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themword's picture

Self Evaluation

Coming into the course, I was not sure how much of I would need to know about evolution. Unlike some other classes, I did not go in to the course thinking that I would be able to apply my political science background to the discussions or readings. Once I came to the class, and learned that there were other people from departments other than English or Biology, I felt more at ease. Seeing that these students from other backgrounds were figuring out how to apply their specialty to our conversations, I realized that I could as well.

            I think that I could have participated more in our group work. I always have a difficult time talking unless I have been in the environment for a while. It’s still difficult to talk in the large group. I am the person who does not feel comfortable talking in a large group. I could have talked more in the small group too. I like small groups because I am a verbal learner, so I learn more through having discussions or talking out my thoughts. I think that should have been the case here. I am trying to figure out what it is exactly that still made me feel intimidated. As I am thinking about it, I am actually starting to think about what we talked about in class and what I’ve experienced overall. I think I was afraid that I might say something wrong, even though I know there is no right or wrong thing to say. I think that may have gone along with my assumptions about science people, that they all knew everything and so they might judge my answers to questions, even though deep down I knew that was (is) not true. I am realizing now that, even though I knew there were people from a variety of disciplines in the class, who I could tell were feeling the same things as I was. Even in my other small discussion courses outside of my discipline, I seemed to get comfortable pretty quickly. And, in turn, this is making me have a new appreciation for the forum. I generally do not like blogs or forums for school because I associate them with non-school type things, so it is hard for me to want to always read or post on them. Whenever I have had them in the past, they have been more structured in that you may have to answer is certain question or talk about something specific. But this forum was more like talk about something we talked about. It was more free and I like having structure. I think this would have made my postings better. The one good thing I did find was that sometimes people were able to articulate “my” thoughts better than I could. I mention this in one of my responses, and I actually say “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” Sometimes I really do have an idea that I cannot always seem to articulate in words (vocal or written). That can be frustrating when I think it’s an idea that may interest a lot of people, or that other people may have thought about before and cannot articulate themselves. That comment was a response to someone writing about the question of agency and people not always realizing that they are always influencing or being influenced by other people.

            For me the best part of the course was the final project. I really liked working with Dakota. I feel like we both learned a lot about each other and the class. It helped me recognize that I had similar thoughts and ideas as someone else and we both felt the same way about where we were in the class. It allowed me to learn from someone else on a more personal level. I usually not like collaborating with people, but after this presentation, I was quick to jump on the opportunity to continue the collaboration on the final webpaper. This was a great decision because I was able to continue learning from this other person. I was able to correct my assumptions about biology and other natural science majors and to correct her assumptions about political science and other social science majors. So for someone like me who likes to work independently, it takes something special for me to seek a partner to collaborate with.

            In the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to be happier. This may sound like a broad goal, but it’s an achievable one. Throughout the year I’ve taken small steps to achieve that goal. The goal of happiness is a never-ending one. It will stop when you stop wanting it. Everything I have learned this year, inside and outside the classroom, has helped me. I feel like this class has really taught me a lot that I can use to continue this down the path to happiness. If I allow myself to be aware of others trying to influence me, if I remind myself that there are multiple paths to reach the same goal, that there is no right or wrong, I will succeed in reaching my goal. As Jillian Michael’s says “why choose failure when success is an option?”

 

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