Sunday, February 24, 2013

The demons we face

In this blog post I'm going to continue talking about the things you face in your life in college readiness. On this daybook page I drew a demon thing and a ball in chain labeled adulthood. In the paragraph I describe the people that influenced me and a few of the topics of my college readiness.

In hindsight I don't think I thoroughly thought through the drawing. There are many demons or obstacles along the pathway to going through college. I think the ball in chain is suiting, maybe a weight of the world on your shoulders scenario. I think if I could redraw the image it would be  lot different. It would be an uphill battle with many paths to choose from with many obstacles along the way, and the weight of adulthood would still be there. I think the main change though would be a support system. Family, friends, and people who inspire are there to help with the battles and help carry the weight.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What's a story without a hero? For my quick write I examine the movie Slumdog Millionare. In my day book I define the hero(protagonist) and the villains. Something I noticed in our discussion group, especially in the movies/tv shows we picked that a reoccurring villain was society. I think that is an interesting perspective that we as viewers of this pop culture and the writers of the pop culture itself see society as constantly being corrupting and evil.

To the movie I picked though; I think the hero in the movie is a lot more complicated then previously perceived. Of course the main character Jamar is on the adventure, chases after the girl, and has many obstacles in his way that he is forced to overcome. These obstacles, the villains, like the gang, the tv show host, and poverty all prove to be bad in their own ways. After reconsidering though it isn't that simple, because fate has such a huge role in the movie, the whole concept of "it is written" that everything is already predestined and we are helpless to the outcome. so in reality in the movie fate is the hero, and fate is the villain and while we do have choices on how we handle the cards we are given the fact that Jamar becomes the hero that he is and gets the girl and the glory was all pre-written.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vantage Point

In class we split into two groups. My group was the first to sit in the inner circle. For the second discussion my group sat in the outer circle and took notes on the other group and how their discussion proceeded. In this picture from my daybook I diagrammed the discussion that took place among the other group.

What I noticed is a very interactive discussion much like our own group that took place with many arrows pointing back and forth showing conversation between the members of the circle. Some members had less to say than others and some members had  more back and forth between each other. Just like in our group.

The main thing though was the difference in vantage point. While in the inner group I was way more involved and interactive allowing me to be more focused on the topics at hand. While in the outer group I was more involved with following the actual flow of conversation but not really the topics of the conversation. While it was interesting to watch the interaction and learn about benefits of discussion I feel as if the actual application  of this is somewhat limited. To be involved in the actual conversation made me able to pay attention to the topics at hand and I felt I learned a lot more.

Or maybe I just need to work on my listening skills a little more.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A day late (sorry)

In this writing into the day excerpt I said that the believing game was fundamentally flawed because it is simply a method of stroking the ego of someone before you play (or after) the doubting game so they don't feel so bad when you (hopefully constructively) criticize their paper, work, or assortment of other things along those basis.

In my last blog I was asked to dig deeper into how these things we are learning are ideas that delve upon less tangible ideas. Here I go.

Theoretically this idea of forcing yourself to believe in what somebody is saying, and  even yourself, as Peter Elbow describes can allow you to open your eyes per say and see things through a different perspective and possibly alleviate some of your opinionated biased on a topic. Also in theory, during the Manhattan project the scientist thought that detonating a nuclear device could set the entire surface of the planet on fire (Yikes!). Not advocating the use of nukes, simply stating that theories don't always turn out to be right in proven practice. Back to the believing game. While fundamentally a fun idea, practically in the working model of the American school system/ higher education system as far as I know preaching off of limited experience, the believing game doesn't really work. First off it requires a great deal of understanding, something that a lot of college students are absolutely capable of, but often don't have the patience or interests to follow through in many subjects.

In my last semester English class we played the doubting and believing game with our assigned papers. I got a lot of good contributions to my work when playing the doubting game. I found out which points to clean up, where things were confusing, and great feedback. When we played the believing game, I got a lot of, "Yea I totally agree", "that was really good", and "I believe the point you are trying to make". Really do you? And then I read through blogs now, and I'm totally guilty of doing this, and it seems the first line in most response post is "I agree", "I totally agree". Which is essentially the believing game. I'm not saying you shouldn't agree with someone, and I'm not saying you shouldn't let them know that they are doing something right. But everyone agrees with what everybody is saying? I've got into enough truthful(drunken) arguments to know that is not a truthful statement at all... Maybe it isn't the student's fault though. Maybe it's the content, or the subject. Maybe the students are disinterested with the topic, therefore write generic pieces that make no leaps into learning, make no bounds toward understanding, and most importantly don't ask any good questions.

Back to the main point. A part of me thinks the believing game is necessary. In a country where everyone needs a trophy just for participating, where learning should be more game-like, and failure isn't considered a negative thing but a learning experience instead (why not both); it seems to me people need positive feedback now more than ever, they need to be believed, just so they will push on because thick skin is something our grandparent's generation seem to have held on to and it never passed down the gene-pool.

“If you are pissing people off, you know you are doing something right” John Lydon

Just some food for thought.