Leadership Education

History 110L Reflection

I am currently enrolled in the course History 110L under the instruction of Professor Catherine Tobin at Central Michigan University. The class meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:00 am in Powers hall. I am taking the class with my Leader Advancement Scholarship cohort and I have to say that if it wasn’t for their companionship throughout this course, I’m not sure I could find it in myself to make it to any of the class sessions. Don’t get the wrong idea, Catherine Tobin is a great professor and I value my education very much, but there are certain aspects of this class as well as the way I view the material that make it, well, not one of my favorites. Allow me to elaborate on what those reasons look like; you may then better understand my less than enthusiastic review of this course.

To begin with I would like to say that history is not my favorite subject to cover at all. As I mentioned before I do place a high value on my education, but when I’m paying thousands of dollars each year to earn said education, I prefer to take classes that are pertinent to the degree that will allow me to obtain a job so I can pay off all this knowledge. As of now history is not imperative to working in the fields that strike my fancy and maybe it’s the instant-gratification-seeking-American in me, but it irks me to pay so much for a class when I’m unable to see any upcoming benefit being produced.

A second reason I find it hard to drag my butt to class is the attendance policy and general classroom agenda. Professor Tobin has made it clear that she does not take attendance; she only awards participation points for those that join in class discussion or take notes on the movies shown in class. Discussion on the assigned readings, which very few of us have actually perused, or a showing of a boring documentary are the extent of our in-class activities. The only assignment to even resemble homework that has been given is our final term paper which is in the form of a book report on an American leader of our choosing. We have had two exams so far and I can honestly say that the only class necessary to attend in order to pass these exams is the review day which is held one class period prior to the date of the exam.

Also here at Central I have the amazing opportunity to take two of my University Program (U.P) requirements as credit/no credit courses. This means that to obtain credit for the class I simply need to earn a C letter grade and it will count towards my bachelors degree while having no effect on my grade point average (GPA). This semester I chose to take History 110L as a credit/no credit class and honestly that one factor has taken my already incredibly lacking motivation to go to class and just drop kicked it out the window! It’s as if the class is a ghost on my record, all I need is a C for it to help me obtain my degree, then it disappears from my agenda and leaves no trace of impact on my GPA. Knowing this makes me hesitant to put effort into this class when it’s needed in my more difficult classes, which will actually impact my GPA. The positive side to this experience is that I now know the true impact of taking a class credit/no credit and can use this knowledge to better my decision making skills when scheduling classes in the future.

Wheew, I realize this sounds incredibly cranky and close minded, but while trying to justify sitting in class three mornings a week it just seems like the most realistic and convenient outlook to have on the class. I know I should probably appreciate the in-class lessons more and the aspects of our American heritage/culture that are being presented, but with other classes and commitments that contain more pressing assignments or relevant readings, the work for this course simply falls to the way side…sorry Tobin.


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