Wisdom and Reflection

May 28, 2021

LeBlanc: I think if you’re interested in going on a ‘mission trip,’ you also have to be open to immigrants coming here. Welcoming refugees here––economic refugees, war-torn country refugees, any kind of asylum seekers––I think you ought to be sure you can keep that in balance. It’s not easy.

LeBlanc: If you have the chance to study abroad…I say take every opportunity, even if it’s for a week. But in college, if you have the opportunity to get a semester or a year, I highly, highly recommend it because, for me, I learned more about America by looking at it from the point of view of jamaica. And then, just, lifelong friends!

LeBlanc: I felt some of the most achy loneliness in my whole entire life at the times I was studying abroad in Jamaica, but I learned, I’d say, tenfold compared to other semesters at school, and also it is a second home. So it’s worth the loneliness.

Hanson: I don’t mean any harm by saying this but as an exchange student… I see that some students are still stuck in their own little bubble––in terms of words that they’ll use, or actions, or things that they’ll see.

I think that BSM students experiencing other cultures will be a wide awakening for them and a very good educational opportunity. It’s okay to have an uncomfortable conversation.”

— Ms. Andretta Hanson

Hanson: I remember my first time here, a particular student said to me, ‘So I know that all Jamaicans have treehouses,’ and something about our clothing. In that moment, I kind of laughed, but I found it to be an opportune moment to educate that student. I didn’t shun her away, and I wasn’t degrading to her, because it was an opportune moment to say, that is false; I have a perfectly nice house, just like in America, and we do regular stuff.

Hanson: But fast forward to this moment, you still do have students here and sometimes adults who will make comments like that. So I would be elated to take BSM students to my community. I would like to take some students to a ministry program, or a volunteer program, to Jamaica. And I see this as a very great opportunity for BSM students to experience another culture; because as high school students, it’s not healthy for you to be stuck in your own bubble.

Hanson: When you leave BSM, you’re going to go out here in the world. When you go to university, you’re going to meet people from countries you’ve never heard of before. You’re going to meet people of different backgrounds, culture, environment, ethnicities, all of that. And you can’t have your own perception about your roommate. You can’t have your own perception about the head of the education board, even the regular person that walks by you each day. And sometimes you have to be careful of the things that come out of your mouth, because not everybody will take things as an educational opportunity. Some people will probably be mad, or shocked, that someone will say something like that to them as a university student.

Hanson: I think that BSM students experiencing other cultures will be a wide awakening for them and a very good educational opportunity. It’s okay to have an uncomfortable conversation. Being here in your own bubble and floating around, it’s not going to help you. Because when you go out into the world, you’re going to be experiencing different things

Hanson: Presently, I’m doing my masters degree. I’m hoping to finish next spring. I’ve been going hardcore since last fall. I want to finish within a year and a half or two years. When I’m done with my masters degree, I will continue in the teaching field, but it’s my other career, my go-to field. I’m still in the media business, but not full time––my brother is also a television producer. I do help him sometimes. So I still have a love for television. So I’m going back and forth between that and teaching, but I’m not sure if I want to do teaching full time or part time. Next fall I’ll decide.

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