Stacey's Web Page
Who I Am, How I Learn
About Me
Fall 2005
Claim of Fact
A Fist in the eye of God
Concept Formation: Attributes Dynamically Inhabited From Conscious Awareness
Women, Sex And Darwin
Pedagogy Of The Oppressed
Neurology Summary
Emotional Intelligence
The Intellegent Eye
The Allegory of the Cave
Psychology From A Culturec Perspective
Thinking Styles
Who I Am, How I Learn
Winter 2006
Claim of Fact
The Sane Society
Rethinking Primate Aggression
Domination & Subbordination
Blaming The Victim
The Social Construction of Reality & Stigma & Social Identity
Economic Justice: The American Class System
Deconstructing the Underclass & Constructing Race, Creating White Privilege
Citizenship as a Source of Obligation
Better Together: Restoring the American Community
Imperial, the Highest Stage
Imperialism 101, Shooting an Elephant & The Gentleman of the Jungle
Spring 2006

     Who I Am, How I Learn


November 2005

Stacey Schiefelbein


Meaning & Madness

Tues. & Thurs.

8am- 9:15am



            I thought I was a simple girl, I don’t need much and I don’t ask for anything, that’s just my nature. The fact of the matter is that materialistic and surface needs are only a small fraction of who I am. As I began to really look at who I am, the complexity of it is surprising large. I’m completely unique, slightly different from everyone around me. I am a nurturing people person who likes to talk and to listen, a person that tries something at least once, a questioner, an observer, and a constant thinker and analyzer.

            When it comes to learning, I haven’t really found “the best” way for me to learn. I know what makes the learning situation easier, but I have yet to find something that works for every learning situation. For school like information, I need a hard chair and a hard surface to do my work on. Ideally, the massive room in SMSU at one of the stools looking into the park blocks. I believe it is a combination of the hard chair, hard surface, other studying students, and the natural light that works best for me.  If I need to be in a class room, I need the same: hard chair, hard surface, windows, and the teacher has to have a strong voice and be able to explain something in several different ways.  Most of the time I can figure out something  the first way its shown or taught, but for me to comprehend something I need to see it in more than one way, so I am able to see all the different angles of it.  Now when it comes  to life skills or job training I’m very hands on. Here is the “formula” I’ve figured out for it: First show me how to do it while you are doing it, allow me to take notes during this process, then let me ask questions, then let me try it by myself. I guarantee this works for me, or honestly just completely letting me try something without any help from everyone. I like the challenge of figuring things out, its not a pride thing, (yes it is, who am I joking) but I like the feeling of being self-sufficient, I guess is what you could call it. Depending on the topic being learned depends on what I like to use, for school I like notes so I can later go back and reflect. For example, when I learned how to captain for white water rafting trips I used my memory and asked lots of questions and wrote in a journal the days events so I could go back and read it before the next trip. I guess its safe to say that I go with whatever learning method works best when the learning  situation comes up; to an extent its like “winging” it.

            I think the way I learn, is similar to how I communicate. When it comes to communication, I’m the cream of the crop. I can communicate in any situation.  I believe that communication is eighty percent body language and fifteen percent perception and five percent verbal. If you could only hear what someone was saying, I’m sure you would have a terrible time trying to understand what they are actually meaning. If you’ve ever been on the phone, it can be difficult to really comprehend not what the person is saying, but what they really mean from what they are saying, especially if you don’t know them well.  To go about communication the most effective way in my perspective is to do it face to face. Then both people have to adapt to one another’s communication styles, so there can be effective communication.  Then both people need to be open minded and see where the other person is coming from. I don’t want to say pretend that they are the other person, but “if I was them, how would I handle this situation”.   For effective communication, I have to have both parties talking on the same level and for them to see themselves on the same level, that no one is better than the other. Also, me as an individual am more like ninety-eight percent body language, well for those who know me. For those who don’t know me I’m more like a very closed unresponsive person. My body language can be complicated from what I’ve been told. Those who know me, know that  my foot tapping or me popping my fingers mean something very distinctive, and it is  not confused  with anything else. But I read people by their body language versus their verbal communication. The body never lies; well that is what I say.

