Audrey Gnesa's Learning Story


I think my most powerful learning experience occurred just this year, as a freshman at the University of California at Davis. For my fall quarter, I was in a class that called Community and Regional Development 20. In here we focused on the food system, the issues within the system, and what we can do to make a difference in food sustainability. However, what made this such a special experience was that we were asked what we wanted to learn about. I don’t think I’ve ever been so interested and motivated to learn before, because for once, I felt like the lectures were developed specifically for us. We wanted to learn about world hunger, and we did. We wanted to learn about issues in agriculture in the US, and we did. We wanted to learn about what we could do to make a difference, and we did. We were able to plan our own field trips to different aspects of the food production, and interview these members about their role in food production. In the interviews we were able to come up with our own research questions while using a specific lens, either that of political economy, feminist, or positivist lens, which would help us focus our research. Overall, our findings were all unique and self-sought, though once we brought them together everything just clicked! Its hard to explain, but I feel like this class helped me to understand so much about the environment, society, people in general, and even myself. I wish that every student could experience such a moment, at least once in his or her lifetime.