Communication - Terrance McKnight ORLJ 5046 Reflection...

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Terrance McKnight ORLJ 5046 Reflection Paper #1 October 4, 2010 Before I took any of the assessments from Chapter Three of Understanding Intercultural Communication , I considered myself to be culturally competent. This was not the case a year ago when I began taking classes at Teachers College. I believe that the reason for this was my lack of exposure to people of different cultures when I was taking undergraduate courses. I went to a historically Black college with a very strong Christian culture; though many of the students were of various cultures due to our upbringing in different regions of the country, we shared many demographic characteristics. This changed dramatically when I matriculated at TC. Underscoring this was the fact that, like this class, most of my classes at TC have touched on understanding and respecting people of various cultures. Culture used to only exist to me in the context of race and ethnicity. I am assuming that this is the case with most people, based on observation and discussion. It is easy to detect why a Black man and White man are different. It is a lot harder to tell why they are similar, and why two White men are different. I have begun to learn how religion, language, local traditions, sexual orientation and other factors affect who each individual human is. Thus, I was eager to take the assessments, because they exposed m e to more variables to understanding multiculturalism; more importantly, they allowed me to learn more about myself. I would be remiss not to first touch on a current frame of mind that I am experiencing. I do not like to be referred to as “African-American”. I do not know what I would like to be referred to, and I am sure that it is just semantics; however, I guess when I think of the label, the connotation I gather is that it lumps me with a group of individuals that I do not identify with. I recently visited Ellis Island. Not surprisingly, there was nothing there about my ancestors that descended from slavery. The caveat to this is that I do not know what European country my lineage traces from. So I walked out of the museum knowing as much about my history as I did before. The point of this is that I do not feel as if I can identify with a specific group of people. I am American, but
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what exactly does that mean?
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course ORL 1000 taught by Professor Buontempo during the Spring '11 term at Columbia.

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Communication - Terrance McKnight ORLJ 5046 Reflection...

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