Dec 01

Reading Reflection 15: Favorite Reading

What was your favorite reading this quarter and why?


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  1. Patricia Chiu

    My favorite reading this quarter was Stoecker’s “Practices and Challenges of Community-Based Research.” Next quarter, I will be taking University Studies 100: Doing Community-Based Research; thus, this last reading was a great segue into the next requirement for the Civic and Community Engagement minor. Prior to the reading, I thought that community based research was going to be very similar to the biological and chemical research conducted on campus. However, the reading definitely clarified what I would be learning next quarter. Thus, I feel better prepared for next quarter’s class.

    Though the same skills of clarity and precision in communication will be needed to research for community-based research, the opinions of the community are taken into consideration when implementing a certain policy, whereas, in biological and chemical labs, there is less human interaction. Community-based research asks more of “what we can do for the community?” In scientific labs, a solution is posed and is conducted without gaining permission from the constituents served. At my service learning site, I was engaging in a bit of community-based research without even knowing it. My project required me to research a bit about my service learning site, my project on the national scale, benefits of green exercise, and contacts to set up a meeting. I was then asked to write up a business letter to present my project and ask for cooperation from my contacts. After doing so, I drafted a handout detailing my proposal in greater depth to the audience during the meeting. Depending on the kind of feedback I get from my audience, I will either go ahead with my project or redraft my proposal in accordance to their preferences and recommendations.

  2. Anthony La

    My favorite reading was Kidder’s “Mountains beyond mountains”. Burying myself into the novel and learning about Paul Farmer’s unwavering will to pursue his dream really inspired me to do the same.
    The doctor was influenced by a German polymath named Rudolf Virchow, who had partially given him a moral understanding of public health. That “medical education does not exist to provide students with a way of making a living, but to ensure the health of the community”. Farmer really took this to heart and traveled many countries from Haiti to Russia to use his medical knowledge to better these communities in need. At one point in the novel it seemed that Paul was constantly traveling trying to help as many people as he humanly could. I personally lost track of all the things he did and the places he visited because he did so much and wanted to do so much more. He even lost his first wife Ophelia due to the fact that his passion even exceeded her expectations.
    Thinking about Farmer’s drive i realized that it could be applied to nearly anything. Granted if one were to be a lawyer it would be hard pressed to try to cure HIV as Paul tried to do with his medical expertise, but one can still help the community. To an extent he was basically a human aura of hope for the Haitians. At the end of the day, helping others is not really restricted by anything other than the extent that one wishes to help.

  3. Cindy Arias

    My favorite reading was definitely Mountains beyond Mountains. It was the longest one but it was so easy to get into the writing and just hae all sorts of feelings come through. It gives me confidence in the world that there are genuniely good hearted individuals all around the world. It only inspires me to do my best in my potential to help others in a way that I can fall in love with just like Dr. Farmer demonsrated in his career path. The truth that he spoke about the medical system and hte lack of hear that many doctors have definitely reinforces the stereotypes that many people have. Yet, this book showed me that there are several people that are doing what they can to help others and while it might be frustrating at times and maybe not even enough to fix a problem it definitely is worthwhile.

  4. Hyun Joo Lee

    My favorite reading this quarter was “I can see you naked.” Presentations and public speaking are inevitable and important, whether it is for work or for school, and the reading “I can see you naked” provided a lot of helpful information and tips on how to make improve presentations and how to communicate efficiently with the audience. The writer of this reading presented the information in a very well-organized manner with step-by-step guidance in certain situations, pictures, and examples to complement the message, which made the overall reading very fun and easily-absorbing. The writer also makes the reader not feel so alone of the jittery nervous feelings one experiences during presentations by saying, “Show me a person who says ‘I never feel the slightest bit nervous when I get up to present,’ and I will show you a person who is not to be trusted.” By saying this, the writer gets across the message that people can improve to become better speakers and presenters through practice. And, the reading provides us with information and tools to help us become better at this. Although public speaking and giving presentation is an area I am always looking to improve, the tips in this reading really made me feel more comfortable and more prepared.

  5. Natasha Zubair

    The reading that I got the most out of this quarter and the one that meant the most to me was Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Even though it wasn’t a short passage or anything, I felt like out of all the readings, it was the one that spoke the most to me.

