This past semester we have written many journey logs, reflecting each week on the readings, assignments, and concepts from class. The focus on the habits of mind in this class kept a central focus on what we have learned, as well as providing strong goals to work toward during the next week. All together certain aspects of my journey logs remained the same, while the trends changed slightly.
Habits of Mind
Four most important habits of mind I have learned this semester:
I chose these four because, looking back on my previous journey logs, these were the four that I constantly struggled with and always had the most to write about. As the semester progressed, I definitely improved in these four areas. However I also continued to struggle at times with these concepts. Each of these habits of mind go hand in hand with the willingness to accept new concepts or even unenjoyable topics. Obviously by reading any one of my journey logs you can tell I didn't appreciate using Minecraft during class. However these habits of mind first helped me pin point my issues with the class, and work toward accepting it. Identifying these didn't completely make everything better, it's still a work in progress. But through these I will continue working on the acceptance.
I first discussed the concept of openness in Journey Log 2, particularly when we were assigned the research paper on monsters. I struggled to be open to ideas there, and then again throughout the journey logs as Minecraft became more prevalent in class. I knew I had to be better at this habit of mind. As the class went on, I found that I would struggle at first and then improve with each raid or project.
Flexibility was also a huge one for me to adapt and be accustomed to the class, especially toward the end. When there were multiple raids and various dates that they could be due (decided by us) I had a difficult time. I discussed flexibility during Journey Log 8, which is when I realized how being flexible could improve my attitude. I mostly focused on using flexibility to be proactive instead of procrastinating, as well as to have a more positive outlook on this class. I began to apply it during those last few raids, and will continue to use this to have a better attitude about things in life I don't particularly like.
Like flexibility, persistence often comes into play to help me with my procrastination. In Journey Log 7 I did discuss persistence with Minecraft, but also with the research paper. I disliked my topic and lost all interest in writing the paper, as well as trying to find ways to improve it. After the peer editing, however, things were looking up. Having other people look at my paper shed a new light on how I had written it and allowed me to improve upon it. I went on to say that when I dislike something, I quit. Luckily for me in this case, peer editing was built into the project to be a second wind of motivation to finish the project. From this experience I realized that I need to take a step back when frustrated and return to the project with fresh eyes at a later time.
Throughout Journey Log 4 I found the helpfulness of engaging in readings to find the credibility of authors. Engagement next appeared in Journey Log 9, this time on Raid 7. Journey Log 4 showed the struggles I had with engagement, and how I first learned to improve myself in this area through our readings on thinking critically. I then applied the concepts we learned throughout the semester on being engaged for Raid 7 in which I knew that I get frustrated with tasks I don't like, and therefore I made sure to change up the projects within the grading limits to keep myself engaged. That was one of the most valuable lessons I've learned: change and work tasks to make them more enjoyable to me, and therefore more likely to be accomplished.
Journey Log Trends
Looking back at all of the Journey Logs I've written this semester, one trend that definitely stands out are my writings on the frustrations I had with this class. Very often I'd write about a struggle I had with a certain project, and then the next week I would discuss the habits of mind that taught me how to deal with that in a better way. For example, in Journey Log 8 I wrote about my apprehension with all of the upcoming raids. I knew I struggled with Minecraft, and I was worried about the time it would take me to complete all of these projects. The next week, Journey Log 9, I discussed my decision to draw the Raid 7 instead of building it in Minecraft. Engagement and meta cognition were used to help with my struggles of creativity and flexibility from the week before.
As the semester progressed, I think my attitude became slightly more optimistic. Particularly with the Journey Logs- I began to notice that trend of struggling one week and having it figured out the next. The actual writing of the Journey Logs helped with this as well because I was realizing how helpful the habits of mind are and how to use them to my own advantage.
The first Journey Log in which I discuss Minecraft is the seventh one. I didn't like it then, I don't like it now. However in the beginning it was just all negative attitude. But now I think I grew to be more accepting of the game, even though I never really enjoyed it. As I said before, this process was really helped because of the habits of mind. I recognized my frustrations and could even put a name to them, which helped me to slowly work to growing and overcoming them. Each of the four habits of mind I mentioned, openness, engagement, persistence, and flexibility, significantly helped with my attitude toward Minecraft this semester.
Writing/Creativity/Ways of Thinking
I absolutely see improvement in my ways of thinking. This is particularly because of the strong focus on the habits of mind. Being able to identify the exact area I am struggling with helped me tremendously this semester.
Creativity has improved as well for me. This class pushed me to find ways to adapt to projects and make them more enjoyable. Raid seven, for example, had a variety of ways it could be completed. This allowed us to be creative in the ways we created the structure and ensured each of us would continue to enjoy it.
I don't really feel that my writing has improved this semester. Our big piece of writing was the research paper. I liked the first draft of my paper, however after that it grew to be less and less my own words. After all of the editing and comments made by other people it wasn't even really structured the way I had in mind and didn't sound like my writing at all. I guess that's more of a me problem and I could have worked harder to make it my own. If I had done that I probably would feel that my writing improved.
The aspect of this class that helped me the most was the focus on the habits of mind. Writing weekly Journey Logs truly helped me focus on how I was growing and where else I needed to improve. Overall I learned to be more accepting and adaptive to new ideas.