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Letter To Ms. Doyle

Dear Ms. Doyle,

Good afternoon miss! To state the obvious, you have taught me more than I thought I could learn this year. I learned that everyone has an unconscious bias and when we first meet people we categorize them into a specific bucket.
What I enjoyed most about your monthly presentations was basically how open the class was with you. You were unafraid to mention the unmentionable or the controversial topics and I respected that. You put yourself out there, always using yourself as an example first so that we were not as intimidated to join in on the conversation. I enjoyed all the activities we did. It helped slowly and easily un-cover all of our own unconscious biases. If we had not had done those exercises I would have thought that I myself did not have a bias. But, the truth of the matter is that we all do whether we want to admit it or not. Whether or not we think we do.
I learned a bit about my own unconscious bias. I realized that with myself, I put people into buckets quicker based on gender. I am more open and understanding towards males because my childhood was based around a strong male presence. Although I have nothing against women, I am less open and less willing to befriend women.
The activity that had the strongest impact on me was actually one of the smallest activities. The activity that I enjoyed doing was one where we learned about gradual change in front of our eyes. When we are around people constantly we do not notice change over time because we see if everyday. If we were apart from people for months at a time and we saw them again we would notice every little thing that is different about them. Thatís why when we did the exercise with something disappearing slowly in front of our eyes we didnít recognize it because we saw it happening. But when you showed us the before and after picture, we all noticed the major change that occurred.
I appreciated taking your class, and I was genuinely privileged to have taken your class because of two more important cultural information you presented me with. One, I also learned that due to cultural aspects, some cultures are more privileged that other. Also, because I have taken your class I have cultural competence. Thanks to you I have gained the knowledge of cultural competence. I have also learned that I am more informed and prepared on the topic of unconscious bias than most of the people I know.

Sincerely your student,
Erin Bissot

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