Are you experienced?

“For every one… has a cave or a den of his own, which refracts and discolours the light of nature, owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature, or to his education and conversation with others, or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires, or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled, or the like. So that the spirit of man…is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance.”

Francis Bacon, 16th century philosopher


Deep beneath the surface of every individual resides a collage of experiences. Varying from each individual to the next, experiences remain unique in the form of memories and perceptions.

Some cherish past memories, day dreaming of a golden age of their childhood, while others try to repress memories by living entirely in the moment. Others plan for a future based upon the perception of what life can offer, but unfortunately for some dreamers, the dream never becomes reality and the once envisioned future of grandeur slowly slips into non-existence.

While walking down the academic path toward a college degree, incorporating outside experience and abstracting on personal perception can act as an immense learning device within the classroom environment. A bigger picture can be constructed from the topic of discussion and students leave class with a conception of how particular ideas are pertinent to their daily lives.

Every Seawolf at the University of Alaska Anchorage has experiences, perceptions and beliefs, which Francis Bacon says, comes from an individual's proper and peculiar nature.

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Whether a returning, first-year or transfer student, everyone at the university possesses a similarity in the different experiences and perceptions bundled tightly behind their passing faces and fluttering personalities. The past perceptions contained in the mind directly determine the present outlook on life and in turn affects the interaction with the surrounding environment.

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Bacon contends, everyone's mind has a cave or den refracting and discoloring the light of nature. In other words, learned perceptions and ingrained teachings implemented in one's up ringing can cloud and distort their perception.

According to Bacon, people's perceptions are compiled of education and different impressions. Although extrapolating on a past experience or an abstract interpretation can be useful in academia, it can also be hindering. Preoccupation and predisposition within a classroom setting often distracts the instructor's content aims, creating tangents gigantic in proportion.

A balance of open mindedness and relevant experiential input ascends the learning experience to phenomenal heights. Leaving the extra baggage or preconceived notions at the door of a class allows the mind to fully absorb what is being taught and later make the necessary connections regarding personal experience. Those who choose to defy presented material, defying and arguing the premises on petty scales, ultimately steal the magic of learning from themselves and others.

Having strong opinions based on past experiences and personal memories is completely natural, but failure to listen to opposing views and new ideas can result in extremely negative outcomes. �