Debate Self Reflection Essay

The Whole Perspective

Each course that I sign up for is enrolled in with the intent that it will contribute to my life in some way.Whether that contribution is in the form of knowledge toward my major and future career, or a sense of personal enlightenment, each class makes its mark on my path of higher education.The University Studies course, “Cyber Millennium”, exemplified this idea by teaching me about how I function as a student in an age of rapidly advancing technology.

Before I took this course, I considered myself to be a more traditional learner; someone who learned best through classic methods of lecture and study.I felt that I was able to learn more from professors and lecturers who were qualified in the subject material.I preferred to listen and to take notes while the professor conveyed information to me that I would later review and utilize in some paper or assignment that I would work on later in the confines of my room.I never really felt the need to participate in class by prompting questions or providing input on the material.I was never too fond of group activities because I assumed that there was nothing I could learn from my class mated that I couldn’t learn from the professor.

The University Studies course has redefined my views on learning and has made apparent to me the vast amounts of learning opportunities that extend beyond the teacher student relationship.Over the course of this term, I encountered situations where I was made to work with different groups of people.I heard other people’s opinions and gave my own.Working in these groups has taught me that there are a great many valuable things that I can learn from my classmates that I could not learn from the teacher.Working with a collective mind helped me to see ideas that would have never crossed my mind had I been working on the assignment alone.I understand now the importance of learning from others and how well I feel I am able to contribute.Having the eyes of many people from different backgrounds and mentalities can shed a whole new light on a project.Everyone has a different perspective to share.Sometimes to see the world as a whole, one needs the view from every angle.

The course helped me to grow as a learner by implementing activities such as group projects and debates that required me to interact and voice my opinion.The course centers on a strong group mentality which is integrated into the assignments.I have been in debate groups that require all of the members to meet and discuss the best strategy for arguing our point.Activities like this allow everyone to contribute their opinion and play a part in the success of the group.Quite often the lectures are guided by the input that the class provides.This creates an environment where I feel comfortable to share my opinion and take an interest in hearing the opinion of others.The students feel like a part of the course rather than bodies at attention.All of these things have helped me to understand that knowledge is more than just the books and the notes; it’s the people around me.

The structure of the class and how it was instructed allowed me to experience many new ways of interacting as a student, but the subject matter covered in the course opened up my mind to the many issues and conflicts that surround me as student in an age of technology.Having grown up in a time where technology, computers, and the internet are tightly woven into my daily life, it becomes difficult to see the way that these new things impact the word and the effects that they are having on society because I have never known any other world outside of the technology filled one that we experience today.

Before taking this course there were many things in this are that I had never considered before.I had never thought about the dangers and complications that technology can have when implemented in areas such as voting and human enhancement.Every day, as a student, countless pieces of technology in all shapes and forms pass through my hands as I am constantly bombarded with information from all over the word on my laptop, my phone, even my watch.The Cyborg Millennium course has served as a mental pause from this bombardment; a chance to step back and analyze the technology and the information that is looming over my shoulder at all times.

I have learned that, in spite of the abundant benefits of new technology, there are many potential problems that can too often go overlooked.Technology has the potential to become more a part of our lives than we are.Humans can lose themselves in the technology that surrounds them every day. Being a student in a world where everyone is constantly plugged in to some piece of technology can be distracting and overwhelming at times.Life seems to move at a faster pace with each year that passes, and this can be a daunting presence in a student’s life.

The University Studies course has provided the atmosphere in which to assess these looming problems, to learn how to confront them and, with the proper knowledge and awareness, to find a balance.In this course I have studied and research the essence of what it means to be human and how technology has affected that concept.Through movies, essays, and books, I have learned of the many dangers of technology.Though the depictions on most of the books and movies were rather extreme or apocalyptic, they all seemed to be making the same assertion; technology will either consume humanity or become humanity.In my portfolio I have included several essays that I have written on this topic because I find it to be a particularly important one.The lesson that I have taken away from this course in respects to that subject is that the future is world encased in the technology that we are creating every day, and is such a new world it will be important to retain the ethical and moral compass that defines our best human characteristics today.Many of the papers that I have written and included in the portfolio elaborate on this idea.

