I had many different goals for this course that really applied to my schooling on a general level. I’ve personally always had an issue with seeking out help when I really need it and so one of the big goals I had for this course was to not hesitate to ask questions when I’m stuck or just need clarification and really used my classmates, mentor and professor as a valuable resource. On the other end of this, I also wanted to make sure that I was always clear when communicating something to others and also to be available for questions others might have for me. I really challenged myself to be mindful of my audience and consider who I was addressing and determined how to best communicate something based off of that.
• A Role I Improved On
I feel as if there are lot of areas in which I made gains in being a citizen. One of the first things that comes to minds is how to look at things like the media in general and how it is particularly tailored to me or other individuals and usually, whoever is putting forward the type of intentions of the people who put out these media.
A comment I made on a student post in the course blog:
“Although a lot of times I do feel that news articles are working to promote some kind of related agenda, even if only loosely related, I think first and foremost, the news we see on TV for example, are what producers think will be the most compelling which often times means shocking.”
I chose this excerpt because I always used to see the news as merely factual or informative. This class has opened my eyes to things such as the fact that at the end of the day, that most news avenues are trying to win out the others but also to keep their subscribers/viewers/readers which means putting out stories that are exciting or stimulating in someway which is why a lot of stories never make it in major news.
My main comment on the Week 9 blog post also conveys an analysis of why certain stories make the cut:
“I think this article was chosen because it’s an increasing risk for many people and I think there is a slight hope that a greater awareness of the problem will lead to future action. It is newsworthy because it covers a recent, recurring event and something that is still very much a risk for people today.”
I feel like an awareness that everyone in the media has some kind of an agenda was a huge gain for me. It’s something I am commonly either oblivious to or turn a blind eye to which I believe is exactly what allows people in popular culture pass certain messages and oftentimes their biases, under the table. I think this is incredibly important for any citizen to know because it often influences how things are portrayed and can sometimes be intentionally misleading, which means it’s essential that people know how to protect themselves from being misinformed.
• What I’m Taking Away From this Course
I’m incredibly thankful for this course because I do feel like I grew a lot by doing so. Going back to my goals, one of the biggest issues I have had in both my schoolwork and life in general is always hesitating to ask for help when I need it. This is something I really worked on in this course.
In our workshop group, we posted a rough draft of our Mirror Blog in order to get feedback as part of my post I mentioned this:
“I’m sort of unclear as to how much of ourselves we are supposed to insert into the piece as I’m not sure how much we should stick to strict analysis.”
This may not seem like a very big deal, but I’ve never been the type to admit I am struggling with something and so this was a big step for me! It also let my workshop members know how they could most effectively help me in the revision process and they really came through! It made me realize that my peers are usually willing to help and can be a valuable resource if I allow them to be. This is something that I will definitely be able to apply in future coursework and life in general because I am certain I will run into many situations in which allowing someone to help me would be incredibly beneficial.
Another useful skill I gained in this course which I’ve already touched on is being able to analyze different type of popular culture artifacts. I’ve learned that it is incredibly important to not only keep in mind the big picture but also pay special attention to small details.
This is an excerpt from my analysis of an artifact as part of my Research Analysis Worksheet:
“I would like to touch on was the brief moment where the “employer” character mentioned that the “Mexican worker” character should use the garbage bags that were loaned to him…suggested that one, the Mexican worker couldn’t afford his own bags, but also that having his very own bags is something that he clearly wasn’t worthy of since it wouldn’t have cost very much for the employer to just give them to him.”
I found this to be a relevant example because this was a very minor detail in the clip I used for my Mirror Blog post and yet it was very intentional on behalf of the writers of the show and actually carried a pretty heavy meaning that develops the commentary the writers are making on the subject matter. Again, this is important because people should know about the hidden messages in the popular media they consume.
Overall, taking this course has been incredibly beneficial to me and I’m glad I took it before delving even deeper in my field of study as I feel like it will make the process go a lot more smoothly.