As the semester comes to a close and all the journey logs are submitted, I took time to look back on the main focus of each journey log, the habits of the mind. Each time I sat down to write a journey log I found myself wanting to use the same few habits of the mind; openness, curiosity, engagement, and creativity. Although it was required to cycle through all eight, these four hold the most meaning. I believe that these four hold the most meaning to me because they’re the most relative to my experiences with this course.
Openness, the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world. Without being open to new ideas, I for sure would’ve failed this course. Maybe I wouldn’t have failed it as in make an F, but fail it in a way that I wouldn’t have gotten everything out of it. When I sat in class for the first time and Minecraft was mentioned, all I really knew about it was that it was a thing. And then later on in the semester we started to talk about villains and monsters, yet another subject I never really was in touch with. But just like Neo in The Matrix and Alice in Alice in Wonderland, I had a choice to make; explore the unknown, or quit. I decided to take the “red pill” and learn something new; I was open to a new way of learning (journey log 1 https://spark.adobe.com/page/CM9CQ4kiyXXbB/). Although I was open to this new style of teaching, it wasn’t why I stuck with it, it was my curiosity that drove me to continue with this class.
Curiosity, the desire to know more about the world. Every day we come into contact with our curious side. Although your curious side may get you in trouble every now and then, it is important to remain curious. Curiosity played a pretty big role in my research paper and credit that side of me for achieving a great grade. I had already known quite a bit about the Wicked Witch of the West but there was still so much more. I was able to find her in new literature that I didn’t even know about. Being curious helped me succeed in this class because for once, an English class wasn’t boring, it kept you wanting to learn more and to remain engaged.
Engagement, a sense of investment and involvement in learning. English has always been my worst and least favorite subject. I would say I hate in because it was boring and I didn’t get good grades because I felt I couldn’t write. This semester I found out I can write but I need to be passionate about it. The research paper was the longest paper I ever wrote and I was shocked when I got me grade back; it was one of a few As I have received on my writing. I believe that I was able to compose a great essay because I was engaged with the topic. It started off with Wicked and my love for musical theatre. Once I had found all my research everything flowed together to the point where the writing process wasn’t completely miserable. Along with enjoying what I was writing about and remaining engaged, this class let us all share our creative side.
Creativity, the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas. Though creativity plays into every piece of writing it was in Minecraft where I really got to explore and present my creative side. I have always liked creating physical object, when I was little I probably built over 30 Lego sets and for me Minecraft was like big kid Legos. I have never been good with words so being able to incorporate something like Minecraft into a class really helped me out and kept my spirits up with English.
So will I continue to use these habits of the mind? This is a question that I don’t think you actually can say no to; after all, they are habits. I think the only way to not use these habits of the mind is if you were to purposely avoid them. So yes, I will continue to utilize not just these but all of the habits of the mind in the future.
Minecraft. I have quite a love-hate relationship with this game that has been expressed throughout my journey logs. In the beginning I thought it was the best thing ever, I mean it was better than writing. But as the end of the semester got closer and closer I got pretty fed up with it. In journey log 9 I claim that “there are still aspects of Minecraft that tend to drive me up the wall” (https://spark.adobe.com/page/Qf005geQ7aRfT/). But if I were to describe how I feel about Minecraft it would be that it’s a rollercoaster. Some days I loved it and I thought it was lots of fun but other days when you have to restart your whole build, it sucks. I do think I will continue to play Minecraft just because I think it’s fun, but I’m going to have to get better at planning my builds.
I talked about this a little in my habits of the mind section but I do believe that my writing as gotten better and I’ve been able to express my creative side better since this class has come to an end. Before I took this course I didn’t believe that I was ever going to be a decent writer but that has changed. I need to write about what I like and what interests me. If I begin to broaden my knowledge I will probably be able to find more things that interest me and then be able to write about more topics. This was something I didn’t realize before this class. And for my creativity, I think I’ve always been creative and this class just gave me a new outlet to express that side of myself.
You can definitely see a change in my journey logs throughout the semester. In the beginning of the semester I was a Ranger so my first few journey logs have a lot of facts and information in them but aren’t very personal. I think that my journey logs peaked around journey log 6. For journey log 6 I made a glide show and talked about my research paper incorporating responsibility and metacognition into my writing. Once I changed over to a warrior I think my journey logs began to decline. I wasn’t utilizing all that Adobe Spark had to offer and I think I began to focus more on word count than quality of writing. I also became more cynical for sure. I think at the time I was writing my last few journey logs I had a lot of work due for each class and I wasn’t appreciating the amount of time Minecraft was taking out of my day. Regardless, I think that the journey logs made me a better writer and let me explore this informal style of writing, a style I have grown to like quite a bit.