One of the requirements that Maggie had to fulfill as a college student was to develop a web page of her own by the time she graduated. The "Portfolio" covered several specific topics and what Maggie had written so far in her sophomore year in each area is reprinted below.
I foresee several stops on the road to being ready for a career. I need a good education, but more importantly, I need to possess a conglomeration of experiences that combine to make me a successful career woman. Here at Kalamazoo College, I plan on taking advantage of the many internship opportunities I will have here. However, I have already had a host of experiences that have begun to shape my career path. I worked in a funeral home in high school for three years answering phones and doors, doing computer layout, and most importantly, building relationships with families who had lost a loved one. The social ramifications of relationship building led me to take the Neighborhood Organizing Practicum at K, which I am currently taking. I enjoy this practical aspect of sociology, especially the concept of social capital. A career in sociology is one career possibility.
I have had many leadership opportunities in my life that have contributed to my overall social and educational growth. I do not enjoy speaking in front of groups of people, and dread being called on unexpectedly in the classroom, however successful stints at being a leader have helped me to dread this less. A leader possesses many qualities, and even though I do not feel comfortable addressing groups of people, I am a good organizer. At K, I have had the opportunity to be a student leader in the Building Blocks Program, a part of the Neighborhood Organizing Practicum Class that I am currently taking. One aspect of the program involves the transfer of unilateral power (which the students originally possess to a large extent) into relational power, i.e. transferring leadership and empowering others. Leadership is a skill that I need to further develop at K.
Oral expression plays an important part in US society. It is one area that I need to work on. I have never taken a public speaking class; the idea scares me.
Committment to Lifelong Learning:
For me lifelong learning is a commitment to not being ignorant. This means making the conscious decision to act and think intelligently, to keep up on current events, and to continually build constructive relationships with those around me. It means being flexible and open to the ideas of others, because other people hold the greatest wealth of practical and valuable information. For instance, my mother has taught me more about how to really live than any textbook ever could. This is not to undermine the value of the education I am receiving at K. A liberal arts education provides for a well-rounded individual. I am confident that my educational experiences here at K will only strengthen my commitment to lifelong learning.
Social responsibility has fairly recently become a large part of my life. It began my junior year in high school when I had to fulfill a volunteer requirement for National Honor Society. I chose to tutor students in Chemistry and Math, an undertaking that required more patience than I knew I had. I continued to tutor into my senior year, when I also started to volunteer once a week at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Unit. It was not only a job that required patience, but it also required looking past a patient's exterior and picking out the goodness in them. Volunteering at the hospital also made me aware of the problems facing mentally ill people, and it has become important to me to devote some of my time to those that are less fortunate than I am. I have a stake in my community and it is my social responsibility to do what I can to improve it.