Coffee & the Undergraduate A discourse on the educational process in conjunction with the development of coffee & its culture

My relationship with coffee is complex and unique. Coffee has been with me since the beginning of my undergraduate career, and remains a vital part as I take steps out into the world. The comparison of my undergraduate career to a cup of coffee while simple, is significant to the identity I participate in as consumer of coffee, and as an undergraduate student preparing for graduation. I find myself often in the coffee shop writing papers, talking with friends and strangers, or simply reading a book. There is a special place in my heart for the coffee shop, and through this presentation of my portfolio I hope you will gain a deeper appreciation for the important place coffee and the coffee shop hold in my life.

Below is a copy of my Cover Letter and Resumé that I submitted as part of my application for the University of Washington, Bothell's Teaching & Learning - Post Baccalaureate Secondary History Teaching Certificate.

Beginnings: at the core of any good cup of coffee is the bean, the bean determines the flavor, acidity, and the complexities that are neatly woven into a cup of coffee. You see, the type of bean and its origins can tell a lot about the final brew that is produced. The bean is either washed or unwashed, meaning the outer layer is exposed to the elements more quickly or in the case of an unwashed bean, the outer layer is intacted. All of these variables will determine the final cup of coffee that is poured.

As I step across the stage of receiving my high school diploma I stepped immediately into the makings of an undergraduate career. I always had a thought deep down within me that I would be an educator. This passion rose to the surface in my first semester of college, I knew that I wanted to be a high school teacher. There was only one problem, I was going to a Bible college that did not offer any education programs. I knew at that time that I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation I was in. Still passionately in love with Jesus, I took time to listen to what Jesus was saying in this situation. Trusting and leaning on what the Holy Spirit quickened to my heart, I dropped out of Bible college, and move from California back home to do my home church's internship here in Washington. After a semester at home and doing my local church's internship I applied to the University of Washington, Bothell in hopes to pursue that deep passion burning in my heart to teach history and educate high school students.

I entered UW-Bothell thinking that this would be an easy 4 years of school and then I would get on to bigger and better things. But I gained a respect and a love for the university and found a deep passion of learning through every class that I was immersed in. Here I have compiled a collection of the skills I have gained, the knowledge that I have learned, and what I hope to carry into my future as I go on to be an educator that is going to make an impact on students lives.

History is lame, one sided, and negates important and influential voices. We must look at history through an inclusive lens that captures all voices and perspectives.

I thought signing up for the American and Ethnic Studies program through the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, I would learn World and United States history so that I could regurgitate it to students in a classroom. I began my university career by taking an Art History & History of Photography courses, were I was exposed to activist photography and really sparked the activist within me. I wrote a paper on Danny Lyon who was a Civil Rights activist and expressed himself through the medium of photography. You can read what I wrote about him below. Through these initial class I discovered is the complexities, trials, tears, death, the solidarity, and the hope in a field called Ethnic Studies, and found the passion a passion for history through Ethnic Studies. Learning quickly that the history that I was taught was not accurate and inclusive of all voices. Some of the most challenging assignments required me to dig into the privilege and power that I hold as a white male, come to an understanding of that power and the affect that it contains on what I know and what I will eventually teach. In Power, Dissent, and American Culture I created a racial autobiography where I grappled with understanding myself in the context of race and power.

Just like the first bloom of a chemex, that moment when the water meets the coffee, is a critical time period in the formation of the cup of coffee. So was my first exposure to human rights discourse in relationship to ethnic studies.

Through taking courses like Human Rights, Public Culture, and Race Identity and Culture in the classroom, my interest and passion for human rights and racial reconciliation began to bloom. One of the most influential professors that I have studied under is Ron Krabill. In his course I gained a rich understanding of how the human rights discourse is displayed and amplified through the use of traditional and social media platforms. He also inspired me to apply for the Washington D.C. Human Rights Seminar, more on this to come. You can read reflections and how I was challenged in Ron's class through these reflective papers.

Bellow is a reflection on the contribution that I made in Ron Krabill's class. I was touched and honored to receive such nice and encouraging words from an instructor. I also want to add here that I feel that Ron's contribution to my educational process was a pivotal moment where I began to understand purpose and responsibility for social justice activism. I am truly so thankful for the contribution that Ron made in my educational career.

If the extraction is perfect, via a Chemex, one can attain an bitter-less, tasteful cup of coffee, this is usually a huge accomplishment for myself, because not every cup of coffee will taste that good. The same could be said about the reward I feel after writing a piece that exemplifies my best.

