The Challenges of New Practices

In this course, being mindful about my learning has shown me how difficult it is to focus on projects when you do not fully understand them. I feel I do not understand mindfulness at some times because I feel it does not work for me, therefore, I do not understand projects based around it. When I do not see instant results with a subject, I lose hope and normally do not keep pursuing that topic. With this class I am almost forced to work with this practice and so if I do not give up right away on the process, maybe I will see results. This experience of daily mindfulness practice has challenged me to stay motivated to make the experience work. I believe I am a very routine learner. If I start a routine that includes these practices, I will include it in my everyday routine, not only in the classroom but in my personal time. When I think of mindfulness, I think of meditation and how well I have heard it has worked for people. People who are mindful and self-aware of their feelings are some of my favorite people. I would like to be more like those people, so maybe mindfulness practice is how I do that. Mindfulness could also help me with classes and my learning skills. At times, I get overwhelmed by my workload. When I get overwhelmed and tend to procrastinate and not be productive with my time. Sometimes, I even spend multiple hours on assignment that should have only taken thirty minutes. When this happens, I can feel discouraged to start any of the other assignments I need to do. If I practiced mindfulness more, and had it in my everyday routine, I could use that practice to look at my activities I need to do, in a different light. When looking at this to-do list I would be able to see each individually and focus on doing one thing at a time, rather than looking at the workload in total and feeling overwhelmed. Mindfulness helps you see things in perspective and helps your mind stay focused on one thing fully before troubling yourself with another. When having multiple things to do, it can be hard to see things as steps towards one goal rather than one large thing that needs to be done. This makes me look forward to practicing mindfulness more often. I can see myself becoming better if I continue to practice this experience. I do not know how my mind will be changed if I put mindfulness practice into my routine. I am sure it would make my anxiety go down by using mindfulness to help me see my problems with a clearer perspective.

This class has changed how I think about average homework assignments. The work we do in this class is not like the average class’s homework because it requires a lot of mental thinking. This is a struggle for me because if I do not wrap my head around an idea, I cannot understand the whole assignment. I find it difficult to critical think for things that are graded on in that aspect. When an assignment is based on how you can wrap your head around a topic or how you can use mindfulness practice to better your thinking, it can be difficult. In the past, I have enjoyed doing assignment for classes that are structured and have specific rules because I can always compare my answer to something and always have a right or wrong answer. For this class there are never any right or wrong answers, which is exciting yet challenging. I like the individuality of this class but can find the open-endedness difficult. This class also has given me an outlook on the wicked problems I am learning about. Before this class, I had never heard the term wicked problems. I have known about some of the wicked problems we have discussed, but this class gives me a new perspective of how much these problems matter. These problems pertain to every aspect of life they are involved in. When talking about plastic waste, it pertains to how it is produced, how it is disposed, and where it ultimately ends whether that is in the ocean or in landfills. How plastic affects the earth is also considered. How long it takes for plastic to decay, affects how long it will stay in circulation throughout the world. Plastic can travel great distances in the amount of time it exists, whether that be on the streets, at the bottom of the ocean, or even wrapped around a turtle’s fin. Also, there is so much that goes into these problems, that I never realized before. When I think of an average problem in society, I see it as being worked on and soon to be resolved. Wicked problems are more complex than those problems. I used to think the problems that were just temporarily unresolved were the only ones. When ultimately, wicked problems can take decades to resolve and ultimately never become resolved completely. When talking about changing these problems, it can also change society. There is never one exact resolution for a wicked problem. When trying to solve these problems many people view the steps differently and there can be multiple different ideas. When trying to end air pollution by slowing down the oil and gas industry, it also increases unemployment, because of how large the oil and gas industry is, and how many work industries are involved with it. Wicked problems never have a specific definition or an exact resolution. This leads to wicked problems being difficult to solve because there are always factors pushing the timeline farther and farther away. I have enjoyed how this class has brought my attention to these special problems. I find myself seeing these problems on the daily. When I am aware of a problem being wicked, I feel knowledgeable over it because it is a new thing I am learning about, and interested in.

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