reach out for help because this experience serves as a perfect example.

I forgot to take a selfie on the meeting day so I asked Emma to send me a picture of her. Here’s my awesome writing fellow!

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UW Passport Assignment- Academic Sucess

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Look who I ran into- Angela at the Wildlife Ecology desk!

On Tuesday, October 20th, I attended the Majors Fair. There were several things that surprised me when I walked into Varsity Hall where it was held. First, I couldn’t believe how many major stands there were. The entire room was filled with over 90 desks from an astounding amount of majors. Second, I was surprised at how many people were there. There were students lined up at several desks and at points it was difficult to walk around the aisles of desks.

Starting my exploration, I looked for my majors of interest: Geography and Landscape Architecture. However, on my way to the intended goals, I strolled past other desks that perked my interest. I saw Dairy Science, and that perked my intrest enough to stop by. I love Babcock Ice Cream, so maybe I could take an into class to see what that would be all about. Next I stopped by Wildlife Ecology (this is where I ran into Angela- she was running the stand!). She explained what the major focuses on what the possible jobs are with the Wildlife Ecology major. Nearby was the Environmental Studies desk. Here I learned that the department is specifically designed to be a double major or a minor program- it requires that the student is majoring in another field. Afterwards, I finally got to my intended destination of Landscape Architecture. The man at the desk gave me info on their spring classes, which will be very helpful. I eventually worked my way to Geography, where I meant my TA! I asked about jobs that geography can lead to, which was a lot more that I had expected.

After this event, I left with much more information about majors I initially never would have thought about. I came in thinking I’d only visit Landscape Architecture and Geography, but I also came in with an open mind, much like Kevin’s mentality in “The Unlikely Disciple.” Because of this, I left with a host of pamphlets on other majors. This is definitely beneficial for me. I have academic advising with the CCAS next week, so by having an idea about other majors, I can talk with my adviser about them and which classes I should take. Since many of these classes were science related, I may have to sadly take chemistry next semester. But by helping me see more options than I would have thought about, this event helped shape my own personal Wisconsin Experience. Who knows, my final major may be completely different now that I went to the Majors Fair.

UW Passport Grading Rubric

(Excellent)= A

(Good)= B

(Fair)= C

(Inadequate)= D

Content

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Student describes, in detail, how the experience influences their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a thorough reflection of the experience/activity. Gives some details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a basic reflection of the experience/activity. Provides few details about the impact the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Paragraphs offer a very little reflection and focuses on a summary of the experience/activity. Provides few details or no details about the impact that the event had on their WI Experience or understanding of course concepts.

Clarity & Organization

Ideas are clearly communicated.  Paragraph is logical, and organization is effective.

Minor problems with clarity. There are a few minor organizational problems that do not take away from the flow of the paragraphs . 

Paragraphs are unclear. Fairly significant organizational problems.  

Paragraphs are unclear and lack organization.

Formatting

Paragraphs follow the formatting requirements (font, size, margins, length, & title) and includes a picture.

Paragraphs follow most of the requirements.

Paragraphs follow some of the requirements.

Paragraphs do not follow the requirements.

Effort

Student clearly selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an experience/activity that is outside their comfort zone and somewhat describes how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an experience/activity that fulfills the category requirements, but student does not describe how the experience/activity is outside of their comfort zone.

Student selected an event that does not meet the requirements of the category and does not describe how the event is outside of their comfort zone.

Grammar & Spelling

Paragraph is polished. No grammar or spelling errors.

A few minor grammar and spelling errors.

Many grammar and spelling errors.

Significant problems with grammar and spelling.