So, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am someone for whom multiculturalism and polyvocality are important values. I’ve known for over a decade, now, that it’s the nature of mass media to distort narratives. To start to know a place or a people you have to travel there or meet them. So, I always I intended to find a professional niche where I could support people coming together. I enrolled in the ITEP program at AU because I believe that program equips graduates with both the knowledge and the soft-skills to create diverse discourses.
In plainer language, I like bringing people together. It doesn’t have to be front-facing work to be fulfilling. Sometimes that has taken the form of actually leading a diverse group as they discuss their very different perspectives intentionally but at other times it has been through work more akin to the Office of International Service.
When I have a role and feel like I belong on a team, I feel confident tackling new challenges. I like to make cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural connections. One of the perks of having so many different cultures of origin and areas of study is that collectively we create many different ways of accomplishing goals. There is something satisfying, to me, about finding a kernel of wisdom in one setting and using it in a very different place and time. I write all this as if I’m interviewing…
Reverse Exiled readers, I wonder how much I should say about being pro-Justice. I already expressed that diverse discourses are important to me. Still, this blog wouldn’t exist without my adventures across the Atlantic, which wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t pro-Justice. Then again, I wouldn’t be the same KIND of pro-Justice if I had grown-up anywhere other than Cassopolis, MI. This is no humble-brag: it ain’t utopian in C-town. Yet when I saw racial discrimination was still happening it felt like a slap in the face. To this day, I don’t think most other white people really understand what I mean. I doubt their progressivism comes from the same place– I still feel the class-differences between myself and suburbanites, still feel an exoticism standing between me and other rural-white-folks that I didn’t know was exotic until I was older and it was already native to me.
If y’all don’t understand, then that’s not surprising to me… in an interview, I would simply say “my town was more diverse than the surrounding towns but not affluent, despite being adjacent to affluent communities who made a concerted effort NOT to contribute to my education or the economic uplift of my town. Summer-only Lakers… essentially, tourists who stay too long but don’t buy anything; when I went to Belize on a study-abroad and saw local people rolling their eyes, I felt that sentiment because I’d been on their side of it.” Even that might be too much for an interview. It says a great deal about me that when a vendor in Bethlehem invited me to tea and then lectured me about what was wrong with American tourists and the American government, I apologized and promised I would do what I could. I was learning collective responsibility from my Palestinian co-workers and I wasn’t going to leave it behind.
My mind just exploded with reveries… I had to pace around my living-room for a while. As so often happens, the reverie took me across the Atlantic. Reading about US visas, a couple days ago, got me to think about some of my various-and-sundry visas, the entrances and exits, the shenanigans… words I’ve wanted to say (but probably can’t) “I know we have to be as meticulous about relating the facts as I was about deceiving– fooling border patrol agents demands absolute consistency between the story I tell and the documents that I have as well as anything to which they might gain access.” Ironically, I might undermine the second component of credibility to bolster the first. Expertise is always first: my attention to detail helped me push through those long secondary screenings and get my visas. The second component is trustworthiness: I lied to them but I still want you all to trust that I’ll tell you the truth ~ a piece of advice: always tell the whole truth to people with whom you want an ongoing relationship. Thankfully, circumstances are less dire in this job.
Wi’am. Ubuntu. Kinawind. It’s all shades of collective responsibility, of mutuality. Another thing about me is that I studied aspects of interpersonal relationships during my undergraduate studies in communication. I want to mention that I understand the components of credibility, also the outward cues associated with credibility (I need to find my notes on that! It’s as useful for interviews as it is for port-of-entry penetration).
Writing has always been one of my chief skills. I take pride in writing quality copy (we’ll return to that).
As I was reading through a lengthy PDF I found on SEVP and role of DSOs, I kept wishing I could edit and revise it for clarity and to reduce awkwardness.
I feel like I’ve derailed a little; too many thoughts whooshing past.
Fresh canvas? On to the next segment…