The end of the semester is finally here! It seems like it was just yesterday when I was sitting in COMM 2302 for the very first time and asking myself “What did I get myself into?”. That being said, I am definitely glad I took this class. It was a breath of fresh air compared to all my other science-based classes that I’m required to take as a pre-med student. Although many of the topics discussed in class were interesting, the ones that stood out to me the most were the discussions on the principles of cult leadership as well as the recent topic on intertextual media content. I’ve always been fascinated with how cults function and when we deconstructed cult leadership in class, I found the discussion to be very engaging. In addition, the topic of intertextual media and how media content can be connected to each other through references was also very cool. I would like to see more examples in class. I would be happy discussing either topic on our last day if that is possible.
My favorite reading in class would have to be Pratkanis and Aronson’s “How to Become a Cult Leader”. Like I have mentioned earlier, I have always found an interest in cults. The chapter explains the seven principles along with examples from different cults in the past. I don’t think it could have gotten any better than that.
My least favorite reading was Jean Baudrillard’s Spirit of Terrorism. His ideas were just so over the top and confusing. I just couldn’t follow along and keep up with his thought process. Rereading Baudrillard’s work, I’ve found a few interesting ideas. I agree with Baudrillard in that we live in a constant state of fear and paranoia from terrorism due to the images in the media. From Baudrillard’s perspective, America’s war on terror is almost futile. As Baudrillard points out, we are fighting against terrorists who will gladly take their own lives in pursuit of destroying America. Knowing that we could be attacked at any time and knowing that there is nothing that we can do to stop it instills a sense of terror in each one of us.
Next semester I am continuing my premed and business track and taking science and business classes. Unfortunately, this was one of the first and probably last communication class I will take at Trinity. As much as I enjoyed it, I don’t think time will allow me to register for another communication class without having to stay here for another extra year or two from my intended graduation year. Furthermore, I am planning to volunteer somewhere abroad, preferably in South America, with an organization called Global Vision International. Farewell my fellow COMM 2302 classmates. I hope to see you all around campus!