These papers are in lieu of a Mid-Term and Final test and are designed to have you provide your thoughts and feelings about the class material covered.
The success of this class to individuals, and to the group as a whole, depends upon the extent to which you devote time reading and thinking about the material. The instructor expects each student to read the text, listen carefully to the lectures and discussions and submit reflection papers with reactions to the text and classes on assigned dates. The reflection papers are not designed to paraphrase the material but to reflect the thoughts and feelings that the material elicits in each student (not necessarily all of the material-only that material which creates interest or reaction). Grading will be based on the amount of depth and detail that goes into your papers based on your thoughts and feelings about the material discussed. The samples attached represent a “B+” effort. “A” reflection papers would have more depth and detail.
All reflection papers must be typed. Any handwritten submissions must have prior approval from the instructor. You are to answer each question on the reflection paper even if you miss a class. You can do this by listening to the weekly review the following week and by talking to your fellow students. Alternatives to writing the reflection papers are available with permission of the instructor. The alternatives generally involve research and writing about an instructor approved subject and/or writing about yourself in an equivalent amount to the reflection papers you would otherwise be doing. Alternative options may also be used to offset part of the reflection papers with the instructor’s permission. Reflection Papers/Alternatives are due on the dates outlined in your syllabus.
The requirement of the reflection papers is really quite easy if you will just put your thoughts/feelings on paper shortly after the class or reading the material. Many students just sit at their computer and write down their thoughts and feelings as they come to mind. Others dictate them. It is not necessary to write about everything that is in the chapter or in our class exercises or discussions, just those topics that interest or impact you. Remember, these reflection papers are in lieu of any test or other written material. Please make it a fun exercise that allows you to become better acquainted with yourself. Have fun!
***PLEASE SEE SAMPLE REFLECTION PAPER SUBMISSIONS ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES***
Sample Reflection Papers
Human Relations—Gordon G. Fultz, Instructor
Date of Class
During the exercises on communications and lecture, I was surprised that I did a flashback to a life that was long ago in an environment that was very strict and constrictive. My saving grace was that I was one of many siblings; and to protect ourselves, we developed our own brand of communication. Non-verbal language was our primary way of communicating. We also used little sayings to let each other know ‘what the deal’ was. We had dozens of quips that said one thing but meant another. It was our way of communicating with each other in a language that others didn’t easily understand.
“The jar lid doesn’t fit” was shortened to ‘jar lid’…that covered all those folks that said one thing but meant another. We used “fields of corn” to let each other know that we couldn’t talk (usually something personal) at that moment in time. That became simply ‘corn’. My personal favorite was “Who’s driving the car?” It was our way of letting each other know who was in charge. At the time, that was very important in our male dominated society (as dictated by our religion). Of course, in time, it became just the ‘car’. The list is endless: “inner eye roll”, “the paints not dry”, “someone let the dog out”, “we clash”, “oh look! the woodshed!” and many others. I enjoyed this class, because it brought back fond memories of the camaraderie I shared with my siblings during a very difficult time.
I love the interaction of the class—and, especially, all of the discussion related to one and two-way communication, cushioning, intensity, acknowledgement, listening and frame of reference. All of these concepts made me think of the way I communicate and reactions to me from others. I have even decided to spend more time practicing my communication in the mirror and intend to be more aware of both verbal and non-verbal communication with others in the future. I was particularly interested in the subject of “common ground”. A simple concept, but one that can lead to finding friends, not just people who we agree with. I agree with you that we seem to judge people on the basis of issues, not who they really are. We need to look past those tendencies to find the person living under all of those issues.
I also resonated with our discussion on birth order. I am the oldest of several children and can relate in every way to the suggested traits of the oldest. In my quest to be true to my nature, this is something that has been somewhat of a challenge. It is encouraging that you can reject or accept the role in the order you were born. It occurred to me that it might be in my best interest to reject/accept a portion of the birth role. Even though I am somewhat comfortable with certain aspects of being a caretaker, I also have to be careful that I do not go overboard. I strive to stay within the guidelines of what brings me satisfaction and fulfillment.
