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Critical Issues, with Critical Issues

When I first started this class I expressed some concerns that we were not actually doing anything new, from what we had done in Mod 3-4 classes. I said that we had watched both “Food Inc.” and “Fresh” in other classes before and that I didn’t want to watch them again. I was asked to give the class a chance and that there would be new information presented. I said that I would give this class a chance and I set out hoping to learn something. Sadly I don’t feel that I personally learned anything new. I liked watching “The World According to Monsanto” and I appreciate the new information but the theme of this class could be summed up as “Monsanto is Bad.”

In this class we were told that we would be exploring critical issues, and we did a little bit with our first paper. While I really didn’t want to write another paper relating to the issues presented in “Food Inc.”  I set out and did more research and presented 3 drafts and one 1 final paper based off of 2 different proof readers and feedback from the instructor. I was told that we only needed to have 2 drafts of our paper so not only did I revise my paper 2 extra times I was given a 95% on the paper before my final draft. I was told that I did not need to make the changes recommended by the instructor but because I always push myself to be the best I can, I made the changes and turned in the final paper. This was all done two days before the final paper was due.

The next project was a group power point presentation on a solution to “critical issues” presented to us in the film “Fresh.”  Working with my partner we met every deadline that was set to the whole class, and on the day that it was due we were the only group that was done, and approved to go. We had been working on these projects for almost a month or 8 full classes before we started presenting them and being the only group done by the due date we presented our project. When we had finished presenting our instructor pulled the both of us aside and told us; “That was one of the best Power Point Projects I have ever seen. You two have set the bar very high for the rest of your class. Excellent Work.”

These two projects were the only things that we had to do for homework. The rest of class was spent taking notes and watching movies or TV shows about two other topics; logical fallacies, and looking at the consequences of our (human) behavior. Every day of class we were asked to take notes on the topic that we were talking about that day. This was presented to us in PDF and Power point Documents that after we had taken notes on were E-mailed to us. This completely defeated the point of taking notes on them, and was just a way of keeping the class involved. While this is not a bad thing for the students who don’t pay attention, the problem was that there was no accountability. The students who should have been taking notes were still not paying attention and surfing the net.  The only people who actually took notes were the ones who probably didn’t need to be taking them like myself, because we paid attention in class.

While we are talking about accountability I feel that it is only fair to point out that while I did not miss any class I was always early. Some students would walk in 15 minutes after the class had started if they showed up at all. When these students did walk in they were not kicked out as the school’s policy states they should have been. I find this highly disappointing and, I for one, expected more from a Bachelor of Arts level class. I personally also didn’t feel respected by my instructor. I felt that anytime I tried to ask a question or bring up a different way of thinking that I was shut down. The best example of this that I can give is when we were talking about logical fallacies. In class one day we were looking at pictures of “logical fallacies” and there was a warning at the bottom of the picture that was using an Ad Hominem logical fallacy to attack people like Bill O’Reilly. When I tried to point out that this was a logical fallacy I was told that it wasn’t, and when asked why I was given a response along the lines of “because I say so.”

Personally I didn’t enjoy this class and felt that it was a re-hash of past classes. I would like to think that in a class called Critical Issues that we could talk about new current trends that are popping up in the world. This class had the potential to be a very interesting and fun class but sadly it fell short and I don’t feel that I was challenged enough. Let’s look at it like this though; even with the disappointment with this class my overall experience with NECI has been great. It is just sad that some the parts couldn’t be as good as the whole but nothing is perfect not even NECI.

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One Comment on “Critical Issues, with Critical Issues”

  1. Grandma June 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    That’s what happens in the real world., Sometime things aren’t perfect. Just another learning experience.

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