The goals of this course highlight ethical responsibility and the ability to communicate with and understand other people and their diverse experiences.Having taken this course I feel that the best way to understand these concepts about humanity is by understanding what is not human, what threatens humans, the things in the world that could deprive us of our individuality and humility.By learning to appreciate and understand the diversity of humanity I have learned to cherish what makes us humans, and see that there is a world apart from the humming technology that floods every house, office, and classroom in America.That world is the world of human experience.What we experience as human beings and how we interact with one another is what will lead us to retain the ethical guidelines as we approach a future where such concepts will be hard to define.

Throughout the year that I have taken this course, I have come to recognize these concepts and the importance that they have in our society.I feel as though I have become a better student, a student more able to function in college and in life, because I have taken time to understand the world of technology around me, and how it affects everything that I do in my life.Having the opportunity to interact with my peers and discuss the subject matter with them, both in class and in mentor session, has helped me to better communicate my own experiences as a student and as a computer science major.Since my major directly pertain to the material discussed in the class, I found it very enlightening to hear all of the other students discuss their views on technology in society and the experiences that they have had with it.

There is one particular assignment that I remember from the course that really sums up the teachings in this course.The assignment was for every student to write a brief essay about the first interaction that they ever had with technology and how it impacted them.I wrote about my father and the first time that he took me to the Museum.I remember the overwhelming intrigue and fascination with almost magical instruments that surrounded me.Each student shared their essay in class and I was able to hear others’ stories and memories.What I found interesting about the assignment was that every student in the class had begun to experience technology in their lives at around the same time, when we were all very young.It struck me that my generation truly is the first generation of technology.No generation before ours has been born and raised in the birth and advancement of modern technology.

As a generation that shares such a unique time frame of growth, it will be our task to decide how humanity and technology evolve together in the future.The goals of the University Studies course have embraced all of the tools necessary to help me succeed in a world of technology.Technology can bring the world together in so many ways, but can also provide everyone with their own world of isolation behind computer screens and iPod headphones.This course has allowed me to open up and communicate with others.These opportunities are important in order to gather and generate the skills that are necessary to succeed in the real world.I have learned that in a world of technology, success is found in one’s ability to communicate without it.

Reflective Essay

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Initial Reflective Essay

When I first thought of what I wanted to do with my life after college, the first thing I thought of was helping people. The next step in deciding what I wanted to do with my life was to exam how I could accomplish this goal. I started pondering and I was thinking about how much I love to take care of my body. Health care and personal hygiene has always been an important factor in my life. So I decided to major in Health Science. With this major, I will be able to further my education in ways to be healthy and possibly learn how to help others. I decided that being a health physician or nutritionist was something that I was really interested in. This is where communication studies came in. I figured that if I minor in communication studies, I could improve my oral and written communication to better help in my future of nutrition.
Communication studies was a good pick for me because, although there is always room for improvement, I can still garnish some more knowledge and information to better improve my oral skills. My personality will really fit into the communication department. I have been told about how fun the communication department can be, and how outgoing people are in the department. I initially liked this a lot because I am very outgoing myself and love to talk to people. I feel that I can be able to exhibit concise messages to people, clearly and efficiently.
Communication is defined in the book as "a systematic process in which individuals interact with and through symbols to create and interpret meaning." (Wood, p.9). The definition can be broken down into four separate parts and they are as follows: process, systematic, symbols, and meaning. Process means that communication is ongoing and always in motion. Systematic focuses on how communication involves a group of interrelated parts that affect one another. Symbols are described as abstract, arbitrary, and ambiguous representations of other things. The key note on symbols is that they do not only include all language, but also include an important aspect of communication which is non-verbal. The fourth and final focus is meaning and is considered the heart of communication. The great thing about meaning is that we create it.

