Thanks for a great semester!

As a first semester freshman I had no idea what to expect of this class or any other really. I took mostly electives and I will say this class probably had the most work involved, but it didn’t even seem like work at all compared to other classes. The professor did a wonderful job at taking the material and making it entertaining and thought provoking. I could see how the same class could have been much more boring with a different teaching style.

I was going back through my notes to try and find one area or topic that I enjoyed the most but I cant really pinpoint one thing. All the information in conjunction with each other made everything learned that much better. By starting off with health then transitioning into science and ending with our environment, it was all extremely valuable knowledge that I now have to improve my life and others to live in a better tomorrow.

Education today is taught through textbooks; we’re given letters and numbers as an external motivator, which destroys any meaningful internal motivation that drives us towards a life long love of learning. There are no true-life skills taught it’s all strict facts that require rote memorization for an easy testing formula. This is truer for high school then college but there’s still many college classes that aren’t very beneficial to a student looking to grow as person and can even be detrimental just on how they’re taught. I hope to find more classes like so because I can see a real intention behind this one. It’s helped me further my learning, question my everyday life, and to recognize problems that are occurring now; something we don’t see a lot in today’s society.

Overall my view on communication has changed dramatically and I’ve realized how needed it is. Something has to be done soon to get the public involved with science and just learning in general or else humanity is going down a very unwanted path. This class has given me a wonderful starting point with a great base of information to go off of when learning more about these areas and eventually spreading it. Also instead of teaching us what to think this class has taught us how to think and words can’t describe how appreciative I am of this.

– Jaiden Deal

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Concluding Contemplation

By: Allison Johnson

Looking back upon these past few months and what we have read and discussed, I know my perception of the world has changed. Is reality for warped and bleak? Absolutely not. However, I cannot deny that this course has planted inceptive seeds in my mind. I took this course for an interdisciplinary requirement for my degree in Statistics. I thought it would give me a break from my math heavy schedule and provide me with some much needed left brain thought. Not to mention other interdisciplinary courses where things like vampires in literature and the evolution of sex, nothing that really spoke to me.

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This course however has really opened my mind to different areas of interaction with the world, the public and myself that I would have never explored. I’ve always been health conscious… whatever that means. When reading Roxanne Parrott’s, Talking About Health, I really started understanding the importance of not only how medical and health research is conducted, but also how it is delivered and communicated. This has really stuck with me, as I aspire to one day hopefully be a biostatistician . I have spent much time recently contemplating the importance of not only how I would conduct my work and finding, but also how those findings would be interpreted and communicated to the public.

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Upon reading Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum’s, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, I was pushed further into reality with the unveiling of how disconnected the public and the scientific community are. With my love for all things science, and having used science and academia as my foundation for reality, it was hard to read and discuss the true divide between the these two groups of people. I have always assumed that the masses appreciated science, scientific discoveries and emerging research that pushes humanity forward. Unfortunately, that is not where we stand as a whole and it is only becoming easier to ignore opposing opinions and facts. When we have at our fingertips the ability to create and cultivate an alternate reality of self prescribed and induced advise, opinion and research it is hard to believe there is an alternate majority that sees the world so differently.

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As easily referenced with the “Surprising” Trump Presidential candidacy  win.

 

 

 

 

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Julia B. Corbett’s, Communicating Nature: How we Create and Understand Environmental Messages, Showed me if nothing more how much of a sucker I am when it comes to greenwashing. The weekend before starting this book I had bought a fifteen dollar lunch bag that was in part made from plastic water bottles from Fresh Tyme. My huge environmentally conscious bubble burst when reading and discussing this book and topic. I feel that I learned the most from this last section, especially when it comes to the “what can I do” aspect of climate change and environmental issues at large.

Over all, what I walked away from is that maybe there isn’t an easy fix to climate change. Why should there be? Is it realistic to think we can have our cake and not clean our plate. I have always been a big believer in delayed gratification. The idea that the “work” has to be done and it’s best to do it upfront. Like with procrastination the task at hand becomes more daunting the longer you put if off, and that I believe is what we are facing with Climate change policies, carbon taxes and overall accountability of the matted.

We are a nation of procrastination and I hope we grow up and become realistic and effective before it’s too late.

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The End

This class opened my eyes to a lot of things I was only somewhat conscious of before but not on a level where I knew enough to feel as though I knew what I was really talking about.  It is so important to be aware of the products you’re using and making sure you’re not falling into a consumer trap.

