The Building Blocks of Knowledge

12 January 2010

Img from here.

The second day of spring semester is nearly complete (there is still one class left - a three hour bio lab until 9:30pm). What really struck me about todays classes were two things:

1. The classes were very engaging. Most were quite interesting and relevant to my major.
2. The information put forth in these first class periods correlates, without fail, to previous courses I have taken while at college.

For example, in Biology of Organisms my professor began discussing morphological changes, cladistics, and nodes. These are relatively simple matters but she put forth no background on any of those terms. However, after taking Invertebrate Paleontology last semester I need no explanation for the vocabulary because she is building off of prior knowledge. Granted, there may be a fair number of students which don't have this information but in their future classes, well, maybe they will.

It's wonderful to be able to relate information across "gaps" in subject matters. We tend to look at ideas as standalone facts or at classes as separate from one another. Simply by labeling one class as "Science" and one as "History" we automatically separate them in our heads. The beauty of college (especially upper level courses) is that your field of study is being narrowed and you really get down to the core of the matter. No matter which science you're taking certain concepts will be imperative to know.

The network of knowledge and information added several layers today for me and I hope the rest of the semester will continue to enhance my understanding of these concepts.

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