Today, Wednesday, March 25, 2015 was Experiential Learning Day (ELD) here at Albertus Magnus College. I attended five panels, participated in two Art Therapy Graduate research projects, and had the honor of lunching with Professor Kendrick and Dr. Bourgeois.
The first panel I attended talked about the differences between the education systems in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. My friend, Kirsty, is here in America, from Belfast, studying business. Back home, she is a math major, but here she chose to tackle business. What I learned about their education system, I found extremely fascinating. For example, in the UK, students are expected to know what they want to do by the age of 16. You will either go into College, which is like trade school, or you attend University, which is where you would study in your chosen field: math, in Kirsty’s case. I thought that was crazy! To be expected to know what you want to do in life, by the age of 16, seems insane to me!
The second panel I attended was all about Japan, its population crisis, and how the world forced its way back into Japanese affairs. My friend, Ben, was the speaker. He is a Global Studies major and right now he is writing his thesis paper on Japan and different aspects of it. I really hope that he lets us read the paper before we graduate.
By 10 o’clock, Ben’s panel was finished and my friends and I picked up our belongings and hustled over to Aquinas, room G9, to go and listen to our friend, Matthew, talk about New Haven’s ex-utopian status. At 10:30 AM, we were high-tailing it back over to the Tagliatela Academic Center for Emili’s talk. During the fall semester, Emili had written this amazing research paper discussing the uses of Virtual Reality and its potential downfalls. It really does get you thinking about all the technology we use during the day. Why do we use it? Do we need all of it? How do we feel when we use it? Don’t use it? It is quite the hot topic right now, especially in regards to children, early development stages and the effect that technology has on children.
Have you ever noticed that children are no longer satisfied with just the attention of their parents or with the interactions with toys? How much attention does a child really need? Is it the instant reaction time of a smart-device that they seek?
Does human contact still matter?
I have been asking myself questions like these all day long.
The final panel that I attended for the day was focusing on Punk Rock. Where has the punk rock genre gone to? Is it gone or is it just slowly re-emerging? Who are the key punk bands currently? What issues are they targeting and protesting? My friend Sam is working on an independent film project. Her goal is to define punk for herself and possible on an international level. It brings up awesome questions of feminism/anti-feminism, war promoters/rejecters, and civil rights questions.
What is right? What is punk? Ah…that is the question.
During the lunch hour, I had the pleasure of discussing the definition of a “young adult” in terms of literature. Professor Kendrick is a sociologist and studying people, behaviors, and classifying them is a big part of it. I was telling her about my dreams of becoming a writer, and when she asked me what kind of writing I do, I replied, “Mostly fiction, short and longer works. I am currently working on a novel.” We got into talking about the use of the phrase “Young Adult (YA) literature”. It really is a fascinating time to be a writer because the genre classifications we know and love could very well change right before our eyes. Students are not on the same reading levels as others simply because of circumstances out of their control. I feel that the YA age bracket could change drastically, based on how kids are educated; but, this is merely my opinion and thoughts I had today. I do not know if they truly fit together, but they are mine and I will continue to work on them.
I almost wish that I had to write a thesis paper for my major.