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Pranav Gopalakrishnan

Dr. Tim Moran

Honors PS1010

26 April 2017

A Reflection on Political Science

I must confess, I was not very thrilled with the idea of having to take this political science

course. I already had the credits due to AP U.S. Government, and the idea of having to spend

more time and effort on a class which was only required due to my position in the Honors

College wasnt something I looked forward to. However, after going to Dr. Deegan-Krauses

lectures and attending Dr. Morans seminars I found myself very excited to be a part of this class.

Perhaps it was because I had found a place to talk about politics and world events in an

environment that was (relatively) unbiased, or perhaps it was because we did work that was

applicable to the real world. Regardless of the reason, I found PS1010 to be one of my favorite

classes of my first year of college. Working with my group was far more rewarding that any

group project I had undertaken in the past, as we tackled real-world issues and became involved

in the community in a serious effort to solve the problem we thought needed fixing. We did

volunteering and research into our subject (walkability and the deterioration of pedestrian

infrastructure), and as time went on, it stopped being busy work and felt like an honest-to-

goodness project that we could make an impact on the world with. I, personally, hope to continue

with this project, and I am sure the rest of my group feels similarly. It is nice to be a part of

something greater than myself, and I greatly appreciate PS1010 for being a course that has given

me the opportunity to pursue a goal with real-life consequences and a real impact on real people.
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Over the course of this semester, we discussed politics and what it means to be a

political person. I believe that I am a more knowledgeable person thanks to this course

(hopefully, that isnt the infamous Dunning-Kruger effect causing me to believe that), and that I

am far more prepared to be a part of this countrys political process and a more responsible

citizen. This class has changed my perspective on how government (and politics) should work.

We tend to focus far too much on the major problems and so many of the minor issues go

ignored. However, many of these issues tend to be very important in their own rights. Sidewalks

are not something most people consider, and in Detroit, well maintained sidewalks are far and

few in between. This issue has long-lasting repercussions for public health, safety, and economic

growth; it is also symptomatic of a greater issue in the nations infrastructure. I, much like most

people, was completely oblivious to this issue until my group came across it for our research

idea. The skills Ive learned (from how to be involved in a community to gathering research to

interviews) will stay with me throughout my education and my professional life, and I am certain

that my experiences in this class will serve me well in the coming years.