    I truly admire Paul Farmer’s character- the way he was able to relate to people that came from different backgrounds compared to his own and the way he was able to care for those in need gives me hope and motivation to one day to even make half the difference he has just by being himself. It was easy to read and connect to his story which is why I enjoyed reading about him so much.

  6. Brenson M Yu

    My favorite reading from the quarter is Mountains Beyond Mountains. The narrative about Dr. Paul Farmer was an interesting read. What I liked about the plot was Paul Farmers legacy and inspiration he would leave others through his organization and ambition. I hope one day I can leave a legacy somewhere.

    The legacy of Paul Farmer is the plight of his organizations capability to continue Dr. Farmer’s mission of medical expertise to help the poor and disadvantaged. Aside from a good read, the book taught me public relations are important whether it be medical colleagues you work with, or the poor you treat. All people are human beings, and the best way to help people’s need is understand where they come from, and whats their story.
    Paul Farmer is a considerate and wise man. He traveled many places and put himself in the shoes of the poor many times; not to mention it was a hard mission he completed. The doctor achieved his lasting legacy by making the medical community aware that poor people morbidity is a topic of special interest, which something needs to be done. If I were Dr. Farmer I would be happy to know I have left my mark in society. What I leave with this reading is the feeling, the doctor could have chose the cash incentive and made the big income. Instead he chose to leave his impression as a normal hard working person devoted to the less fortunate as his legacy.

  7. Rachel Berman

    My favorite readings were Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder and “I can see you naked” by Ron Hoff. The novel was nice to read mostly because it was a novel and we were able to feel the experiences through the narrative. It seems more applicable to our class because there are not many universal topics and skills that can be taught in a uniform way, but rather a collection of stories that deal with service.

    “i can see you naked” was a fun and entertaining reading that addresses public speaking complete with confidence boosters and silly illustrations. What’s not to like?

    1. David Moghissi

      I totally agree! Hoff’s book was really easy to read too.

  8. Brenda Ramirez

    Mountains Beyond Mountains was really cool. BUT, I read it a few years ago already. So, my favorite new reading this quarter was Hoff’s “I Can See You Naked.”
    I love public speaking. But, I always get nervous and I always enjoy reading or listening to others for new ways to improve my public speaking skills. What I enjoyed most about Hoff’s work is that he presented public speaking as an informal way to communicate information in which both parties need each other. By looking at giving presentations through the idea that the audience needs this information and in return I need their approval, the stress reduces for me dramatically. Instead of me thinking ‘great all eyes on me, people are going to judge me, or how am I sounding or looking,’ I can think in terms of ‘how can I help you’, or ‘I’m here for you.’ This makes it easier for me and reduces stress because then I feel that the attention is diverted towards the audience and not entirely me.
    I also enjoyed that Hoff uses illustrations and simple diagrams to explain his points. The reading was easy to follow, and so I enjoyed reading it all the way through.
    The last point I liked about the piece was that Hoff suggests that we “demonstrate our concern authoritatively and not tentatively.” I think this is a great piece of advice that gives a lot of credibility to the speaker and shows that he/she is concerned for the audience within the first few seconds of a speaker setting foot in front of an audience.
    This assignment taught me a lot and will allow me to improve my public speaking skills.

  9. Gaurav Nihalani

    I definitely have to go with “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. The story of Dr. Paul Farmer and his impressive abilities really opened my eyes to the different ways one can achieve goals. Whether its through pure individual talent, seemingly minor help from a friend, or raw hard work the story showed how accomplishments require many factors but nonetheless can be achieved. I definitely felt more confident in myself after reading the story of Dr. Farmer and it opened my eyes to the belief that each individual has their own unique abilities and should use those for the benefit of everyone.

  10. Diana Garcia

    My favorite reading this quarter was “Challenging the Borders of Civic Engagement: Ethnic Studies and the Meaning of Community Democracy” by George Sanchez because it had some powerful points that got me thinking and reevaluate my perspectives.
    Sanchez speaks about the bridgework that colored students have felt “compelled to do as an integral part” of their academic careers. This article was the one I can relate to the most because I am a Chicano/ Latino Studies major that grew up attending schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District which are both subjects that Sanchez covers. I found it helpful to read something that was written by a professor who teaches Ethnic Studies, has a clear understanding of the Latino history and has taken part in the struggle for racial equity in education at all levels. My goal in life is to help eliminate or work towards a solution to the education gap between inner city schools with high poverty and those that cater to the wealthy. He stated the importance of going back into our own communities and that is something that I personally do every chance I get. I go back home and volunteer in my old high school not only to revisit my past but also to remind myself of why I am here and what I want to do with my future.

