Andrew Schramm is an alumna of the REALITY Israel Experience, which takes Teach For America corps members on a 12-day trip to Israel to explore educational models and the values that drive their professional aspirations and commitment to social justice. Earlier this year Andrew participated in a reunion for members of the REALITY community that was held in Los Angeles. He shares his reflections on one particular aspect of the experience: a society simulation exercise—also known as SIMSOC—designed to highlight inequalities that exist in society and how groups with access to different resources interact with one another.
We were frantic, panicked and without resources. The 20 of us were huddled in a small, hot room with no ventilation and the tension rose as we tried to figure out how we would pay to eat that afternoon, how we would survive.
The stress of determining how we could meet our needs felt real, despite the knowledge in the back of our minds that this was a simulation and we would return to normalcy at the end of the day. For people actually facing hunger on daily basis, though, there is no end in sight and that discomfort and stress is exponentially greater, which was a sobering lesson. Read More »