Oct 20, 2015 (1.5 hours): For some weird reason, my notes are very “scarce” from this lecture. I am assuming this is due to the fact that a lot of our class was just discussion and sharing. However, it went a little something like this:
Today in class we discussed in depth the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Marcus Aurelius. Students from the class either volunteered or were chosen to share their favorite quotes from each of the Marcus Aurelius books. We went through each of the books and it was pretty interesting to see which quotes my classmates liked, some of them being the same ones I selected. Other quotes I initially responded to with a “huh?” After their explanation though it all made sense. This is why I like sometimes when everybody is sharing their opinion on the same subject-it offers you the opportunity to widen your perspective. After the Marcus Aurelius discussion we moved on to the Memorial. Here we definitely got a few varying opinions.
We talked about whether the MLK Memorial was political or spiritual. The majority of the class said more so political, but there was some agreement that the memorial also portrayed King in a spiritual aspect. The quotes around and on the memorial also caused some controversy. The biggest thing that sticks out to me is the quote about being a drum major. I included a picture of this in my last journal but here is a little reminder:
This is a depiction of what the memorial should have looked like… However the Memorial made King seem grandiose by not displaying the whole thing. As if he was saying, “Yea, I represent justice. Yea, I represent peace. Yea, I’m righteous. I’m the ****.” Of course I did not personally know Martin Luther King Jr., however I highly believe that he was not the kind of person to be grandiose. He appears humbled. He is intelligent, actually, he kind of reminds me of Socrates. King wants to spread his message and wants his admirers to follow him. He leads by example, just like Socrates does.
Oct 21, 2015 (1 hours):
We were tasked with reading William Deresiewicz’s article titled “Solitude and Leadership.” This article was kind of interesting. I feel as if in some ways it could kind of pertain to me, however at the same time I cannot relate at all. I feel like it relates to me because I am like the students that go to the Ivy League schools. I want to do great things in life: be a doctor, win a Nobel peace prize, cure cancer, you know, the regular. Towards the end of middle school and throughout high school, all I thought about was getting into John’s Hopkins and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I trained myself to be the best like William says the Ivy League students are trained to be excellent hoop-jumpers. I wanted to excel on all of my standardized tests, wanted to have the highest grade in all of my classes, wanted to be the top of my class. However, I am not like these Ivy League people. I did not grow up extremely privileged and have the path paved for me to go to the best medical school. I was an excellent sheep. And still am an excellent sheep. I do want to be the best I can be and I am willing to jump through a few hoops to get there. Okay I digress.
The article, in my opinion, was telling us that we need time to just take a step back and think to ourselves about what is going on. Like Dre said in our 1.5 hour class, (I swear Dre’s military examples are some of the best examples, but maybe it is because I grew up military and can relate), when your superiors tell you to go capture the flag on the other side of the hill, you just go get it. You do what you are told. If they tell you to figure out a way to capture the flag, then you actually have to devise a plan to capture this flag in the best, safest way possible. I think this is what William wants everybody to do. Think for ourselves. If we all have time to be “alone with our thoughts” then we can process things better. It will allow us to be better leaders. William says that people take advantage of the passion of our future doctors and lawyers. This would be easy to do because being somewhat of an “excellent sheep” myself, I know how deep my drive runs for what I love. I will dedicate everything to it. So, for us sheep, we can easily be taken advantage of because we really love what we do.
In thinking for myself, I might admittedly face a road blocks. I am naturally a nurturer. I care about other people and their feelings a lot. Sometimes more than mine. This would be my first challenge. Trying to stay true to myself. Not saying that I tend to stray from this, but I do like pleasing the crowd. I actually can’t help but to be a people-pleaser. Which leads to my next challenge of making affirmative decisions. Since I like to please the crowd, I will have a hard time coming to a final decision if I am trying to satisfy multiple opinions. However, this challenge is easy to overcome. A personal challenge I may face in thinking for myself is the fact that I rely on the views of my loved ones heavily. My family and closest friends have a lot of influence on me, therefore being “alone in my thoughts” without them there to ask for a different perspective could be a challenge.
Honestly, these are all of the challenges I can think of. Staying true to myself, making affirmative decisions, and relying heavily on the views of my loved ones are all obstacles to being “alone in my thoughts,” but I can conquer them.
This is because I am a strong person. I know I have these “weaknesses,” if you may, but I also know how to work around them. I enjoy being alone in my thoughts. I tend to over-analyze and overthink things sometimes, so I am right at home with being alone in my head. I like questioning why things happen. I think it is secretly due to the fact that I am nosy. I want to know what is happening around me, why it is happening, could it have been avoided, everything! Let’s call it curiosity. Sounds better than nosy right? But yes, my curiosity makes me want to be alone in my thoughts so despite the few challenges I may face, I know they will not stop me.
The Study Chronicles
Oct 24, 2015 (2 hours): Well I had to work earlier today but when I came back I took a nap so I could start on this dreaded studying. Tonight I basically just read over everything we have done in class for this second unit. I did not read the articles in detail, but I skimmed them. Socrates. Marcus Aurelius. Plato’s Phaedo. Xenothon’s Apology. Socrates’ Apology. Solitude and Leadership. All the “good stuff.” As I skimmed I took note on important quotes or messages.
Oct 26, 2015 (2.5 hours): Crunch time. Today I went over my notes from Saturday and I filled in my holes. The gaps in my understanding surrounded primarily around Marcus Aurelius. I think this is mainly due to the fact that I do not know how we could be tested on this subject. Do we just have to memorize the whole freaking 12 books? Will we have to exemplify his stoicism? I have no idea. So honestly, that is the main part I am worried about on this exam. I am fairly sure that I have an okay grip on the rest of the material. I am going to try to incorporate elements from the firs test and our first readings in an effort to try tying everything together. Other than that though, I am really just hoping for the best.
Time wasted on journal instead of studying: 1.5 hours