I am from Bowling Green, so my family hosted two girls that are friends with my room-mate. So, at my Kentucky Kitchen Table, the diversity was not apparent at first. Of the three college students present, we were all in a Greek organization, female, Caucasian, and from Kentucky. However, as introductions were made, we realized the diversity at the table. First, my family itself has a lot of diversity to show. My mom was an Army brat turned Army nurse, which has caused her to live all over the world, and she is currently working as a nurse practitioner midwife for medicaid and refugee patients in Bowling Green. Also, my dad is a professor here at WKU, my little sister is very involved with church worship and music, my little brother is ten years old and he knows about every new technological update available. Madelin, my first guest at my table, is from Daviess County and she grew up playing softball and competing in FFA. Miranda, my second guest, is from Todd County, a county with one stop light, and she grew up dancing and competing in FFA.
During dinner, we started with the mandatory question, “Beyond voting, paying taxes, and following laws, what does citizenship mean to you?” Because most people were a little nervous to start the conversation, I said that I believed that part of being a citizen is helping to make your community a better place for people to live. My mom added that she believes a big part of citizenship is making sure that communities are safe and secure for people to live. Both Madelin and Miranda mentioned volunteering and helping those who need it. Miranda worked all summer at a Native American camp in Oklahoma, so she talked about how much the kids would look up to her and how much their spirits would be lifted after she and others helped volunteer at their camp. She thought that this related to citizenship because older people in communities need to set good examples for younger members. My dad, a teacher, agreed, and he talked about how the work that my sister and I do for our youth group at church helps set examples and relationships for the younger students to show, and not just tell, them how to be a young Christian. From there, Madelin and Miranda talked a lot about life in their small towns, and how much bigger Bowling Green seemed. According to them, living in the big city sounds like a night mare. This could not be any more different to what my family feels- we love going to big cities! Miranda and Madelin talked a lot about their farm animals and experiences, and my whole family learned not only what FFA is, but what all they did in that club. Miranda also told us all about agronomy, her major, because she wants to be a seed company representative. My whole family is very suburban, so we knew nothing about that subject, and both Miranda and Madelin laughed at our questions about why there are different kinds of cows.
I think the conversation that we had over dinner demonstrates something that we have talked about in class- the idea that a person’s experiences shapes how they think and feel about certain issues. This shows in our conversation because my mom, who has been around the army all of her life, was worried about security, while my dad, a teacher, was thinking about leading with examples for the next generation.
The conversation lasted so long that we forgot to take a picture and went straight to making cookies, so I’m attaching a picture that my mom took of my brother, Madelin, and Miranda with our cookies; my sister and dad didn’t want to be involved because they were doing dishes (lol).
This project helped me because it helped me to use the skills and ideas that I have learned so far in Honors 251 and apply them to real-life conversations in a realistic setting. I am looking forward to using these skills to continue thought-provoking conversations in my daily life.