    Sanchez argues that the community of Ethnic Studies has long produced students more committed to civic engagement than any other but I look at the programs at UCI and disagree. Yes, we have certain clubs that go out and services the community but they are not necessarily connected to an Ethnic Studies department. Speaking from personal experience, I have not found any programs that are directed by the department of Chicano Studies that target civic engagement, which is a shame because we have Santa Ana next door, a community that could really benefit from having a partnership with the university. I think it is imperative for us to engage with the community both near campus and at home. Sanchez mentions that it is projected that one-half of the total US population will be African American, Latino, Native American or Asian American, which is why we should interact with them, and commit to being part of the movement towards true civic engagement.

  11. Amy Sage

    My favorite reading this quarter was the book Mountains Beyond Mountains. I feel that my studies are so minute and detail oriented that at times I forget about the rest of the world. It was completely refreshing to read something different. It helped a ton that the reading was not only motivating, but about an individual who is a truly amazing human being. It’s nice to have your faith restored in humanity every once in awhile. The book sort of recharged my energy and optimism for the future. Every once in awhile I start to feel a little burnt out, so it’s nice to have a reminder of why I work so hard. I really appreciate this book and I am glad that I made the investment in it’s purchase. Thanks for the assignment!

  12. David Moghissi

    “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder is my favorite reading from this quarter because of the inspirational story and characters it contains. The long story of Paul Farmer is one that our society needs to hear more often becasue it contains an amazing service model that can guide us in our own projects. Farmer’s story motivated me to show up to my service learning site early and to always give 100% of my effort when I was working.
    Also, its important to put the service we do in perspective by comparing it to what Farmer does in the book. Generally, the work we do is close to home and any resource we could need isn’t more than a short drive away. Looking at Farmer’s efforts and operations in a third-world country should inspire us to strive for more.

  13. George Goodman

    My favorite reading this quarter was “Challenging the Borders of Civic Engagement: Ethnic Studies and the Meaning of Community Democracy” by George Sanchez. This was because I think being culturally competent is so essential when one is engaged in the community. It was so great to hear the story about how Mr. Sanchez and some other community members in Boyle Heights were using a common neighborhood to have people from different cultures interact. I think work like this is so essential, especially in neighborhoods where kids only go to school with people from their own culture or race. All throughout my public school days, I was fortunate to have friends from all different cultures. My friends were Sri Lankan, Indian, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese, etc. This exposure was great, teaching me new ideas and opening my world to some of the best food out there. I think growing up in the mixing pot of cultures that is the San Fernando Valley, definitely made me a more open minded and tolerant individual. This reading also states the need for ethnic studies classes on college campuses. I agree that these are needed, especially for the people who are raised in communities where they don’t get any exposure to different cultures. At least there is an opportunity in college to change that by taking a class in a culture you don’t know about.

  14. Natalie Chau

    My favorite reading for this quarter was Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains. Even though we had to read the whole novel, it was a pretty fast read. I found the novel very interesting and fun to read because it was a narrative compared to the other readings that we read. I basically look up to Paul Farmer as an inspiration now because I really like what he stands for and all that he has done for third world countries. What he did was amazing and I feel that he sets a good example for everyone to try to help out in the world. It doesn’t even have to be what he is doing. I think that if everyone shared their skills and do what they really love, like Paul Farmer, the world would be so much better off.

  15. Ai-Thuan Nguyen

    My favorite reading of this quarter was the book “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. I found this book to be the most useful and inspirational reading compared to a lot of other readings I have done in the past. There were two ideas in this book that made me feel like I can rise up and make a change. The first concept is that even if I can not solve a problem in society, I can still do little bits at a time and that could still be enough. One of the speakers said that we have to get past the point of realization that some problems are going to take a while to solve, but it is the community’s obligation to do what is possible to ease as much pain as possible for those that are suffering. The second concept was that trying to mimic what Dr.Farmer has become would be a huge mistake. It is extremely hard to mimic someone’s action because you are a totally separate being. Each individual have a separate interest and a different way to deal with problems. Finding one’s path is much easier compared to following an impossibly hard path, especially the path that was created by Dr.Farmer. This book will be my source of inspiration for a very long time.

