Stage 4: Summative Reflection

Summative Reflection

Purpose of the Summative Reflection

You will complete this Summative Reflection at the end of each semester-long experience with one of the four Centers of Commitment. The purpose of this reflection is to create an opportunity for you to pause, wonder, reflect, and articulate on how this semester-long experience has impacted how you are currently understanding yourself as one who is called to serve the neighbor, one who is called to be a global citizen, one who is called to be an engaged local citizen, and one who is called to meaningful work. The other reflections you have done for your v-portfolio this semester were related to the theme of the specific center sponsoring your experience. But this reflection is designed to get you thinking about yourself in relation to the themes of all four centers. You are encouraged to refer back to the Pre- Experience Reflection you completed at the beginning of this semester in order to notice how this semester-long experience has changed you. No one is grading this assignment. It is solely designed for your benefit, so please make the most of it and do it in a way that is meaningful and useful to you.

Description of the Summative Reflection

Find a meaningful way to reflect on the questions below. This might simply be short answers to the questions, poetry, a song, visual art, a PowerPoint presentation, etc. We want you to do it in a way that will be fun and meaningful for you. Once you have created your reflection, upload it to your V-Portfolio on Portfolium. Connect it to other projects, courses, jobs, or tags that you think are appropriate.

Summative Reflection Question

Read (or re-read) “The Summoned Self” by David Brooks (The New York Times, 08/02/2010). In this article he differentiates between the Well-Planned Life and the Summoned Life. Brooks says,

“The person leading the Well-Planned Life emphasizes individual agency, and asks, ‘What should I do?’ The person leading the Summoned Life emphasizes the context, and asks, ‘What are my circumstances asking me to do?’ The person leading the Summoned Life starts with a very concrete situation: I’m living in a specific year in a specific place facing specific problems and needs. At this moment in my life, I am confronted with specific job opportunities and specific options. The important questions are: What are these circumstances summoning me to do? What is needed in this place? What is the most useful social role before me?”

You are wrapping up a significant learning experience this semester which – hopefully – has made you more aware of a very specific concrete situation. How has this experience summoned you? What are your circumstances asking you to do? What is needed in this place? What is the most useful social role before you?

Remember, you have freedom to do this reflection in any way you find meaningful and constructive.


After you upload your Summative Reflection, you’re done with your V-Portfolio until your next center experience. Once you begin another experience, you’ll begin the process at Stage 2.