This is my ENVR 430 reflection after having spent the semester with Professor Kai Chan, our TA Dana, and all the wonderful students in my class. It's a little bittersweet because I've really enjoyed the more hands-on learning this class has encouraged. ENVR 430 has not only equipped me with the desire to make real-world change but it has also given me the skills to do so. I am now better able to understand the problems plaguing our world, discuss difficult matters with my peers, and find resources that may help me in my future endeavours to create change. While I loved the foundational ideas of this class, things weren't perfect.
I am thankful we didn't have traditional midterms or a final but some of the weekly readings and media were quite a lot to handle. I also felt like many of them were not as focused on the week's topic or their topics weren't even touched on in class which made them feel less impactful to my learning. My biggest struggle in this class was the structure (or lack thereof). I recognize that I come from a syllabus and outline-heavy science background but the lack of structure made me feel like I was kind of drowning. Throughout the weeks I found that I constantly felt like something was being forgotten or I wasn't doing enough or I didn't quite know what was expected of me for most of the projects. I think in future, stating more explicit expectations and having a better estimate of what the course/semester's going to look like would be beneficial to both students and the grading team. I also understand that this was the first iteration of the newly re-vamped course so understandably there were learning curves, I just think more structure would be helpful to future students.
All that being said, this course has definitely inspired me to look for more ways to get involved with my own community. Over winter break I'm hoping to look into some local organizations which are striving for a better future and potentially get to work or volunteer with them in the coming spring semester. Overall this course was tough to get used to but definitely a worthwhile eye-opener.