Bruce Mau exercise & Blog Prompt


One very important practice that I want to continue doing for the rest of my life is maintaining a spiritual connection with the creator and exploring the creation of my creator to further build that connection. There is beauty in learning about other cultures, identities, and exploring how the human moral consciousness has come to unite us for years. While morality has been claimed to be an outdated philosophy by many, it is by far in my opinion the most sentimental aspect of humanity. In my poem I hope to convey how a detrimental shift has spread in the west of marginalizing many groups in the middle east practicing islam. There is continuous villainization of people who practice religion. All to serve a political, social, and economical division that only benefits the higher authority. Many have fallen under these strategic social traps and within their distractions they are only fueling the unequal distribution of power within society. 

The Rest of My Life… in Question(?)

The alarming existential question in position “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?” brings many thoughts and outlooks among my mind. To get a clear understanding of how I realistically see the rest of my life going I’ll quickly recap how I’ve gotten to this point of realization within myself. 

Setting the basis of self awareness has been the ideal situation for me as I plan out my career goals and aspirations among a new stage in life. After turning 21 this past summer I realized that time truly waits for nobody. I remember the year of 2016 when I was 15 years old with no a worry or care in the world. Only two things I had to do: Get good grades and be a good kid which I fulfilled. However as I transition onto college after graduating high school in 2019, my responsibilities and purpose became more important than ever. No more procrastinating, relaxing, and staying a kid. I was in the real world now. 

I’ve been fortunate to have been part of many educational and creative opportunities with many programs and organizations since 2018. Having those connections and relationships with people who’ve introduced you to many new things have been a driving force for me today. As I continue to do it, I’m near completion of my bachelors degree in Creative Writing at Brooklyn College in 2023. 

After I graduate I plan to either continue a more competitive and diverse level of fellowships or start my career as a freelance writer, creative writer for a company, and possibly start writing a novel. As common with many people, this isn’t fully accurate but it’s the best ideal situation I can see myself in. I also would like to see myself making a lot of money, own a house, help rebuild communities and strive for positive change, and become part of many creative movements and projects throughout the world. 

Going back to the question itself is one that’ll stay with me throughout my entire life unironically. Deciding on what to do for the rest of my life depends on my desires and needs at specific points of improvement, dedication, and motivation in life. There are new things that I may learn when I’m in my 50s rather than my 20s. I may have everything in life one day but decide to learn something new to add to my repertoire. 

2020

You are a phase
A phase of breakfast by the vending machine 
Of play practices
Pictures with my friends
Stormy days
Public Buses 

You are the radio
Songs about love
My dreams
Christmas

You are the first swallow of the Pill
The show playing in the background
The room bright and pink
The laundry I had to put away 

You are our first fight
A late night
My toilet and the bathroom floor
My vomit
My breathless sobs
My silent pain
And My fake smile the next day

You are the hot air of my island
The mosquitoes
The noisy fan
And the muffle cries of pain
The sultry air of Abuela’s bathroom
And the restless night

You are the next day
My involuntary quiet
The texts
The memory loss
I don’t remember myself.
Only you. 

You are my phone.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
The fights.
The vomit.
The silent suffering. 

Smile mami cannot know.
You are my phone.
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

You are the reason I picked it up.
You are the reason I read. 

You are my false hope.
“I love you..
We will get through this”

You are my late nights.
My worry.
My despair.
I cannot find air. 

You are my foggy memory.
I can’t remember anything
Anything but You. 

You are my phone.
I can’t put you down.
I can’t escape. 

You are my brush.
My arm.
My imbalance.
My phone.
Where is my phone?

You are fights.
You are an enemy.
You are someone I love.

Who am I?
What is left of me?

You are the reason I don’t leave.

My Life

As I’m getting older, I do often think about the rest of my life and how it will turn out. I get anxious when thinking of the future because I don’t know what it holds. I’ve spent time planning things, having expectations, hoping for things, just for it all to turn out differently. At this point, I think about that saying, man plans, god laughs. We only have control over so much. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I’m starting to see that’s the beauty of it, the magic in the unknown.

I am a first generation college student. First in my household to go to college, and first to prove combat sports is for women too. Truth is, I have no idea what the rest of my life holds. I do have goals, but goals can change too, and often in my life so far, they have. So, currently, I live by ambition, kindness, and working towards my fullest potential.

