Sol G: New Year, New Ideas, New Strategies

Happy New Year!!!

Well, for the new year, I’m going to try to actually stay on my posting schedule. And you’ll be here to tell whether I’m doing it, so I hope that accountability will help me stay on target. A lot has happened- I’ve moved, I’ve finished my Abnormal Psychology Class.

I wanted to take a moment to comment on that, because the class really had something I’ve learned to value. One of the “online” features of the class was the section forums. We were required to post, and to reply to other posts, if we werent present for the in-person sections. I found very quickly that there were people in the class I disagreed with, people I agreed with, and that all of them were people who had perspectives I benefited from. Not a little. A LOT. Being exposed to other people’s opinions, this time around, really changed how I veiw psychology.

The biggest thing that came from the class, besides an intense overview of various psychopathologies, was the change in viewpoint that happened in me. This class was compassionate in a way that I didn’t expect, that I couldn’t anticipate. The professor and the other students helped me realize that all of these symptoms we were looking at were how people dealt with what was happening in them. If we wanted to learn to help people, we had to learn what we could offer them instead, to help them live with their lives. No one does anything without a reason. This vastly increased my compassion and understanding, even in my own life, and it was a brilliant streak of Dr. Carson’s to include in every lecture and presentation. That was impressive.

It showed up in the online forums, too, and I’m incredibly grateful to those other students across the country, for helping me grow.

So here we are, ready to register for next courses. I hope you’ve registered! I’m not ready to tackle a January course, with everything going on and my life still in moving boxes, but one of these years I’m determined to. Anyone out there taking one? How intense are they?

I’m signed up for Algebra again- I dropped out for medical reasons last time, I’m determined to make it through.

I wanted to share this post I found on a psych blog called “Curiosity Lane.” It’s about late teens and older learners, and what we bring to the table as students. Given that it’s been more years SINCE I was a teenager than I was one, this is of interest to me. Specifically, it talks about how older learners are better at metacognition, the understanding not just of material, but of how we actually learn it. We have two things going for us: we know how we learn and do well, and we know a lot of context for the material. The first helps us learn it successfully, setting ourselves up in ways that work, and the second helps us comprehend and retain information. The article has a few easy tips. To help understand how you learn, this website at Study Guides & strategies offers some self-tests and guides to help you look at how you learn.

The people here are amazing; I’m really grateful to my last class, it will provide perspective that changes my entire career. I want to encourage you to speak up everywhere you’re offered a chance, in class, because I’m in the next row paying attention and thinking about what you say. You never know when somoene’s chance comment might change your way of thinking, and you never know when yours will change someone else’s.

Thank you for a beautiful year. May 2011 be a year of peace, strength, joy, and above all- LEARNING!


One Comment

  1. Curtis Heath
    Posted January 18, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    The reading load for the J-Term class I’m taking is pretty heavy. It’s do-able, but just barely. The lectures are three hours long, four days a week, with quizes every couple of days. If you get behind, you’re probably not going to catch up.

    But I’m learning tons!

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