While taking this course, I have learned so much about sustainability and what it takes to live a sustainable life. Before taking this course, I was unsure of what a Wicked Problem was but now I can confidently point them out. Initially, I was not completely sure what this course was going to initially entail, considering it was called “Wicked Problems” but now I believe this is a course everyone should be required to take. Professor Armstrong did a wonderful job of making sure that the class was engaged and sharing information and opinions. I always felt included and like I was a part of the class because of Professor Armstrong. I also enjoyed the music before starting class and how she welcomed every student as they joined the Zoom call. Overall, Professor Armstrong did a great job of making this class fun and enjoyable.
Even though the course was completely online, I felt like I was a part of this class much more than I do in any of my in person classes. By choosing random people to talk throughout class, I felt like I was more engaged and more prepared to discuss the topics that we were learning about. The learning community in this course has been great, and I can confidently say that I have gained knowledge from everyone who was in this class. There is such a diverse group of students in this course and I believe I learned a lot because of that factor. So many of the students brought different knowledge to the class to help educate everyone about the Wicked Problems in the world. Before taking this course, I was somewhat aware of global warming and the dangerous effects it has left on earth, but I have learned so many things about how bad it actually is and the detrimental permanent effects it has left on the environment. I now realize how delicate the earth is and how long we as humans have gone destroying it. The amount of knowledge I have gained from this short 8 week course is more than I have gained in semester long classes. Everything that I have learned from this course is useful for real world issues and will be applied in my future career. In Interior Design, we use a lot of materials from the environment and there is a lot of waste that comes out of that, but I have now learned about a more sustainable and less wasteful way of designing things. For example, using reclaimed wood instead of always trying to find new wood. The Yes and No articles and the discussions that came along with them cleared up a lot of questions that I had about the environment and the chemicals we produce into the air.
After watching The 11th Hour film, I became very aware of the state of the world we live in and now I am more concerned about the decisions I make and the impact that they have on the environment. Watching that film really opened my eyes to the state of the environment and it shocked me that the film was made a decade ago. Before taking this class, I ordered a few pieces of clothing from fast fashion industries. Now, I am aware of the way that those products are made and the harmful effects that they have on the environment and how unsustainable that industry is. Even though I am not a fashion design major, I feel like I have a better understanding of how to treat the environment better even in that field. Another part of this course that I really enjoyed was working with classmates in the breakout rooms. I feel like I grew as a student by using breakout rooms in every class because of the conversations I had in this class. The students were full of knowledge and helped clear up a lot of questions I was unsure about. One of my favorite parts of this class was the meditation practice that Professor Armstrong led the class through. The practice of meditation helped me clear my mind of stressors and helped me focus on school work. I find myself now taking the time to take a moment to breathe in stressful situations and to focus on my well being more than I did before.
The Final team project gave me a lot of knowledge about my major choice that I will continue to use in the future. I enjoyed working on that project because the issues were relevant and very interesting because they are so often ignored. The team project also allowed me to work with students that are Interior Design majors as well and I believe that we all learned a lot from each other while working on the project. I also wrote my first APA style paper in this class and I realized that it is not as confusing as people make it out to be. The biggest takeaway that I have from this course is that people need to start acting upon all of the issues we discussed as soon as possible. People do not realize the impact they leave on the environment and I believe that it is very important to learn about them and be able to recognize the effects that they have on the environment.
Overall, this course has been incredibly beneficial to me. I have learned so much about important issues that have the ability to affect our lives without us even realizing. I feel like I have grown with the information I have learned about. I look at the world differently and have learned to appreciate the little things in the world that have such a big impact. I have spread the concepts I have learned about in this course to the people around me by educating them about the problems we create for the environment subconsciously and it has changed the way that I live. I will continue to use the concepts I have learned about in this course for the rest of my life in hopes to create a safer environment.