One thing I do know, I am passionate about our justice system. And that passion has become a light inside me that isn’t burning out anytime soon. If I know one thing for sure, it’s that I will have a voice in criminal law in my life.

Another thing I know for sure is that I’ll pursue combat sports. It’s not something I do anymore, it’s who I am.

As a first generation college student and the first to be born in the U.S. I have a dream to provide for my family and make their dreams come true. I live to make them proud and show them their sacrifices will never go unrecognized.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of things going wrong, but things always go wrong at some point. Then goes that other saying, God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.

I’m ready for them.

The Awakening Spirit

A young girl who was unaware of the world

Someone who chose to be present at the moment

She did not chose to focus on the future 

Her mind tends to find peace in little small things

Gradually growing up, the reality touched her

She is not a free spirit anymore

She is not in her motherland anymore

She is not with her friends anymore

But she is with herself

She became familiar with the unfamiliar things

Life led her to pass through some challenging moments

But those moments were disguised as blessings

The paths of life introduced her to some strangers in the unknown city

Some strangers became lifetime friends, some came as lessons

Some helped her to realize her ability, some tried to diminish it

She chose to embrace the difficult time instead of surrendering to it

Sometimes, she is in search of finding answers to questions

But the answer to her question is no answer

Finally, now putting her trust in the flow of life

In the midst of the crowd, there is a small child, and innocence is hidden inside her

The rules of life tend to make it unrecognizable

Experiences taught her peace and happiness don’t share the same definition

She is a free spirit now

This time a stronger version than before

Open mic- Mother by Violet Doolittle

Mother

Smiling with her broken spine as

we skipped along the cracks of 

suburban cement sidewalks.

Her sunlit knuckles and craters

down the sides of her hips.

“Where we once collided,”

She whispered into our three

soft rosy ears. “Took three chunks 

of my flesh, bones, my eyes.”

We glued her googly eyes to 

preschool posters on crispy blue 

construction paper. They sung 

With each of our steps. Danced

circles around our juvenile delirium.

We hung them on the fridge with

bottle cap magnets and alphabet soup.

But jam coated pinkie fingers

reaching for bottles of thick milk

knocked three spinning googly eyes

from their crispy blue construction paper.

They fell to the floorboards,

catching sight of thirty toes, dancing

to the world beyond what is known

in the craters of our mother’s hips. 

Who will I be?

I’m a girl who’s had too many hobbies for her own good. I’d like to think my next best obsessions are the reason why I’ve changed my mind so many times about “what I want to be,” but I suppose that’s also just a part of growing up. I wanted to be an artist, a fashion designer, a writer, a teacher, a clinical psychologist, a physician’s assistant, and my latest and longest obsession: a doctor. Growing up, I heard the opposite of what you might expect from most parents: “don’t go to medical school.” From a young age, my dad drilled into my mind that medicine was a terrible route to follow– a waste of your time and money. Of course, that was only the case for him. He graduated with a degree in religion studies, only to earn his medical degree, finish a residency in pathology, and a fellowship/masters in biomedical engineering. Guess what he does today? He’s a computer programmer who runs a business that stores boat licensing information. He dedicated years and years of his life to medicine, only to discover along the way that he didn’t like it much at all. And now, he couldn’t be happier with his career. Life takes us to unexpected places, but I can only hope that wherever it takes me, I’m happy and I am kind. I would hope medical school is the right path for me, considering I’ve dedicated so much of myself to it in undergrad alone, but regardless, I’m just happy to be pursuing something that excites my curiosity.

The Uncertainty of the Rest of My Life

Whenever people ask me what I want to do with the rest of my life, I would think, how could people really know what they want to do for their short lives? What if people know about their faiths for the past of their life, but suddenly, they do not know anymore at some point? Likewise, people often endeavor to strive for a great desired future, but how can the person know that is what they really want to do? Isn’t life should be a process of finding a goal? Or don’t we spend our whole life finding our anticipation and enthusiasm?

I watched a movie this year, and it is called My Own Private Idaho, which gives a piece of solid evidence to prove this idea. The leading actor is called Scott Favor, cast by Keanu Reeves. Scott comes from a wealthy mayor’s family. He loses his passion for life when he is twenty years old and wants to find a meaningful life before he turns twenty-one. He escapes from his family and becomes a vagrant on the streets. His other identification is as a sex worker before he inherited his father’s money. He experienced terrible but meaningful life while he was homeless. A future that is waiting for you might not be the one you like; however, you might want to seek a blurry but joyful future.


