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Breanna Valenzuela

POLS 1100
Prof. William Greer
November 26, 2014

Final Reflection: Us Government and Politics

When I entered this political science class I was less than thrilled, mainly due to
my lack of knowledge about the American political system as a whole. As the course
went on I became more and more comfortable being able to discuss my opinion and
views with my classmates. I immediately realized that having a political opinion
does not come from knowledge of the political system necessarily, but instead
comes from personal values and the understanding that politics deals with who gets
what, when and how.
This class began to overlap with things I was learning in my other courses
dramatically. In this course we learned about how political campaigns are funded
and how money is lobbied to support certain candidates. We also got to see a
dissected view of the money running through local campaigns here in Utah. This
related to my astronomy class, which sounds off relating politics to space
exploration, because we learned about the funding, or lack there of, that is given to
astronomical research these days. We did not come out and mention anything about
special interest groups or lobbies, but in my personal thoughts I was curious if NASA
has anyone representing them and their interests in congress. I also have been
researching and writing about lobbies in my English 2 class this semester. I chose to

write about lobbies as a whole, rather than focusing on one specific, and their
impact on society, whether positive or negative. I did not expect things that I
learned in this class to help me out in other classes, I more expected it to make me
more knowledgeable in the real world. It was refreshing and helpful to have some of
the terms and practices I learned here benefit me in other parts of my schooling.
This course has helped me move toward achieving some of my personal goals
with school, as well as some of the SLCC learning outcomes. The main learning
outcome that I noticed I achieved in this class was thinking critically and creatively.
During our discussions I was not only learning something new, like watching and
listening for jargon in presidential speeches, but I was also responding to my class
mates while critically thinking about the material. I also felt like the discussions in
class helped me to learn to work with others in a professional and constructive
manner. I did not agree with a lot of what was said by my classmates throughout
discussions, but discussing our differences in opinion in a respectful way was very
beneficial in helping me express my opinion without trampling on another. More
than any other outcome I feel like this course helped me to move toward developing
the knowledge and skills to be civically engaged. While discussing topics with my
peers I was able to see viewpoints that I had not thought of and that were new to
me. This helped open up my eyes to other peoples opinions on political morality
and views on difference legislation. By hearing other peoples views, and also
learning more about the building blocks of our democracy through the constitution,
I feel like I am more prepared to discuss key political issues with others throughout
my life.

Before this class I had little interest in the American political system. After taking
this course I have changed my thinking and feel like I should be more involved. After
reading about some instances, such as the Seneca Falls Declaration, I have a stronger
desire to stand up against things that I believe to be wrong or unjust. I feel like even
someone as small as myself can have an impact on the way things are ran in our
country, just by having and opinion and voicing it. After reading through the articles
of the constitution I feel more passionate about what this country was founded for
and the direction we are headed.
If after taking this class I make no effort be more involved in the political system
or up rise against our government when I feel they have wronged their citizens, I
will take away the desire to vote in every local and national election that comes. I
have seen what voting can achieve and realize what a unique and special right I
obtain as an American to do so.