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Pitzer, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1530

Essay

Prompt: Founded in 1963, Pitzer College was built upon four core values that reimagine the purpose of a college education in a progressively changing world.  These values are social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy. Almost 50 years later, our students feel that our founding values help prepare them to address the issues of their time. How do you feel these values will help you to find the solutions to the evolving challenges of your generation? Max 4000 characters.

In examining the four core values set forth in the founding of Pitzer College, I see a consideration for modern issues and elements not typically present in “founding” declarations. Most colleges rely on traditional statements that refer to old-fashioned virtues of integrity and scholarship, and these are certainly valid. Nonetheless, I consider the values Pitzer promotes as especially relevant.

What appeals to me most strongly is how integrated these values are, as they address concerns of the world today. To begin with, social responsibility is not an abstract concept; it goes to the heart of the sense of empowerment my generation possesses, and it goes as well to a needed sense of the impact we as individuals possess. Modern life has made it clear that we are all socially dependent upon one another, at least in some manner. As I see it, this value translates to my understanding that my actions, from what lever I pull in a voting booth to whether or not I choose to assist in an oil spill clean-up, have repercussions far beyond myself. The notion that social responsibility shapes my actions becomes a crucial starting-point from which to reflect on how I may develop positive relationships with others. This can include anything from volunteer work to making an informed choice as a consumer. I can affect societal change at every level of my life, even in the most mundane activities. I believe that the values Pitzer offers can help me develop this aspect of my character. I can improve as a person, and thus there is a deeply subjective essence to social responsibility. From my personal viewpoint, social responsibility aids in the solution to societal problems insofar as social responsibility stresses that the individual should partake in ameliorating social conditions. Social responsibility is an individual value that can become a truly universal value.

Intercultural understanding, in my view, is more complicated a core value than it might first appear. The world is changing rapidly, and my generation is riding the crest of these changes. They are global. Communication access unthinkable twenty years ago is now employed everywhere, and the borders of nations become more and more lines on maps, and little else. Then, as immigrants are continuing to make up an increasing part of the population, intercultural understanding is not a scholarly luxury. It is a necessity for daily life. I see this as a reminder to myself to keep my mind open as I encounter people from all over the world. Because of globalization,  ff me and my generation, that is an inevitability. Improving cultural understanding follows from maintaining a level of tolerance on an individual level. In this regard, my personal emphasis is on dialogue, as social discourse should remain as open as possible in order to engender a mutual respect between individuals. If I strive to be open and accommodating, this can only have a positive effect on both myself and others.

In a very real sense, I think this last core value is strongly linked with that of interdisciplinary learning. That is, as the world shifts and cultures combine, there is no more place for an isolated point of view or focus, no matter what field I choose to apply myself to. People are not the only things being displaced in today’s world; commerce and scholarly activities are expanding and combining as well, and a wider range of learning is becoming more valuable. It not only brings with it the specific learning itself, but adds to the sense of openness about what else can be of value. I very much like a value that stresses how learning should not be isolated, and I want to be open to all the disciplines that pertain to mine.

To me, student autonomy is a very welcome core value of the college. I take this almost as a challenge; I may not rely on excuses if my performance is not up to par, and I also cannot expect to smoothly sail along by following established routines and procedures. This means that I am responsible for myself, completely, and for whatever I take from the college experience. Student autonomy translates to open opportunity to me, as it must to my generation. It says that we are respected as students, as it implies that we are responsible for deserving that respect.

Taken together, the college’s four core values represent a modern and encouraging faith in the student body to take the reins of a new world. Students can take these reigns by realizing the significance of their individual actions on a broader social level. Once again, the college’s four core values suggest that the notions of tolerance and dialogue are crucial, as an open-mindedness towards others can help encourage positive relationships to flourish. Concomitantly, the emphasis on individual autonomy recognizes the potential of individuals to affect change in the world. Yet significant and positive change is only possible through an emphasis on others, insofar as our lives are social in essence. Write in an example here on how students can take those reins How do you know this – this is too grand a statement – I suggest deleting this The recognition that the social community is the true center of our seemingly individual lives can help improve relationships with each other and the community as a whole, insofar as a feeling of interdependency is developed through this very recognition. Such an understanding may alleviate many of the current issues my generation is facing. Problems such as ecological crises cannot be resolved by individuals, but require a group effort. On a personal level I can become involved in social and community movements and introduce positive change. This emphasis on community provides a compelling perspective from which to approach such issues. Since we are all affected by these problems, what is required is to find solutions on community and societal levels. In my opinion, this particular problem solving approach is reflected in the college’s core values. By using these values as what they are meant to be, as “cores” of the college and the entire experience of it, I can see the best possible value strategy for gaining the most out of the college years, and taking these gains into that changing world.

Beanie – a good start but this needs to be tightened up – There are not many grammatical errors.  I am most concerned with the content sounding too general.  You need to give some specifics  and support any statements you make.  Please read my comments in the margin.  You could pick one societal problem and discuss hoe social responsibility, intercultural understanding and student autonomy can work to improve the situation…the global environmental crisis, for example…and there are so many others.  Pick a social issue of relevance to you and then answer the prompt. You don’t want your essay to sound to general as you may sound like other applicants.  Be specifc and concrete – this will enrich this essay

The recognition that the social community is the true center of our seemingly individual lives can help improve relationships with each other and the community as a whole, insofar as a feeling of interdependency is developed through this very recognition. Such an understanding may alleviate many of the current issues my generation is facing. Problems such as ecological crises cannot be resolved by individuals, but require a group effort. This emphasis on community provides a compelling perspective from which to approach such issues. Since we are all affected by these problems, what is required is to find solutions on community and societal levels. In my opinion, this particular problem solving approach is reflected in the college’s core values.

Students can take these reigns by realizing the significance of their individual actions on a broader social level. Once again, the college’s four core values suggest that the notions of tolerance and dialogue are crucial, as an open-mindedness towards others can help encourage positive relationships to flourish. Concomitantly, the emphasis on individual autonomy recognizes the potential of individuals to affect change in the world. Yet significant and positive change is only possible through an emphasis on others, insofar as our lives are social in essence.

Because of globalization,  ff me and my generation, that is an inevitability. Improving cultural understanding follows from maintaining a level of tolerance on an individual level. In this regard, my personal emphasis is on dialogue, as social discourse should remain as open as possible in order to engender a mutual respect between individuals.

The notion that social responsibility shapes my actions becomes a crucial starting-point from which to reflect on how I may develop positive relationships with others. This can include anything from volunteer work to making an informed choice as a consumer.

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