Friday, May 13, 2016

The Forgotten Class: A Master's Project

Molly Holinger 
Graduate Student at ICSC 

A few years ago, just after graduating from college, I had a conversation with a friend on the topic of life. Despite being college graduates, we felt as if we knew nothing. While college had taught one of us (Molly) to speak and write fluently in French and the other (Jen) how to conduct international business deals, it hadn’t taught us (at least not deliberately) about life. In our conversation we discussed what aspect of our college education had taught us the most and neither of us named our classes.
What we did name was our self-directed learning: reading Positive Psychology, creativity, and life-coaching books. We wished there had been a class on these topics when we were in college and really needed it. It would have been among the most valuable courses we could have taken. From there, we got the idea to write a book called The Forgotten Class to capture the wisdom and tools that had gotten us through our early twenty-something years. As an independent study under Dr. Cynthia Burnett, I, along with my friend Jen, began this project one year ago. A semester turned out not to be long enough, so I extended it into a Master’s Project. The writing process was experiential learning at its best: I experienced the entirety of the creative process from clarification to ideation to developing and prototyping, and, finally, implementation. The writing process, perhaps more so than other creative work, demands heavy feedback. At least in my experience, having multiple readers give me feedback on several drafts of the book made it the high-quality book it is today.
The Forgotten Class
The Forgotten Class gives readers a creative process to create a life they love during their twenties adapted from the creative processes Design Thinking and Creative Problem solving. The creative processes that inspired this book (Design Thinking and Creative Problem Solving) function just as powerfully in creating one’s life as in designing a product or service. As Tim Brown, CEO and President of design firm IDEO and author of Change by Design says, “There is a big difference… between planning a life, drifting through life, and designing a life.” (Tim Brown, p. 241)
Along the way, we highlight research, books, and websites that we wish were taught in education- but that we had to find ourselves, which is the reason this book is entitled The Forgotten Class. These are the lessons that have brought us to where we both are today and that we still draw upon to keep afloat. The topics range from motivation to learning style, but the overarching theme is personal growth and well-being. Hardly a comprehensive list, these blurbs share the latest research on well-being. Finally, we include some personal stories from our lives illustrating how the process works in real life.
We hope this book finds its way into the hands of those who need it. The book is just making its way into publication. Look for updates on this blog for future publication dates!