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Abby Em's picture

Some Credit to our Colleges

We discussed last week the deficiency of an education (or simply an understanding of education,) that focused simply on classroom learning rather than life experience and more personal growth...and I couldn't help thinking that it was unfair to use this is blanket criticize institutional learning, particularly when you consider Haverford and Bryn Mawr. I did customs week for the third time this year, a whole week with barely any mention to the academic side of college. We taught each other about our backgrounds and the effect on multiculturalism, the honor code, how to keep ourselves and each other safe while exploring new opportunities, and how our secrets and the ability to trust each other with them makes us aware of our capacity for unity and compassion in disagreement as well as when on the same page. We spend about 12 hours a week in class (if we're lucky humanities majors ;) ) in class, and though another block of time is then devoted to homework, we make a life here at school, not a life that is school in the structured sense of the word. We come here to learn, but learning happens at Plenary too, and afinity group meetings, and just living side-by-side with others. The institution is designed to teach freedom, and to teach outside of the realm of academic achievement. I just think that's important credit to give.

On a completely different subject, not related to last class but to what I hope to get from the rest of the class, I want to emphasize a focus on not only policy, but how individual brain development factors into processing new information (and dealing with new social requirements- c'mon, you know that was the harder part of kindergarten) through childhood as well as adulthood. What causes us to retain new information? What individual differences account for different learning styles, focuses, and speeds? There's a lot of information, as well as the discussion, that I'd like to learn from this semester. :) 

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