The piece of work that exemplifies my best work that I am most proud of is the work that comes from my time in Washington D.C. Participating a week long research group of fifteen other peers was an incredible experience as it intellectually stretched my capabilities and scope of knowledge as well as refined me as a professional researcher. We were able to meet with roughly ten non-governmental organizations (NGO's), two foreign embassies, Norway & Georgia. We had influential meetings with Washington State Senators, Patty Murray & Maria Cantwell, and follow up's with their staff. During our time there I investigated Afghanistan's unequal and unsafe educational practices as they are using educational institutions as forward operating bases to fight the Taliban. Deriving from this, I also investigated United States appropriations and our continual investment into Afghanistan, and thus funding the human rights violations continually committed by the Afghanistan government. Finishing this 25 page paper, I make a space to propose a policy solution on behalf of the United States government, and while not complete and polished I urged the United States government to pay closer attention in the oversight of these funds.

So why do I claim this to be my most prized piece in my undergraduate career? This paper took three months of continual thought and development drawing upon all the skills that I have learned in my undergraduate career. These skills consist of research development, to developing clear and concise arguments and polished work, to using skills in creative and critical research and writing. This piece draws from all my gained skills, as well as shows my passion for the education of all students.

Finally through this project I was able to learn how to collaborate and share learning with my peers. I first would say that I have made some of the greatest friends from this week in D.C. and will draw upon this experience and friendships in both my professional and personal life. Every evening we would all sit down together at the local bar and work through the next day's meetings, prepping each other on each organization, who we are meeting with, and collectively developing questions that show deep understanding of our subject matter as well as gaining necessary information from the informant that we were meeting. This collective process made us prepared for our meetings and showed that we were professional and serious about the research that we were conducting, not just another college group that was

Coffee shops hold a unique and important place in my heart. First and foremost, they are my third place - the place away from home and work - really a home away from home. I love to meet new and diverse people in the coffee shops I most frequent, and most importantly I love the interaction that takes place at the coffee shop. Having important discussions about identity, race, ethnicity, Jesus, hipsterism, and the intersectionality that people hold within these topics. I believe in the third place, I believe that it is necessary for social change, and I believe that the conversations that take place in the third place are meaningful and important.

Coffee shop as a third home, a place where I have important and substantive conversations on areas of study, such as; Ethnic Studies, Black Lives Matter, Identity Intersectionality, Socio-economic status', Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, as well as Theology, the love of Jesus, and care for the soul. I use the coffee shop to address myself and help others work through their intersectional identities in which they carry. Some of the work that I believe show this intersectional approach and exemplify my creativity is my paper on Hipsterism, Gentrification and Race. In this paper I discuss the complex identity that a modern hipster holds, their affect on the gentrification process, and how in turn their held identity has affects on racial tensions. This was creative and fun for me because I am incredibly interested in this culture, as I feel that I have never fit into being a hipster for various reasons. I felt that I was looking at a culture through a glass window, never to come into the inside of it. I was able to take the ideas that I am interested in such as hipsterism and write something in conjunction with my degree in American & Ethnic Studies. I felt that I was able to understand my voice as a writer in a more defined and confident manner. For the first time in my undergraduate career I felt that I was writing something that I was not only interested in, but I had something to contribute in the larger discourse that is going on in racial studies. From this experience in writing this research proposal I understood the importance and significance associated with academic writing. I really enjoyed this paper, it's creativity and the attachment that it has on my heart.

Just as coffee is a process, I am still in the process of being poured, shaped and crafted.

I am still in process, I am still learning, and I will never stay content with where I am at. I am thankful for the process that high education has afforded me. I am cognizant that my higher education is a privilege. Moving forward there are three things that I want to do in my life. First and foremost, I want to love Jesus radically and then love others out of my relationship with Jesus. I have experienced the deepest, and most sincere love there is, and that is through my relationship with Jesus. Second, I want to educate and love students radically. Teaching critical interpretation skills and helping students understand that their voices are going to change the world. I want student to know that their impact on history matters, and they can transform the world. Lastly I want to impact educational policy and curriculum nationally. I have a vision and goal one day to influence educational reform to create a more inclusive and ethnically centered educational system that recognizes all peoples and all identities. I will fight for my students, I will fight to have their voices heard, and I will fight for the voices that might not ever be heard.

I am still in a process, just as coffee is always a process, each step shaping who I am, and enjoying the process as I grow and learn.

Hebrews 6:19-20

19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever.

Below are the additional resources necessary for BIS 499

Bellow is my installation for BIS499 - Capstone class. I made my own coffee shop, serving cold brew that myself and a friend made the night before via the Chemex method of brewing. The purpose was to create a third space in which participants and myself could talk about the major themes of my undergraduate degree as well as leaving space to talk about human rights violations that people are thinking or dwelling upon in the current moment that we are living.


Created with images by freephotocc - "cup of coffee laptop office" • Pexels - "caffeine coffee coffee beans" • LittleVisuals - "photographer photography camera" • Olgierd Pstrykotwórca - "Chemex -- water pouring" • Imahinasyon Photography - "Chemex" • Unsplash - "coffee shop barista cafe" • Pexels - "adult breakfast caffeine"

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