Friday, February 4, 2011

My Unedited version of the next posting for LAC301

My next assignment for LAC 301 is to respond to Todd's posting and have something to say about a Liberal Arts education.  This is my unedited free-write in order to get my mind toward what I actually want to post for my assignment.

As I attend classes at Marylhurst I understand how a liberal arts education works.  (Find a better word than "works". )  I have never been the type of person who felt comfortable speaking up in class.  I never would do it.  Once I did when I was little and I was told I was wrong so it was hard for me to take the leap after that.  I don't like to be wrong.  Many, many times throughout my life as I speak my mind, I am told that I am wrong.  Or someone tries to change my mind.  I am not the type who like to argue, so I will buckle under before any confrontation occurs because it hurts me when people argue.  I'm much like my father that way.  It hurts him when people argue around him.  When he was hurt and people were down taking care of him, I told my sister that if she had to cry or anything, take it outside.  None of those emotional things were going to help Dad.  Then she and my brother had to go and argue in the other room and it hurt Dad so much.  He started crying.  He was in pain and needing our support but they could only think about themselves.  Perhaps this is why I think that when we don't allow people to express their opinions it is a way for us to be selfish.  Why can't people just talk freely and speak what they think without worrying about what another person will say?  I have found that in classes at Marylhurst I can say whatever I want to say, without someone judging me harshly.  I don't know if I have ever felt like I have been in that type of an environment before, and I like it.  I think, perhaps, that I speak too much in my literature class.  Perhaps those people are sick of listening to what I think.  But, you get graded on class participation, so I guess I don't care what they think.  As I speak in class, I am finding that the environment of Marylhurst, and thus, a liberal arts education, is helping me become the person that I want to be.  I have had it a goal of mine to be a more eloquent speaker.  I am constantly working at learning how to speak in public, considering that any time you speak to more than 1 person, you are speaking in public.  My goal of being able to explain my thinking and ideas eloquently, seems to be a part of my education at Marylhurst, which makes me very happy that I have teachers all around me who are helping me with this goal.  As one of the youngest members of a big family, I found out right away that I never got a chance to learn how to talk with groups of people.  I was never given a chance to talk, so I never learned how.  When talking, I am interrupted constantly. It is hard to be able to get a complete thought out of my mouth eloquently, because it is very seldom that I get a chance to do it.  I know that this is something that I have needed to work on, but since very few people let you finish a complete thought, a person never gets to finish a complete thought, from the introduction, through to the end.  In class, people actually let you finish talking.  It is weird sometimes; seeing those people stare at you.  But, since this is something I know that I need to work on, looking at the people staring at you is part of the process of working on it.  Don't you think?  The things I like about the Liberal Arts Education is that Liberal Arts Colleges are Student Focused, meaning that the classes are small and the teachers can give more one-on-one attention to the students.  It also means that the student directs a lot of the learning.  The teacher is there as the facilitator and to direct the conversations to go toward the learning so that the students still learn, but have more of a part in the learning.  When a student is directly part of the learning process, they internalize the lessons so each lesson is completely understood and put into practice right away.  Since the learning process and the lessons learned is now a part of each of us, we become a valued employee.  With our liberal arts education the learning is now a part of us and we have better communication skills, analysis skills, and a better understanding of how to work as a team.  Our school provides us with more of a broad education so we are more well-rounded educated people.  As we learn how to think independently we are able to make sound judgments, as Cronon explains in his article.  We can then see more possibilities for us out in the world, so our horizons are expanded beyond anything we thought possible for ourselves.  I'm excited to know that I will achieve this type of success.  As Cronon promises us; "to be liberally educated is to be transformed.  A liberal arts education frees your mind and helps you connect dots you never noticed before, so you can put your own field of study into a broader context.  It enables you to form opinions and judgments, rather than defer to an outside authority."  I'm excited that I will be able to put my field of study into a broader context.  I worry, though, that the status quo is not going be good enough, anymore.  As I learn and I learn how to free my mind, I might wonder how in the world I got to where I am in my life.  I worry that the people at work will frustrate me more than usual, and I will want to leave before I am financially ready to.  Well, I just won't let them bug me.  Things are going well this year, so I am not going to worry about something that may not happen.  There you go.  Anyway, is there anything here that I can put in my assignment?  Let me think.....

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