Isabella’s Big Questions for Little Minds
What is philosophy to me? Well, when I had walked in to the first Philosophy 12 class of the year, it was exactly what I had anticipated: debates about ideas that to some may seem like pointless discussion, but to those in class, the discussions were as intense and passionate as the current political conversations happening in America. I decided on this class because I enjoy challenging myself. As a teenager, i believe philosophy is one of the best and worst courses you could take. Worst because you are transitioning from trying to find your own place in the world, trying to answer questions like how you’re going to contribute to society and what career path you are going to take, and then to have this class make you think about such a broader range of things that make you question your own existence and morals. But the best course to take because you get to widen your span of thinking by discussing such ideas like what is and how do you prove it, or is there an absolute? This course really offers the so many thought-provoking concepts that it’s enough to make your head hurt. That’s basically what’s happened to me in the past two weeks because I have felt relatively lost on most matters discussed. However, over the past two weeks some of the discussions we had became very intriguing to me. My personal big epiphany moment happened while reading the “Talk with me” essay.
“A page of writing might seem intelligent, but whatever question you ask of it, it responds in precisely the same way each time you read it.”(Talk with Me, para.7)
I had never thought about a concept like that before, and that is what really interested me. We had a discussion about the pros and cons of written vs. speech too, but just the idea that no matter how many times you read a form of text, the answer will be forever unchanged (unless its a google doc).
I am a very visual learner so the for most of each philosophy class I am pretty lost and confused. Really the only thing I understood was the “Talk with Me” essay because I could read it multiple times until I understood it. However, with most of the learning being done through discussion using the biggest words one could possibly find in a thesaurus, I find it difficult to follow along and understand. I generally am just really lost and wondering what is happening.
In terms of another discussion that I was able to sort of understand, the “Curriculum and Philosophy” discussion revealed the I was in between progressivism and reconstructionism leaning slightly more towards progressivism. While discussing the topic I was fairly certain in where I stood on the subject. I believed the teacher should be a guide for problem solving and scientific inquiry instead of an authoritative figure who determines everything in the classroom. I also thought that the learning and curriculum should be personalized to each student and not standard because as I’ve come to quickly learn, not everyone learns the same and retains information in the same way. But, when it came to this very homework assignment I am finding it very hard to write because I was not given a direct order by an authoritative teacher figure stating exactly what is required of me. I don’t have a direct “Do’s and Don’t’s” list which stresses me out. This really got me thinking about if I just like the idea of progressivism or if I would actually like the application of it. I do however enjoy the limited criteria and freedom that I was given to really express myself.
My goals for philosophy include being able to follow along with discussions and who knows, maybe get involved in a few and contribute some of my thoughts and ideas? I also would like to explore different perspectives and views on the various topics still to be learned. Hopefully this course will also help me determine some of my own views on some topics like whether I’m really a progressivist or not. Improving my synthesis and summarizing skills will also be something I am looking to get out of this course. I also hope to be more comfortable with communicating my various ideas through a variety of different outlets.