Growth within the Developmental Process

The terms growth and development are often used interchangeably, however the overall development process encompasses the many forms of growth we experience. The developmental process integrates and organizes all of the ways in which we have grown. Development is a lifelong process. Growth is quantitative, while development is qualitative. Development implies shifting, but it does not imply constant, consistent growth.  Growth is not linear, and so, development is a nonlinear process. Human development, identity development, urban development, the development of art, personal development, and communal development are all non-linear and not always visible or easily recognizable.

Without making an active effort to reflect on my experience in this class, I may not have noticed all of the personal growth I have made. The third learning outcome listed in the syllabus has advised us: To reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time; to make personal, professional, and civic plans based on that self-reflection.” The reflection process has been put into action through our blog posts, class discussions, these self-reflection essays, and each of our individual interactions with the material Dr. McCoy has provided us. Over the development of this entire class, we have been given the task to both reflect and build upon everything that we learn – whether the knowledge was sourced from Steve Prince, guest lectures, Dr. McCoy, a fellow student, or from our own individual vats of prior knowledge. The ways in which this class has fostered my personal growth will allow me to continue my own journey of self-development long after it ends. 

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f l o w

The concept of flow, as described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, is “the state of total involvement in an activity that requires complete concentration”. When experiencing flow, an individual:  becomes completely absorbed in an activity, does the activity out of interest, receives a sense of joy, and has feelings of accomplishment. In his research study on the concept of flow, Csikszentmihaly writes that:

“People are happy not because of what they do, but because of how they do it”.

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Corporate Social Responsibility (and Cherry Garcia)

I am skeptical of brands that promote social awareness on social media. Most of the time, it’s a superficial marketing strategy aimed at millennials and Generation Z. In my mind, these large, faceless corporations are conditioning consumers to associate their product with social justice.

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What’s Black and White, But Gray All Over?

During PSYC 307: Sensation and Perception lectures, Dr. Mounts regularly stresses that “the more you learn, the less you understand”. While Dr. Mounts refers specifically to the complexity of the human mind and brain, this idea can also be applied to human behavior and the social environment. As it turns out, this idea is also applicable to the nature of Steve Prince’s art.

I am often visually overwhelmed when studying Steve Prince’s work.  Steve’s art often depicts numerous objects and figures that are clustered together to make up one chaotic composition. In an interview, Steve was asked to elaborate on why he constructs his art to be about multiple things rather than one singular thing. He explained:

“I am utilizing a design mechanism called “dense-pack” whereas I force the viewer to encounter several things all at once and they have to sift through the image like an archeologist to extract meaning and make sense of the controlled chaos. The art is meant to be viewed multiple times and meditated upon. When encountered at different cognitive points in one’s life the work has different meanings and understanding… The artwork is fixed but we are ever evolving and in a state of becoming, therefore the art is being reborn daily, and so too should we be reborn and in pursuit of a deeper understanding of self and everything around us” (.   )

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Salt of the Earth

I took my Spring 2018 semester off for mental health reasons after an overwhelming Fall semester. During these months I felt very disconnected from my environment, from other people, and from myself. Taking a break from school was terrifying, because it forced me to do something I never experienced before – I was no longer a full time student.  Instead of going to classes, I attended therapy sessions twice a week. Instead of focusing on my academics, I focused on fostering my personal growth. I find both of these objectives to be difficult in different ways. Whereas I had previously agonized over the Big Question (i.e. the meaning of life, my Earthly purpose, etc.), I listed off the things that added meaning to my life and incorporated them as much as possible into my regular routine. I decided that expressing myself and creating are pretty high on the list. Art has allowed me to explore myself, as well as the inner workings of other people.

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