"There are so many different cultural backgrounds exhibited in this country. Being a visiting student of Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Program, the Humanities 498's 'Difficult Dialogue' class offers me a great opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds that have different histories and stories to share. It also gives me a valuable chance to get involved in some of the communities in the Seattle area. All in all, this is a great class to gain the opportunity to cross cultural bridges and to get a better understanding of issues surrounding community and immigration. It has also given me beneficial theater knowledge, something I am very interested in. I believe having this wonderful experience behind me will benefit my future career and be a great memory of my time studying at the University of Washington."

-Kathy Chen

"The Humanities 498's 'Difficult Dialogue' is a class that lets us work as a team with students from all kinds of disciplines to put on a play. It gives everyone the chance to shine in the things they like doing: from designing costumes and sets to multimedia, acting and dance. Despite the collaborating and organizing skills involved, I have also gained a deeper knowledge of migration, identity and issues of inclusion and exclusion among Southeast Asian communities in the United States. This class is truly one of a kind and being part of it has been a privilege."

-Kathy Chen

"Upon joining Humanities 498's 'Difficult Dialogue' class, I was under the impression that this class would only be about putting on a play. However, this impression came to a quick halt when I learned that we would become both the actors and the committee members (design, PR, and Dialogue). Not only have I learned so much about myself as an artist, but also about how to become a part of a group that is working towards the same goal. This class has taught me how to properly contact student organizations, as well as community organization, in order to network and share this wonderful opportunity to become part of something bigger."

-Vanessa Stone

"As an active member of the Khmer Student Association, Humanities 498 has helped open my eyes to opportunities for community engagement beyond my student organization. This class has allowed me to connect with new friends in an intellectual mode.  It has also provided KhSA with more flexibility and the ability to work with resources outside the university and the classroom. Overall, this class is fun and amazing."

-Sok Chhouy

"I have been a participant in the Difficult Dialogues seminars since fall quarter of 2008. As a first year PhD student in the Department of History, my interests lie in exploring the role of arts organizations in promoting political and social change in Indonesia. Difficult Dialogues has given me the opportunity to experience first hand the development of such a community engaged group from its inception through the gathering of oral histories to its culmination in a student play that addresses issues relevant to Southeast Asian communities in Seattle. The pedagogical tools that Difficult Dialogues has provided me will be of great benefit when it comes to teaching Southeast Asian studies at the university level. It has taught me to be more sensitive to differing perspectives and that as educators there are ways of using the knowledge gained through community engagement and dialogue in a productive way that gives back to the community and continues to promote open and honest discussion between and among diverse groups of people."

-Micaela C


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