Week 2: Being Critical

This weeks lecture taught us the importance of being critical of the "knowledge" that we are exposed to. It is often the case that as we as individuals perceive the information that surrounds us or that is told to us to be true. Now, although there may be many reasons as to why humans tend to do this like, for example, the legitimacy of the source of the information or our biological sense to conform, however, it may be the primary issue with this is that it prevents us from critically questioning the validity of the knowledge. As professor alluded to in class, knowledge isn't always factual, in fact, it may be simply a matter of some one's opinions. What's concerning than is that the "knowledge" being produced is cultivated from a subjective truth rather than objective truth. It is in these instances than that lead to incorrect or biased information becoming proliferated into society simply due to a lack of critical critique. Therefore, it is as students our job and our goal to learn and to become more aware of the different types of information and knowledge that are out there and be more critical of them.

Week 1: Introductions

Hello everyone,

So, a quick introduction, my name is Juan Sarmiento and I am a fourth year Law and Society student here at York University. I'm 23 years old, and I am proudly a Colombian Canadian. With all that cliche introductory stuff now out of the way I can now delve into what I would say best describes who I am. Without a doubt the first thing that comes to my mind is sports, I LOVE sports. I've played most types of sports and I'd say that I'm half decent enough player in most of them, but certainly not great. However, what I really wanted to tell you is how my love of sports came to be. It all began when I first saw the Toronto Maple Leafs play. I remember being fascinated by the way the players moved on the ice, the massive hits that were being thrown around, the way the goalies played despite wearing all that gear, all that coupled with the fact that the Leafs jerseys are blue, which happens to be my favourite colour, instantly got me hooked on the sport. I remember after watching that first game I began to really follow hockey more diligently, unfortunately for me as a Leafs fan, up until recently it was more painful than fun to watch our team play. Looking back at it now though maybe it was a blessing that I had to suffer all those years of futility because if it wasn't for that maybe I wouldn't have begun watching and following all the other sports teams and leagues that I do now. Anyways, from all that I'd also add that it is a dream of mine to possibly in the future use my knowledge and passion for sports and make a career out of it. I don't exactly know how or in what field per se but all I know is that who wouldn't want to work doing something that they love am I right?

Moving on, in regards to this course and my thoughts on it. After leaving the first lectures and subsequent tutorial, my first impressions were that of intrigue and excitement. I think that it will be very entertaining to learn a new and different way of expressing our dialogue through the creation and design of our own podcasts. Personally, I've never attempted to create my own podcast, however, I do listen to many different genres of podcasts on Spotify, so I am a little familiar with the basics of them. I am specifically intrigued to learn the editing process of the podcasts, especially because I believe that learning how to edit digital content is an important tool to have in our current technological age. Also, the Professor, the students and the TA's all seem to be very enthusiastic and excited to be part of this course, which is a very pleasing sight to see. trust me when I say that it's a lot easier to get excited and motivated for class when you see that the professor is excited to be teaching their content.

Lastly, when it comes to research tactics I honestly think that every student has their own way of going about researching that best suits them. In my four years here I've been taught, read and heard of many different ways of researchign that all offered great insight into different methods and approaches into how to properly research. The problem that I see is that students often either stick to one method or try to apply too many methods, either way, more often than not the student gets frustrated if it doesn't pan out. For me, my advice to the first and second years students would be to find what's best for you. Seriously I know its cliche but its true, if you try to too hard to emulate the methods of someone else and you consistently find that you aren't getting the results you want then you need to try something different. Quite oppositely, if try to use too many than you'll work might become dysfunctional. Either way, you as a student have to learn what is best for you, for me it was taking little bits from each of the concepts that I learned and added them to my repertoire, which I like to call "research attack". Oh, and don't think that simply searching on Google or Wikipedia is a bad habit, trust me every student young or old does the same thing, the point is to not stop there rather progress from that information and find more and more.