Saturday, January 16, 2010

College# Overview (Nov 11, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, November 11, 2009)

[[[ this note gives a brief overview of my classes this semester ]]]
[[[ please make sure that you read the PDP section of epiphany ]]]

New Testament
Interesting class. Intimidating. Rumor on the streets is that I have a really tough professor. Yeah, he's not so bad. Especially now that he is showing himself to be less biased and more concerned with the virtues of compassion and loving relationships. Hello, kindred spirit. I seem to be finding a lot of kindred spirits lately. I'm doing the work required for the course and Prof. Watson is not difficult. I am not, however, looking forward to writing my paper. But I'll be okay. Just not excited about having to do all the work on my paper in the library. However, I am enjoying the class, learning from it, and enjoying the opportunities to apply what I am learning. That's the whole point.

Introduction to Western Music
Worst class ever. Worst teacher ever. I did not pick this course, but it sounded interesting. And hey, music class for non-music majors? That'll be cake! It would be cake if my professor didn't have Alzheimer's! Even after resolving myself to take a proactive approach to this class and to not rely on my forgetful teacher to teach me, although I do feel I am doing better in the course, the class itself continues to act as a mechanism for misjudgment personal insult. Dr. Adams repeatedly makes a point of how he would bet we don't listen to anything but what is popular and implies that, because of this, we could not possibly be capable of appreciating non-modern, non-popular music (classical). To me, this is very insulting because I not only enjoy classical music, but also because the modern music I do listen to is typically less-than pop. Granted, his statements and implied opinions are true for the majority, but this kind of blanket stereotype is insulting to the non-majority and is therefore unacceptable.

Also a frustrating class because most of my classmates react to songs sung in German, Italian, or Latin by saying that they didn't enjoy them because they couldn't understand the words. Can one not enjoy something that is incapable of being understood? I do not sympathize with my classmates because many of my favorite artists do not sing in English (Rammstein, Vitas, etc). Sure, you might not be able to enjoy the actual text (in the case of Rammstein, you don't want to), but this presents the opportunity to appreciate the voice as an instrument, rather than a communicator.

I am proud to be in the minority, as long as I get to rant about it. Thanks music class, for showing me that Mr. Rodkey rightly deserves to be on the influence list for having a substantial influence in developing me as a cultured individual.

Intermediate Spanish I
Oh, Spanish, I loved you two years ago. Not so much anymore. But that's not so important. I'm pretty much acing the class, even if I may never be able to communicate in Spanish to any practical degree. If a job offer came down to it, I could probably pick it up well enough to function, especially if I were constantly in that environment. But hey, I'm getting A+'s and I don't have to take Chemistry, so yay!

Measurement and Statistics
I feel like I'm not learning as well as I was before the first test. But I continue to ace the homework and turn it in early and annoy Dr. Young with my over-achiever personality and... my survey project is coming together pretty well, I just have a bucket load of data entry to do. I have to dummy code for my 5-point likert scale and then enter the answers of forty students to twenty likert questions. Yay. And then analyze it. And fix my powerpoint. And present it. And take the two finals (practical and multiple choice).

Personal Development Portfolio
Ugh. Good concept, poorly executed. I had an epiphany tonight and can now explain what I mean by this. Good concept, poorly executed. There are four pillars of the PDP program: Citizenship and Community Responsibility, Intellectual Curiosity, Spiritual-Ethical Growth, Physical-Emotional Health. I have realized that all of these are inherently interconnected. Citizenship and Community Responsibility means thinking critically about how you can contribute and taking responsibility for that contribution. Intellectual Curiosity means thinking critically about everything and taking responsibility for your knowledge. Spiritual-Ethical Growth means thinking critically about your values and taking responsibility for your convictions. Physical-Emotional Health means thinking critically about behavior and taking responsibility for your well-being. Anyone else see a pattern?

The four pillars are striving for the exact same character traits. PDP is so backwards.

In New Testament, we are studying Romans in order to establish a representative view of Paul and his teachings. In Romans, chapters 1-11 portray Paul's theology and chapters 12-16 portray his ethics. Unlike Judaism, where the law (ethical behavior) brings one to the proper theology, Paul understood that ethical behavior would flow naturally AFTER the proper theology had been established.

PDP is structured like Judaism. The four pillars are emphasized in order to try and establish the character traits of thinking critically and taking responsibility, but, just like what typically happens in Judaism, the law begins to overshadow the faith-relationship (key concept). The pillars are overshadowing the character traits (key concepts).

PDP is so backwards... trying to instill the character traits by focusing on the pillars, rather than focusing on building up, encouraging, and inspiring those traits. Now the pillars overshadow the traits and their priority (the character of being first, prior) give them the appearance of being more important than the actual character traits.

PDP is so backwards. It would be much easier, less frustrating, and more effective if PDP focused on building up, encouraging, and inspiring the traits of critical thinking and responsibility. And, by instilling these traits, everything would flow naturally from this bettered individual, including the four pillars.

[[[ if you caught it, I made a controversial statement in this note ]]]
[[[ something controversial enough to get me shunned by some ]]]

[[[ oh, but those that would shun me already have ]]]

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