A Semester In Review

When I started the semester, I figured this would be the class I’d fall asleep in. I’ve taken other communications courses at other universities, and I have to admit, they were not my cup of tea. I want studies and numbers conducted and published highly respected, peer-reviewed, journals where I can feel that the data was from an unbiased source. I don’t want to learn that I am this type of leader who needs to think about talking to these people in this manner and my leadership color is green but my servitude color is tangerine and on and on and on… What I ended up getting from this class was a foundation in communicating with others WHY I believe global warming was real, HOW I know it, HOW to go about it, and WHEN to talk to them. I learned that it’s not enough to know the facts. It’s not enough to just recycle your water bottle when you’re done with it. To effectively communicate and live the values you hope the rest of the world adopts, you have to be able to answer people when they ask WHY. While the health module was interesting, it was the science and environment modules that really piqued my interest. Environmental communication is a field that is growing at an exponential rate and we are seeing a need, as pointed out in class and through the readings, for a gap to be bridged between the elite scientists of the world who are conducting life-changing research on a plethora of topics, and the sweet grannie next door who you grab her newspaper for everyday. That newspaper is not filled with SCIENCE and FACTS. It is filled with propaganda and deceit and fuels an agenda that prevents us from knowing the bare-bones truth. Imagine if that is her only connection to the outside world: a local newspaper. Ouch. A storm is brewing on the horizon because of that, and I think we are leaving this course better equipped to deal with it. Better equipped to deal with the doubters and the naysayers and the ‘non-believers’ (which is a term I personally loathe, because it is not a matter of belief, but FACTS and PROOF and RESEARCH and DATA, and we are not stuck in a Charlie the Unicorn YouTube video.) We have a duty to ourselves and to future generations to encourage education and to fight ignorance with it. And that is exactly what this class achieved. It pitched a great argument for speaking in a way that is not offensive and not condescending, but educational and easy to process. Mud-slinging will never work, and as personally gratifying it is to just look at someone, squint at them, and tell them they are indeed a special kind of stupid, you are doing the greater good no favors. So think before you speak, and speak with kind and educational intentions. It will go a long way, and I think we will all reap the benefits of this class in that regards.

-Jordan Wilcox

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