Megan Bernick- megbern97
Journey Log 1
Habits of Mind: Curiosity and Openness
This past week, we were introduced to the eight habits of the mind. Our first reading heavily focused on curiosity. After reading all of the readings, I started to see how connected these habits are to one another. The two habits that I personally think go hand in hand are curiosity and openness. In order to be curious, one must also demonstrate openness. For example, if Alice was not willing to go out of her comfort zone and follow this mysterious rabbit, her curiosity wouldn't have mattered. Additionally, if Alice was always willing to consider new ways of thinking about the world, this mindset would be offset by a lack of curiosity. If she was not curious enough to learn about different aspects and consider a new perspective, then she would not do so.
Without curiosity, the article "What Your Selfie Says About You" would not have been written. The mother who makes the headlines is overcome with curiosity about her daughter's selfie. She wants to know why teens take selfies and what message they are trying to send (as if they even think about that). The author had to exhibit openness to try and think from this mother's point of view and come up with additional content, examples, and perspective on this topic.
Our other readings like "Beginning", "Paying Attention", "Exploring", and "Reflecting" all have some indication of curiosity, openness, or both. "Beginning" discusses confronting the unknown, and has an essay specifically on curiosity. It also talks about how all of my life I have been confounded to a specific set of rules and expectations defined by my pre-collegiate educators. As far as I'm concerned, the five paragraph essay that some of my previous instructors have held on a pedestal has been long dead. In my junior and senior year of high school, a few of my teachers had the decency to offer us a break from the confinements of the 5 paragraph structure. I was fortunate enough to be able to write a few research papers (which had many more than 5 paragraphs) that were structured in a way that made sense and also allowed me to state my ideas while giving the essay a natural flow and transition. That is what I was looking most forward to about writing in college. I knew that the dreaded standardized test format of my essay would soon come to an end. I think this could have been one of the reasons that I never really enjoyed writing anything in high school, middle school, elementary school, or honestly ever.
"Paying Attention" was interesting to me because it overlapped very much with the chapter reading I had to do for my public speaking class. It has always fascinated me how easy it is to fake-pay-attention. I could be making eye contact with you while nodding my head along to your story about how your mom got mad at you for whatever it was this time, and still my mind will be in a hundred different places. As you go on your rant, I'm thinking about the puppy that just walked past, or the homework I don't want to do, or just how much I need a nap. It goes in one ear and out the other; it's a classic interpretation of what happens when my dad reprimands me for something trivial, just because he is in a bad mood. Honestly, you could have read every word of this without even paying attention. I could be writing this without paying attention to the words that are formed by me just mindlessly pressing letters on my MacBook keyboard. Who knows.
I sort of touched on "Exploring" in my opening about Alice, but another part of this reading that I quite enjoyed was the bit about creative writing. Anyone can just sit here and rattle off facts and dates about the early exploration of the world. It takes a true artist to transform those numbers and facts into a metaphor, or a story that keeps the reader engaged long enough to care and maybe even learn a little something from all of their extensive research.
"Reflecting" had to be my least favorite. It might just be because last semester I spent way too much of my time sitting in a class learning about "language as a tool of the modern world". Honestly it just bores me to sit and learn about the "importance of words" when I have heard that 1000 times and when someone could be spending their time writing something that could make a difference. Don't get me wrong, reflecting on your work and realizing that language is important is something we should all do. However, beating a dead horse is not something I enjoy participating in.
The assignments we did these first two weeks were an interesting twist on the usual "introduce yourself" assignments. This whole class is structured to not be boring, which I appreciate. Introducing myself with an avatar and gamer tag helped to switch up the typical "name, hometown, and interesting fact" routine that we seem to have fallen into. It helped me see how I want to present myself and the key things that define me as me. I also liked the biography assignment, however, I did not exactly get the point (if there was one? no offense) other than to loosen us up and be creative.
This class, in my opinion, is going to be a better take on the traditional English class (which I usually hate). However, you will be happy to know that I can see myself not hating this class like I have most of my previous English classes.