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This is a portrait of my capability as a learner. How do I do it? How do I keep track of all of the information and knowledge that has come to me throughout my lifetime? How do I break it down and process it? How do I compensate in the areas where I am lacking?
My purpose here is to evaluate the way I use and process information, to get a better picture of my ability to learn, and what I have learned, in school, at work and in life. To keep abreast of current events and topics of interest, the sources of information that I frequently use are television news, television newsmagazine's, talk radio and local newspapers. From time to time, I read local events on the Internet. If I watch a particular show on television and want more information on it, I go to the webpage on the Internet for more precise information. I can then cross-reference and find related subjects by web surfing. I use encyclopedias at home to get information because libraries are not nearby.
In addition, I use a CD-ROM or the Internet to make sure that I have accurate and recent information. The most important tool that I use for information is my computer, because of the many avenues available to me via CD-ROM and the World Wide Web. At work, I read pin-maps, Interim Orders and Operations Orders to keep abreast of crime, community events, and procedural changes happening within the precinct and department wide. I also read the national law journals to identify patterns and learn tactical information that I can apply on the street.
I have noticed that when presented with statistical information such as bars and graphs, I have to give it a second look because I become disinterested in the source of information almost immediately. Observation skills are very important in my line of work. When assigned as the recorder on patrol, its my responsibility to keep precise written details of events in my activity log. To be an effective police officer, Ive learned to become an astute observer. I need to know my direction of travel, what block I am on at all times, and the sector that I am patrolling. I observe what people are wearing, what they have in their hands, the way the look at the police and the way they walk to determine whether or not they are involved in or are about to become involved in illegal activity.
I listen to what people say while observing their actions. It is not unusual when answers to routine questions contradict the actions of the complainants. When I walk into an apartment, or a room full of people that I am not familiar with, I rely greatly on my senses. I assess the key players, look for furtive movements, and evaluate the feel of the room. A weakness that I have in the area of observation is when I feel comfortable in the surroundings that I am in, I tend to become complacent and sometimes miss things that would ordinarily be apparent had I been alert.
Critical Analysis, Evaluation and Interpretation When presented with an idea, problem or set of facts, I evaluate and interpret the situation presented to me in a logical, reasonable manner. For example, In a recent discussion with an adversary, she did most of the talking and I did the listening. I heard about the things that shed done, what she planned to do as well as the things that she believed she was capable of doing. Certain flags came up during the conversation and I took this information and compared it to what I knew was possible and disregarded what I knew to be a falsity. I was able to determine lie from truth, and differentiate between fact and opinion. Those things that I concluded were invalid or misleading, I immediately dismissed.
I accomplished this by consulting various sources, and relying on past information that was readily available to me. Using this form of critical thinking helped me determining the type of person she was and whether or not she was a threat to me. Quantitative Reasoning & Representation of Numerical Data Throughout my life, I have suffered from math anxiety. I become anxious when a problem involves figuring mathematical relationships. This is an area in learning where I have always had to take time. I keep track of productivity and time by keeping an activity log at work and a journal at home.
When I prepare an overtime report, my partner sums together the hours and minutes because I usually make a mistake. Computing ratios and statistics is difficult and the best way to overcome this is by remembering the formulas necessary to achieve the correct answer. In school, I hated word problems and when I help my children with their schoolwork, I assist them in almost all areas, except math. Once, in the military, I had to convert and implement degrees and clicks on a compass and relate it to my point in the woods.
I was off by twenty degrees and got lost. I learned why I got lost and compensated for the deficiency by learning how to adapt my position by two clicks. Ive always been aware of my difficulty with quantitative reasoning and make extra effort in order to lessen the possibility of errors. Communication Skills: Listening, Speaking, and Writing Communication skills are an integral part of learning. The educational planning book for this course states that communication skills arent neat and occurs simultaneously as the transfer of information takes place. I strongly agree with this statement as it pertains to my learning abilities and experiences.
When I listen to people, I listen to the words they choose as well as which words were not chosen. In order to limit the possibility of miscommunication, I try to clarify what has been said by paraphrasing. My concentration tends to wan when the topic doesnt interest me. When my attention has been captured, I retain all that has been said verbatim, generally, word for word.
Making a speech in front of a group of people allows me to express my views and opinions on a variety of subjects. I tell stories, make examples, use mannerisms and fall back on experiential learning to emphasize the subject that I am discussing. I can best express myself through written communication. I mostly write reports at work and letters to friends, relatives and businesses. I revise and correct until I am satisfied the idea that I want to present is concise, clear and to the point.
My memory can be atrocious. I cant put things away at home because I forget where I put them. I leave one room only to forget which room Im going into next. Names and faces are difficult to recall, and yet I remember sets of numbers without a problem.
I can recall the social security numbers of all my children, my partner and both my ex-husbands. I can remember the VIN number to my car without thinking twice about it. I visualize destinations in my head and when giving directions, I give the most direct route. Sometimes, when speaking Spanish and I cant find the word, I have to jump back in English to find a comparative word in Spanish.
I compensate by writing things in my date book. Sometimes, I cant remember where I put that either! In order to manage my time in the most efficient way, I prioritize things in the order of importance to my family. No matter what I do, my family comes first.
I have worked the midnight shift and remained on patrol so that I can spend the day with my children and not have them raised by a sitter. This sacrifice of my time has been rewarded by watching my children grow into happy wonderful little people. My boyfriend has been my greatest champion in this area. He has helped me organize my time and sometimes has taken time away from his children in order to be with me. Consequently, I take into account and limit any activity that will take me away from them. If a much-needed second job detracts from the quality of time I spend with my family, Id rather be a little poorer at the bank and richer at home.
One of the reasons why I chose to return to school is that I am able to do it from the convenience of home. Twenty years from now, when I look back see that my children have grown into happy, well adjusted people, and the man that stood beside me is still by my side looking just as gray as me, I will have considered that time well spent. Application, Experience and Conclusion While writing this portrait of myself, I have discovered that I frequently use and apply these skills regularly in making decisions that affect my life. Ive learned where I excel and noted where I need to put constant effort. Experience makes us better learners and helps us limit our mistakes and identify our joys. Experience teaches us that there is no greater joy than the birth of a child, or a more annoying pain than when you stub your little toe on the corner of the bed.
It taught me that fish dont always bite but those little worms do. It taught me to appreciate honesty and value integrity. Take my time, enjoy my children, and jump on the bed. Love unconditionally and without limits. Admit defeat and say sorry. Never lie to crazy people.
Read Emerson. Write a letter to a friend. Dont kick your enemy when they are down, but never turn your back either. Learning is an ongoing process that makes me the person that I am.
The most important thing that Ive learned is that I havent learned everything I want to. Yet. Bibliography:
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Research essay sample on Ive Learned Communication Skills