When I was a kid, I got influenced by my surroundings, like peers, family members, and maybe even the tendency of popularity during the time. So, for example, there was a period people around me wanted to be cooks because they thought cooks and chefs would never lose their jobs in restaurants, and many people were trying to go to skill-oriented institutions to learn how to be cooks. Therefore, those people triggered me, and I thought I should be a cook, too, so I went to one of the cooking training studios in my neighborhood before I went to college. However, I did not prefer being in the kitchen from daylight to nighttime, working and preparing food, working and preparing food. So after that, I reconsidered what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be in the future. Life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for me, and things had replayed. I thought I would be an interior designer, but after three years of college study, I was not enjoying the major and the work. So I dropped out of school and took my time to think about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life after the years of break. During that time, I was working as an accountant and enjoyed it at the beginning of the three months; however, my hatred of the work slowly appeared again. Finally, I got my peers’ and friends’ suggestions and recommendations to major in computer science. Things are going smoothly so far in my academic life.
Life also is not black and white. Our lives and opportunities are vigorously shown to us. And even we are confident about the certainty of what we believe. So in terms of that, we should learn how to embrace our uncertainties to live unpredictable lives.

What Do I Want to do With the Rest of my Life?

Crystal Rosario

What do you want to do with the rest of your life? 

When the Pandemic first happened in the year of 2019, panic and uncertainty became the main focus of everyone’s lives. The Pandemic brought devastation to many families who lost loved ones as well as their jobs. Children were forced to stay home and not be able to interact with their peers and see their parents afraid of what’s to come. It was a very easy situation to become pessimistic and lose hope. However, I have been blessed to disclose this Pandemic created an opportunity for me to jump back in and finish getting my associates degree. I never pictured myself going back to college because I was extremely discouraged because my GPA was terrible. I did horribly when I first went to college as a teenager fresh out of high school. When classes were forced to go remote my world changed. I was able to care for my home and children and attend classes at night. Being an example to my children is my main goal. I want to finish this semester I am currently taking. After completing my associates degree in Liberal Arts, I will move on to getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources. To answer the question, What do I want to do with the rest of my life? I want to help anyone I can. I come from a poor, teenage mother on public assistance and know the struggle the people in my community go through everyday. The fight everyday to not be generalized by the area I live in and being hispanic. The lack of organic foods in my local supermarkets but liquor stores and smoke shops are fully packed with supplies. I was born into generational poverty. Having to search for opportunities because my family never finished highschool makes me appreciative and grateful for my life and I want to give back. That is why my degree focus is Human Resources. However, Matthew 6:34 states, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” God willing I will achieve my goals but I am flexible and won’t be disappointed if I am led in any other direction

The Rest of my Life

Isamar Brito

What I want to do with my life is a very simple, and yet, quite loaded question. The honest truth is that I do not know what I want to do with it. I think in the end, I just want to be happy. And leading my life with the prospect of simply being happy is a really confusing thing. Like, right now, I am a Political Science major. And I really do enjoy the topics I am learning about. But what is to come after this? I am not sure. I know a lot of my peers are thinking about law school, but is that something that would make me happy? No. I don’t want to be a lawyer. And I don’t want to be a politician. So what else is there for me to do? I don’t know. I think it sucks being nineteen and still so uncertain of your own future. Instead of answers for things like what I want to do, I just have a bunch of blanks. And thats not particularly what people want to hear. I get it too. I mean it’s a basic question, now that I am in my second year of college I should make a decision about what I want to do so I can work towards it. Yet, I can’t. 

I’ve always changed up my ideas for what I wanted to do. At first, it was archeology, then it was a veterinarian, then it was a doctor, a philanthropist (how would I even pull that off?), a criminal psychologist, a psychologist, a sociologist, a lawyer, a professor… the list goes on and on. Recently, the unrealistic dream is curating a museum. But I suppose that’s not an answer for what I want to do in the future but rather something I would like to do within the span of my life. It’s a foolish dream, it’s unrealistic, but the thought of it makes me happy. So i guess it’s alright to have it in the back of my mind. 

