On our first day of class, we spent nearly and hour and fifteen minutes discussing what a ram was. While at sometimes the activity felt slightly irrelevant or far-fetched, I’ve realized how influential that activity has been. Throughout the course my mind has expanded to see objects, ideas, people, and events from multiple perspectives, at different levels, and for different reasons. It has helped me see that there is a time and place for different types of thinking- which was proven fairly obviously by one of my favorite readings of the semester: Two Modes of Thought, written by Jerome Bruner.
This can be seen on my rampages site. I have a tendency to not necessarily lose focus, but pay specific attention to certain things while loosely ignoring others. While at first this probably sounds like a horrible thing to do as a student, I think it has actually been beneficial for me. In my posts, I often found one specific idea that is linked to several others that I focus on. Typically I choose the thing that either doesn’t make sense, or I can’t seem to forget about to discuss. As a student I think there is little to no point to extensively discuss things that either make sense or don’t elicit some type of further thinking that connects to other ideas and topics. I believe this reflects my curiosity in that I’m not particularly concerned with addressing every single thing that was discussed, but the ones that make me think at a greater level than the others.
Consequently, this course has made me ask questions and poke and prod at myself. Many of our activities, especially within Unit 2 has made me reflect upon myself and my experiences and how that influences the way I learn academically and socially. Prior to this course I like to believe I was a relatively open-minded person; however, our Unit 1 work challenged me to empathize with ideas I may not be able to understand or agree with. Joshua Holland’s “There Are No Vagina Voters” forced me to confront my own identity and how it influences my decision making. It also created a greater relationship between experience and choice for me and made understanding the viewpoints of someone I don’t agree with understandable.
This also demonstrates my skepticism in academics. While I have made efforts to improve my understanding of other ideas and beliefs, I don’t necessarily accept them as fact, but a possibility that should be considered. RamPages has made me aware of the way I articulate my ideas and encouraged me to be careful when discussing controversial or sensitive topics. It has also made me elaborate as to be sure my point came across the way it was intended.
Ultimately I don’t have the deepest or most intellectually stimulating ideas, but I do have a natural curiosity and respect for learning that is leading my towards the former. The more I read and write in this way the more I have learned about the world around me and myself.