Before starting this blog, I felt like I was an informed young adult. I watched the news, I read the occasional article, I listened, and often contributed, when others spoke on issues. However, it was not until I started writing this blog that I realized I actually knew very little about the issues I was passionate about. Sure, I knew which side I stood with, but my reasons for standing with that side were undefined. When people asked I would say, “Because Public Education is the best way to go,” or “Because the legislature is cutting funding.” I never actually knew the why or how behind the different viewpoints of the argument.
The process of blog writing has caused me to delve deeper into the roots of issues. I have done extensive research on the opinions of both sides, and while I still believe the same thing I did before, I now have reasons to back up my beliefs. I have learned how to evaluate sources and question their validity and not be persuaded by any bias. Many news outlets differ on opinions, so I have learned that in order for someone to make a well rounded opinion, they must read a various amount of sources and make their own inferences from there.
Now, when someone asks me why I feel like the state is not supporting public education, I can name off a list of reasons. Every reason on this list will have been researched, inferred, and critically examined. I will have facts to support my opinion and will be able to counter arguments. Through the blog writing process, I have become much more informed on my issue have learned even more about myself and what influences the way I think. Now, when I am faced with an issue in the future, instead of just forming my opinion on the face value of each argument, I will look for other sources. I will critically examine each different argument and will not base my argument solely on opinion, but on facts. Since my mother is a teacher, the public education debate drew an emotional response from me initially. With the knowledge I have now about each side of the debate, I am able to back up my emotional response with facts and better defend my stance. I have learned that it is good to be passionate about a topic, but it is even better if that passion is rooted in fact and critical thinking, as well as examination of your surroundings and yourself.