  16. Kellie St. Pierre

    My favorite reading was “I Can See You Naked,” by Ron Hoff. Even after all my experience in performing in front of other people pretty much my whole life, I am terrified of public speaking. I really appreciated how Hoff broke down the realities in public speaking and made it an achievable goal to develop public speaking skills. It may be my favorite reading because of his humor within his writing as well as the subject matter he was presenting..and I like the title. :)

    I was involved in a critical issue discussion class, a marketing class, and an organizational behavior class, all which required presentations. Public speaking was a natural occurrence for me with all these requirements, and I appreciated so much that I was able to use what I had learned from Hoff’s writing. Although I still get nervous to speak in front of people, I at least have hope that all this practicing will one day help me become better at it!

  17. Dillon Gamboa

    My favorite reading would have to be “I Can See You Naked” by Ron Hoff. This is probably the most practical reading that anyone can use, it not only teaches you about a life skill that needs to be retaught every so often because it is that important. I have been giving presentations for a good portion of my life, but I still have problems that this article addresses. I still get that nervousness that people think I “don’t” get. Or even the fact that I sometimes speak too fast in front of groups and forget the major points that I am supposed to talk about.

    I just think that this reading is really important to everyone, it is all about self improvement. I like to find ways that I can improve on myself because I know as a leader that there is always room for improvement and that learning should never stop. Like I said in my reflection about this article before, it made me rethink ways I can get over my nervousness that I feel inside. Also, whenever I teach people about how to present themselves when conduction an oral presentation I can always refer to something as tangible as this.

  18. Kevin J. Son

    My favorite reading this quarter was Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder. This novel was pretty lengthy, but I feel like I got the most out of it. The reading went by fast and I was able to feel, see, and experience the characters as if I was really there. This novel speaks to the readers about the lives of the character and it displays a symbol of leadership. Paul Farmer’s character is what got me to love this reading the most. He is an inspiration and makes me want to exceed in everything I set my mind on. The way Paul Farmer portrays himself to others and his passion to help inspires me to try my best to make a difference in this world. I just loved everything about Paul Farmer’s character, which made this specific reading the best this quarter.
    I also really enjoyed every minute of this class too. I feel that this kind of course layout should be taught more often at UCI because this class really helped me get out of my comfort zone and experience things I would probably have never done in my life.

  19. Karina Venegas

    My favorite reading was “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. It was very interesting reading about someone who is so passionate about what they are doing and that that passion has helped so many people not only in Haiti but in other countris like Peru or Russia. Farmer had such dedication to helping the poor, to the point where he sacrificed important things in life such as spending time with your family. I believe very few people are able to do what Farmer did for so many years, it is simply inspiring to me. This book makes you want to do something too, and maybe not in such a large way like Farmer but it does make you want to do a difference. It motivates people to help others even if it is something small and that’s hat I liked the most about this book. It really opens your eyes to the need for help there is out there and makes you believe that you can make a difference too.

  20. Jessica Yen

    My favorite read of the quarter is the piece by Hoff, “I Can See You Naked,” because the article was entertaining and informative at the same time. I loved how concise and clever he was, especially with the point that the he made about how the audience needs the speaker as much as the speaker needs them. He points out that by showing up to a presentation, the audience is expecting some counseling, wisdom and advice. Hence, by being present for a lecture, the audience is showing dedication and an earnest to learn. Similarly, the presenter is trying to demonstrate understanding for a specialized area and is seeking for the audience’s approval.

    This article got through to me because I have never been comfortable with public speaking. There’s not one time in my life that I can look back and say that I was proud of my presentation, because I every speech I made, I would either get choked up or too fixated on my notes. I never had anyone really critic me or be honest with my performance in addition to the chance of actually publicly speaking solo. This article really helped me with what to focus on while I’m up there in the spotlight and the logics behind why speaking in front of people isn’t so bad after all. Besides the advice, I thought the author’s writing was humorous, creative and very insightful at the same time. There were no confusing vocabulary as present in the other articles we read and it was an easy and fun read.

