A Reflective Look at My Life

Topics: New York City, Erik Erikson, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development Pages: 7 (2458 words) Published: April 25, 2011
A Reflective Look1

Psy 202
November 7, 2009

A Reflective Look2
IWhat Was My Family Like?
AGrowing Up With 5/6 siblings
BWhere I Am From
CMy Childhood and Adolescent Life
IIThe First Big Move
AMy First Trip to Dallas, TX
BThe Unexpected But Inevitable Return
CIntroducing Entrepreneurship
DOut With the Old, In With the New
IIIMy Personal, Academic and Professional Goals
AA Family of My Own
BMy Educational Aspirations
CMotivator, Educator, Animal Lover, Globe Trotter
ARelate My Experiences to the Theories & Ideas in the Boyd & Beech Text BRelate My Experiences to the Rules Discussed In the Life Launch Text CPresent Conclusion

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A Reflective Look at My Life
At the age of five, I began meticulously planning every detail of my life, from my career to the family I would have. Although life does not always go according to plan, as the journey progresses, it shapes the people we become, which I will discuss briefly in this paper. I will describe the course my life has taken so far and relate these experiences to the stages of life using eclecticism and the social theories we have studied in this class. I will also discuss my goals and aspirations for the future and relate these ideas to the life rules discussed in this class. Although I have six siblings, my baby sister did not come along until I was fifteen. I grew up the fifth child of six, with three brothers and two sisters. Both my sisters and two of my brothers are older than me, but I am closer in age to my two older brothers and spent most of my childhood around them. My younger brother is four years younger than me and became my shadow when he reached school age. A single parent of six children, my mother worked relentlessly trying to support us all. Living in New York City, this presented a constant struggle. We moved a lot throughout my childhood, to all five boroughs of New York, Westchester, Long Island and even Union, New Jersey. We moved to Brooklyn, New York when I was twelve, first the Red Hook section, then Park Slope and finally Coney Island. We settled in Coney Island shortly after my mother and stepfather met and we remained there throughout my high school years. My mother was a single parent with six rambunctious children, and I often wonder how she was able to maintain her sanity! Instead of using it as a tool for A Reflective Look4

learning, my mother used what B. F. Skinner called “operant conditioning” (cited in Boyd & Bee, 2006, p. 30) as a disciplinary method. Since she worked a lot, we spent a lot of time with babysitters and, when we got older, home alone. With six children, babysitters were expensive and difficult to find. To ensure our good behavior, thus, the sitter’s willingness to watch us, my mother rewarded good behavior and punished bad behavior. The positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement (Boyd & Bee), made it easy for me to choose to behave, although a couple of my siblings never did. Despite our frequent moves, I was always placed in the accelerated programs at whatever school I attended and high school was no different. I graduated from the Macy Medical Program of one of the top four high schools in New York City at age seventeen, but was not ready to start college as my childhood life plan dictated. Medicine was rapidly declining as my profession of choice. I was unsure what field of study I wanted to pursue and I wanted to have a definitive directional goal before I started college. The identity versus role confusion (Boyd & Bee, p. 27) I was experiencing, as Erikson describes, was primarily due to the abundance of choices at my disposal. My desire to “fulfill personal potentialities” (Erikson, 1968, p. 290) and remain true to my own needs was conflicting with my mother’s aspirations for me to attend college immediately. My...
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