How To Be A Better [Blank]: Make Dumb Mistakes

As cliche as I will sound, I have to say it: in order to improve, you have to admit your mistakes. Well, I made two big mistakes when I wrote my article on whether or not police officers should be considered hate crime victims. The first mistake I made was not researching legislative or judicial commentary on hate crime laws. The second mistake I made was not spending more time fleching out the most concept-driven part of the entire article (viz. the final section). The overall result was a work whose concepts were somewhat vague and without context.

I arrived at that conclusion after taking some time to remove myself from the feedback my article received and then reflecting on said commentary. In retrospect, they are such rookie mistakes; they’re mistakes I would have tried my hardest to avoid while at Cal State Northridge. Considering the opinions of your contemporaries before putting your ideas in public is priority #1. And clearing up your ideas, especially new ones that might be controversial, is a lesson I had to learn so many times while writing papers.

It’s easy to think that after graduating, we are immune to such mistakes. It’s easy to forget that when you’re not in an environment explicitly expecting thoroughness in thought and rigor in writing, those habits will easily fall by the wayside. It’s easy to forget that we’re human, and mistakes should always be expected. It’s easy to think that when you receive such flak, you are not as intelligent as you once believed.

My gut reaction, in the face of such glaring errors, was to deride my own intelligence. But that’s not how intelligence works. My good friend, Daniel, reminded me that intelligence is a process. It’s never instantaneous. Which is why, despite my glaring errors, I’m not giving up on the hate crime project. I don’t plan on deleting the original post. I’ll need that post for when I clear up the ideas and double check my initial counter-arguments against the FOP. My new plan is to do the relevant legislative and judicial research, understand the context of hate crime laws, and clear up my conceptual proposals.

Usually a reflective post ends with an equally reflective conclusion. Well, you’ll find no such thing here. Good day to you zir*.

 

*No, that was not a typo.

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