  21. Noelia

    For this final reading reflection I am choosing to write about the Stoeker article on community-based research (CBR). Although I thoroughly enjoyed the readings about Dr. Paul Farmer, I especially enjoyed the CBR reading because it helped me understand a different side of research.

    Before this article, I must admit, I was unaware the term “community-based research” even existed. I feel motivated to know that research can have direct benefits for a tangible community. Instead of a research question being generated by the researcher toward the populace, this approach changes the focus to the community in question and asks meaningful questions at that level. This reading was supplementary to the examples given in class regarding research done with autistic children. It demonstrated that there was a specific need in a community and how researchers (Dr. Hayes) came together in a partnership with the focus of community improvement. How can I use this knowledge for the community I’m part of? How do I take what I have learned and put it into practice?

    I definitely leave this class with different aspirations, thoughts and goals. Community-based research is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds; research and community service.

  22. Symone Magsombol

    My favorite reading this quarter was Ron Hoff’s “I Can See You Naked”. This reading was not only a useful skill to know for this class, but it was practical knowledge to use for future reference and other courses as well. I like how it was very reader friendly and entertaining as well, such as adding fun cartoon examples to elaborate on the main points of the work. Furthermore, the context and vocabulary was simple and straight to the point in comparison to other readings.
    I found it really interesting that Hoff made a point that the audience and the speaker both need each other and seek approval and understanding from one another in order to make an effective presentation. The awareness of each other’s needs is what I learned makes the best presentation.
    I will like this reading is definitely the most relatable and applicable to everyday life as well. Speaking and making presentations in front of a large audience is something I really need to work on. My biggest weakness is that I either become so nervous that I begin to speak really fast without pacing myself, or I avoid eye contact with the audience. After learning some valuable techniques from this reading, I will be sure to use this knowledge in future presentations to come.

  23. Andre Navarro

    My favorite reading this quarter was definitely Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains”. This book was not only an inspiring read it was also adventurous. The inspiration reaches the reader when you understand Farmer’s hardships he has overcame, only to succeed in monumental accomplishments. I found myself immediately identifying with Famer early on in the book which demanded my attention from the very beginning of this read. It was really interesting to hear about his early life with his family living out of a bus. The adventure came when you learn about these really fascinating places that Farmer visits. I enjoyed reading about these places like Haiti, which Famer visited and helped out. I kept thinking to myself that I would love a career someday that allowed me to travel to far off places to help those in need. Another topic in the book that held my interest was that fact that his initiative to help people fight TB infections. This was pretty cool to me because I am taking a virology class this quarter and I am finding myself more and more interested in the topic of infectious agents and the diseases they cause. While I was reading this book I was almost trying to see if this life style would work for me. I think what made this book good for me was the fact that I could do a lot of reflecting on to myself and also it gave me a glimpse of a career path that I may want to fallow someday.

  24. Alejandro Barraza

    I tried to think of other readings this quarter that I have found meaningful, which they all have, however if I were to pick out my favorite reading I would have to choose “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. This novel is heartwarming, sad, exciting, and teaches you about not only the lessons but also the hardships of life. My favorite aspect of this novel was that Farmer was not portrayed as a perfect doctor that never faced any problems. The death of his father, separating from Ophelia, and the many deaths of patients were explicitly recounted in this book. Upon reflection, this is what I found the most interesting and could relate with the most. Similar to Farmer, I do not from high socio economic background and have learned the lessons that come with type of life. For instance, sharing, not being wasteful, and being grateful for every opportunity that I have been. The other day, I went to an interview at the public defender’s office and at the end of the interview the let me know that had never seen a prospective intern so excited for the job. I responded by letting them know that opportunities do not come often, and an opportunity that is not taken seriously and not given the importance it deserves would haunt me forever. I also understood Farmer’s relationship with his father because my father is portrays a persona that is distant and never satisfied. I have a father that gives two “I love u” and hugs a year, on Christmas and on your birthday. However, through out my life I have never thought that he did not care about my brothers and me because I knew he cared about us deeply. Although, he might not of looked happy when I got accepted to UCI or honor societies, I could feel the warmth and how proud he was of me. The most meaningful and sad lesson that I learned from this novel is that work and our personal life eventually and we must make a decision or prioritize them. This is one lesson that I have been learning through out college, I have a girlfriend of three years and I always tell her that when I am done with school all of my attention will be on her. Upon reflection, am I promising her something that I can’t follow through on? Farmer relationship with Ophelia deteriorated because he chose his job over Ophelia, I understand that what am doing is nowhere close to Farmer’s job, but it is the same decision. I really wish the book would of recounted how Farmer felt and his thought process when he chose to not be with Ophelia or his later family to work at his job.

