With completing the first term in the Constructed Self class, I was able to benefit from a variety of new things from the class, as well as refresh my memory on things that I already knew, just needed a reminder about.
The biggest hurdle in the class for me was time management. I am a procrastinator and always have been, so completing assignments on time was and still is a challenge for me. I have not come to a full solution to this problem yet, but I did make changes in my life as to how I can manage time management. I found that it was easier for me to focus on homework if I was outside my dorm room, because when in my dorm, I would usually mess around on the internet or take naps. I don’t think realistically I will get over procrastination anytime soon, but I can manage it.
With hurdles came hidden strengths I discovered about myself. I’ve never thought of myself as a leader, but because the class used group thinking on more than one occasion, I found that I am a good leader. I communicate my ideas to the group while trying to balance the ideas of others so the group can come to an agreed-upon decision. Obviously, this can benefit me no matter what career I decide to go into because the ability to take control of a situation and still remain diplomatic with colleagues is a valuable asset to have. Other than this, I can’t think of any other strength I discovered. I don’t think of myself as egotistical, but honestly, I am pretty happy with the way I am and find it hard to think of strengths I don’t already possess.
The highlights of the course for me would probably be the creative portion of the exploration paper. I enjoy expressing myself through art more so than I do in any other medium, so it was fun to be able to take my thoughts and feelings and turn them into a painting.
As for other highlights and insights, I can’t really think of any. To be honest, this class didn’t really give me any new revelations about anything. As I mentioned before, it is very difficult to persuade my mind to think differently than it already does. I was already aware of most of the issues we discussed in class, such as the weighing privilege project and the discussions on Malcolm X. Often I found myself spiteful due to the fact I had to write papers that seemed, in my mind, to be repetitive and thusly irrelevant to my education. Also, I didn’t enjoy the exploration paper only because it was basically an autobiography and if there’s one thing I like less than writing about other people it’s writing about myself, in length no less. Not saying the class was a total waste of time; I did enjoy classroom discussions and Theresa was a wonderful instructor, as well as Lissa. Just I feel I didn’t learn anything of value that I already didn’t know or hadn’t thought about before. I’m a horribly cynic person, and all the talk on social issues and people really disinterested me, because misanthropy’s my middle name. I suppose this is an insight, although I was already aware of it in the back of my mind; I need to learn how to care about society, because whether I like it or not I’m a part of it myself. And I am aware that if this “social handicap” of mine isn’t abated by the time I have a career, I can be in trouble, especially if I am working with people most of the time.
As for things I would like to delve into this coming term, as well as the one after that, I honestly haven’t thought about it. I guess I would enjoy learning subjects more about how they relate to individuals rather than society as a whole. I know both are interconnected, but I’d like to sever the whole community aspect and just focus on self. I feel as if a lot we cover is kind of “no duh” situations, which gets tedious. I’d like to see more creative learning involved, as with the creative piece for the exploration paper. I’d like to learn the skills I’d need in other classes, mainly formatting for certain types of writing assignments, such as the research paper we’re doing this winter term. Learning how to write, say, 4-page essays without feeling like I’m filling the gaps with absolute garbage would be a nice thing to learn as well. Also, I enjoy the fact we’re reading Frankenstein because I enjoy reading classic literature that I never find I have time for in a leisure setting. Other than that I tend to feel like I’m just in this until the end of the year, like a sheep in a flock, and I can’t help but feel a certain indifference since I know what my ideal course content would be is not realistic and thusly irrelevant to the class.
My expectations for the class are basically the same as my feelings I just recited in that I don’t really have any. I just hope I am able to complete assignments and critically think about the topics we are discussing. And by the end of the term, I’d like to be able to pass the class with an A or B. My education is entirely in the instructor’s hands, which ironically I’m not supposed to allow myself to do after reading Freire in this exact same class. As for self-expectations, again, nothing really comes to mind. I hope I will be a little bit more open and optimistic about things. And if not, then I hope to at least be able to handle such an optimistic class course. I know the last term I could become so cynical after what I could only call an idealistic session that I’d be in a horrible mood for the rest of the day, which was both physically and mentally exhausting. But I’m still going to ask why, and challenge ideas brought up in discussions, and I hope that is enough. In fact, I think that is enough, plus the paperwork.
Again, I am not trying to be negative in any of this, because I don’t feel any of it as a negative aspect of the class. I’m just indifferent, plain and simple, and that’s no one’s fault but my own. My college experience thus far has also been uninspiring for me; not just for this class. I came here hoping to have my eyes and ears opened and to be able to see things differently in the world, but so far this has not happened and it’s looking as if it’s only getting harder for it to happen. But to end on a better note, I have learned things, although not awe-inspiring, while I’ve been here and I hope to continue. I love constantly adding to my random knowledge database, just in case I ever go on Jeopardy or Cash Cab