ME

Description: The purpose of this assignment is to look back at the Intellectual Autobiography that was written in our LS 300 class to asses how much we have grown since then. Most importantly, we were to analyze whether our plans and goals have changed or stayed the same. This serves as a relfective assignment to see how much the Liberal Studies major has impacted us as both scholars and individuals.

           My name is Maurus Dumalaog and I pleased to announce that after five years at San Francisco State University, I will be graduating with degrees in both Liberal Studies and Asian American Studies. My decision to declare the Liberal Studies major stems from my hopes to become an teacher, but accomplishing this goal would not be easy.  My life as a Liberal Studies major has been both challenging and fulfilling at the same time, but I definitely believe that I have grown tremendously since my time in Liberal Studies 300. With this major, I was afforded the opportunity to explore an array of subjects, as they were apart of my graduation requirements to complete the degree. Unfortunately, I struggled with meeting some of those requirements because I had to revisit subjects that were not my strongest. Regardless, I saw it as a great opportunity for review and at the same time a chance to learn something new about each particular subject. I constantly had to remind myself that interdisciplinary education would benefit me in the long run, especially because I want to work with youth.

            I entered Liberal Studies with an emphasis in English because I thought I wanted to use that as my entry point to become a high school drama teacher. However, after multiple consultations with various mentors and counselors, I later discovered that I had many other options. At this point, I was attracted to Drama and English, but had an even greater passion for Ethnic Studies. I was determined to fuse all three into an emphasis until my Liberal Studies advisor, Eva Chuck, showed me that double majoring in Asian American Studies would be my best option. I looked back at all the courses I have taken over the years and realized she was right, but what struck me the most was when I realized that Ethnic Studies would allow me to fuse all my passions into one. I was confident about this because I have seen it been done in classes I took and it was those types of classes that changed my life.

            Although it added an entire year to my expected graduation date, I definitely do not regret my decision to double major. As a result, I had the opportunity to take a course called AAS 363- Survey of Philippine Literature with Professor Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales. This was the first time I was ever exposed to Filipina/o American writers and authors. Before this class, I had no idea so many of them existed. This was an eye- opening experience for me because it showed me that Filipinos have the capacity and talent to write intellectual and compelling stories. I also participated in a teaching project where we took the literature we read throughout the semester and taught it to high school students at in the Excelsior District. From there, I learned how to create lesson plans and engaging activities that was centered around literature. The most exciting component of this class was the final show, where we were assigned to create an entire production based off of themes generated from the texts we read. We had the opportunity to show our friends, family and community what we learned and how education could be used to make a difference in the world. This is the same type of experience and curriculum I want to create for my students.

            In order for me to become a great teacher, I needed to get practice. Therefore, in 2008 I was accepted as a teacher for Pin@y Education Partnerships (PEP), which derives from the Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State. Taking Ethnic Studies courses allowed me to learn much about my history and identity. As a result, I made certain that I would bridge what I learned at the academy with service to my community so that our youth could get the same kind of education I was receiving at a much younger age. My students have transformed enormously, just as much as I have. Since having taken our PEP course, they too have become advocates for social justice education. My proudest moment came when they spoke in front of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education on the life changing impact Ethnic Studies has had on their lives. On March 4th, 2010 the Board of Education unanimously voted "yes," to institutionalizing an Ethnic Studies pilot program throughout SFUSD. That defining moment made me realize that I wanted to teach for the rest of my life.

            This past January, I applied for the Teacher Education Program (TEP) at UCLA. If admitted, I will have the opportunity to gain both a Masters degree and teaching credential. Whether I get accepted or not, I will still continue to serve the youth. My number goal is to return to my roots in Los Angeles and serve urban youth there. After looking back at my previous Intellectual Autobiography, I feel fortunate that my goals and ambitions have not changed. Rather, they have only solidified and is starting to unfold little by little. There is much controversy on the American education system today, whether it be about budget or curriculum, but I want to play my part in contributing to the solutions. I truly feel that my education from San Francisco State has prepared me to do so, and I look forward to getting out into the real world to seek justice for our youth in education.