Union Public Policy Class

Solving the World's Problems One Bulldog at a Time

End of Year Reflection

Now that I am a Junior I can safely say that I have mastered typical college practices such as essay test and pulling an “all nighter” to finish a paper. As a Junior I generally know what to expect from my classes and professors.

When I got the email from Dr. Baker about wanting to structure this class in a new way I thought that meant he would teach and we would be expected to respond and be engaging, more that usual.

I was right but I didn’t foresee the challenges that this class would hold.

We are required to be engaging in class but we, the students, had to become the experts. I don’t know about the rest of the class, okay I know how Spicer feels, but this class was a challenge for me.

Sadly, during my college experience there have not been many opportunities to practice my public speaking. Since I am never nervous about standing up in front of people and presenting I considered myself a good public speaker. This class has like, made me realize that like, there is like more to like public speaking than like being like nervous.

After taking this class I now see public speaking more in the terms of communicating a message and presenting information in a way that is easy to follow. Your audience doesn’t want to hear what you are saying rather they want to understand the information.

Visual aid is also important when giving such long presentations like the ones we did in this class. Although they are widely used, text heavy power points are boring and reading off of them makes your audience sleepy. Also in the realm of visual aid, looking at a Prezi presentation is nauseating when the text moves in and out of focus.    

Besides the presentation aspect, this class challenged me through the topics I presented. All of our topics were so broad and detailed that after reading countless articles we had to sift through the material and determine what information is actually important. That part was so frustrating to me because no matter how much material I decided to include, there were always parts that got left out.

Another reason this class was so different from any of my other classes was that after each presentation my classmates would openly critique my presentation. This was more nerve racking that receiving a grade from a professor. As much as I hated the open critique it did help me grow as a student and it was good to see my same presentation through different perspectives. In my opinion, having open discussion after the presentation actually helped us learn more than if Dr. Baker had just lectured because we all have different backgrounds and political standings. Looking back on the semester I am glad that I took this class despite its challenges. 

Finally the blog, oh the blog. Why was it so hard to blog? So for all my fellow classmates needing to make another comment on the blog, I hope this post makes that as easy as possible.



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3 thoughts on “End of Year Reflection

  1. luketrammell on said:

    You are very right Shea. This class has stretched me think through issues more critically. It has probably been my favorite political science class thus far and I found the format to be refreshing. I know I gave off a negative vibe on here a few weeks ago, but I truly have enjoyed the class and I appreciate the opportunity to broaden my knowledge on such a wide range of policy issues using the hands on method that we employed this semester.

  2. sethbrake on said:

    I agree with the both of you, it was a great class. The nights before presentations I probably wouldn’t say this, haha, but the class was a great thing and I’m glad I took it. Thanks for the feedback everyone and especially Dr. Baker

  3. I feel like I know each of you much better because of the deep level of vulnerability that comes with letting yourself be critiqued by your peers on a regular basis. Y’all have all taught me something and I’ll miss this class so much! Definitely one of my favorites in college.

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