All of this convoluted nonsense aside, the point is, I just want to be happy. Which is why, I suppose, my list changes so much. It evolves alongside me. I think freedom is something I want to do with the rest of my life. The freedom to do what makes me happy. I think a lot of Latine’s get to this point in their life and feel that they have to have everything set. I see a lot of people my age with that mentality. It’s a good mentality. I wish I had it. But for me I just want to do things that make me happy. I want to talk about the things I love, I don’t want to settle on a career that will end in me being unsatisfied. I want to genuinely enjoy my life. I want to be open about all sorts of expressions of myself. To love who I love, dress how I dress, talk how I talk. I want to be strive to be that version of myself. I’m not sure if that is really answering the question, but it’s definitely the best answer I’ve got.

What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

That’s the question that I have dreaded answering all the way since way back in Middle School. I know that a lot of adults want a direct answer, something that’s inspiring and innovative… but the only answer I could come up with is: “I don’t know.” It’s not an acceptable answer, it never has been. Ever since you are in Pre-School you are asked what you want to be when you grow up and you are even then expected to answer, even if your answer isn’t taken seriously. From a young age, you are discouraged from certain answers, or certain jobs because they’re not ambitious enough or they don’t make enough money. Those thoughts stay with you as you grow up and try to find an acceptable answer. Eventually, you do but now that you’re older you get asked “how are you going to accomplish this?” and you are expected to give a step-by-step explanation and even then you’re given a follow-up question of “What if that doesn’t work.” Only then to be asked, “Why are you doing this?” “What are you going to do with this?”  Or to be told that it’s a waste of time or unrealistic. It’s exhausting. 

As someone who has struggled with my mental health, I honestly didn’t think I would live past 16, so at a certain age I stopped thinking about the future and took things one day at a time. I was told that “it’s ok” but time doesn’t wait. I’m a Senior now, and as I prepare to graduate, I find myself unsure of the future or what I want to do. I found myself in a routine of just worrying about now so much that later became now, like a true procrastinator. 

Now that I’m in a better place, it’s hard because I haven’t thought about it too much. I don’t have a set answer, all I have is an idea or vision, which some may even call a dream.

I’m in my apartment sitting by a window, I can see the city down below. I have a warm cup of tea and my laptop. My cat named Boots jumps on the windowsill and falls asleep. Everything is quiet and peaceful. There’s no noise, no fog, no doubt, no regret… just content. In this dream, I don’t know what I do for a living just that it makes me happy. Maybe I’m working on a novel or a poem. It’s never clear. Now that I’m free to, I can imagine so many different possibilities… how can I just choose one? 

Participating in the Young Invincibles Advocacy Organization

Young Invincibles is a youth-focused advocacy organization that is centered on encouraging young people about finding their voices, and using their talents and abilities to tackle issues in the political realm that impact them every day, such as higher education, economic justice, politics, public policy, health insurance, and others. We do this through building a community of young leaders who take action for social change, sharing the stories of young adults, exploring cutting-edge policy research and analysis, providing tools for our generation to make smart economic choices, and encouraging mission-driven social enterprise ventures. YI is headquartered in Washington DC, and has branches in California, Colorado, and New York. They have a special Young Advocates program that employs a group of Advocates between the ages of 18 and 34 in the Fall and Spring semesters every year, where they develop skills and gain experience in the core functions of advocacy and public policy work, as well as building their overall professional skills. The program includes Advocates overseeing on-the-ground community engagement, such as planning state and local events to educate and facilitate discussions on pressing issues affecting our generation.

For the August 11th conference, I was selected by my supervisors and top staff at the New York Young Invincibles program to represent the NY YI program at the “Raising The Bar” Summit to be hosted by the Department of Education. I would represent New York, while 2 other YI participants would represent California and Colorado respectively. We were to speak before almost 50 college presidents and administrators, from the student leader perspective, on how they could best support student welfare and basic needs. We spoke on a panel about advocacy efforts that we each contributed to in our home states and advised the audience (college administrators from all over the country and Department of Education staff and officials) on how they can work with their students to enact broader-reaching change that goes beyond their campuses. They wanted student activists who worked on campus-based basic needs efforts, and state/systemwide policy change — which I was happy to have done. 

