For this assignment, please write a short essay reflecting upon at least three of the following four items. The ``unplugged/connections'' experience must be one of the three items you write about.
Your paper should be typed, double-spaced and 2 pages in length.
This is partly a personal essay, so writing in the first person is perfectly acceptable.
Note: It is highly recommended that you use the small Connections notebook as a journal to jot down your thoughts and experiences before, during and after the 24-hour break from the internet, cell phones, etc. This will help you reflect on the overall experience.
Some topics you might write about concerning the above items are included below. You should strive to integrate your essay, bringing together common ideas and themes from the different events.
A few comments about the unplugged/connections experiment: We (the Montserrat faculty) are asking you to disconnect for 24 hours from the internet, cell phones, smart phones, texting, google, social networking sites, etc. You can still use your computer for homework if need be. This is a shared experience, one that ALL of your fellow first-year students, in every cluster, will be participating in. The goal is to create some space to reflect critically on a part of today's world that influences all of our lives in ways we may not realize, since we almost never step back from it. As you know, when we are completely "inside" of something, it is almost impossible to get any perspective on it. It becomes like the "water" in the Wallace anecdote above--something we don't even think about, because we don't have to. But we probably should think about something that looms so large in our lives!
Although this is less about "rules" than it is about experimenting and experiencing, you may still have questions about what you "can" and "cannot" do during the 24 hours. Basically, what we are asking you to do is to disconnect from those technologies that have become "second nature" -- specifically, the internet and cell phones (especially the texting and web-based functions) -- while paying attention to your response and experience as you do so. Obviously, some accommodations will have to be made for particular, individual needs and circumstances; as with so many things in life, this is a matter of using your best judgment while keeping to the spirit of the experiment. That's part of the thinking we are asking you to do.