The Little that We Know

Last Thursday I attended a communications unit tutorial, and was really surprised (shocked, really) by the discussion that day.

The students and facilitator (aka. the tutor) displayed such depth and scope in thought on that week’s material (on digital and analogue modes of communication; largely philosophical stuff) that I could only observe is a state of half-shock and half-awe, almost refusing to participate because I wanted to listen more to the ideas being exchanged and debated as opposed to throwing in redundant questions and answers I only considered necessary due to their possible aid in providing me “participation marks”.

Having never taken a unit outside the business school thus far in my three semesters here in UWA, I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for this class. Well, the UWA Faculty of Arts has not disappointed.

I suppose it wasn’t just what was being discussed in class that fascinated me, but also how different the discussion was carried out as opposed to in business classes. Unlike the business school, people seemed to be discussing issues with a real curiosity — there is no other agenda other than just saying what’s on your mind, on the issues, or otherwise. There was lively debate, and painfully honest admissions (“I don’t understand why we need to have this debate,” said one, “I just don’t believe we can change the world by thinking about these things.”)

It was also quite an eye-opener for me to realise how little I knew on these subjects. I had always assumed that I had a deeper understanding than most of my peers on philosophical ideas, and that I was more widely read than most — I assumed wrong.

As much as it was painful knowing how little I knew, it was most liberating to know that I now know how little I knew.

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