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Dr. Oakley

Freshman Seminar (W)

September 2006

Never Judge a Book...

I am an examiner, an adventurer, an investigator and an observer. All of these qualities come forth prominently through being a student. Life is a journey of learning, I believe in being a student throughout life and I will take a front row seat. Through being a student, I've learned not only about the concepts at hand, however about myself as well. To perform optimally, one must discover what motivates them. I am a student who is motivated by a desire to acquire knowledge of anything and everything. Curiosity of the unknown inspires me to learn, I want to know what I don't already know. Also an underlying but important motivation is financial need. In our society it is nearly impossible to survive or provide for a family based on an income lacking a college degree. Also an inspiration of mine as a student is setting a prime example for my siblings of how very important an education is. With glamorous images of professional athletes and rock stars flooding the media, the concept of education being so valuable is often undermined. Though I feel that being a student can be fun, the hard work will result in the accomplishment of completion of a degree which will be rewarding for all of my life. Being educated is a valuable quality that no one may take from you. I am motivated to be a desirable asset in our society's work force. My intentions through learning as a student is to one day become a teacher. Every aspect of being a student, whether it be reading, writing, or being taught present opportunities to explore beyond facts and into the depths of your own mind and thoughts. Being a good student means allowing one's self to let go of preconceived notions and acknowledge other points of view and information, which is also important as a teacher.

Learning comes most easily to me visually. Observations are endless when one opens their mind to learning. Visual awareness can provoke thoughts and ideas that closed minded thinking will cancel entirely. Creating diagrams, webs, or making symbols allows me to better understand the relationships between ideas and concepts. When I represent information with images, I am able to focus on their meanings and remember the information with more ease. Learning through discovery is one of life's most underrated excitements. I love to see things for myself and having an open mind allows me to do so. Words of wisdom once spoken that I hold true everyday, "The only stupid question is the one not asked." I've found that information that is ascertained through asking questions not only clears up any uncertainties but may also answer to inquiries I didn't know that I had. Making my own assessment of a situation may be perceived very differently than through the eyes of someone else. Through observations, one discovers things that may not be clear upon taking things at face value. Judgment of the unknown closes many doors and that is not a risk that I am willing to take. The whole world is a classroom, those of us who have their eyes and minds open will learn on a much deeper level than students who turn off their skills as a student when the bell rings.

As a writer I pour my thoughts into my work, only to later be organized and constructed into proper form. References are pulled from my mind like folders from a file cabinet, relating my ideas to concepts and memories from real life experience. A high school teacher of English assigned a project that taught me to produce my work in that manner. "Pull out a sheet of paper and just write, for now there can be no flaw in your thoughts" she said. Hands raised and a chaotic chatter erupted as our class had never been given an assignment similar to this. "Write whatever you're thinking, as long as your mind allows you thoughts you may continue writing," she persisted. As I dug through my scattered desk for more clean paper, it was only then that I truly discovered the power of the mind and its continuous cycle of thoughts. Allowing your mind to guide your pen without any inhibitions is a skill that is priceless to me as a student. The editing process allows for this free writing without worry of format or grammatical accuracy. Writing is a release; it allows me to disperse my scattered thoughts into a coherent reading for someone else to get a snapshot into my mind. Every individual's mind contains beliefs, views, feelings, and opinions that are otherwise contained unless verbally released or done so in written form. Whether it is in a notebook, a diary, even through a thesis, writing allows the mind to purge emotions and ideas

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