Final Reflection Persistence, Curiosity, Openness, & Creativity

After going back and reading my Journey Logs from the semester, it was pretty easy for me to see which Habits of Mind I consider to be the most important. Persistence, curiosity, openness, and creativity were the four habits I used most frequently when writing, and I think this reflects who I am as a thinker, writer, innovator, and student.

Persistence: "the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects".

The habit I used most of all happened to be persistence, which I don't think was by coincidence. Persistence is a characteristic that I have worked on developing throughout my entire life, and is something that I consider to be one of my most valuable qualities. It is a mindset that stems from striving for the absolute best and putting in 110% effort. Whether that means practicing for a few extra hours to perfect a piano concerto, pushing through AP Chemistry even after getting back many failing test grades, or playing through a field hockey season with shin splints, persistence is what separates successful people from average.

This semester, persistence was especially important to me in the Raids I was assigned, especially the annotated bib and monster paper. The annotated bib took me a very long time to do, and I ran into a few problems while doing it the night before (procrastination happens to be probably my greatest weakness). I discussed/complained about some of these problems here:

However, as my Journey Log shows, I ended up staying up until 3:44 am in order to finish everything and make sure that it was something that I would be proud to turn in. Persisting is not always easy, however I do not believe that giving up is ever an option and I would rather fail knowing I gave my all than doing less than my best.

Curiosity: "the desire to know more about the world".

Another Habit of Mind that I found played a big part in my work this semester is curiosity. I think one of the most important things I learned in this class is that research is like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, which I talked a lot about in Journey Log 2.

I always thought of researching as looking for an answer to a question, however the rabbit hole analogy makes a much different point. Whether it be english, political science, sociology, or microbiology, research is not meant to stop after an "answer" is found. Good researchers can dig deeper and deeper into a subject, never reaching an end point but simply learning as much as they can. Curiosity, essentially the love of learning, is what fuels research.

Openness: "the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world".

Openness is something that I noticed coming into play more towards the end of the semester, when we focused on the rhetorical aspects of group word games. In Journey Log 6, I talked about playing the different games and what went right/wrong. While my main focus was flexibility, the lessons learned tie directly into openness as well.

With rhetoric it is important to have the flexibility to adjust and cater to the target audience, but in order to do this, it is necessary to be open to new ideas. A closed mind cannot be flexible.

Creativity: "the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas".

The final and, in my opinion, most important Habit of Mind used this semester was creativity. I love being creative and have always enjoyed doing activities that let me use creativity. The main part of why I enjoyed this semester so much is because this class allowed me to learn in essentially whatever way I chose. I think that the best way to learn is always to find something of interest and hold on to that. For example, the monster paper was genuinely fun for me to write because I was allowed to pick a topic that I liked and was curious to learn more about. My specialization also allows me to use creativity in my reflections. I have made movies, sketched drawings, and even played songs on the piano to add to my Journey Logs. Being able to use creativity keeps me engaged and interested in whatever I am doing.

Journey Log Notes

Overall, I don't think that my Journey Logs changed too much over the course of the semester. The tone of my writing changed week to week, depending on the topic and the things I had going on that week. Sometimes I was more stressed than other times, and usually that was reflected in the form of me complaining about me being stressed. Other times I had a lot of ideas about what to write and reflected more on the readings we had to do for homework, etc. I think I mostly talked about what happened during the previous week and how what I learned in class tied into whatever project I was working on at the time.


Funny story. Originally, I was in a MWF English class with another professor and I attended a total of probably three classes, where I quickly learned that it was going to be extremely dull and by-the-book. One of my best friends was in this "really weird class where everything was based on Minecraft and the professor loved to crochet" but apparently the professor seemed chill and the first assignment was funny so I quickly switched out of the other class and into this one.

Probably the real reason Chris takes so long to grade Journey Logs

To be honest, I think it was the Minecraft got me right away because I used to play when I was younger. I still really enjoy drawing and designing, so Minecraft has been genuinely enjoyable for me this whole time. The only thing that has caused me frustration is that I tend to plan out very elaborate structures and then realize halfway through building them that there is no way in hell that I'm going to be able to finish them on time. This happened with the sanctuary build when I made a huge castle and then ran out of time to fill the inside.


The way this class is set up has forced me to become more open minded and use my creativity to solve problems. I don't necessarily think my writing itself has improved, but my approach to writing definitely has. As discussed previously, the rabbit hole method of research will be something I use for the rest of my college career, especially throughout all the science classes that I have to take for my major. Another lesson that I will take from this class is that it is okay to fail, but there is a difference between failing poorly and failing well.

  • Reflection image:
  • Persistence:
  • Curiosity:
  • Crochet meme:

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