The first Tuesday of the school year, I walked out of the first RCL class lecture so confused. The entirety of my high school English experience was nothing like what I experienced in my first class session. On top of that, Professor Fonash kept talking about this mysterious entity that was the civic, of which I had no comprehension.
My confusion with the civic continued for about the next three to four weeks as I attempted to do the best I could to pretend I knew what I was suppose to be writing blog posts about. Luckily, over time I started to grasp the meaning as I began to formulate my civic artifact speech.
Ideas and events started to make connections in my head as I began to get an understanding of what the civic actually meant. Suddenly, I started to notice civic aspects in my everyday life as I flipped through the news or even walked down the busy sidewalks on my way to class. It took a while, but I soon became comfortable with civicly minded ideas.
Currently, I feel like my semester of RCL has been one of my most beneficial classes as it not only developed my communication skills, but it also helped me start thinking on a deeper level brought on by the civic. I now find myself looking beyond the obvious and asking myself the more difficult questions of “why?”.
The civc artifact, paradigm shift, and history of a public controversy assignments have all helped me in order to better understand what it means to be civic. Civic can sometimes be found in some of the most odd of places, but the importance is noticing the relevance. This semester has altered my understanding of the civic and has given me a new appreciation that I will take into next semester and the rest of my life.
Over the last few weeks downtown State College has been getting progressively brighter due to the strands of Christmas lights decorating the houses. A big part of this has been from the work of the fraternities who have taken the time to illuminate their houses. This effort has resulted in the spreading of the beloved holiday mood throughout the local community.
The holiday season is a time of year in which everyone attempts to take a step back and become more engaged in civic matters. Houses are decorated throughout the community, people have their neighbors and friends over for dinner, and individuals get involved in charity events for the less fortunate. Although these things are great, it draws the question of why it isn’t as prevalent in other times of the year?
People seem to be willing to donate their time and money during the holidays due to the mood of generosity built by the community. Donations are given to Santa Claus as he rings his bell on the side of the street and people provide Christmas presents to children whose families can’t afford them. The opportunity for civic engagement is almost everywhere during the holiday season after bypassing the frenzy that is holiday shopping. However, come mid January, the decorations come down and with them the civic seems to go as well.
Granted, it would be difficult to maintain the same kind of unified community involvement the entire year, but if the community attempted to give back once every couple months it would do a lot of good. The holiday season seems like the most ideal time for outreach efforts however people can have large impacts on their communities at all times of the year.