Auburn University Main Campus Life Lessons Essay

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choose 5 of the GENDER 101 LIFE LESSONS and write a thoughtful 100+ word (minimum) commentary for each. (600 word minimum total) For each life lesson address: when did you learn this lesson? Who taught you this lesson and why? How has this lesson enhanced WHO YOU ARE AS AN ADULT (and perhaps influenced your sense of GENDER IDENTITY and/or given you an ability that is usually practiced by the opposite sex). Be sure to include references to GENDER DYNAMICS for each of your life lessons – – and apply what you’ve learned during the term, including definitions or key terms.

1) Life lesson # 1 & commentary

2) Life lesson # 2 & commentary

3) Life lesson # 3 & commentary

4) Life lesson # 4 & commentary

5) Life lesson # 5 & commentary

When you have completed your discussion of the 5 Life Lessons – recommend a 6th lesson that is not included in this list and explain why you think it should be added & your 100 + word justification/response.


You know the old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young?” OR “If I knew then, what I know now…”

I think about that on occasion — how I wish I’d had the self-awareness, confidence and joy I have now when I was in my teens, twenties and thirties. So much of life is wasted on worry, regret, pain, and heartache. Of course some of this is inevitable and necessary. But I spent too many of my younger days sweating over things I didn’t need to sweat about. I simply didn’t know better. Or if I did, it just hadn’t sunk in yet.

I suppose “life lessons” are called that for a reason. You need to experience life in order to learn the lessons. And the more life you experience, the more lessons you accumulate. However, some extremely valuable lessons came from other people: my parents and grandparents, great authors, inspiring teachers and my family.

The most important lesson my parents passed on to me – – and – – I have passed on to my daughter is to be INDEPENDENT & ENJOY YOUR OWN COMPANY. My parents gave me the confidence and independence to travel around the world…by myself. To eat in a “sit-down restaurant” by myself. To go to the movies or the theatre and enjoy it…by myself. My daughter, Hallie, lives by the same creed and she has had some amazing adventures. Yes, it’s great to share a meal, travel with a companion, or go to a concert with a friend. However, if no one meaningful is available to share the activity, then DO IT YOURSELF rather than miss out on an experience that is important TO YOU! The highlight of my recent teaching assignment in Kuala Lumpur was traveling (by myself) to a wild elephant preserve. After a four hour drive through the mountains, I was able to stand in a muddy river and bathe a baby elephant! The hair on a baby elephant is about three inches long and stands straight up like a bristle – but it’s very soft. Their skin is like velvet and covered with freckles. This day was a once-in-a-life-time experience and I will never forget how happy I was to JUST DO IT by myself. Yes – I wish my whole family could have been with me – but they couldn’t, so being with my best friends: ME, MYSELF & I, was the next best thing.

Although some lessons must be learned through experience, you don’t have to wait until midlife to become aware of what’s truly meaningful and worthwhile. You simply need the curiosity and desire for self-awareness and personal growth. Once you learn the lessons, you can apply them in your life at any age and see the benefits to your happiness and well-being. FYI – my daughter’s personality is a carbon copy of mine – – her brother is just like his dad. John IV is a homebody and very happy “relaxing.” Hallie squeezes every minute out of every day as if each day is her very last. As for her mother – – there are never enough minutes in the day for me! Genetics – wow!


Change a tire

Write a personalized thank you note

Iron a dress shirt

Sew on a button

Change a Diaper

Bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch


Tie a tie

Jump start a car

Calculate a tip

Enjoy playing at least 1 board game

Play at least 1 card game well

Mow the grass

Play a videogame well

Cook bacon & eggs

Build a fire

Blow a bubble

Grill a steak “medium”

Perform the Heimlich maneuver

Wrap a present (like a pro – – no gift bags)

Hand sew / mend

Be able to cook one great signature dinner with appetizer, salad, main course, vegetable and dessert

Ride a 2 wheeled bicycle

Tie your shoe

Make your bed like a pro

Enjoy (or excel) at a sport with a ball

Know how to score something – bowling, football, golf, bridge…

Slow dance

Know the words to our National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance

The Lord’s Prayer or how to say grace for Thanksgiving

Acknowledge the birthdays of your parents, siblings, grandparents, best friend and partner

Know (and use) your local florist – don’t just buy flowers at WalMart

Know how to set the table for a lovely dinner

Know the first verse of a couple of Christmas carols

Manners matter

Eat in a nice restaurant by yourself and enjoy the meal.

Go to a concert or theatre production by yourself and enjoy it.

Run, swim or bike in a 5K, 10K, marathon, triathalon; compete in an Iron Man or Woman OR Mud Run

Go up in a hot air balloon, para-sail behind a motor boat or bungi-jump off something very high

Contact your favorite teacher from 10 years ago or more and tell him/her how much s/he impacted your life

Do something unexpected and truly nice for a local senior citizen center / elder complex (bake cookies, volunteer your time…)

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