Examining a Student
My English class at Oakton is focused on being a student. My class has been given assignments that make us think about what kinds of students we are, how we approach learning, and how to improve. Mushrooms have been handed out to my class with instructions to watch it mold and to reflect on our observations. We have been given short stories describing in intricate detail what an independent student is, and an example of that student’s polar opposite in a piece by Mark Twain. With this acquired information we are asked to look at ourselves. What kind of student am I?
Molding mushrooms is hardly what I considered relevant to literature, until the purpose of the assignment was revealed. Assigning students to watch a mushroom seemed laughable to me, I would not take the assignment seriously. Although I recorded valid observations of the mushroom molding, my reflections of the project are something of a fiction for my entertainment. I learned we are to take our responses as a reflection of self, and that I happen to be an opinionated student writing satyrs for a grade. Though I am a willing student, I am also outspoken.
My favorite method of learning is to learn by engagement. Being completely absorbed by your subject is a sure-fire way to retain the knowledge. Fore example, a White Sox fan might vividly recall the 2005 World Series and not remember anything lectured in school since the start of the playoffs that year. This is solely attributed to interest. An individual is more likely to learn something if they are captivated by the material, as opposed to feeling forced to study. This is the way I felt about the mushroom, by which I could not be less captivated. I rushed through and made fun of the assignment as a way for me to do it, otherwise I might not have done the assignment at all.
Two anecdotes, one by Shaler, one by Twain, describe two different students being taught two separate ways. In...