Working with my peers in an online environment has prepared me for what to come in the real world. Being forced into this unique learning format was not ideal at first but has turned out to be quite beneficial. With the business world’s shift to a more virtual environment, it makes me less nervous for my initial start in the industry. I feel as if I am more prepared and will be able to make the transition more seamlessly if I am needed to work virtually.
Throughout this course I have gotten to speak with a variety of people and its always interesting to hear another’s point of view. Being in an online learning environment, however effective it may be, we are all missing out on human interaction. I think the opportunity to meet with our learning communities every class was important. Although there were other classes where I had to meet with my groups, it was always on our own time. This meaning that it was always rushed or used to get things done not necessarily communicate. What was different about the learning communities is they offered an opportunity to discuss a problem in class with your peers but not have to spend the entire time working on something. Often in my learning community we would discuss the question and answer our questions relatively fast and the rest of the time we would just talk. Although some may view this as unnecessary or a waste of time, I view it quite differently. Being able to interact with people our own age and being given a topic to discuss was an enjoyable part of the day. Apart from the basic human interaction, my learning community was very helpful in understanding things. There was a few times this semester where I was a bit confused on one part of the reading and being able to hear how each person interpreted what the text was saying was helpful in me understanding. The unique view points of each individual was helpful throughout this course.
Throughout the course of this semester my knowledge on sustainability has grown tremendously. I was able to evaluate and learn about many aspects of sustainability that I had not previously explored. Starting this course, I considered myself knowledgeable on the topic of sustainability; however, I was wrong. I had previously understood what sustainability was in the overall sense but what I did not know was the depth there was to the issue. Wicked problem is a great term to describe sustainability. Although the majority of the human race realizes that the issue is prevalent, there are a million problems with how to solve it. There is no one solution that will solve the problem. I am fascinated by the idea of a wicked problem. There are so many layers to it and it reflects in our quality of life. One portion of this course that I personally enjoyed was the discussion on poverty. It was interesting to see the way the two problems are connected. Although I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the many different parts to sustainability, one of my favorite aspects of this course was learning about mindfulness. I have known about mindfulness for some time now. When I took facility management with Dr. Roberts, we would often start our early morning class with a short guided meditation. I had tried meditation prior but it never seemed to work for me. It wasn’t until I was able to listen to something guide me through the process before I realized a change. I practice mindfulness quite often, yet in a different way. Every night before bed I do yoga. It’s a guided yoga, with calming sounds. This is the time of day where I feel the most relaxed and in control of my mind, although it is not a guided meditation , it brings me peace on a busy day. Ultimately, when I reflect on our mindfulness assignment this week I think it was beneficial. However, meditation doesn’t work for everyone. Some people- like myself- prefer an alternative solution to getting in touch with their mind. This is something that each individual has to discover themselves. Another thing that stuck with me and will for a while was the 11th hour movie. Realizing just how drastic our earth is changing is scary and should be discussed not only throughout design but all majors. This is a real problem and the idea of being in our “final hour” is a terrifying thought.
I think one of the most interesting parts of this course was when we discussed poverty. I think it would be interesting to go more in depth on how these various wicked problems correlate with one another. I intend on researching other wicked problems aside from just sustainability. I understand this course is about sustainability, but it would be nice to elaborate a bit more on other wicked problems simply for the sake of understand the wicked problems as a whole a little bit more. I also am going to continue what I have learned about mindfulness. Even though I was previously exposed to mindfulness, I was introduced to a variety of new ways to participate. I intend on continuing doing coloring sheets and yoga to bring a since of mindfulness. Being knowledgeable about sustainability is the first step to making a change. Over the course of this semester my household has made various changes related our effect on the planet. The main change being recycling. I live in a house a bit out of town with three female roommates. We have been recycling the past two years living here and felt like we had been doing our part. It was not until we saw the trash come by one day and dispose of both out trash AND recycling into the same dumpster truck. To us this was infuriating because we had been taking our time to separate our recycling just to realize they are not actually recycling and just sending it to the landfill as well. We decided to start saving up our recycling in our garage and once a month we take it to a true recycling plant. Although we will not create a massive change, our circle of influence is doing what we can. Overall this course was very educational and really makes you r