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Peace Circles

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The Language Arts and Sciences Seminars, taken by students once each academic year, are insightful courses. I am enrolled in the Dominican Honors Program, which means that I get to choose from a separate pool of seminars. This week I attended the fifth class meeting of my honor seminar Individual, Community, Justice; Being Human and Citizen, taught by Dr. Weisman.

One highlight was  when we had a thought provoking discussion about the meaning of justice, from different perspectives to real-life connections. Another highlight was learning how to create and manage a peace circle. My fellow classmates and I experienced group-sharing through the use of a talking piece, when everyone is granted the liberty to speak his or her mind numerous times during a session. Whoever has the talking piece is given everyone’s full attention. Circle values were established, with chances to debate the rationality of each person’s contribution. We shared our, “safe-houses,”  which are places where we feel we are not being judged. I spoke about imaging myself with my immediate family at my cousin’s house in a suburb of Sacramento, California. I loved vacationing out west with them, where life is momentarily worry-free and an adventure. To learn more about Peace Circles read The Little Book of Peace Processes by Kay Pranis.

The primary text for the course is Republic by Plato. With book one under my belt I can tell that seminar may be my favorite course this semester. I enjoy Plato’s irony-filled humor. Gaze into his eyes…Plato wants you to repeat, “An unexamined life is not worth living, an unexamined life…”

Tags: 
California, Peace Processes, Republic by Plato, Sacramento