*Author’s note: While this reflection is not as pretty as others, it is meant to reflect on the growth in knowledge & skill in a manor that best reflects the modus operandi of that author. In other words, while I do appreciate visual complexities, I prefer to have this space reflect the bare-bones minimalist nature that I hold for most things in life.
Something I have almost always struggled with academically was taking my ideas and effectively pouring them out on to paper. Because in my head it was always so clear, so I never had problems expressing them verbally but when it came down to putting them on paper I could never quite get a formula down for accurately expressing an idea or concept. So being a fan of acronyms, structure, and simple solutions I immediately gripped tightly to the SEE-I method of clarification. Applying it to most forms of communication when instructing others in either practical applications or with more abstract principles (principles of physics for instance). Because it has offered a solution to a long standing problem, this method is something I plan on holding on to until I come across a more effective method.
The most significant shift in my disposition has been with asking questions about what figures in authority over me are doing and the purpose of what I am being instructed to do. Most of my life has been centered around the idea of following orders whether they made sense or not. Not that I was not aware that what I was being told to do didn’t make sense but I felt that it was not an option to ask clarifying questions about the task at hand because at the end of the day I was in subordination. That being said, the time spent in this class started to grease the wheels to put me in a position where posing questions about what those in power over me are attempting to accomplish and what their motives may or may not be start to come more naturally. Whether I am at the point to regularly pose these questions verbally is yet to be determined but I am getting there.
Conversations with Dr. Hale along with listening to him speak in class has given me insight on what can lead to significance in a given context. This path being the question: If I am not contributing something unique and positive, are my efforts significant? This insight ultimately grew from my displeasure with certain faculty, when I came to the conclusion that the lectures were providing less information than provided in the notes or the textbook with no new insights tacked on to the lecture. And was reinforced when we stepped into the argument phase of our curriculum where the significance of our topic was defined by a positive & unique contribution to a topic at hand. While this is no means of which to derive self worth it is definitely an insight into analyzing the significance of academic pursuits and projects that one may work on in the future.
The largest obstacle in this course has been with the amorphous structure. When we had our first real class meeting and it was revealed to me that the structure was going to be atypical I really struggled with that idea knowing that it was going to cause issues when it came down to planning out my assignments for the class and how I was going to fit it in with my other responsibilities, but I decided to stay in this class because I thought it would challenge me and break me out of my hyper-structured learning habits. Or at the very least challenge me in a way to keep my attention. While at the beginning of the course it seemed like it was going fine because the work was light and inconsequential, but the moment we transitioned into the argument phase of the course it felt like everything fell apart and it became apparent to me that the lack of structure of the course became a massive stumbling block for what is to be the most important assignment of the whole class. Another obstacle I face with this class and many others is my pride, I am not comfortable asking for help with assignments. I find myself more often than not confused about what is going on and struggling with the material, completely intent on figuring it out on my own or fail due to my hard headedness.