Miriam Discussion week 4

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Reply to Miriam Discussion in at least 200 words

Miriam Porter

  • David Wallace’s theme for his commencement address is this: “I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience” (Wallace, 2005). As selfish human beings, our natural default is that we are the center of the universe. Education in the Liberal Arts teaches us that we have the ability to choose a different perspective so that we do not live a life of irritation and anger. Some days we choose to believe the best about those people we meet, and other days we are too tired to fight our default setting. I am involved in a Twelve-Step program. One of the things I have learned is how to accept life on life’s terms and not try to change everything to fit my terms. When I live in acceptance, I take life as it comes because I know that I have no control over how someone else drives, of the length of line at the grocery store, of the crying baby next to me, or of anything else that I encounter during my day-to-day life. Living in acceptance provides me with a peace that reacting to situations cannot give. I am much happier when I look at a situation and choose to accept it exactly as it is; I “choose what I pay attention to and choose how [I] construct meaning from experience” (Wallace, 2005). I choose to accept what is going on around me, and I choose to not let it steal my peace. The purpose and value of a Liberal Arts education is to help us be more aware of those outside of our skull. “It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being “well-adjusted”, which I suggest to you is not an accidental term” (Wallace, 2005). The Liberal Arts curriculum provides ample opportunity for the student to become “well-adjusted” and to “get free of [our] natural, hard-wired default setting.” The classes are challenging, they make us uncomfortable, they force us to think about things that we might never have thought about before, and throughout discussions we gain a different perspective of subjects that we might have thought ourselves the experts in. The realities of an other-focused world become our reality, one class at a time. Do you agree with Wallace? Yes I do. Has your experience as a Liberal Arts major at Ashford done what Wallace says education is supposed to do? Ashford has contributed to my growth as a person, but so has the many years of living that I did before coming to Ashford. Participating in a Twelve-Step program has changed me and has put me on the path towards becoming a better person. I choose every day to live in acceptance, to live my life at peace with the people, places and things around me that I have no control over. References: Wallace, D. F. (2005, May 21). Transcription of the 2005 Kenyon commencement address (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20080213082423/http://w…Manage Discussion Entry

    David Wallace’s theme for his commencement address is this: “I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience” (Wallace, 2005). As selfish human beings, our natural default is that we are the center of the universe. Education in the Liberal Arts teaches us that we have the ability to choose a different perspective so that we do not live a life of irritation and anger. Some days we choose to believe the best about those people we meet, and other days we are too tired to fight our default setting.I am involved in a Twelve-Step program. One of the things I have learned is how to accept life on life’s terms and not try to change everything to fit my terms. When I live in acceptance, I take life as it comes because I know that I have no control over how someone else drives, of the length of line at the grocery store, of the crying baby next to me, or of anything else that I encounter during my day-to-day life. Living in acceptance provides me with a peace that reacting to situations cannot give. I am much happier when I look at a situation and choose to accept it exactly as it is; I “choose what I pay attention to and choose how [I] construct meaning from experience” (Wallace, 2005). I choose to accept what is going on around me, and I choose to not let it steal my peace.The purpose and value of a Liberal Arts education is to help us be more aware of those outside of our skull. “It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being “well-adjusted”, which I suggest to you is not an accidental term” (Wallace, 2005). The Liberal Arts curriculum provides ample opportunity for the student to become “well-adjusted” and to “get free of [our] natural, hard-wired default setting.” The classes are challenging, they make us uncomfortable, they force us to think about things that we might never have thought about before, and throughout discussions we gain a different perspective of subjects that we might have thought ourselves the experts in. The realities of an other-focused world become our reality, one class at a time.Do you agree with Wallace? Yes I do. Has your experience as a Liberal Arts major at Ashford done what Wallace says education is supposed to do? Ashford has contributed to my growth as a person, but so has the many years of living that I did before coming to Ashford. Participating in a Twelve-Step program has changed me and has put me on the path towards becoming a better person. I choose every day to live in acceptance, to live my life at peace with the people, places and things around me that I have no control over.References:Wallace, D. F. (2005, May 21). Transcription of the 2005 Kenyon commencement address (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20080213082423/http://w…

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