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With such a broad definition, it is easy to see how communication can directly relate to professional opportunities and have a huge impact on that area of your life.
Communication is essential in certain fields where talking and listening are central. I noticed that the book said that many attorneys, counselors, business people, and teachers have majored or minored, which is what I am doing, in communication before moving on to specified fields of study. I found this to be very interesting. I feel that the counseling job is most comparable to what I want to do, and I feel that this degree will definitely help me in that area of profession. It is very important that people understand that success in most professions is directly correlated to having top-notch communication skills.
I decided to take communications 101 and found out real quick that there was a lot more to speech communications than I had realized. I learned many things in my first class and I am excited to take some more classes in this department. I feel that taking interviewing through the communication department is one class that can really help me in my future career, as I will most likely be interviewing for jobs and also interviewing other people and asking them questions about their health, so as I can help them further and make them a better person, inevitably making their life a better place to live.
Not only did I realize that there were many courses in communications that could help me, after my first class, and glancing through the book, I realized that there was so much about communication that I had no idea was even there. There are many aspects of communication like interpersonal, intrapersonal, argument and debate, persuasion, and multicultural that could really help you in all aspects of life. It is amazing how many different areas of study that the communication department can cover, and I am excited to choose four different classes that will help me in my future.
I feel that taking persuasion will help me in my future career. One reason is because I should have to persuade people to listen to me whenever I give advice and learning the different aspects of persuasion and what is right and wrong will definitely help me benefit me in the long run. Another class that I feel I could really benefit my career is multicultural communication. California stands as one of the most diverse states in the country. For this reason, I feel learning more about how to communicate to different cultures, and the signs that other different cultures and ethnicities give off will help me in my career. I hopefully will be working with a lot of different races and ethnicities, and for this reason, I feel that this class will inevitably help me.
Wood talks about cultural impact on page 13 and states that "to be effective, citizens in a democracy must be able to express ideas and to evaluate the ideas of others." (Wood, p.13). He continues to express how this is important in presidential debates, politics and what not; however, I find this idea intriguing and feel that I could apply that approach to the life of a nutritionist. I feel as an effective communicator, I can evaluate the ideas of my patients, while they can also reciprocally apply the same to me, thus, working together to achieve a common goal that I have outlined for them.
The most interesting aspect of communication that I have found so far is interpersonal communication. It is very broad, but it's extremely intriguing and I would love to learn more about it. I like how the book explains the mushroom effect that this field of study has received since the 1960's. The book states that scholars focus on how communication creates and sustains relationships and how partners communicate with each other to deal with their problems, internally and externally. Another great research topic that I would love to further investigate is how the media shapes our expectations of communication in relationships. The media is very manipulative in the way they can control a society to act and feel certain ways. One example I can attest to is when Nelly wore a professional jersey backwards in one of his videos when I was in high school. It was cool in the video, but I noticed everyone started to wear their jerseys backwards after that. I was confused, because I understood that if I had worn a jersey backwards before Nelly did on MTV, then I would inevitably been made fun of, and being the climax of everyone's punch line joke. However, since Nelly did it, it became cool in just a four minute song. This area of study is one that I could really see myself exploring.
All in all, I feel that communication is something that I can really benefit from. Choosing this area of focus for my minor can only add to my credibility when I am seeking a job after I graduate. From the variety of studies that one can look at in communication, the sky is really the limit for exploring and getting to better understand how humans communicate in our society. I am very interested to see what kind of information I can collect and store away from this minor. The opportunities seem endless, and from what I have learned already, I feel that this degree is going to be a nice compliment to my major. In the end, this degree will help me communicate effectively as a nutrition counselor and I will be able to provide a better product for my consumers. I will understand some non-verbal, interpersonal, persuasion, and other general areas of concentration that this minor could afford me. I am looking forward to completing this degree and getting my minor in the communications studies department, here at San Jose State University.



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