Even though Mark once mentioned in a lecture that he does not want to delve into the philosophy aspect, I think the most valuable takeaway from the class is the change in the way of thinking and reasoning. Therefore, to me, T101 is about triggering the complicated thinking, steering a student (myself as an example) away from following the safe and common way of thinking to start looking at an issue from many perspective and wonder “so what?” all the time.
Learning that there is no good or bad in media, that media reality is reality, to question reality, and different aspects of the innovations and evolutions in media as well as in the humans’ creative system, I figured out how to utilize different viewpoints to see a problem. The ultimate point of such learning makes the student think out of the box. From that point, the student sees the issue better. For example, it’s easy to argue that media are good or bad or that the reality is not real at all. However, it’s not easy to realize that media are neither good or bad and ask oneself “so what if the reality is not real?”. If the reality is not real, a person should try to create innovations, not to escape the reality in a negative way. That is the point of creativity. In other words, the first telecom class answers the question of many students (not just telecom majors), “Why do have to sit through the lectures? Why do I study telecom and media?” or even “Why do I go to college?”.
The Why’s, then, remind me of the title of this class, “Media Life.” I used to think it’s vague because media life includes so many aspects. Now I think it fits the class material because instead of learning such “many aspects,” I learned why and how to think about media life instead.