    Overall, great book that made me think about my future and myself. Glad I read it.

  25. krystin uyema

    My favorite reading this quarter was Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. I like it because it immediately pulls the reader in to Paul Farmer’s life and conquest to save the lives of as much people as possible. The story was an easy and interesting read that took you on a journey to cure infectious diseases and to bring advanced medicine to those in dire need. Although Farmer is only one person, he managed to utilize his talent and power to trying to cure diseases around the world while never giving up hope. His unique personality and outlook on life was uplifting to read about.
    I feel that out of all the readings, this novel had the most impact upon me because I was really able to experience what Farmer and the other characters were going through—good or bad. This book was also the most appropriate for this class to read because it showed that one person can really make a difference.

  26. Justyne Catacutan

    As others have said, I also enjoyed the article by Ron Hoff. “I Can See you Naked” provided straight forward advice on how to give good presentations. Even though it is important to be prepared with materials and actual presentation, it is also important that you, personally, are mentally prepared. You are the connection between the audience and your topic. You are basically the representation of that topic. Even though the article did reiterate tips that have been said over the years, public speaking and presentations are still an ongoing struggle for many people today. I can honestly stay that I have a problem with presenting. It is really hard for me to be comfortable talking to a large group of people. Yes nervousness is part of the reason and I am one of those people that over analyze everything. So it was helpful to see the antinervous routine and to realize that I need to be a lot more relaxed right before a presentation rather than recramming everything in my head. Having the confidence in myself and my research is a great way to start my presentation.I also agree that it is hard to engage the audience without being too much or too cheesy. From the speakers, presentations, and group presentations that I have seen throughout my whole life, I have noticed that good presentations require that confidence, preparedness, and engagement. They speak and present with interest and elegance. I think learning how to successfully pitch your presentation or any topic to any audience in any situation is very important in anyone’s career or life. You’re always going to encounter those moment where you will need the right presentation skills to influence your audience. Whether it being an interview, teaching, or just talking to a stranger, representing yourself or what you are trying to portray is essentially important because life is about our experiences, as well as our social interaction with people.

  27. Christine Thrasher

    My favourite reading this quarter was Stoecker’s “Practices and Challenges of Community-Based Research.” I found it to be the most interesting, useful, and informative reading that we had this quarter, because it explained the concept of Community-Based Research (CBR) and the important principles behind it. Having read this article, I am looking forward to the next class, which will help expand my knowledge on the subject in an experiential way.

    However, overall, I felt that the most interesting and informative information I received was received through class lectures, especially guest lectures. The reason I liked these lectures so much was the fact that they presented very concrete, specific examples for the concepts we were learning, and expressed individual people’s personal experiences with their causes and how they developed solutions. Of all of Gillian’s presentations, my favourite was her preentation about her involvement in CBR through her development of tools like vSched to be used in autistic classrooms. I thought that her research was fascinating and demonstrated concepts she’d talked about in class a lot better than simple class discussion and activities without a concrete reference point in a real-world issue. It was very helpful to look at the concept of CBR through her story about developing vSched for autistic students.

  28. Nirav Bhardwaj

    My favorite reading of the entire quarter has been the entire book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. I wish I could pick just one story within the book as my favorite but overall, the book is so amazing and inspirational I would rather like to appreciate it and award it as a whole. The stories of Paul Farmer’s experiences all throughout the world and his dedication to making other individuals lives better is really something that many people should take a minute or so to think about in their busy lives. For me personally, (and probably for many other people in this world as well) I have looked at potential future careers of mine as ones which are extremely lucrative financially. To be honest, that mindset has definitely changed now after reading Mountains beyond Mountains. It wasn’t just the book and Paul Farmer’s stories that helped make me change my mindset, it was the actual work that I have been doing at Kidworks in Santa Ana.

