Thursday, June 21, 2012

Real Learning.

"Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers.  Learning is not a spectator sport.  Students must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives.  They must make what they learn part of themselves."  (Chickering and Gamson, Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education)

The truth of this quote is irrevocable.

Learning is an action word.

And honestly, it's hard to learn correctly. Sitting passively and memorizing facts only to forget them as soon as the test is over is easy. Real learning, the kind where the student must take it upon themselves to learn and apply said learning and retain it forever. This type of learning is hard. It takes a lot of time. It takes patience and work and interest and focus.
Sadly, I can't say I've always tried to really learn in some of my classes. There are times when I want to take the easy way out and just memorize facts and pass tests. I have been in some very difficult classes where the teacher recognized what real learning is and made assignments that catered to it... and I have complained because they were too hard. But in the end, those are the classes that I appreciate and remember the most. And learned the most from.
When I am forced to discuss my learning and look at it in the context of my life and other situations in the world, then I can see it as something real. Something important. Something worth knowing.
The purpose of going to school and getting an education is to be knowledgable and know things for the rest of my life. Disappointingly, a lot of people view school and learning as just something that they need to get through and finish as soon as possible so as to graduate and move on to their career or the next part of their life. They don't take the time to sit back and appreciate the opportunity that they have to be learning. Not many people in this world have that same opportunity. Learning is a blessing, not a pointless task. Learning is an action and it is something that should certainly not just stop at graduation. Learning is a lifelong and applicable to all situations.

I love learning. I love gaining the ability to speak intelligibly on many topics. I love expanding my horizons and developing new ways of viewing the world and other peoples. I love taking the opportunity to incorporate my learning into who I am.

I need to remember this. Learning is not a spectator sport.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I like the summer in Provo. Life is much more laid back and enjoyable than during the school year. Also, people are just more fun. Well, maybe that's not true, but probably.

So.. we went camping. Last Friday.
Yeah, that was sweet.
We set up a tent and everything.
Not that we actually slept in the tent.
No, we ended up just sleeping in the bed of the truck, looking up at the stars slash the tree we were parked under.
But it was a blast. I adore camping excessively.
Being out in nature, exploring, adventuring, and just soaking it in is the best.
I went exploring along the stream and it was beautiful. I could explore nature all my life. I found the perfect thinking perch. And I might have fallen and sacrificed my leg in order to reach said thinking perch. My leg is still achey now, a few days later, but it was totally worth it. When you find that prefect spot for thinking, it absolutely can not be beat.
We also had smores.
You might ask: Some more what?
You're killing me Smalls!!
And there was lots of campfire fun and stories and chats and singing.
We played a lot of the song game.
We swung on swings.
We played some wongo-bongo.
We just enjoyed life.

Friends are awesome. Especially good friends, and I have a lot of those. And I love camping. I would go every weekend if I could. And surprise! I'm going again this weekend.
Like I said, I like the summer. It's weird to not be at home. This is my first summer not being at home ever in my life. Good thing I live close enough to go visit those crazy young chaps. But am glad that I'm here in Provo this summer.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

They are wed.

Marriage is a topic of much conversation around me at this point in my life. Lots of things contribute to the excessiveness of this marriage-speak: my age, the fact that I'm not on a mission, the university I go to, having one of my best friends get married last week, having an engaged roommate. It all culminates to just too much sometimes.

Sharesa got married last Friday. She is one of my best friend from high school and one of my closest friends to have gotten married thus far. It's such a strange thing. But good. She was beautiful. And she's in love. And Ian adores her. I am a fan of all of these things. She deserves the best.
I love when I go to my friends weddings or I see them with their fiance or with their spouse and they are just happy. There is something about this inexpressible happiness that I love and everyone deserves to have it.

Also great: cute old houses. These can often come with marriage as well. My lovely roommate, Cebre, is getting married in a month and 2 days (not that we're counting) and I went and saw her new house yesterday. It is adorable. Seriously, there is something about cute, old houses that is just super romantic and fun and joyous. We were running and galavanting about her house exclaiming over it's beauty and it's homeyness. She has a parlor. A PARLOR. And a window seat and windows that swing open and must be latched closed. They have a fireplace, a red accent wall, a kitchen that doesn't need to be shared with anyone else. Maybe I've just been living with 5 other girls for too long, but having your own kitchen sounds like heaven. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway: I want her house. Or at least it's equivalent. SO cute. Honestly, it reminded me of the house I lived in in Ohio, maybe that's why I loved it so much. But mostly I think it's because of the romantic, old house feeling that is in every corner of that home.

So basically, lots of my friends are getting married and living in cute places and I am so happy! They are lovely human beings and I love that they are in love. Life is good. (This here song just came on. It was kind of eerie how perfectly timed that was.)

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