This course not only surprised me but also expanded my knowledge and experience with Wicked Problems in more ways than one. Being completely honest, I had no idea what to expect from this course or what exactly it would entail, I simply enrolled because it is required for my major, Fashion Merchandising. I remember hearing the words, Wicked Problems and thinking what in the world did I get my self into?!?! I didn’t even know what a Wicked Problem was. Little did I know we are surrounded by Wicked Problems daily…
Wicked Problems are complex and unsolvable environmental and social issues involved in today’s industrial practice. Although this course was only eight weeks rather than a full semester, I believed I walked away actually understanding and being able to comprehend more than I did in my full semester courses. Professor Armstrong did a wonderful job of portraying the material to be learned, she made learning fun, and I knew that she was just an email away, always ready to answer any question I may have had. Throughout this course I was able to understand and broaden my knowledge on many of the Wicked Problems that we face on a daily basis. Not only did I learn about these issues but I became even more aware of how important it is to take care of the environment around us. I really enjoyed being able to tie these problems to the Fashion Industry, as this is my focus for the future. One thing that stuck out to me the most was Waste, and not just any waste but specifically the waste within the Fashion Industry. We actually talked about this exact issue in one of my other courses so I was so glad to be able to compare what I learned from each course and share new ideas from different opinions. I believe that one thing I will take with me and pursue in my future career is the zero-waste fashion idea. This could include creating and designing pieces from various waste scraps.
My learning community was definitely one of the highlights of this course for me. I think it is so fun and unique that we get to study what we love with students who have the same interests! I believe that a learning community is crucial no matter what the field of study may be. Working with others not only brings in new ideas but also various creative skills and opinions! Although we were connected online through Zoom this semester instead of the classroom, I think our breakout rooms were very helpful. Having the breakout time with our peers gave us the ability to expand on the topics we spoke about that day on a deeper level. I really enjoyed how we would begin class talking together as a whole and then split into smaller groups for deeper assessment.
Learning about various topics such as poverty and the economy created a better understanding of the world around us for me personally. A huge takeaway from this course is to simply, TAKE ACTION. We as a community and nation have been given the wonderful gift of life and it is our job to take care of the place we call home. As a Christian I know who holds the world and all within it. Life is such a precious thing and I believe most of us take advantage of the things we are given. We overlook and oversee the true reason we have been put on this place and some people do not even care. As people in this crazy world we need to take advantage of the opportunities and tools that we have been given on this earth. We are to take care of it in such a way that could even be selfish. Take care of the world and it will take care of you!
Our mindfulness practice was also something that stood out to me throughout these eight weeks. I have always been one to take care of myself and get the things I need when I need them but I did not realize how impactful mindfulness practice truly is. I have learned that it is SO, SO crucial that we take care of ourselves and our minds before anything else. Ultimately, our thoughts control our actions and this is why it is important to start each day with a heart of gratitude and positivity. Whatever mindfulness practice may be for you, I suggest you start your day with some positive energy. As for myself this may be taking 10-20 minutes to listen to some worship music or opening my Bible before I touch my phone in the mornings. It could also be taking a walk outside and admiring Gods beautiful creation, reflecting on things that I can thank Him for.
In conclusion, I feel very thankful and blessed to be apart of a course such as this and having Professor Armstrong as a leader. I am actually enrolled in another one of her courses next spring and I could not be more thrilled. She made learning easy, fun, and creative…what more could you want! This course was so organized and I think that is so special because we don’t always see that in the college life. A professor who wants you to be successful while learning is the most important thing and I believe that is what I found throughout these eight weeks. I have learned so much and I am walking away into next spring with a broadened knowledge of Wicked Problems we face in our daily lives. I can boldly say that I am capable of making a positive and life changing impact on my circle of influence. I think we all should be able to say that we have made a positive impact or change on the people around us, what a humbling experience that can be. I am going to take the topics and conversations from this course and apply them to the rest of my collegiate career here at OSU and then further them into the real world after school.
Thank you, Professor Armstrong for a wonderful and impactful eight weeks (: