YOUNG VOICES: Class opened my eyes to world around me

2013-09-16T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Class opened my eyes to world around meHannah Byma nwitimes.com
September 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I just started my senior year of high school at Illiana Christian High School. At my school, one of my required senior classes is a class called International Relations. This class focuses on international relations of the past and present and current events.

One of the things we're learning is the geography of the Middle East. My teacher handed out the map and had us guess where we thought a list of countries was on this map. When I took one look at the map, I had no idea where any of these countries were. Some kids around me knew some of the countries, but most of us were just guessing when it came to the majority of the countries. We were then allowed to use textbooks and other maps around the room to help us locate these different countries. I realized that it's pretty sad that I didn't know where any of these countries were located. It opened my eyes to the fact there's so much going on around me that I don't even realize most of it.

On a different day in class, we discussed what was happening with the chemical warfare in Syria. The teacher began the discussion by asking if anyone knew what was happening in Syria, and a few kids raised their hands. He asked someone to explain what was going on, and he proceeded to expand on what that student said and inform us of what was happening and what President Obama was doing in terms of getting involved or not getting involved. I realized then too that I had no idea that was happening around me either.

Since then, I talked to my Dad about what is happening in Syria, and I could hold a conversation with him because I had learned about it in class. If my Dad had brought this up just a week ago, I would have had no idea what he was talking about.

I've realized that I need to open my eyes to the world around me. There's more than just the towns around me. There are serious political problems in countries all around the world. Meanwhile, I'm just trying to figure out what I'm going to wear to school the next day. I've become oblivious to the world around me. This is a wake-up call for me to look around and see what's going on.

I know there's other people out there who need to do this too.

Hannah Byma, of Lansing, is a senior at Illiana Christian High School. The opinions are the writer's.

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