Participating in student government in the 2021-22 school year as an elected official, interning at Hunter’s NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) chapter, and serving as a Young Advocate at Young Invincibles (amongst other activities) have all molded me into the activist/leader I envision myself to be today. I testified before the City Council Higher Education Committee about the needed funding, expansion, and implementation of Single Stop, a program that helps students access nutrition benefits, health insurance, legal and financial services, and tax preparation assistance at CUNY schools. Currently it exists at all CUNY community colleges and a select few senior colleges. I also traveled to Albany and spoke to elected officials (Senators and Assembly members) on the importance for passing the New Deal for CUNY Bill, testified before elected officials virtually for Higher Education Action Week, and helped lead a group-led campaign in my Young Advocates program, testifying and vouching for the banning of college transcript withholding in NY. It was a huge honor to be a part of these victories and movements, and I spoke about them with Summit audience members. At the end, I received a great applause!

blog 01. the new college classroom: rekindling curiosity in academia

Image of library with book shelves, circular window, bathing a few tables in the room in the su

blog 01. rekindling curiosity in academia

A common piece of advice I received as a prospective college student in high school was to learn how to teach myself, because high school would be the last time I’d have my hand held through lessons and assignments. As someone who has always felt that I learned best from being taught a concept, I couldn’t wrap my head around how attending college lectures wouldn’t be helpful in learning and understanding the material.

It was only when I began my freshman year of college and attended a few lectures for myself where I recognized how this disparity could exist. As a sophomore now, I’ve recognized that learning in academic institutions, at present, is not about gaining knowledge, enrichment, or strengthening one’s own ability to think for themselves as it may well be advertised to be. Each course is instead a mission to understand a professor, what types of questions they may ask, and, most importantly, how to ace their exams. Strategy and the pursuit of bigger and bigger numbers is held well above all else at the expense of receiving an actual, beneficial education.

Although this is evident throughout some of middle and most of high school, the shortcomings of the education system truly stands out in college. Many of the formalities upheld in high school for the sake of obscuring much of school’s incompetence are abandoned in higher education. With pretenses stripped away, the failures of our current education system become glaringly obvious.

The truth of the matter is that the education system, as it currently is, is not meant to foster a love for learning. Rooted in dated teaching and learning techniques, academia now is centuries behind what the scientific research at present advises us to do and not do. There is an urgent need to reprioritize how we approach education and foster a desire to learn in students at all levels.

The truth of the matter is that the education system, as it currently is, is not meant to foster a love for learning.

At the level of higher education, Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis are two individuals who are dedicated to this cause and in positions in the City University of New York to bring long delayed change to revamp the education system. I, like many of the CUNY Peer Leaders of the 2022-2023 cohort have shared, am passionate about learning. However, most of my pursuit for knowledge is done in private, with school sometimes even serving as an obstacle to being able to dedicate time and energy to truly seeking education. To incorporate this pure, unbridled desire to know into higher education can seem like an infeasible task. But in The New College Classroom, Davidson and Katopodis provide an informative guide to demonstrate how it is very much possible through scientifically backed methods in active learning.

Adjusting to refocusing education back onto true knowledge will undoubtedly require a lot of work from people at all levels, including students, professors, and administrative authorities. In fact, many students would deem it a burden to take the effort to truly understand and care about what they learn. However, the long term benefits this will have on the depth of students’ cognition not only makes this endeavor an important step for the advancement of academic institutions, but also a moral obligation for such facilities to truly adopt the purpose for which they have been created.

The New College Classroom

Professor Cathy Davidson and Dr. Christina Katopodis’s book The New College Classroom details ways of pedagogy in which students can excel in a classroom environment that encourages them to take lead and engage in ways that will propel them not only in their academic careers but in life. This discussion was very interesting and insightful and The New College Classroom will change lives and the education system altogether. Teachers all over can and will look to this as a guide to increase engagement and productivity in their classrooms. Many people do not finish school because they aren’t in environments that are supportive, or taught in ways that make them want to learn. I enjoyed how the authors asked the audience questions as well to get their perspectives and how the authors highlighted statistics and the demographics of the 18 million college students. It is the reason why the method of teaching is so vital and not just the information being given. That was meant to resonate with the listeners and it did. I personally feel this book and method of teaching should be read by every professor, and should be applied in every school. All students, all ages should be able to sit in a classroom that supports and focuses on meaningful learning and outcomes that matter. The discourse on alternative assessments, how to structure equity in courses, and how in order to create life changing learning, the Professor must change too, is absolutely revolutionary. As a student I have always excelled in a classroom environment where I was able to freely participate and speak my mind and it is crucial we create this space for all students. 

