I look back at my educational career, that spans through ten years of "learning". Through the many classes that I have taken, only a handful really taught me anything of significance that I apply to my life. Many of the other classes are as far off as being classes that I took and have no recall of even taking the course. I find that the common denominator for all but one class is the teacher and the way that the teacher presents the information to be learned. It is thanks to the teacher that I am able to apply what is taught in the class.
The first course I reflect upon is most likely the biggest influence as to how I view the world and interact with society. This is PSYC101, General Psychology. The key concepts in this class were the basic concepts for the different schools of psychology, such as psychoanalytic (Freud), behavioral (Skinner, Watson, Pavlov), and cognitive (Piaget, Gestalt). General Psychology also touched base on the biological impacts that make humans act in the way that they do. The psychoanalytic focused mainly on the struggles between the conscious and subconscious mind. The behavioral looks at the ability for the environment to structure how we are who we are to this day. Then, the cognitive looks at mental processes. I get to look at the vast schools of psychology, and also get to realize that there are many others besides the main ones I speak of.
The next course is CPSC313, Language Proficiency: C. Before I realized the potential of psychology, I had focused most of my abilities around my work in the computer field. This programming course would help me follow an interest I had since as early as nine years of age. This course would also be one of the exceptions where it was not the teacher who help bring me into the course. The only teacher who got me interested in wanting to take this course in the first place would be myself, and my self teaching methods from nine to present, that got me interesting in the world of computer programming and computer structure. This class was basically being shown different structures of the C programming language, and then applying hands-on experiences. I would take other programming classes, such as COBALT, BASIC, Pascal, Assembly, but would find C the best in terms of what it had to offer.
Another milestone class I would take was SPCH101, Intro to Speech/Communication. Once again, the teacher had a profound impact on my ability to understand what was being presented to me. This class would also vary extremely different than any other class that would impact me due to the fact this class relied more on my interactions with other classmates. Assignments would be done where judgements would have to be made in a set amount of time, and these judgements would be made while others were attempting to make judgements of their own, as to how they saw what benefitted the group compared to what I thought would benefit. Being more open and comfortable in open communication was also another concept that I picked up from this course. I had a better understanding as to what originally made me uncomfortable speaking in front of others, and the tools to overcome this uncomfortableness.
The rest of the courses that taught me something all stem from the same branch, psychology. PSYC320, Abnormal Psych, PSYC327, Tech I/Group Counseling, PSYC325, Personality Counseling, PSYC310, Social Psychology, PSYC322, Marriage and Family, and finally PSYC412, Psychology of Learning. Not all of these psychology courses would have me influenced to listen and learn due to the way the professor taught his/her class. However, my determination to better understand the human ways of thinking and action had already in the form of PSYC101. PSYC320 was less discussion than the other courses, and its main focus was on the abnormal things that can happen to a person, such as phobias and disorders. PSYCH327 and PSYCH325 were taught by the same teacher. I consider this teacher to be a powerful teacher, able to draw the student in to want to learn for more than just a grade. The psychology taught dealt with counseling of other people, and how to help those who are mentally in desperation of help. Discussions help bring to light what to do in the many situations that could arise when dealing with someone who wants psychological help. PSYH310 dealt more with the social aspects of psychology. This class made me think as did PSYC327 and PSYC325, but did so taking account the society we live in. PSYC322 dealt with the aspect of marriage, and what a marriage truly is, and how to establish a strong marriage and keep it that way. PSYC412 shares with PSYC320 in that it was more lecture than discussion, however enough discussion was done among professor and student that I did see discussion leading to a bit of learning. PSYC412 would focus around the concepts of cognition and behavior, leaving out the conscious as a source for motivation and attitude.
So all of these courses helped teach me to be who I am today. While not ever single one had a strong teacher influence during the teaching of the course itself, there was a powerful teacher in the subject field before the course who helped push me to the desire to learn the subject. Of those teachers who helped push my desire, all of them shared the same method of learning, lecture followed by discussion of what was lectured.