Did they feed your creativity and intellectual curiosity?

Select 5 of the following exercises and work weekly in lab recording progress and planning your next move.  You must choose at least 2 from questions 1,2,6,7, and 9.

Report to me at midterm individually about how much you’ve completed by then (should be about half).

The final result should be ordered by project, not by chronology.  This is not a journal.  The end results for many of them will resemble essays.  Be ready to work on these during class each week, and be ready to answer questions or read what you’ve written in class.

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You will give an oral presentation at the end of the quarter assessing your progress in self-development, based on your work on one project here.

1.    Volunteering – choose a local non-profit organization related to some area of interest and join it as a volunteer at least twice during the quarter.  Reflect on your activities before, during, and after this experience, and write at least a 3-page essay that addresses some of the following questions.  What did you learn from it?  Did you meet people who seemed promising from a networking standpoint?  How did your expectations at the outset compare to whatever you feel you gained from the experience?  Do you feel that you gained from it?  Do you feel in any way changed by it?

2.    Informational Interview – do some research, and find someone in your field you would like to interview for more insider information.  Write the questions and check them with me (I will have some examples in class.  You can ask about job search experiences, how the field has changed in a given time frame, what they recommend a job seeker do or be aware of).  Set up and conduct the interview, being sure to collect a business card, then write a short essay describing what you learned from the interview and how your understanding of the other person changed during the conversation.  What were your expectations?  What was the most valuable piece of information you gained?  What surprised you the most?  What do you think is the next step in finding out more about your profession?

3.    Money Management Makeover – work on creating a rational money management system for yourself.  Examine existing income, savings, and expenditures.  Analyze spending habits.  Do some research on money matters and see if you can find anything useful.  Make a list of resolutions about saving and spending and track your success at keeping them.  Do research on billing, contracts, and self-employment taxes, then write up your findings.

4.    Artists’ Dates – briefly review Julia Cameron on the practice of taking yourself on artists’ dates.  Take yourself on 4 during the term and write about them.  How did you decide to do these things?  Did they feed your creativity and intellectual curiosity?  How?  Did you learn something new?  What did you learn about yourself?

5.    Read and briefly review a book from the recommended list on professional communication and problem solving.  Apply its solutions to your own life.  Be specific, and track your progress.  If you choose this one, you can do your midterm speech about it.

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