The New College Classroom

Changing the world begins with The New College Classroom

Through the collaboration of Professor Cathy N. Davidson and Dr.Christina Katopodis, we revisit the many ongoing issues within the educational system. In The New college classroom event, both Cathy and Christina discuss their book launch on developing strategic steps to changing traditional education systems.

In their re-approach they showcase the academic shifts that occurred in the 19th century. Through history we learn that the education system became a tool to manage labor during the industrial era causing inadequate student performance, instructional based classrooms, and stricter evaluations. All of these factors create a subordinate society that lacks innovation, flexibility, and adaptability. A society that only serves to benefit cooperations and high powered individuals.

However, Cathy and Dr.Christina take an interesting stance of resolving this inequality. Rather than demanding changes from high powered individuals who control the education system, they actually reach out to inspire students and professors. Teaching us, the people who are in the classrooms how to reshape our education environment, take accountability, and essentially own back our classrooms. They discuss how there’s a lack of student engagement, not many students ask questions, share their opinion or voice themselves at all. This is very problematic considering that school is a place where ideas are exchanged and taught. Thus, ideas are supposed to be discussed, challenged, questioned, and answered so that we may further advance as a society.

So how do we create a new classroom environment that allows for an easier flow of ideas, innovation, and high engagement? Cathy and Christina teaches us the essential 3Cs: three levels of transformation: changing ourselves, changing classrooms, and changing the world. With the 3Cs we create an environment that supports learning, foster creativity, and connect the content we learn to our lives. Beyond applying that content, we must also create a place where every individual has a voice regardless of their race, sex, etc. A place where students are not afraid of failure or getting to know their peers, and a place where they can disagree freely.

Overall, this event was very insightful, and a reminder for all of us to protect our academic individuality, to expand our work ethics, and apply these opportunities to our lives and become connected with variables being presented in our classrooms. Thank you Professor Cathy Davidson and Dr.Christina Katopodis for the amazing work and research you’ve put into this book.

We need a new college classroom

The September 7th meeting with Cathy Davidson and Dr. Christina Katopodis about their amazing book The New College Classroom was so informative. Prior to this meeting, I had not read the book, but after hearing their discussion about it I am eager to read it. At the beginning of the meeting when Chancellor Rodriguez was introducing the book, I already knew I would resonate with this book. I appreciated how the Chancellor recognized that students learn differently and how he wanted to grow a greater understanding of students. The value of empathy to grow a greater knowledge of the students and what they needed to have so they could bring their all to class was so comforting to hear. Hearing that this book is more of an ethical book rather than a book about teaching differentiates itself from other books or ted talks about the education system. 

The new college classroom provides a step-by-step manual for reimagining the classroom experience as an active citizen. The new college classroom offers students more than what today’s classrooms are giving them. It empowers students with creative problem-solving tools because that is essential in creating an inclusive democratic society in and out of the classroom. When Cathy Davidson started speaking about her book, I was stunned by the statistics she stated. Davidson stated, “We’ve had sociologists’ education who’ve gone around and found out that twenty percent of students graduate from college without ever having spoken in a class unless they were directly called on. That’s a tragedy.” 20 percent of students did not have the confidence to speak in class, and I say confidence because I too am a student that doesn’t speak in class. Professors are not always welcoming, and the classroom doesn’t feel like a creative space for wrong answers, which is why we need a new college classroom. 

Out with the Old

The illustration depict (unable to download creative photo) how people can come together no matter the race, religion or sex or faith. Learning takes team work and dedication from all ends of the spectrums that include teachers, administration, students and anyone who makes policies and rules in the education system. During The New College Classroom lecture by Professor Cathy Davidson and Dr. Christine Katopodis it was said that the higher education need to change in order for the students to change and become better at their career. This is where it starts and begin to florish as students begin to to be efficient at their job. When asked what we liked most about teaching, it was learning the material given and perfecting the skills that will be taught to them. As history changes everyday its up to educators and administrators to change also. Learning and teaching work hand in hand as explained at the lecture. As educational leaders we must arm ourselves with information that students can take with them as they grow and learn in this society. I learned a lot at this lecture and how i can become a better tool and asset to my students.