  29. Leslie Mendoza

    My favorite reading was definitely Mountains beyond Mountains because of the message it told. It was beautiful-working to help others, even if you don’t get nothing in return. Even if problems arise that might discourage, one has to keep doing their best. And if possible, find a solution. Also, the value of friendships and relationships , that support us even when everything may seem dark and that actions do not lead to the change we would have desired, they encourage us to not give up and provide support in our dreams (as Farmer’s friends did).

    But another reading I also enjoyed was “Today’s Election in Albania and the role of youth. ” Before , I knew nothing of Albania’s politics , so it was very interesting learning about their political circumstances and the drive of youth. In addition, I loved one of the quotes of the reading. It influenced me to evaluate the way I personally thought of the world and how I interact with it.

    It was this quote: “We empathize with the past yet are not constrained by it, allowing us to also embrace the potential of tomorrow, ripe to be shaped and defined into a new phase. We see the world not as it is but as it could be.”

  30. Nicole Fulbright

    The reading that I was most interested in was the book Mountains Beyond Mountains. This was the one piece of reading throughout the quarter that I would have read outside of class for leisure. In my opinion, it was definitely the most interesting because as a reader I was able to connect and vicariously live through the tales of Paul Farmer’s life. As students in this class, I think that a large majority of us would die for the opportunity to live a life like that of Farmer. He has accomplished so much in his life time, all for the good of others, and that is truly something to be envious of. To do what Farmer has one is very rare. In our times there are very few people who put other people ahead of themselves. Most people are driven by money, power and greed. Not that being financially aware is a bad thing at all, but sometimes its simply not the most important thing out there and we tend to forget that. I know that definitely forget that sometimes. However, I would much rather live a life full of charity and selflessness and meaning that being the richest person in the world. There is no doubt that Farmer’s life has had true meaning and honestly, I think thats what everyone wants out of life. We just want to know that we have made an impact, that our lives have had meaning and significance. This story is exactly that and its truly inspiring and captivating. After reading Yidder’s biography of Farmer’s life, I feel motivated to go out and make things happen just like Farmer and his PIHer’s did, just in my own way, with my own cause. This book really sums up what the point of this class was and in times of doubt for me, this book made me remember the value of this class and the minor.

  31. Omeid Heidari

    My favorite reading for the quarter was mountains beyond mountains by kidder. the ethic of paul farmer when it comes to serving the underserved is very inspiring. personally, i always had my doubts when it came to a life of service. It was something i wanted to strive for but some thing i was aftraid due to the lack of monetary compenstaion whith a job in the public sector. my parents wanted me to give back to the community but also to find a career that i would do well for myself and my family. at the same time, pre health major, especially pre med, always talked about how much a doctor makes as their reasons for wanting to work in the medical. I was never inclined to become a doctor for the money. Having the power to heal someone is something that has always facinated me and soemthing that I really want to do. The idea of becoming a doctor for the big salary always turned me off to the profession because I wanted surround myself with those who wanted to heal, not those who just wanted to make money. That is why Paul’s story is very uplifting and inspiring for me. He had the potential to be one of the best physicians in the US. He instead used his talents to served the grosly underserved in the Hatian community. A risk like that is one that I really want to take when it comes to my career. That would be the best way to fufill my goals, a life of helping those less fortunate, just like Dr. Paul Farmer

  32. Elim Loi

    My favorite reading this quarter was Dokte Paul in Mountains beyond Mountains. Overall, I really enjoyed all the readings from this book because they were personal and I felt like i could relate in different ways. The different readings from this book exemplified various attributes and characteristics about Farmer that contribute to his legacy of service. I think his actions and motivations behind them are inspiring and an excellent example for anyone pursuing to serve others or become engaged in their communities. Specifically in my favorite reading from the book, Farmer’s ability to connect with people whose backgrounds are very different from his own is exemplified. I really liked this because this is something that has become of increasing importance to me. I have been recognizing the vast diversity among my peers as well as everyone i come in contact with and realizing that it is important to be able to find ways to connect with all of them to better work together. I think this is a key factor for communities to progress. Moreover, it is something I am personally passionate about ensuring in my own life. For example, I value humility in viewing others to be able to serve them. I also strive to be able to connect with many kinds of people and build relationships. Farmer’s success in connecting with so many kinds of people encourages me especially because i plan to serve abroad in my life and I know i will encounter people that seem very different than me with different histories but i know it will be great if i humbly understand them serve with compassion and selflessness..

