As I look back on my first semester of college, I can easily see what I have learned, what I enjoyed, and what kind of classes I will never, ever, EVER take again. For example, I will never take an anthropology class ever again. However, I would take an English class from Veronica Hapgood again. The things I’ve learned to think about and consider as I’ve taken this course have changed the way I view my education and the goals I set.
In comparison to my advanced placement English classes I took in high school, this was a little bit easier. Not because my work load was lighter, less demanding, or ‘easy’, but because I knew I was getting the grade I deserved on all of my essays. In high school I had hard to please, elderly, cranky-with-the-world, teachers who refused to give me any grade that was higher than a ‘C’. This was not because my essays and projects weren’t good enough, but because I didn’t write in the same style as them OR my older siblings did not previously take their class. Yes – they picked favorites based on your older siblings. To them, I was no one. Just a kid filling a desk keeping their class intact – as it should be since THEY were the most important, experienced, and most educated human being in the building. Ah yes… two years with women like this…
I enjoyed this class because what we read was interesting and relevant. It wasn’t something we had to read because it was old and every philosopher in history had something profound to say about it – therefore making it extremely important to read. I was pleased that I was able to write how I like to write; style was something that was encouraged since that’s what separates and defines authors of today.
I absolutely loved the blog. It made things simple; no printing issues or forgetting the assignment. Everyone knew where to go if they didn’t know how to start a paper. The prompts outlined what was expected, thus making room for excuses impossible. As it should be – welcome to college where everyone is expected to act as an adult who gets their work done on time. If you didn’t have a work ethic before, you’ve either left with one, or dropped out without one. Judging from the slow depletion of classmates, it’s safe to say who came out on top…
I think the general structure of the class was good. The first half of the semester was a little rough, but as time went on and we all found the way we grove and work, things leveled out. The structures of writing a paper, peer edit, revise, and submit worked out nice. It was a lot more effective than just looking at our own paper over and over again till it was time to submit it. However, I felt for myself, people weren’t catching mistakes like they should have been. They always told me my paper was ‘good enough’. I should have utilized the writing center and had them edit every now and then.
As I look back on the semester and try to see where I have grown, I’m not sure that I have. I know that I have developed a new opinion towards education and the way it ought to be taught, but I’m not sure I’ve necessarily changed my writing style. I’m pretty set in my ways. I’m particular about my diction and types of punctuation I use; I enjoy switching it up so it’s not just period after period. If I do become a teacher some day, I have definitely learned some interesting tactics that I would love to utilize in my own classroom.
When I consider the overall theme of the course “The Aims of Education”, I definitely know that my own goals have changed. I’ve always been so focused – never taking time to be social or spend time with my family. Getting good grades was the only thing that could make me happy because those were the only things that could get me into medical school. As I’ve considered the things taught by the various authors, plus the conversations held in class, I’ve realized medical school is not what I want to do. Yes, I would be able to support my family if my husband had some sort of freak accident and passed away, but there are other careers that allow me to spend time at home, raise a family, and be a good mother at the same time. I am not suggesting that any mother is an awful mother if she becomes a nurse or doctor; I deeply admire them for that. I just know that for myself I would not be able to balance between the two very well. All I know is that as I have begun to consider different pathways and taken to thought the ideas of these authors, I know what I REALLY want to do.
I want to be educated about people and their lifestyles. I want to provide humanitarian aid using the skills I have enjoyed developing; sewing, crocheting, event planning, and listening to people as they unload about their day, week, or life. I want to join a team and travel to South America, India, and the Middle East. There is nothing I want to do more than spending time with people, visit the elderly, and make someone feel like they are the most important person in the world for at least a day. So yes, I have learned a lot from the texts we read. I have learned more about myself and the ways other people think. I have learned that goals may be set, but they may also change and become more specific.