Clear Thinking

United States
October 5, 2008 2:21pm CST
I was fortunate to have a dear friend who had graduated High School a year ahead of me. She was very intelligent and I valued her opinion. I asked her for her recommendations for the best courses to take in my Senior year. She recommended I take a specific English Lit course even though it wasn't a requirement for graduation. So after reviewing the course and on my friend's recommendation I signed up. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. The first 2 semesters of the course the concentration was on Old English literature, ie: Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, etc. Learning HOW to read and translate these great authors into current context opened a whole new world of literature to me which I enjoy to this day. The last 2 semesters of the course were called "Clear Thinking". The concentration being based on clear and logical steps for reasoned thinking, don't believe everything you read, question everything, think outside the box, don't take anyone's word for something, think for yourself, etc. I had always been a very logical person anyway but this course really helped to focus on using clear thinking in every day life. I have tried to live my life by this way of thinking and I am eternally grateful to my teacher, my friend who recommended the course and to the schoolboard for offering this course to students. Did you have a course like this in college or high school that changed your life or at least your way of thinking?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Oct 08
No I didnt I changed my way of thinking living life. I thought by the time I was 17 I knew every thing lol. But living life taught me a whole lot more than any class I took.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Oct 08
Yep at 17 we know EVERYTHING!
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
7 Oct 08
@littleowl (7157)
5 Oct 08
That is brilliant especially as it was the advice of your friend that you took this course..I wish now that I had but no unfortunately instead I went for a typing course to be a receptionist...that at the time taught me how to write letters,paragraphs etc. It has only been since I have got older that I have really found a clear way of thinking in my own way, and try to apply this to my everyday life too as the one thing I do do is just live for today...hugs littleowl
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 08
Nothing wrong with practicality either! I do wish that it was a requirement in all schools though. I can't help but think that we could save ourselves a lot of confusion and indecisiveness if we learned how to think logically from an early age. Too many have to wait for it come with age then look back and say, "If I only knew then what I know now!"
@littleowl (7157)
5 Oct 08
You are very right, schools desperatley need a lesson in clear thinking-it might stop a lot of violence as well as teenagers would 'Think' twice before their actions. There is a lot of good things that clear thinking would do...still we can dream hugs littleowl
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 08
A coarse of Clear Thinking/ We need that type of coarse in Every highschool.I always thought for myself and I never just went along with something without thinking it out .But there are so many who don't. I didn't have a coarse that changed my way of thinking but I did like my English Lit class and my algebra class too.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 08
I agree that a course like this should be offered in every high school. Actually I'd like to see it taught in 5th or 6th grade. So many have to wait until they, if so inclined, take a course in Philosophy in college. I can't help but think that IQ's would go up a notch or two if it was a required course in every grade school over a few generations.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 08
i agree, 5th grade would be perfect time for that course.
1 person likes this
6 Oct 08
Hi craftcatcher, Well done to you girl for taking your friend's advice and done so well with the English literature. I never had a chance to go to college and my life changing came late in life for me. Tamara
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Oct 08
Thanks Tamara! I didn't get to go to college until I was in my mid 30's I finally got my degree in Business at age 35. Never give up! It's great if you can change your life for the better no matter what age you are.
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
6 Oct 08
I had this incredible 8th grade teacher for English who, believe it or not, did introduce our class to most of those concepts, including the Beowulf, and a bit more about reasoning that most people seem to get in most English classes. Unfortunately a lot of people hated her for that, and she ended up not teaching there very long. But that was a window to the world and my key to future success, particularly as she made us learn sentence diagramming. That is what really helped me later on in college. John Milton, who had an incredible amount of power and served the English Commonwealth impressively even while he was blind, was more than a little miffed when his own writings were banned by an oppressive heirarchy, and he wrote eloquently of his outrage. If you have read Milton's wonderful treatise on free speech called Aeropagitica you may recall that even the first sentence might well put off native speakers of today's English. Here it is: They who to States and Governors of the Commonwealth direct their speech, High Court of Parliament, or wanting such access in a private condition, write that which they foresee may advance the public good; I suppose them as at the beginning of no mean endeavor, not a little altered and moved inwardly in their minds: Some with doubt of what will be the success, others with fear of what will be the censure, some with hope, others with confidence of what they have to speak. OK, where is the main noun and the main verb? But it was and is a wonderful treatise, and at the risk of sounding political, which I hate to ever do, I still think nobody who cannot read and understand Aeropagitca should ever be allowed to vote in any English-speaking nation.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Oct 08
The teacher I had for the class was not well liked either. The class was rarely taken voluntary but the last resort of those who were too late to sign up for "easier" classes before they were closed. I can't blame the teacher for being frustrated and hard on students since most of the students in the class didn't want to be there. I took the class specifically because it was difficult. I spent most of high school bored to tears and found very few classes challenging. But this was one that held my interest for the whole year. I have read the Areopagitica and I agree with you. Anyone who ever considered censorship acceptable or wishes to curtail free speech and free press should commit several parts to memory. Quite eloquent in his own time and still relevant today.
• United States
5 Oct 08
I had business classes in high school that gave me the skills to type and use the keyboard. I use the computer for everything I do for work and if I did not have strong typing skills it would be harder for me. Now no one told me to take the classes I did that on my own. Now by taking these classes I met a teacher that saved me from a very bad home life and became a very good friend. I got kicked out of the house at the age of 18 and had no where to turn to. So I asked her if I could live with her and her husband. She was in her 50's and had grown children. They let me move in with them. If it was not for them I do not know where I would be today. So the typing and business classes in high school helps me with using the keyboard and the classes led me to meet this beautiful teacher and friend.
• United States
6 Oct 08
It was definitely a good decision to take the classes and for choosing your friends wisely.
@ronaldinu (12439)
• Malta
5 Oct 08
I enrolled to an archaelogy course in University. It did not had to do much with my line of study. But it helped me to broaden my vision and the perception how to look at life. It provided me with insights about history, human nature and life in general.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 08
Archeology is a great eye opener for logical thinking! Many of the sciences force us to look at things logically and clearly. It would be very difficult to be a good scientist of any kind and not see life, history and human nature in a new light.