Throughout my college career the course that has made the biggest impact on my life was Introduction to Philosophy. As a freshman, I came into Fontbonne with a narrow perspective on life. I came from a small town were routine pretty much dominated. Entering into my philosophy class Freshmen year I had no idea what I was getting into. All of a sudden I was in a big city surrounded in a diverse environment and having to face some of life’s most complex questions. Philosophy helped open my mind to all of the possibilities of life. One of my favorite aspects of the course was how the professor continued to answer my questions with a question. Initially, this was extremely confusing and frustrating. In the end, the “countering my question with a question” method actually pushed me to dig deeper and think harder about the questions I was asking. I didn’t necessarily get the answer I was looking for, but I did however learn a lot about myself, the world around me, and keeping an open perspective to life. Introduction to Philosophy was an eye-opening experience and made me realize that there is a lot more to life than what I used to think.
Everyone has that one class that is slightly harder than the others. My class is philosophy. Even though I find philosophy fascinating, I have a tendency to spend more hours than I should on the subject. The readings from Aristotle and Plato are difficult to understand, so I literally have to break the articles into sections to analyze. This benefits me for test preparation, but I spend, at least, more than ten hours a week with all the readings and homework. I understand this is what college is about, and I know I will have a sense of accomplishment when the semester is over, so I shouldn’t complain. In this class, you cannot slack what-so-ever. When a reading is due, I have to make time to get it completed before lecture. It is way too hard to play catch up, and let’s be real, time flies throughout the week, and what is the likelihood you do it over the weekend? I have learned a tremendous amount of information, and the class is enjoyable every Tuesday and Thursday. The most difficult part is consistently keeping up with the readings and homework. Everything else is easy:)
So I’m taking a course called “Philosophical Foundations of Education,” and one of the assignments is this big essay on my personal beliefs and values when it comes to teaching. It’s not due yet, but I figured I’d do a little brainstorming here anyway.
My Philosophy of Education is centered around the phrase “It’s up to us.” When I was just a kid, I was taught one of the most important lessons of my life: responsibility is not acquired, it is inherent. As members of society on a local, national, and global scale, it is our inherent duty to try and change the world for the better. My parents are very “community conscious,” and so I was taught the value of stepping up, participating, working hard, and getting things done. If there’s one lesson I’d like to pass on to the next generation, it’s this: never underestimate what a dedicated group of cooperating people can accomplish.
What would put a big smile on your face? Some would say money, or a kiss from a cute guy or girl and/or shopping spree. I think happiness is way more then those quick fixes. The word happiness is hard to define and it is different for everyone. Professor Gilleo reviewed in philosophy class that Aristotle puts it as “moral goodness” and that happiness is also tied to virtue. “Moral goodness is the result of habit. We become just by performing just acts, temperate by performing temperate ones, brave by performing brave ones. We are not born good or bad; rather, we learn to be one or the other by the activities in which we engage.” Happiness to me is not by those quick fixes. I find happiness in being bored and taking time out of the day for just me. Sitting outside even if the sun is not shining bright just to listen to the peace of silence and smile at people who walk by. Happiness to me is hanging out with people who make you feel good for you are. You are who you hang out with and life is too short to be dwelling on the negative. Have you ever heard of the term nirvana? It means you have hit a state of enlightenment in which all desires, pain and suffering and mental anguish disappear. It seems impossible, you can feel it when you use mind over matter. The next time you have fifteen minutes sit in silence and clear your mind. Take away all those stresses of school and social life and act like you don’t have those in your life right now. While those are gone take a look at your life. I did and I have nothing to complain about. Life is so good right now, and even though I have my problems like every other person I choose to now let it wear on my sleeve. Smile at every person you pass and have some positive attitude even when it is hard. Trust me: it is contagious and it will make the world a better place.