My Kentucky Kitchen Table assignment was a great experience. Tom and Stephanie were gracious enough to not only invite us into their home, but also provide the meal. Tom and Stephanie recently returned to Bowling Green after spending time in Columbia, South Carolina. Both attended the University of South Carolina with Tom majoring in I believe engineering and Stephanie in English. Stephanie currently teaches an online English class for Columbia College. From class, Victoria also joined in our conversation. Victoria is a Nursing major from LaRue County.
Our conversation was fantastic. The first question we discussed was the required question. Stephanie had an interesting take on what citizenship. She said that today people are too worried about being consumers instead of being citizens. I completely agree with what she says. American’s have become so focused on each selves instead of focusing on how to get along as a whole. One of the more controversial topics we discussed was the question on whether we have an obligation to other people in our country or not. I specifically brought this question into our conversation, because of the discussion we had in class over it. Tom and Stephanie both answered the question by saying yes. Their reasoning was primarily based on religious beliefs. I personally disagreed. I feel that no one has an obligation to do anything. Is this because I do not have any religious interest/affiliation? I personally don’t believe so. I just think that people SHOULD help, but they have no real obligation to. One of the more interesting answers of the night was Stephanie’s answer to, “What do you think are the best things about our world today?” She said the Pope. Her reasoning was because of all he is doing to bring attention to the issue of poverty in the world. Her answer was one that I would have never considered, but when I thought about it I really liked the answer. Another topic that we discussed at length was the role of media in our life. Being a broadcasting major, I am always interested to hear opinions that others have on our role in society. The media’s role in society has been growing throughout the years. The reasoning behind this is growth of technology and how news can now be given immediately. We began to get into some talk in media ethics, but then I realized that that would be a conversation for another day. Everyone at the table grimaced when I mentioned that news stations thrive off of mayhem. I told them I did not like that it was how it is, but that is the truth. The media thrives off of mass killings and so on. This led us to discuss whether that was a correct representation of how citizenship should be and whether our country would be better without it.
Overall, this experience was very beneficial. Tom and Stephanie were very pleasant and welcoming into their home. I tried my first ever true Vegan meal and I was pleasantly surprised. The meal allowed for us to feel at home and allowed for better conversation. I learned a lot about myself. The opinions put forth by Tom, Stephanie and Victoria allowed for me to think about my own opinion on what it truly means to be a citizen. All of us had a different opinion on what it means to be a good citizen. Personally, this experience allowed me to simplify my definition of what it does mean to be a good citizen. To me, it is simple, treat others how you want to be treated. It really is simple.