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Mike Westwood
Noodle Expert Member

March 06, 2020

This article chronicles my experiences in the course I had to pass to graduate from Curry. It is told solely through my perspective.

In my final semester as a student at Curry College, in the Spring of 2017, I took a course that is a graduation requirement for all Communication majors, Communication Issues Seminar. Communication Issues Seminar, by design, was the hardest course I took in four and a half years of college. It was an academic endurance test and contained many written assignments, as well as a very long research paper that I am very happy to have written.

The classroom format for Communication Issues Seminar was very unusual to the majority of the courses I took in college because my peers and I sat in a circular order around tables in the classroom. The professor sat within the circle with the class and from mid January to early May, we met each Wednesday afternoon to complete our assignments. Our assignments ranged from writing and updating resumes to writing hypothetical cover letters for practice before we entered the workforce. The class was required to read a book called "Hamlet's Blackberry" and write weekly, chapter-by-chapter summaries of the book.

A fun assignment was to find a story within current events that was pertinent to the Communication field and write an essay on it. I based my essay on a child-friendly robot called "Milo" that was and still is being utilized in certain school departments around the United States to help young students with autism learn necessary social skills through conversations with the robot. The research paper I had to write was stressful, as any research paper tends to be. However, the stress was worth it in the end because I based the paper on a very important Communication concept that people who do not face it may not think of.

My research paper was 26 pages long and discussed how people on the autism spectrum are more than capable of forming romantic relationships if they can find a partner that accepts their uniqueness and difficulties with social conversation. My headline title was, "Autism Spectrum Disorders and Dating: It Can Be Done." My motivation to bring awareness to the topic was my morale to work through writing the paper, and in the end, I wrote a very detailed essay about the struggles people on the spectrum cope with when it comes to romance and the different ways the community navigates through those challenges. I had to present my findings from this paper at the end of the semester, which was recorded on my cellphone by a peer and based on feedback I received afterwards from my peers and professor, I was told I did a good job.

I greatly enjoyed my experiences in Communication Issues Seminar because I learned new Communication concepts, was able to improve my orating and presentation skills and wrote a paper that made my class and professor more aware of a hardship that a certain community must work harder at than some people may realize. I passed Communication Issues Seminar with an A, and graduated a few weeks later. My advice to students who take this course; be prepared for a challenge and have fun.

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