  33. Stephen Mendez

    My favorite reading was the campus compact. It stressed the University’s role as not only an institution of education in terms of knowledge and research, but also in terms of civic awareness and social responsibility. It is the university’s goal to make you a well rounded individual and a citizen that will make positive contributions to society. That involves being aware of social injustices, world affairs, issues of equality, etc. Also, simply being aware of the issues is not enough, students have to try their best to make the effort to address one of these issues at some point during their collegiate path and take actions towards making one contribution to the just cause. The university’s goal should be to make every student aware of this, that as a public university it’s role is making citizens which will be an asset to the public. It’s job is not simply being a hotbed of research. It has to actively pursue the goal of making it’s students active members in a cause that will benefit society. The campus compact is a step in that direction; in trying to make the University conscious of this.

  34. Dulshani BalasuriyaArachchi

    My favorite reading for this quarter would be “I can see you naked” Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel. This is because I have always been scared of public speaking in front of a large audience. And there have been situations when I was in high school where I drop a class or decided not to take a class just because there was a presentation requirement. There was a section in the article which talked about the importance of making eye contact with the audience when giving your presentation. The author said that making eye contact helps to keep the audience engaged and it relaxes the person giving the speech. This was something I have never been able to do when giving a presentation. I agreed with all of the conditions the author said that the presenters go through when they have to give a presentation. The tips the author of the article gave to his readers were very helpful for me. They helped me when I had to give the presentation for our group project in this class. I was very nervous that I would forget my words but once I got in front of the class making eye contact with the audience calmed me down and I did not forget my words or was not rushing through it. After I read that article my fear of public speaking has reduced a lot.

    Another reading that I enjoyed was Mountain beyond Mountains. This was because I was inspired by all the work and effort Farmer put into change the health care and control diseases in different countries.

  35. Jennifer-Christine Madamba

    My favorite reading this quarter was “I Can See You Naked”. First of all, I really enjoyed it because it’s probably the first reading I’ve had since middle school that had pictures in it. It was a really enjoyable read. It was written in sarcastic humor so I found it really entertaining. I like it not just because it was a fun to read but I actually learned some tips in public speaking. Public speaking is a common event that most people have to do, especially students and those who have careers. Gaining confidence is an important quality to have and learn to attain as early as you can. It’s important to have such a skill because it shows leadership which is what this class is about – leadership in serving the community.

    Personally, I am not really fond of public speaking. It’s been a while since I’ve fully read this article but from what I remember I have learned a lot from it. It has actually made me feel more comfortable and confident about public speaking most especially in presentations.

  36. Alexis Utanes

    My favorite reading assignment of the quarter was, “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder, for a number of reasons. First, as a person who does not enjoy reading in general (for leisure or for homework), reading Mountains Beyond Mountains was a really pleasurable experience. I felt truly engaged in the reading–not wanting to put the book down and excited to see what was on the next page. Secondly, I became drawn to the characters in the novel–particularly Dr. Paul Farmer. The lengths that he and his crew go through in order or fulfill their mission of eradicating TB in Haiti was very inspiring. It gave me hope that there are good people in the world who give up their lives to help others. They sacrificed all they have for the greater good. The fact that this is a true story further sparked my interest. It compelled me to research more about the state of Health in Haiti, and other developing nations who lack a stable infrastructure. Also, it made me realize how important it is to be aware and immerse oneself into the culture and people in the countries which health personnel travel to help the underprivileged. Because Dokte Paul became familiar with the native language, culture, and people, his patients were able to trust him, and therefore more people received treatment. Finally, this reading reinforced the idea that one person can make a big impact in the lives of others. As well, a group of people working together can also make a difference.

  37. Nimrah Salim

    My favorite reading of the quarter was Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. I felt like it reached out to me. The characters and their actions were truly inspiring. Although it was the longest one, it was easy to read mainly because I thought it was interesting. It has an extremely inspiring message and it really gives me encouragement. It really shows how just a few people can do so much an bring about so much change. I feel like many if us take the things we have for granted and looking at what Paul Farmer has done really gives me a new perspective on things.

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