I am going to start off by saying that since this is a new blog, I have decided that my readers should know who I am and why I have decided to blog. So I am starting a new series called "Behind the Lens" which will be separated into – at this moment – an unknown number of parts in order to get to know who the woman behind the camera is. They will give you information about me along with little stories to send you on a journey through my life.
The only time someone finds out about my minor is when they look at my resume or if I am asked. The reaction I get when people find out my minor is Philosophy is honestly across the board. I have gotten the "You're insane" look to "I would have never guessed that of you" look. Something I find pleasing is to see all of these confused looks thrown my way because my answer to why is really quite simple.
My cousin, Dustin, is about six years older than me. However, due to his military experience and then going into the work force, gave us overlapping time in the college world. He started college as a sophomore (military involvement added enough credits to allow him to not need freshman year) when I was two years shy of being there myself. Dustin and I became very close over these years because I was a high schooler who wanted to be like the "big kids." Not only that, we supported one another and I had a "big brother" figure in my life which I never had before, being the oldest of three. He looked out for me and I considered him a role model.
Dustin and I are alike in the sense where high school grades never seemed to mean anything significant to us. I did my school work but I liked to go hang out with my friends instead of study for a test. Our grades were by no means terrible, but they weren't spectacular either. College gave us both the chance to start over. To a point where we both graduated with honors from our alma maters. School was at this point something serious for us, unlike our high school days. Sure we still had fun in college, but we cared about our education.
He is the reason I minored in philosophy. My freshman year, I went to Ivy Tech in Bloomington. I was convinced I was going to go to Indiana University, but two things were in the way of that: money and the grades to get in. I decided to take my general education courses at Ivy Tech to save some money and get my grades up to be admitted into IU. While I was setting up my schedule for the first semester of my college experience, my cousin helped me out when it came to some electives. Something he suggested was philosophy. At this point, I was afraid to even take a class that seemed complicated. I was trying to get a good GPA, not ruin it my first semester. And I wanted to have fun, like any college freshman who was out on their own for the first time, not keep my head in a book all weekend studying. However, Dustin told me the great things that came from it. He told me that learning all about why people think and believe the way they do gives you a sort of new worldly view. So I decided to sign up for Introduction to Philosophy.
After the first few weeks of class, I began to understand why Dustin was so passionate about me taking this class. I loved every minute of being in class, I couldn't wait to learn more and I actually WANTED to study. I began to understand the way the world was understood by different people and cultures. This is when I found my voice. I was able to find out what I believed in and why I did. Life became more complicated yet simpler all at once. Never in my life did anything start to make as much sense as this. I wanted more.
Once I started at Ball State I decided to declare my minor. Philosophy it was. I also never realized what I was getting myself into. The first class I took was a religious studies class that almost made me cry every night. It was hard. I knew that philosophy and religious studies were similar and since I couldn't get into any other philosophy class before moving on, I chose something close enough. I almost regretted the idea of a philosophy minor. However, I stuck with it. It never got easier. It actually was hard. I really did contemplate dropping my minor at several points in my college career. Almost every semester starting out, I would be lost in the classes I was taking and not even feel right in most of my answers. (Even though they say philosophy doesn't really have wrong answers - it really does).
However, after midterms each semester there seemed to be a little light that started to shine through. I began to understand small amounts of what was actually being talked about in the class. I even started to understand my own philosophy in life.
So needless to say, taking philosophy as a minor in college was probably the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have done in my life. I feel confident when I defend my arguments on my beliefs and I know how to give examples and content based around my arguments. This has also helped me be more understanding of others and other cultures that are different from mine. I have become someone who always has the need to wonder and ask questions. I am also quick to defend any side of an argument just to help another understand all sides and not just their own. Philosophy made me a more rounded individual and I would not be the same person today without it.
So, without further ado, thank you Dustin for introducing me to a new way of life. I couldn't have asked for a better suggestion to life and the understanding (or lack there of) of life.
*****If you ever wonder how hard philosophy is, try reading a philosophy book. The only thing you could probably utter is either "Whoa" or "Huh?"*****