The New College Classroom

I especially appreciated and learned a lot from The New College Classroom event as an aspiring student and professor. Even though the event covers a wide range of academic concepts, I would sum up its core message there is a significant difference in the educational system, which will aid students in whatever they decide to accomplish. The way that colleges teach is outdated. The listlessness of the lecture hall and the uneasy quiet of the seminar room would be all too familiar to a time traveler from a century ago if they landed in today’s schools. But we are aware of improvements. To demonstrate how teachers at all types of institutions may support students in becoming independent, creative, and active learners, Cathy N. Davidson, and Christina Katopodis, two of the world’s leading innovators in higher education, turn to the most recent research and methodologies.

In addition, I believe that the New College Classroom supports educators in all fields in developing a setting that is supportive of learning. Modern schooling and learning science research are transformed by Davidson and Katopodis into ready-to-use solutions that may be included in any course. At community colleges and research universities, on campus, online, and in hybrid settings, these empirically supported, classroom-tested active learning strategies—from the participatory syllabus and upgrading to grab-and-go activities for every day of the term—have produced impressive outcomes.

Active learning tools outperform traditional teaching strategies, according to a large body of research. Davidson and Katopodis give thorough case studies of educators effectively implementing active-learning approaches in their classes daily, guaranteeing that their students are better prepared for life beyond college. They also explain how and why their strategy works.

Dr. Christina Katopodis and Professor Cathy Davidson have collaborated. Both reiterated the value of education and the necessity of caring for students both individually and in groups.

To effectively support students’ learning and place the student instead of the course in the center of our planning, Drs. Davidson and Katopodis make the following remark.

I’ll conclude by saying that this is a fantastic opportunity, and I sincerely appreciate each one of them. The book and presentation by Dr. Christina Katopodis and Professor Cathy Davidson felt like a real stride into a new era of higher education.

Thank You,

Best,

Rayon(Ryan)

The New College Classroom

After I attened the extraordinary event that held by Professor Cathy Davidson and Dr. Christina Katopodis, I would like to read the book The New College Classroom. This event is extremely revolutionary for the current college education. They proposed that college education should be differential instruction, according to different students’ learning styles or individual needs. And in the current college learning environment, professors talk a lot, and students engagement is not ideal. So our college education does need a revolution!

The New College Classroom gives us many special but practical teaching methods, and trigger us to think about how pedagogy should be changed according to “The People.” It also make me to think Why will we learn? Learning should be an enjoyful thing. First, because of curiousness, we would like to explore something. Then, with the process of learning, I want to know more about it, so we start to deep dig into it. At last, everyone would be an expert in one’s interested field. That should be the mission of education.

This event gives me an opportunity to think about What’s the most ideal education? And what’s the ultimate purpose of education? In my opinion, the ultimate purpose of education is helping students to find his/her life purpose. In spiritual perspective, everyone comes to the earth brings at least one life purpose. So as teachers or parents, we should let children to try everything he/she feels excited things, that’s the easiest way to find his/her life purpose. The ultimate purpose of education shouldn’t in order to increase income, accumulate wealth, or level up class because when you do the things really make you excited, you’ll do your level best, at last you must be successful, and income, wealth, achievement, and reputation will be also on their ways to you! This is very natural thing, it’s also the way of floating down the stream with the universe rule!

The New College Classroom: The Liberatory Potential of Active Learning

In celebration of the launch of their cutting-edge book The New College Classroom, Professor Cathy N. Davidson and Dr. Christina Katopodis, conducted a discussion via Zoom and in person on September 7, 2022 at 3pm at the CUNY Graduate Center. Davidson, the founding director of the Futures Initiative and Senior Adviser on Transformation to CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, and Katopodis, a postdoctoral research associate, are two of the world’s foremost innovators in higher education, arguing that current modes of instruction in colleges and universities are antiquated and reflect outmoded methodologies, arguing for an overhaul in instruction reflecting the principles of active learning, using cutting-edge research to demonstrate how teachers at every kind of institution can help students become independent, creative, and active learners, rooted in developments in the science of learning and pedagogy. The event featured opening remarks from Chancellor Rodriguez and Graduate Center Provost Steve Everett.

