For the second iExamen, I had somewhat of a difficult time choosing when I wanted to do the assignment. I knew I'd be home all weekend for fall break, and wondered what would make for a more interesting experience--performing the assignment at home with my family, or here at school. I ultimately decided to do my iExamen on Monday, October 22.
When I first woke up, at 7:45 AM, to get ready for my 9 AM class, I wasn't in the best of moods. I reached for my phone to compose what I would consider a typical Monday morning tweet. Something along the lines of how tired I was, how brutal today was going to be, and how short fall break was, etc.--when I remembered I had designated this day as a day I would communicate only within the constraint that my thoughts, words, and actions be kind, useful, and true. Strike one almost, I thought to myself, closing out of Twitter after realizing that the Twitter community would unfortunately have to miss out on my bitingly sarcastic opinion of Monday mornings.
After my 9 AM Statistics class ended, I headed to Boulder to meet my cousin between our 11 AM classes, just like I normally do. This may have been the most challenging time to maintain the rules outlined by the iExamen. My cousin is one of my best friends, and someone I tell everything to. Our conversations are often filled with sarcasm, jokes, and ranting about this person, or that class, etc. My initial inclination was to make a joke about how his favorite NFL team had lost over the weekend, when I realized such a comment was neither kind or useful. I wanted to complain to him about all of the work I already had piling up for the week, and caught myself several times from commenting on people as they walked by. I eventually ended up explaining the assignment to him, as our conversation was clearly different from its usual dynamic.
During my Writing Seminar class, at 11 AM, I also experienced somewhat of a challenge in regard to upholding the guidelines of the iExamen. The seminar is a very discussion based class in which we are graded heavily on our class participation. I typically try and speak up at least once a class, even if i don't have anything particularly pressing to say, for fear of losing points in participation. During class on Monday, I did not contribute much to the class discussion. I would consider raising my hand, but then realize that the comment I had in my head was not particularly useful, and decide against sharing it.
Later that day, at lunch with my friends, I had difficulty making sure everything I said was true and useful. I realized at times that I would be tempted to hyperbolize as I typically do, with phrases like, "I have so much homework I want to die," or "He's so perfect it's ridiculous!" Though my manner of describing my daily "struggles" or happenings to my friends over lunch is usually received with laughter, I realized that maybe these exaggerations aren't the most mature way of relaying my feelings.
Throughout the day I noticed similar instances of having to stop myself before saying something to a friend that wasn't particularly kind, true, or useful. I learned that while the ways in which I communicate are not necessarily mean or useless, they do not always follow the guidelines of being kind, useful, and true. The Twitter community does not need to know the angst I'm feeling because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed (though plenty of other people in my twitter feed shared their distaste for Monday morning). My cousin does not need to be reminded that his favorite team lost (terribly, I might add) on Sunday. My friends do not need to hear me gush unrealistically about a boy I like, or tragically lament the amount of homework I have--when they're all probably experiencing similar things.
Through this iExamen I learned that while the way I communicate is not necessarily bad, it could use some polishing so I sound more intelligent and enjoyable to be around, and to use the means of communication I have been given in a more positive, constructive, and mature way.