At this moment, I have exactly only 3 blog posts on WordPress.*
Two of these three posts this semester were Day is to Night, as Summer is to Winter on Mercury and One of Saturn’s Moons, a Tide, and a Connection. In “Day is to Night, as Summer is to Winter on Mercury,” I discussed information about how seasons occur on all planets. Honestly, my favorite part of this blog post was the research and description of what life on Mercury would feel like. I am fascinated by travel and experience of other countries because they feel like another world, but I do not get a chance to do that yet. Videogames, art, and stories are cheap ways to explore worlds that cant be visited, but learning about life on Mercury was like a knowledgeable expedition to another planet, where obviously living being are not going to survive. However, through learning about this topic, I essentially traveled there and understood what life would be like (without dying of course). I most liked drawing and figuring out the (amateur) specifics on Mercury’s surface temperature and daytime/ nighttime physics because it helped broaden my understanding. I had a lot of fun writing this post for that reason.
Now when it comes to “One of Saturn’s Moons, a Tide, and a Connection”, I most enjoyed over-learning to make a connection. This specific post was a lot of work because I felt like I was trying to pull strings to make it all come together. I didn’t know much about how tides worked; I just assumed that since they had to deal with the moon, the phases must be related as well. So I ended up researching that a little and I came to the conclusion that yes those two are related and yes this can explain the phases of the moon. I honestly am very proud of that post because, to me this was a scientific breakthrough. An “AHA!” moment. I never thought I would be able to connect the two of those ideas on my own without learning them in class. For those reasons, this post sticks with me.
Overall, Astronomy 101 was a very pleasant class to come to. I enjoyed learning about all things space. The atmosphere of this class was very low pressure and highly promoted participation. Before taking this class, I thought astronomy was going to be extremely complicated. We all hear the phrase “it’s not rocket science” (which to me rung as astronomy) and I thought the actual content of this class would be challenging to understand. But, to my surprise, the information was very simple and clear, minus the occasional chance of me overthinking the topic. However, also to my surprise, I had more of a problem getting myself to work on class assignments. I love this subject matter because it is thoroughly interesting to me, but any chance I have to procrastinate I will take it and that essentially ruined my prospects for this semester. No one likes feeling behind, and I did this to myself. However this semester has been the hardest on me in terms of my mentality. It was beyond hard to pick myself up and complete assignments for this class, especially once they started piling up. However I am not a quitter, and I will still right these posts, regardless if I receive a grade or not. The hardest part about writing these blog posts to me was not knowing where to start. The source was always my go to at first, but once I got to the part where I am describing what I know, it seemed like I didn’t know anymore. I just erased that from memory. There was a lot of back and forth between me telling myself I do not know the material and me telling myself that I do. With all of this in mind, I came to the conclusion that I am more of a student who would rather take tests, because those work for me. Essentially, if there was a mix between tests, the blog posts, and other worksheet related assignments, this class would have fared better for me. Essays are not my forte, but this class challenged me in that aspect extremely. As for the material, I felt like certain beginning objectives dragged on too long so we could not go more in depth with more complex ideas. At the same time, I appreciated that we could take our time with those certain objectives because it gave me time to stop second guessing myself and move on with completing assignments. Also, I like how incorporated the present is in this class because not a lot of classes link current events to what we learn.
Ultimately, I am very two sided on how this class ran. I loved it and I hated it. I loved that assignments were a loose due date and I hated that they were a loose due date. I loved the AstroJournal and I hated it. These is not really a way I could explain why I feel this way exactly, because in the end I admire the creativity it took to make assignments like this. Assignments that make you think, assignments that challenge you EVERYTIME. This class was basically catered as a blow off: no tests, no final, no problem. But it was not in the slightest. And I am angry and happy for this at the same time. I would 100% recommend this class to anybody, but I would make sure to just give them a word of caution. Procrastination is tempting, but it is more detrimental. In the end, my appreciation for astronomy has only grown and I love everything I have learned in this class. There is something so comforting looking out into space and knowing its not foreign and undecipherable. I strive to keep looking up and not letting that black space in our night sky tell me that there exists only what I can see. Thank you.