I initially took Educational Psychology because of my interest in education. I did not know the term service-learning or that Dr. Malone's class incorporated service-learning until the first day when he posed the question "What is service-learning?" to us all.
At first, I did not get it. I loved tutoring kids but I did not feel the connection that most of the learning in the classroom had to the outside world. Then, group reflection helped me to understand that I was not alone and that my experience was common. Gradually, I began to see in my mind the building of bridges from the classroom to actual experience. I still see the importance of those bridges across disciplines and beyond classrooms. Doing service-learning gave me the ability to see the world, inside and outside of academia, more interconnected and dependent than I had previously thought.
Service-learning has led me to discovering a purpose in my work. I had often wondered "what's the point?" when learning some esoteric piece of knowledge or formula. Now, I'm better able to devote focus and energy to my studies and parse out the many, complex relationships that exist between learning and practice.