Honestly, I really did enjoy this class, it’s one of the first classes I’ve ever had that I haven’t skipped.  The workload was definitely reasonable as well and I feel like I still learned a lot of valuable things.

As an aspiring environmental journalist, I hope to take what I learned in this class and utilise it in my career.  It is so important to understand the best way to communicate with your audience and consumer behaviour is something to considre as well.

 

Victoria Obermeyer

Concluding Thoughts

This semester, I was a bit skeptical on what exactly this class would entail. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. A wide variety of topics important to this day and age have been discussed including health, science, and the environment. It was a very interesting and eye-opening course and it really made me think about what was really going on in the world. I have become more aware about what kinds of information I’m really getting when I view advertisements and I now encourage myself to think deeper about them. I find myself looking up more background information on different commercials more often because of this class.

The state of the environment and the significant impact that humans have had on it has raised many concerns for me. What will life be like 10 years from now? 20 years? 50? It has become apparent that we as humankind must come together to try to solve the problem of impending environmental disaster. The various documentaries we have watched really put the nail in the coffin for me and I have been seeking out more and more ways to help implement changes towards environmental views.

I am concerned more now than ever about the state of our planet and I will do what I can as an individual to help. Communication is key and without a good understanding of what is really happening, how can we hope to accomplish anything worthwhile?

Final Blog

By Ethan Whiteford

I had a lot more fun in this class than I expected to. I originally thought that this class would be really boring, as it was one my adviser strongly suggested I take, now I know why. This class was very interesting and covered many topics that relate to my major, which I thought was a bit weird, considering I am an Environmental Studies major and this is a Communication class. But as we progressed through the material, I found myself being more and more interested and having a lot of fun.

Overall, I thought this class was a very good one for me to take. I would also recommend this class to anyone who is looking for a fun and engaging class to take or someone who is on the fence about taking this class as well.

Final thoughts

 

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I would like to say that I really did enjoy this course. I came into this course not really knowing what to expect or what I would learn from it. The thing that I really would like to praise in this class would be the discussion aspect of it. I find that for me I really succeed in classes where students and I are really able to engage and discuss what is being talked about and taught. It really helps to keep me engaged in the class. I love to engage and voice my opinion about topics that are interesting. Listening to others opinions also really got me to draw my attention to the class.  My favorite topic of discussion by far was in the final weeks of this class about environmental communication. I have always talked about and enjoyed the topic of the environment. I found the topics we discussed about how the environment is communicated about or portrayed  in our world very captivating. I have even been able to imply some of the material I have learned about in my own conversations outside of class. Even if I do not decide to make a career out of this class I really believe that this class will help me become more educated for the real world.Another thing I surprisingly enjoyed from this class was the readings. I hate reading but, these books really got me to open up to the idea. I found them very interesting and easy for me to read. I even would fine myself reading ahead because I was so interested. So many of the lessons we talked about and read about in this class are so relevant to what is happening in our society right now. Very few of the classes I am in at the moment will leave me walking away with a lasting impression but, for this class I know I will take away  information that will stay with me through my life.

-Claire Greve

COMM:ing to a close

With the end of the semester just around the corner, many of my classes are in full review mode. Looking back at the past couple of months we’ve covered quite a bit of material, it’s not often you get a class that covers three topics. From the inequality in health around the world, and how even racism can cause complications with health to the global catastrophe in the making, climate change.

As an engineering major, my other classes don’t offer a lot of material to talk to non engineers. This class however, has consistently given me something to talk to friends and family about that are real and relevant. From the Bhopal disaster to green washing, every class ends up giving me something to talk about to people outside of class.

The thing that stuck with me the most was a video we watched near the beginning of the semester. It was about stress and its adverse health effects. I’ve always heard stress is bad for your health, I think most of us have. The surprising part was exactly how, I had always assumed it was because of your behavior when you’re stressed, not directly as a result of the hormones you release when you’re stressed. The more far reaching implications of stress having that kind of effect are for those who have stress from things that are out of their control. It was really eye opening and allowed me to look at health and especially communication in health in a completely new perspective.

I’ll admit, coming in to the class I was skeptical on how useful the class might be beyond fulfilling my BoK requirement, but I am coming out the other side with a fresh perspective, a new understanding of many of the areas we discussed in class and a bolstered appreciation for hearing both (all) sides of an issue.

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Enjoy

 

Dylan Nourse