Blog #1:Nicole Eldridge
As a sophomore in high school, I moved many miles away from what I called home. Moving to Mexico was a demanding and enlightening experience for me. Indeed, this drastic change from an average, fairly routine public school education in Colorado, to a rigorous, mentally exasperating, private school in Mexico was without a doubt the most memorable, yet arduous learning experience I have ever undergone.
Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Mexico, is recognized for being the most renowned high school/college education of the country; I chose this school because I was eager to challenge myself and expand my learning horizons entirely. Because of the fact that Spanish was my first language, I was confident of the fact that I would excel. Frankly, I was accustomed to effortlessly earning the highest grades in the classroom and was expecting nothing less of myself in a foreign situation. To begin with, I realized that I had lost the majority of my Spanish (living in the US for my entire life), and did not know a single grammar rule. Additionally, I had never been habituated in such a disciplined school environment. If one was merely a second late to class (literally), they were not even allowed inside the classroom. On days which one forgot a pencil, the textbook, the homework, or the readings, notes, and worksheets (which were supposed to be printed out before class), one was kicked out of the classroom immediately. As an overconfident, yet oblivious and puzzled student, I tended to forget all of these items, and was continuously being kicked out of class. Truly, I was astonished at the fact that teachers did not give me any sort of special treatment or attention because I was a foreigner; they treated me and graded my assignments like an experienced, Mexican student. At first, I kept on going about the situation with an absent mind, and put no input into bettering my grades and attendance record; I was on the verge of failing an entire school year. Finally, I came to the realization that I had much potential to do an excellent job, and take advantage of this incredible learning experience; I devoted many hours to my studies and came off of my “high horse” and asked for help. Honestly, there was no way I would pass classes such as “inorganic chemistry” in Spanish, without some sort of aid. For two years, I used all of my abilities and strove to achieve the finest grades that I could. Were these grade perfect, or even that high? No. Most of my grades were in the 70-85 range. While I lived in Colorado, I had all A’s. Where did I learn more and develop critical thinking? Mexico. Evidently, my grades were much lower than they were in Colorado, but the study skills and learning abilities that I acquired during the time I lived in Mexico were infinite and significantly more important. Hence, one might assume that my higher grades are because I tried harder; in reality, I put in much more effort to my coursework in Mexico. Thus, I found it quite accurate when Davidson said that she realized that grades were not the only important factor when evaluating a student’s coursework; teamwork and intercommunication are also important factors to assessing what one actually learns in a course, which is ultimately what those courses are all about(pg. 106).
Communication played a significant role in my academic success in Mexico. When I first enrolled in school, I was too stubborn to ask for assistance and was certain I could master the system alone. Needless to say, I was a terrible judge of my ability to “shine” without a bit of a helping hand. Immediately after I was intelligent enough to ask for help, and interact with my fellow peers and teachers, life became much simpler and I was able to achieve my academic goals and have a better understanding of the educational system in Mexico; not only did I adapt to this system, but I was able to cultivate my knowledge and develop my critical thinking skills. I became cognizant of the fact that once I communicated my situation and utter confusion with this crowd, they would become more comprehensive and adjust to my needs. “Learning to give and take feedback responsibly should be a key component of our training as networked citizens of the world” (pg. 107). Essentially, Davidson’s statement truly describes my situation in Mexico, for the minute I was able to carry this task out, my learning experience in Mexico became much more enjoyable and beneficial. Thus, communication plays a crucial role in success and ability to develop one’s critical thinking and learning abilities.
When it comes to a boss-level challenge for this class, I believe that it would be enjoyable and challenging to do some sort of media broadcast segment on a topic of the class’ choice. I think that in order to fulfill all the components to this project, there would be lots of hard work and intercommunication required. I think it will give us a better idea of what goes on to complete a news broadcast segment and see how the information is transmitted to the rest of the community.
Nicole Eldridge. Intro to Media/Culture. T&Th. 12-1:50