There are challenges…some folks are offended when I swoop in at the speed of light to aid and abet. I do try and remain mindful of others; but, usually, it is after I have stepped on toes that it occurs to me that perhaps I should have been a bit more cautious. In addition, I am also very organized. I can’t help it (so I say). When I look at things, my mind starts to overload with ‘what could be more efficient’; so up pops the ‘caretaker’. I would just like to mention that there is a downside. I have considered the possibility that I am so busy being a caretaker that I may not notice when someone is responding in kind. I have spent a lifetime caring for others. There must be some sort of balance. Although, I am very self-sufficient, I find that there are times I crave a little bit of care taking. I wonder…what would that feel like?
I like it when the instructor and students discuss topics related to psychology but also that relate to their personal lives. It brings back memories, sometimes difficult; but it also allows me to see new perspectives and be able to accept those as experiences and move on. Great class!
Chapter Reaction (write separate reaction to each chapter):
In chapter 6, I found the subject of becoming friends very interesting. I agree that a main factor in making a good friend is the trust factor. Trust is what makes all the other qualities of a friend so special. If we can’t trust our friends to be there for us in times of need, then what kind of friend do we have? That would be an acquaintance, not a friend at all. When I was in eighth grade, I was friends, good friends, with quite a few people. I thought I would be friends with them for the rest of my life. As time passed, I began to lose these friends. I only have five good friends today from that time. They stood the test of time, and we have an even stronger bond because of that. All the others that I had thought of as good friends I now only think of as acquaintances. A lot of things change as you grow older.
I also found the different types of love interesting. I had never before thought of love as having different parts to it. I believed love was just love, and that was it. When it is broken down into passion, intimacy, and commitment, it is explained a lot better. I remember from sixth to eighth grade I dated a girl named Linda. We did a lot of fun things together, and I swore I was in love with her. I realize now that it was only passion that I had for her. I did not ever feel intimacy, where I felt I could share all my thoughts and feelings with her. I also did not have any commitment at that time. I don’t think I was old enough to have a lot of commitment. I realize that I did not love Linda, but I did have strong passion for her. I believe I have all three of these things in my current relationship. If I was to describe consummate love in words, all I could say is Wow! This is a great feeling, but it can also be a terrible feeling depending on the situation. When people are in love like this, they will make a lot of choices against their wishes for the sake of their partner. This is a very strong emotion. Love is a very dangerous thing, with both good and bad qualities.
I also resonated with the green-eyed monster, jealousy. I remember many times in my life where I have felt jealousy. I remember when I was 14, I had a girlfriend named Kelsey. One day, I went to meet up with her at the skating rink. When I arrived, I saw her hugging another guy. I ran up, pushed the guy down and began yelling at her “what do you take me for.” When I finally did calm down, we began to talk; and I found out the guy was her cousin. Boy, did I feel like an idiot. I apologized to both of them, and her cousin and I later became friends. Although she and I eventually broke up, I am still friends with her cousin to this day. We sometimes think back to that time and have a good laugh. It really was funny how jealous I became over that. Jealousy is a strong feeling and can be triggered by many things. Don’t let it control you, and you will be OK. There are a lot of times when we are jealous for no reason. Men seem to be more jealous than women, which I think has a lot to do with our pride. When someone threatens a desired relationship of ours, we feel like it should not be happening to us.
Overall, I found this class and chapter very interesting. It’s funny how different we are as people and the way we think of different cultures. A lot of times, we don’t think about the fact that at one time, this was us. We were the kid that didn’t know what was going on and thought everything was strange. In a world that is changing every day, we need to be more aware of these kinds of things. We need to educate our children, so they do not look down upon people that are different but rather they embrace them. The birth order material that we researched says a lot about why people are the way they are (a comfort zone thing). So far in this class, I have learned that understanding the psychology of a human being is not just one thing, it is a combination of many things.
I used to think that all psychology studied was a person’s mind. Boy was I wrong! I find that my ideas about human behavior change with each passing week. I look forward to continuing to learn about the things in this class. I have already applied some of the principles and concepts in the class and in the book to my own life. I have gained a better understanding of myself and others around me. I am excited for what the next class will bring. Thanks for making this experience worthwhile. You and the book have made me think and reassess the most important thing in my life-Me—and you know what—I am beginning to like who I am and have plans on who I want to be. I am thoroughly enjoying the ride. Let’s keep going. This is my best class ever!