How I fell for sociology
When I came to the University of Central Missouri, I was determined that I was going to be a criminal justice student, that I was going too graduate at the top of my class, attend graduate school, and apply to work for the FBI after graduating. Since then none of those things has happened. Sometime between then and now I have gained a passion for sociology. So since this blog post is all about me I thought I should start at the beginning.
During my freshman year I began the year taking criminal justice intro classes and during that time I became very excited about being a criminal justice major. I knew that I wanted to study people and demographics but the longer I studied the criminal justice field I learned that it might not be for me. During that following spring semester I felt very lost and confused about what direction I wanted too take my academic career. It just so happened that I was also taking general sociology with professor Ghozzi. At first I hated the class to be honest. I had never taken a class with a teacher from a different culture so it was a little complicated for me to understand him and I was not really grasping the concepts. At one point I really thought about dropping the class because I almost did not get the first paper in on time, but Dr. Ghozzi ( The teacher I was basically afraid of ) worked with me and gave me 25 minuets to get the paper turned in. At that moment I realized that Ghozzi was not only the first teacher in college to call me on my bull but he was the first teacher to challenge me. I finished that paper and got a C but from then on Dr. Ghozzi had my full attention and it was beautiful. It was almost as if being in Ghozzi’s general sociology gave me a new way of seeing things or as the department likes to call it the sociological imagination.
The beauty about general sociology was that we could get a small taste of large subjects that many other sociology classes dug deeper into. After that semester I was hooked and I knew that I wanted to take more classes and at first I wanted to take as many classes I could with Dr.Ghozzi. I then expanded and took classes with Dr.Kelly, Dr.Rodenberg, and Dr.Frenquest who all gave me more and more insight on so many topics that surrounded me my entire like that I always questioned but never knew how to really form to ask. I learned about social and economic ladders, social stratification, social cycles, and how global social issues can have effects on my everyday life. By being a student in the sociology department I was able to learn how to be more aware of the people around me and how the social environment that they came from had effects to who they are today. I was able to connect what I learned about sociology to my own background. I will never forget when Dr.ghozzi went over ideas from the book The Code of the Streets by Elijah Anderson. He talked about how people who came from impoverished predominantly African American neighborhoods responds to being in the world with other cultures. In other classes we talked about the issues of social and economical cycles. For the first time I was able to understand why I saw households from my neighborhood that would be consist of three generations that all lived a cycle of a similar lifestyle.
Sociology made me not only reflect on my past and where I came from but it also made me think about my future. In more than one of my sociology classes we watched a documentary about classes and in this video they interviewed people who were members of the WASP community. I remember the man in the video referring to people who did not come from a prestigious family line (“old money”) that we would never be able to fit in with the people at the top and how the system is set up be sure of that, and basically that it was no way around it. I remembered that this video sparked a fuel in me and it made me angry because I always felt that as an African American Women that there is someone looking down on me. It reassured me of the idea that I have always had in my head that as an African American women that I would always have to work harder than hard, be smarter, faster, but also work well with others to get where I wanted to be in life. I knew that I wanted more to my life than the environment I grew up in had to offer, and I knew that I wanted understand the world and the people in it so I could help better my life and others. Sociology has set me on the right path to accomplishing that goal.
With my academic career at UCM coming to a close, and reflecting on what I have learned so far I think that sociology has gave me a third eye on how to see the world and has helped me shape my life into what it is today. I have gotten the opportunity to learn so much about myself and received so many answers for topics that for most of my life questioned, and for that reason is why I fell for sociology.