“I went in and I worked with a fourth-grade class for about half a month. We did this activity with the class\ in which we were going to show these kids that ‘Othering’ individuals happens naturally.
We lined them up and put stickers on their heads. Every kid got a circle sticker that was a different color, and two kids got square stickers. Then we said, ‘Okay, look at your stickers, don’t tell each other which ones you have, and figure out how to put yourselves in groups.’” – Harrison
Sam originally expected the kids put themselves into small groups as a way of showing the kids how people can naturally divide themselves and exclude others. However, the students flipped the English major’s expectations upside down.
“This one kid looked at the kids with the squares and saw how confused and scared they were. Suddenly, they all get into this big group in the middle of the room, and said, ‘Okay we’re done.’ We waited for a minute then asked, ‘You’re done grouping each other?’ He said, ‘Yeah, um, we all have stickers on our heads, so we’re one big group.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God, they saw through the activity!’” – Harrison
The children’s refusals to exclude their peers from the overall group is an experience that has stuck with Sam since her freshman year at Franklin College. Thanks to this seemingly simple liberal arts requirement, Sam gained a powerful and heartwarming memory that puts the world into perspective — something you can’t get in a regular classroom.
“I just see so much hope in the world — and sometimes it’s hard. But sometimes I’ll think, ‘Man, but those kids.’ They got it, they really got it. It was a bright moment that I’ve had, and I feel like I was able to give these kids that moment to shine.” – Harrison
At Franklin, our liberal arts curriculum is more than requirement to fulfill — it offers possibilities to explore and powerful moments you never expected to experience. Don’t just sit in a classroom for four years. Schedule a tour of Franklin and see what opportunities await you.