            Does the outcome of an action play a role in which choice I make? It does only if it I’m not to consider myself and how it is going to affect me. I tend to put others before me, especially those whom I’m relatively close to.  Minor decisions are easy for me, I go with my gut.  Your subconscious usually does an amazing accurate job on picking the correct choice. When it comes to an important life changing decision, I use every tool possible. First I think about it, loose sleep over it and then make a list of the pros and cons of the possible decision choices. Then I ask as many different people as possible, those who know me well and those who don’t know me as well for their opinion. Then I pull the person that is closest to me and show them the pros and cons list and talk it through with them. Then the end decision is made on my own. So in short, lots of sleepless nights, numerous conferences with others, close friend conference and then the decision is made. For me to figure things out for myself I need to say the thoughts allowed. This aloud them to fall into place.

            How I make decisions and how I communicate has to be tied to my personal interests. I’m not for sure exactly how, but they all are tied into who we are. I think the reason why I can communicate in any situation is because my personal interests are from one end of the spectrum to the other. I like to do a little of everything, which thinks plays a huge role into how I communicate, because through my interests  I’ve experienced a million different communication malfunctions and successes. I suppose those who have been very sheltered or have only a few selected interest may have a more difficult time with communication, simply because they don’t have the experience. It’s not a bad thing, its just a fact.  For example, communication has become so much  easier now that I’m in college, partially because I have eighteen years under my belt, but also now I’m able to do things I like and try new things which opens the door to new opportunities.

            When it comes to handling change, I’d say I handle it so-so.  Depending on what the change is.  The biggest change for me was probably the move from the Midwest to Oregon in the beginning of January 2002.  And for that, all the issues and conflicts was relativity easy for me. It was lonely because I didn’t start school till the end of January. The first couple of weeks were lonely because I had no friends, but as soon as I was in school, I made friends the first day. It seems like I handle major changes better then minor changes. For example, moving to Oregon piece of cake, but changing my shampoo, oh I hate that.  I know, weird huh?  But when it comes to being understood in more than one way, that can be frustrating because you mean one thing and people take it another or vice versa. It makes you want to pull your hair out.  I think the frustration comes from trying to be on the same page with someone and its not working, sort of like a malfunction in communication.

            Life is all about the memories. What would life’s value be if we didn’t have the memories?  Most of life is learning. We learn to talk, to walk, to love, to understand, to communicate, and to process information. It’s hard not to make what we learn  a memory. As humans I think we tend to consciously remember the positive successful things in our lives. But sometimes we are like, “Wow, I really want to remember this for the rest of my life”, for those occurrences I stop, and observe everything around me and take a mental note of thinking about making it a memory. To get the most of the learning experience I consciously say over and over how great it is. Also I always try to be open minded and focused on what is happening at that moment in time, and not allow my mind to wander. The main thing is to focus, and focusing makes our memories memories.  A good habit I’m trying to keep is to consciously learn one thing a day; to make one personal memory a day. I know that is my responsibility in my personal life, but when it comes to education I feel it is the teachers job to give me the tools and suggest how to use them, and allow me to determine the way in which I  use them.

            I learn a lot from observation; people, things, myself. I learn how to handle certain situations by watching how others act in the situation and applying that to a situation I may get into in the future. It’s sort of like plagiarizing but not really. Let me better explain, you see someone’s interaction to a situation, you take it and tweak it just enough to fit it to your similar situation. I think that is why communication works so well or fails, depending on the situation. Through this paper I have noticed that I am not simple by any means and more so complex than I let known in this paper. Who we are is how we handle change, how we learn, how we communicate and what are personal interests are. We all are unique, we all are different.

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Stacey Schiefelbein