Final Reflection

Without a doubt, English 382 has been the most interesting course I have taken in the history of my education. The amount of fun I had makes me feel like I didn’t even learn anything, but when I look back, I learned a lot more than I realized, in and out of text. Studying the works of Enlightenment thinkers gave me a strong understanding of the cultural and legal aspects of the Enlightenment era, but the structure of the class itself gave me a deeper overarching perspective. By being free to always voice opinions and ideas in a democratic, level atmosphere generated more comprehensive material than the texts.  We learned from perspective, from contradiction, and from each other. It allowed us to scrutinize the way thought processes work and compare observations with what we saw going on in the minds of Enlightenment thinkers. We were given a broad scope through which to view society, what built it, and how we got where we are today. The most pivotal message I discovered in this class was that reality is relative; that perspective is everything. No one can see exactly what another sees in exactly the same way, and the product is a huge medley of intellectual contribution that ultimately led Enlightened society to get to the bottom of perceived natural truths. In the midst of worldly expansion and discovery, we were losing sight of ourselves and what made us tick and think the things we thought. The works we studied not only helped us understand the mental workings of those from the 18th century, but of ourselves today. I think this is why we became such a tight-knit group, open and willing to discuss with each other and learn together. We may not have all come to agreements on the same truths, but I think, for the most part, we each found our own personal truths in something.

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