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Roedah Mansour

Honors 100 BC
Iris Kuo
October 29, 2013
Experiential Learning
Partner: Carol Baron
And so the conversation began: we delved, head-first, into the
confusion and possibilities of our plans for the future. Carol and I chatted for
a lot longer than I expected. She had previously shared with me that she
intended to major in computer science, which made me imagine a
stereotypical, behind-the-screen job in which she sat with a bright white light
reflecting in her eyes. I was mistaken. Carol does not seem to be a stickler
for uptight rules and strict organizations – rather, she appreciates novelty
and being able to try new things, to discover, to understand. She takes great
interest in the interactions of others, why people think the way they do, why
they do the things they do, how the world is interconnected, and what her
role could be in improving that connection whilst studying human nature. Her
particular interest in psychology and sociology astounded me.
Here was this potential CSE major, holding a conversation with me
about human interactions – and how interface played such a grand part in
the world’s sociability (or lack, thereof). Carol did not concern me with the
itty bitty details of software design and technological terms I probably would
have been unfamiliar with. she did not give me the spiel I have so often
heard from CSE students about technology changing the world. Instead, she
showed me the humanity behind the robot that now pushes the world’s
bounding progression. she has a distinct desire to understand the inner
workings of the human mind, and how interface has affected it (and vice
versa). Carol does not see himself settling for a single company after her
undergraduate years for the rest of her life – I asked if she would be
interested in a Microsoft job, or a job with another big company, to which she
responded without firm conviction. There would be time to ponder over it

later. As aforementioned, she aspires to taste the human thought-culture,
which she can certainly do by being able to keep flexible. This was
something we both agreed upon: if she were to settle too soon, she could
miss out on a great possibility elsewhere. This presents a probable
reluctance to commit to any certain duties for too long for fear of limiting
himself. However, Carol does not have any specific long-term career goals at
the forefront of her mind yet. Rather, she wishes to gain experience with the
“mundane”, everyday jobs she never got to have in the past. This way, she
would be able to gather familiarities with the “norm” that she felt she missed
out on when she was younger. These potential experiences could mark the
cusp of the beginning of her journey of personal development via the studies
of mind.
We discussed study-abroad programs, but it seems that Carol did not
know if she would want to participate in a travel passage anytime remotely
soon, without a purpose or goal in mind to accompany such a large trip. She
could definitely look into conducting social research about the technological
resources and their impacts on certain societies while on a trip. An
opportunity at the university Carol could take advantage of would also be to
look into the research projects the CSE department conducts, many of which
are focused on human-computer interactions
(http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/hci/projects/). There are plenty of
projects to consider, and one that I find may particularly appeal to Carol
would be the project to find ways that computing interfaces make people
think more http://www.cs.washington.edu/node/3840/ rather than making it
easy for the user. This does not deal with the human mind and its
interactions with others, but it does deal with the relationship between
interface and thought processes, ideas and human productivity, which I feel
would appeal to Carol’s interests in psychology and human exchanges. There
is no doubt that any one of the projects would turn out to be incredibly
remarkable.