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Rebekah Souder-Russo: Teaching in Ghana

July 5, 2011

Rebekah Souder-Russo

Taking time off was one of the most important decisions I’ve made during my time at Brown. At the time I made this decision, I was feeling burnt out and disconnected from my academic life at Brown. I had really enjoyed learning and my classes at Brown challenged and inspired me. But I felt as though I had little perspective about why I was even in school, and why studying these things were important to me. I felt as if I was in a bubble that I needed to get out of. I decided to spend my semester off teaching at a school in rural Ghana. It was the most challenging experience of my life. It made me restructure my fundamental assumptions about so many things… race, class, third world/first world relationships. It allowed me to step out of the theoretical world of Brown and enter into a world where family, respect, loyalty, and feeding oneself and one’s children, were central to life. I saw mine and others’ humanness more than I ever had. This experience renewed my sense of self and purpose. I came back to Brown feeling refreshed yet full of questions. I was excited to begin this renewed exploration at Brown.

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