According to Davidson, there are over 1000 research studies corroborating and supporting the techniques of active learning, pointing to the efficacy of such techniques in various educational outcomes. Davidson argues that active learning has the potential to shape a learning environment which is more equitable, more student-led, and more effective than traditional instructor-led lecture or question-and-answer discussion methods, even constituting a paradigm shift towards a model which invests trust in the students themselves, empowering them to take charge of their own learning. Another advantage of active learning is that it does not demand extensive knowledge in pedagogy on behalf of the instructor; Rodriguez shared personal anecdotes from his early career as an instructor of Caribbean women’s history that he was thrust into the classroom without any experience in a classroom setting or advanced training in pedagogy or education; the acknowledgment that most who teach on the collegiate level aren’t trained in pedagogy and don’t know where to begin is an eye-opening admission which helps build the case for active learning as the way of the future. Knowledge of different learning styles yields greater empathy and awareness of diverse student assets in support of the learning process; The New College Classroom marshals a plethora of empirical evidence-based arguments in favor of active learning across diverse educational settings and learning communities.

The New College Classroom makes ten overall arguments in favor of active learning and makes many suggestions on the macro and micro level for improving the learning experience, reflecting contemporary research and best historical practices of collaborative and participatory pedagogy. They provide historical context for how traditional lecture and assessment reflects the standardization of industrialization and its emphasis on streamlined methods, and seek to offer a model for creating effective learning environments of the 21st century, wherein collaboration serves as a basis for transformation in educating for the public good, a prevalent theme throughout the text, which argues that education truly exists for the betterment of society. Personal and social transformation is affected through learner-directed methods which create greater engagement, and which reciprocally can transform the world around us.I found the ethical and social dimensions of active learning to be most engaging and interesting, as explicated by Davidson and Katopodis. They argue that transforming the college classroom into one based on active learning will better serve the diverse needs of students of varying abilities, as the classroom is redesigned to suit the success of all students, modeling a more just, democratic, and liberatory society which empowers all learners, thus reducing or eliminating gaps in achievement, particularly for students who come from low-income backgrounds or from poor educational backgrounds with little prior methodological research training. Indeed, I was inspired by the liberatory themes embedded throughout the presentation and the emphasis on social justice; the thought of such luminaries as Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Toni Cade Bambara, and bell hooks were featured prominently throughout the presentation (and book), and incidentally, all were CUNY faculty. The process of active learning has the capacity to not only stimulate interest and active participation, but to also build upon such efforts to transform society and effect change, grounded in the notion that “the learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

In addition, the active learning methods endorsed by Davidson and Katopodis seek to utilize learning not as a means in and of itself, but as a means to prepare students for life and careers outside the classroom; active learning seeks to teach higher-order thinking skills which are marketable and desirable skills sought by employers, including proficiencies in collaboration, project management, synthesis and generalization from examples. Another means by which active learning seeks to transform the collegiate learning experience is by reclaiming and transforming the word “activity,” which is often associated with the elementary school classroom. Activities in the collegiate setting instead involve the pursuit of knowledge through independent exploration, critical thinking, explaining a concept to someone else or applying a newly acquired skill or method in another context, thus increasing engagement and fostering the transfer of knowledge to domains including the community, and individual lives and careers.

In conclusion, the new college classroom is geared towards a liberatory, justice-oriented pedagogical posture which is rooted in the principles of active learning. Such participatory methods allow students to take responsibility for their own learning and growth, offer real-world applications and the transferal of knowledge, skills, and capacities from the classroom domain to other domains in the student’s life, and equips students with strategic learning tools and research methods to dig deeply and to learn better answers for themselves in the classroom and beyond. Davidson and Katapodis synthesized the findings of hundreds of research studies to convey the importance of active learning in transforming the classroom and society itself in democratizing the tools which allow all students to succeed, rooted in contemporary findings regarding metacognition, guiding students to reflect on not just what they have learned but also how they have learned it, but also allowing for students to apply what they have learned in daily life, furthering the efficacy of such methods. In this sense, I believe that the active learning methods advocated by Davidson and Katapodis can further our awareness of oppression in learning; active learning methods can decolonize learning away from the outcome-oriented, industrialist, capitalist models of uniformity in learning and assessment, while fostering a sense of respect for and awareness of the various oppressive societal structures which foster institutional racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and the like which hinder learning. By democratizing learning, active learning applies an intersectional lens to the pedagogical process, empowering students to take charge of their own learning, while seeking to remedy inequities which continue to be a barrier to inclusion and learning.