Overall I have learned a substantial amount during our group meetings, whether that be a formal event or a student-planned activity. From the Tuesday meetings, I’ve learned a significant amount about the history of Detroit and how that history led to the gentrification of the city. I’m very grateful for this knowledge due to the fact that I did not have a thorough grasp of the subject previously. Without knowing about gentrification, it’s difficult to understand the complex power dynamics that can exist between classes and how governmental intervention can sometimes make a situation worse. I think one of the most interesting aspects of gentrification that we’ve learned about at these events is the media’s interpretation of the changes in the city. The way that it is reported is completely dependent on each media company’s ideology, which is often influenced by the owner of the organization. In a city that is places a significant amount of power in a few billionaire’s hands, the idea of those same people owning/influencing a news organization is a scary thought. Especially when so much of the media has said favorable things about the way in which the city has been changing despite the amount of people that have and continue to be negatively affected by it.
While the Thursday events are generally less learning focuses and more laid back, I nevertheless learned a lot simply by talking to other members of the cohort about random questions that we have. These questions are often philosophical in nature, and almost sure to be controversial. However, by talking about these issues I’m able to hear arguments from both sides of topics that I hadn’t previously spent much time considering. Furthermore, these discussions are a great way to get closer to the cohort because you gain an understanding of the other’s opinions and thought process. One of the most interesting of these discussions was on the existence of free will. While I’ve spent time discussing this with other individuals, it’s always interesting to introduce the idea to people who haven’t spent much time considering it and see what conclusion they come up with. I feel as though topics that stretch your mind and force you to consider somewhat scary subjects are important for growth and having an accurate perception of the world around us.