The assignments are not designed to test how well you can parrot back or regurgitate ideas or information, but rather, how well you have understood them within the context of your own identity and life: past, present, and future. The assignments then, are designed to assist you in better understanding not only the course but the course as it is relative to yourself, others and life in general. The purpose of these assignments is one of creativity and exploration. They are not meant to exploit you by forcing you to simply fulfill a requirement that your instructor has deemed important and, or valuable. Exploitation is the genesis of all forms of plagiarism and that is neither the function nor the goal of education. Assignments, rather, are an invitation towards self-interest, and consequently, self-discovery—the true definition of selfishness. In other words, it is hoped that you can gain sufficient enjoyment by being in the company of yourself, your thoughts and your feelings so that you can produce memorable and magnificent works of writing-art that can be shared with others.
Points to consider:
You will not be able to adequately respond to the following questions if you have not read the textbook/article readings, listened to audio/s, and watched videos that have been assigned for the week that the reflection papers are due (depending on the week, a combination of all or some of the listed methods of delivery will vary).
This is a difficult assignment and a close and careful reading of the ideas are necessary. So take your time and read and re-read the views of the thinkers mentioned here that are difficult to understand.
Your response to the questions will reveal the amount of time, effort and reflection you have put into this assignment.
The amount of time, effort, and reflection that you have spent on this assignment will give a certain value to your writing. In other words, you and you alone will determine what your grade for this assignment will be.
Write this essay for yourself to gain a better understanding of who and what you are and the social environment in which you live and the ways it impacts and influences you. .
Do not write this paper for the instructor or for a grade: it will be a waste of your time writing it and a waste of the instructor’s time reading it.
These questions have haunted humanity for millennia and do not have easy answers.
Create your own answers with the tools that you have been given by life and this class.
Remember unreflective and superficial responses will seriously jeopardize your passing of this class.
Minimum 500 words
12pt. font (Times or similar)
Address all of the questions asked
Draw from the materials used (audios, readings, clips, etc.)
Note on how to improve your writing
Your writing is an expression of your thinking. Thinking can either be reactive or reflective. Reactive thinking is rooted in what your social environment has given you. What you have received from your environment is important as they are necessary tools that help navigate through the various complexities of life. However, such thinking is simply parroting back ideas given to you by your environment with little to no understanding. This will ultimately lead to forming many assumed and biased-laden ideas about yourself, others and the world in general. This is Plagiarized Thinking and the tragic fate of many adults- professional and otherwise.
Reflective thinking is the outcome of your own struggle to truly want to understand the grand puzzle or pieces of the grand puzzle called Life. This form of thinking contains depth, substance and intense emotions. In the world of philosophy, it is called: Wisdom—a gift from the gods. It is the outcome of an Examined Life.
Reflection is an outcome of quietly examining and observing an idea or a set of ideas, or an experience. To do this, you must first become interested in such a task which is an enormously difficult journey as it demands detached observation that could lead to a relative objectivity. This you do not because you want to improve your grade, but simply because you wish to refine your thinking process, your reflective abilities, and the manner you observe the world around you. And, ultimately, because you wish to understand and refine yourself, your life and experiences that life will gift you. This requires much time and patience– about ten-to-fifteen years of serious and honest study and practice. Once you have mastered the art of thinking, your writing will then slowly but gradually improve.
This is your story, your maze, and your perplexity! This assignment allows you a glimpse into your own flaws as well as perfections. Take it seriously and, at the same time, have lots of fun with it. It is, after all, about you, your thoughts and your emotions. I hope you have enough interest in yourself to explore and discover your own thoughts and emotions.
You are to answer the questions in essay format!
1. In your own words discuss the ideas presented in the reading “The Art of Learning”. What does the reading say about what we can know about ourselves and the world we live in? Is learning something that must be cultivated and refined? If so, how does having an understanding of the self, assist us in cultivating and refining our capacity to learn about the world we live in, the relationship to it and others and ultimately our self?
2. Define what you think Beauty is and how it can be known. How do you know?
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