Thursday, August 5, 2010

Colloquium: How bad is it?

If you're a student at FGCU, you know that in order to graduate you have to take a class called University Colloquium.  And there's a good chance you're probably dreading having to take it.  You've heard the complaints, but you've rarely heard any positives about the course.  If you're like me, you take it over the summer to simply get it over with.  But after taking this class, and enjoying every second of it, I really don't understand why everyone is complaining.  In fact, I can't imagine a student (especially a student at FGCU), not taking Colloquium.

Sure, there's a lot of work involved...especially if you take it over a six-week summer session.  But the work wasn't extremely hard.  And unlike many other classes, there wasn't any busy work.  Everything we learned had a purpose, and every assignment reenforced something that we learned.  We were taught about so many different aspects of the environment and sustainability, and I never felt like I was being forced t believe something that went against my values.  Sure, the videos encouraged people to make small changes in their lifestyle that would better the environment, but I never left class thinking, "if I don't give up my car and my electronics then I'm a bad person."  Each video and field trip left me wanting to know more, and they all left me thinking about how I can make more sustainable choices every day.

At the beginning I thought that less projects, less papers, and less journal entries would make this class better.  But after taking the class, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Each journal entry, project, and paper opened my eyes to a different aspect of environmental sustainability, and because of all these things I got to explore so many new ideas.  I hope that future students can come into this class with an open mind because you really can get a lot out of it.

I would love to see Colloquium courses spread beyond FGCU because I think all students should have the opportunity to take this amazing course and learn more about the environment.

Here's my advice: If you haven't taken Colloquium yet, try not to listen to what everyone else is saying and keep an open mind.  And don't go around talking about what you don't know.  And if you have taken it, say what you want...but if you're going to be negative, watch how you say it and who you say it to.

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