Friday, March 29, 2013

Why am I taking...PHIL 102?

This is the first in a series of posts on, "Why am I taking...?"  written by your PALS.

Often times when you find yourself sitting in that 3-hour lecture once a week, you often wonder, “When am I EVER going to use this in my teaching?” In Philosophy 102 you will learn basic concepts of critical thinking and be able to identify and evaluate arguments. As a teacher the most important factor of teaching is assessment, this is where the students’ understanding will be reflected. During assessment it is important to ask for explanations and evidence.  If we are capable of evaluating a student’s argument, we can then distinguish whether or not the student understood the content that was taught.  In this class you will learn that there are various manners of creating a reasonable argument, and you will be presented with an abundance of these ways in this course.  Ultimately, you learn that there can be more than one direct answer.  This understanding is vital to future teachers because we will be teaching students who have very different thought processes and methods of explaining an idea.  I really enjoyed this class not only because I am more open to different types of responses, but also because my teacher (A. Mirvish) had a really awesome accent that I always looked forward to hearing!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seven Deadly Sins

Sloths. Oh they're cute.  This is one I met in Costa Rica named, Buttercup.  She doesn't look very lazy, but in fact, she would not come down from her perch because she wasn't in the mood.  You're probably wondering why we're starting out with a photo of a three-toed sloth, but slothfulness (laziness) is one of the seven deadly sins, you'll see the connection soon.

Peer Advisors in Liberal Studies (PALS) were recently asked to respond to the following prompt as a class assignment.

“The classic treatise called ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ identifies how certain self-inflicted attitudes can corrupt our lives.  Examples are greed, jealousy, anger, pride, lust, laziness and excess.  Do you see illustrations of these factors impacting your friends, community, or on campus?  How do you avoid potentially destructive attitudes?  What can you do when you are affected by such behaviors of others?”

We thought you might be interested to hear what your peers think about the so-called, Seven Deadly Sins, especially with the movement initiated by President Zingg, your student leaders, faculty and staff toward bringing positive changes to Chico through the Community Call of Action and the Campus Commitment to Action Summit.  Leave comments below or on Facebook and tell us what you think.  How do we minimize tendencies toward excess in our community?

“Laziness and excess are two of these attitudes that I see have the greatest impact on the Chico State campus.  I see students drinking and partying to excess, which in turn leads to laziness in their school-work.  Although all of the drinking and partying at Chico State is considered "the norm" for a college student to participate in, I understand that it is an extremely self-destructive and unfulfilling lifestyle when the next day comes.  These attitudes of laziness and excess are definitely destructive, and it takes surrounding yourself with friends who are willing and able to keep you accountable in order for any progress to be made in conquering these crippling attitudes.  Although it is easy to get sucked into these behaviors and attitudes of others, it is important to remind yourself of your priorities and what you want to be about so that you don't continue to be affected negatively by the behaviors of others.”

“I believe laziness is a common “deadly sin” that consumes many college students on campus. I have witnessed students in some of my classes who moan and groan at the sound of “more homework” or “more reading” that is assigned by the teacher. It baffles me when people respond to more work in this way, because essentially isn't part of the process of learning and obtaining an education applying effort and work into your schooling?”

 “In my tutoring sessions I encourage my students to, from the beginning of the semester, ‘soar high’ when setting goals. So many students get in the trap of setting low goals like ‘passing the class with a minimum grade.’ And from my experience, I find those types of students who aim low usually don’t pass or barely make it. I encourage them to put in “A” effort, dedicated time and effort in studying; doing the assignments, and hard work that might be required.  It is a mystery why the phrase “hard work” seems to be either foreign words or an option for students when it comes to succeeding in school.”

“I personally believe hard work might not be the most enjoyable task to participate in, but the benefits are truly rewarding.  I sometimes fall in the trap of doing the “bare minimum” to pass a class when I am uninterested in the subject. But the times when I spend time studying, reading, or doing the assignments I gain an more of an appreciation and understanding of the subject matter.   I think to counter and avoid destructive attitudes like laziness, it requires a person to take an extra step forward, and that extra ounce of energy to see what comes following hard work. Once a person begins to see the benefits of hard work, it could motivate them to not pursue laziness or “bare minimum” options.”

“When I am around people who could exhibit laziness, I tend to easily fall in that same posture. It is hard to be motivated to do hard work sometimes when other people around you don’t value or see it as a priority. During these situations though, I could try to be the motivator and encourage my friends or roommates to get together to spend a few hours doing homework or studying. Having that support or encouragement to do hard work to combat laziness from others is really helpful.”

“Laziness is something I am surrounded by. I don't know if it's the same for you, but it's true.  I must admit I am prone to that disease every once in a while, although I try to stay away from it considering I used to be extremely lazy and want to avoid the old me.  I think it is the most prevalent in some of my classes more than anywhere else.  It is such a common thing to see students who didn't do work or my favorite, will take the energy to come all the way to class and just sit and play games on their phone or laptop; that has to be a special kind of laziness. Although it would be awkward for me to confront strangers about their laziness, I try to help others I know or people who seek help by relating to them. It is so easy to be lazy and take the easy road out, but it's not worth it. That is something that is hard to tell people without them experiencing themselves; but if they just get a small taste of accomplishment, it is hard to pass up. Being lazy is also something that can be okay in small doses; when you do work hard all the time and sometimes need a break, it becomes a necessity and something to work towards instead of doing in place of work!”

“Beginning college and not knowing anyone was a scary thing.  I had a tight knit group of friends back in high school that I had grown up with.  We were extremely close and wanted nothing but the best for one another.  Every single one of us was extremely thoughtful and had the best interest of one another at heart.  However, once I began school at CSU, Chico, I no longer had that tight knit group of friends that were extremely giving to one another and just found that those that I was surrounded by only had their self- interest at heart.  I believe that greed is one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” that is most common among people I have met.  (It may just be because I am used to be surrounded by the most giving people I have ever met.)  Greed does not mean only money.  I have seen people be greedy with other things aside from being money hungry.  Although I become extremely frustrated that not everyone is as thoughtful and giving as they should be, I have to deal with it.  Ways in which I deal with my frustrations that some people are greedy, I realize that I am one person who can make a difference.  I strive to be thoughtful and caring in hopes that I can make a difference in someone else’s day.  I think that in order to be around someone who has a destructive attitude it is important to be patient and calm.  Also, maybe talking to the person about their behaviors in a very nice, formal way would be beneficial because that person may not know that they are having a bad attitude.  When I become affected by someone who is greedy, I just have to tell myself that there are a ton of thoughtful and giving people who are more important in my life than the greedy ones."

I feel as if laziness towards education is affecting two of my friends’ future. They graduated with me and still haven't found out what they want to major in. Sure many people don't have a major declared yet, but it's their third year and they are leaving it off too much. We all work in the same job and I tell them that they can't make a living cleaning tables all day. Once you have a family their checks aren't going to cut it. I constantly tell them to stop being lazy and declare a major and start changing their lives! I honestly don't listen what they tell me when they start saying how, "who cares." It's like...your parents care!! That's who! I try to help them understand that they have to start their lives now, not 5 years from now, or realize when they are 4 years into Butte College and haven't even finished their general education.”