Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#2 Alumnus


  1. a person who has attended or has graduated from a particular school, college, or university
  2. a person who is a former member, employee, contributor, or inmate




So for the word this week, I pose a question:

What would you say to students of your alma mater?

I was asked to do this about a month ago. I had a plan. I went in to that room of, somewhat impressionable, students. They were honors students. They were seeking an education that they could use to make our world a better place. Whether being educated in history, biology or environmental studies, they wanted to change the world. That is what a liberal arts education can be good for.

Since these were honors students I went in with a way to get them to think about their honors thesis that they would have to write to complete their Minor in Rhetoric. The prompt was as follows:

  • What do you love?
  • What do you want to learn more about?
  • What is your primary field of study?

My answers to these questions are how I formed my thesis when I completed a similar program. Movies, The Holocaust and English…were my answers. Well that turned in to The Messenger's Messengers: The Study of the Portrayal of Nazi Soldiers in Turn of the Twenty First Century Popular Movies. This paper was quite an undertaking and turned into a pretty cool analysis. I wanted to use my experience as a way to get them to understand what the whole program was about to me: Learning how to communicate and learn more effectively.

I was asked by the professor/advisor, sitting in on this little get together, what I got from the program. This led me off on a tangent…

College is about learning how to live in the real world. Your professors are your managers and supervisors. They hold you accountable to tasks and reward or penalize you accordingly. They help you when you ask for it and are happy to see that what they teach impacts their students. But if you don't love it and don't want to be there, they can see that and wonder why?

What I learned from this program and going to college? They asked.

I learned that:

  • If you don't love what you do. Don't do it. If you have to do it to survive, find a way to learn from it and incorporate something that you love.
  • A career is very different from a job. You should work jobs to learn what your career should be.
  • You should always try to learn from your experiences.
  • Life doesn't fall into your lap once you have a college degree…you still have to be driven to live your life to the fullest!
  • Most importantly…finishing college is one of the most important things you will ever accomplish in your professional life. It shows that you can start something and finish it. A valuable skill in any working environment.

What did you learn from it?

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