My parents always used to ask me how my day was when I got home from school, and I was one of those kids who always replied, “fine.” When they pushed for details, I told them all of the bad things—my pizza had a hair in it, our recess got cut short, the quiz wasn’t fair, etc.— but I barely ever mentioned what I learned. While I still devote most of my phone calls and blog time to talking about club activities or interesting people, Tufts is, indeed, a college, which means that I am learning new things here every day. This week, I want to highlight some of the courses I am taking, and the topics we covered this week.
Abnormal Psychology (PSY-0012): This week, we covered personality disorders, and I had a fun time diagnosing fictional characters. Have you ever wondered how Voldemort could have possibly murdered so many innocent people without showing any remorse? How was he so charming that many of the Hogwarts professors loved him, despite the evil deeds he was plotting? Why was he so manipulative, that he was able to convince Professor Slughorn to tell him how to create a Horcrux? Voldemort demonstrates a classic case of antisocial personality disorder, also known as psychopathy. Are there any Gone With the Wind fans out there? If so, Scarlett O’Hara is a great example of someone with histrionic personality disorder. She is characterized by intense attention-seeking behaviors and the need to be admired by many men at all times, even when she is married or when the man whose attention she desires is married. Throughout the entirety of the book, she loves Ashley Wilkes, and despite the fact that he is happily married, she tries to lure him away from his wife.
Family-School Connections (CSHD-0165): In my family-school connections class, we read about families' funds of knowledge, which is the idea that all parents are knowledgeable about something, although it may not be academic. The example given in our book is that many families in Tuscan, Arizona own horses and know a lot about raising horses, taking care of horses, riding horses, etc. A school program centered in Tuscan used this fund of knowledge to create a curriculum that would be relatable to students and engaging for families. The students researched horses to practice language arts research skills, practiced measuring horses lengths and widths in inches and feet to target math skills, learned about Spanish explorers and the history of saddles to relate to social studies, and studied the evolution of horses and horse anatomy to cover science. Family members were knowledgeable about these topics and able to help their children with homework and utilize their expertise, which led to higher parental efficacy and higher family involvement in the school.
Entrepreneurship and Business Planning (ENT-101): Our final project for entrepreneurship is creating our own business plan for a startup we are creating. Each week, we add on a few steps to the business plan, and this week, I learned how to create a core. A core is like a business’ secret to keeping customers. One example of a core may be customer service. Zappos is my favorite place to order shoes from because of their free returns and “no questions asked” refund policy. Because they are so strong in the customer service department, I keep shopping there, as opposed to my local shoe store that does not allow returns. Each business needs to establish a core as a way to beat out competition and maintain customers.
I am sure that my parents will be very glad to hear that I did, in fact, learn some things this week (“Phew, the tuition is worth it”- probably my mom.). Sometimes, liking school can be hard, but I think it is important to remember that loving school is different than loving to learn. This week, my advice is to try and love learning. I’m not saying that you have to love every part of every class this week, but pull out the facts or concepts that you think are interesting, and tell someone about them. Bonus points if you tell your parents, they really do love to feel like they aren’t sending you to be tortured for seven hours a day.