The day, in itself, started out differently than most do. It was an early Wednesday morning, and I was exhausted from staying up and studying for most of the night. Upon waking up, I realized that I had no supplies to make a dish for the impending dinner that I was attending later than evening. So, I crawled (literally crawled) my way out of bed and made a trip to Walmart. The day went smoothly after that, and soon enough I had my dish made and was on my way to meet Emma, my partner, downstairs to drive over to out destination together.
When we arrived at the home, I automatically felt at peace. There was just something about the atmosphere that put me at ease, especially after an already long and stressful week on campus. We both got out of the car and were immediately warmly greeted by Beth, who had agreed to be our host for the evening. We walked into her home and were also greeted by her three children, Camp, Emmy-Lou, and Gabe, and a few of their friends. The children were all having a wonderful time, playing with water balloons out on the trampoline and throwing them at one another. We all soon sat down for dinner with one another, but not before all stating what we were thankful for. The dinner was off to a wonderful start and I could not wait to see where it would lead.
After sitting down for some time and learning more about one another, we (Emma and I) asked Beth her opinion on one specific question, “Beyond voting, paying taxes, and following laws, what does citizenship mean to you?” She thought about it for a moment, but then responded with an answer that I had not thought of previously. She said, “I believe that citizenship is about coming together and working to be a good community, or good neighbors to one another.” She also referenced the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” stating that this referenced her children and their friends (who were at the dinner with us) directly. It was very interesting to here her view point on this, and after sitting with her and talking more about it, I couldn’t help but to agree. In a way, her viewpoint relates directly back to one of the central themes in this course, which is establishing a community, and how communities can work well together.
Another interesting aspect to our dinner was the diversity that was in our group. I learned, after talking with her more, about Beth’s job at WKU, and what sustainability is all about, considering that I had no previous knowledge on the subject. I also learned about her children, and their friends, and found that I had some things in common with them, as well. In fact, Gabe had even shot the deer that the meat we had for supper came from!
Soon enough though, our dinner had to come to an end. We all helped clean up the food and said our goodbyes. (Here’s a picture of me, Beth, Gabe, and Emma from right before we left!)
All in all, I believe I had one of the best Kentucky Kitchen Table Project experiences that I could have asked for. I learned so much about the family that I was paired with, my partner for this assignment (Emma), and, most importantly, I learned a lot about myself in this experience.