Monday, June 6, 2016

proof inside.

It's been so long since I've posted a 'selfie' anywhere. I've actually been off of facebook for about two years and I've not jumped in on any platform besides this blog. I have to say that it works for me.

I was going through some old school work today and I came across a class reflection that I wrote after a college writing course in April of 2014.

Do you ever look at things you accomplished and say, "Wow, I did that? How did I even make it through that?" My school semesters are like this for me, little treasure of accomplishment. I think I'll be a life-long student just for the sake of small mountains to climb.

The other day my hair came alive in the wind. I love the pictures, mostly because I remember how magical that moment felt, how nothing mattered but the wind and my son next to me. I love that we are two peas in a pod.

So I'll share that reflection I found, along with a set of selfies in tribute to social media days long past...
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Tactfully Courageous And A Little Worn Out

"My facebook plagues me with anxiety. In the past it has been a marvelous means of announcing vitally important information, from ultrasound results to what I’d most recently cooked for dinner. Social media has also allowed me to keep in touch with distant family and friends, and to share my thoughts, especially regarding gospel topics. On the other hand, I’ve had my fair share of internet misunderstandings and contentious debates.  Arguing a position on same-gender marriage or women in the work place have given me headaches and left me obsessing. The anxiety I feel when contemplating a cameo in the newsfeed keeps me from returning to a presently deactivated facebook account.

 photo life 219 of 229_zpsck6dgeql.jpgWhen I do return, some day, I’ll at least be armed with a bit more courage and a great deal more tact because of my enrollment in this college writing class. 
 photo life 218 of 229_zpsm5u8hvff.jpgCourage and confidence come as a result of greater knowledge and understanding. Hey, my brain’s got a new research app. I know where to look and how to search out a topic in greater detail. I can see the way an open and researching mind might see many sides of an issue and be willing to share and listen in the pursuit of truth. I feel power to slow my reaction time when an issue presents itself, focusing on information gathering before concrete opinion.  Even on religious matters. 
 photo life 222 of 229_zpsjhaxvwaf.jpgScientist and faithful Latter-day Saint, Henry Eyring Sr., taught, 'There are some people who throw away the scriptures and restrict themselves to science and related fields. Others use the scriptures to the exclusion of other truth. Both are wrong. Latter-day Saints should seek after truth by all avenues with earnest humility. There is, of course, no conflict in the gospel since it embraces all truth. Undoubtedly, however, science is continually challenging us to think through again our conceptions of the gospel. This should go both ways, of course.' 
 photo life 221 of 229_zps9nvzcfia.jpgResearch can be a path to truth. Knowing more about a topic can lead to greater perspective and increased confidence in speaking openly about that subject. Because I can research, I can be courageous.
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I can also be more conscious of and courteous to my audience. This awareness requires effort. We’ve read article after article in this class and I’ve thought, “Why does this author appeal to me? On what level have we connected?” I pictured myself in their audience and imagined the assumptions they must have been working with. It’s been interesting to picture other readers picking up the same essay and making faces of disgust as they read. 
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Ultimately I’ve always been aware, on some level, of my audience when I use social media, but I don’t think I’ve thought long or hard enough about their values to tailor an argument. I’ve thrown everything I have, every shred of proof in my favor, without pausing to ask if the points would be relevant to the reader. Now I know how to tread more lightly and pick my points more carefully.

 photo life 225 of 229_zps7hfd4eze.jpgI don’t see myself going back to facebook soon, although the temptation is real. I’d like to stalk through the pictures of unknowing victims and leave obnoxious birthday greetings, but I’m going to have to wait. I may be a little more courageous and tactful after this class, but I’m also a bit tired."
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That was it. The end.
 photo life 227 of 229_zpsfeaqfenu.jpgWhen I found that reflection I was actually looking, unsuccessfully, for a research paper that I wrote for that class. That paper was the product of incredible effort and now I can't find it, grrr.
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that's just the way with education, though.

you put in a lot of effort and there ends up being very little visible proof that anything ever happened. maybe you finish and someone hands you a piece of paper, but really the proof is on the inside where no one can really see.

what you learn becomes woven into your thoughts and words and given away, yet retained all the better for the sharing.

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