Throughout this semester I have come to learn that with almost everything there is a risk, whether that is something small like procrastinating on your work to hangout with friends or a more severe situation like spending thousands of dollars to attend school. The epilogue from Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” This epilogue reflects lots of my first semester. It means to me that each decision you make has a risk no matter the severity. While adjusting to college throughout this semester I have come to realize that with heavier the weight of the decision very often the outcome has a heavy result. Overtime I have gained a better understanding that while there may be risks on each side there’s also a reward for each. While still using the first examples, when I decide to study and do well on a test I feel very accomplished and relieved, but if I choose my friends over work I often feel the repercussions later on of my actions. But during college it isn’t all about school, growing into college has shown me that it is finding the medium that will benefit me the most.
While dealing with risks versus rewards, with school, the rewards are very often the most important aspect. Although the reward may sometimes seem as just as a result, there is often a better and a worse side of the rewards. The rewards are always relatively clear cut. Gan seems to pick up on this fairly well throughout “Bloodchild”. In the story “Bloodchild” Butler plays with the ideas of risks versus rewards of humans living on a foreign planet. The main character Gan is caught in a dilemma, he had seen a human give birth to T’lic larva. In a sense this experience has traumatized Gan and he begins to worry about his future and says “His body convulsed at the first cut.” while watching what he will have to endure. The T’lic that lives with Gan, T’Gatoi, asks Gan if he would rather have his sister give birth to the larva. He understands that the risk of letting his sister take the larva has a risk of her passing away during birth which could result in him feeling as if it’s his fault she passed away, but with him taking the larva he is able to make sure his sister lives and gives himself a chance to live as well. With Gan ultimately taking the larva himself he understands that with the risks he will put forward with taking the larva but shows that he also believes that the result will be more beneficial to him. Gan weighing out his options on making his decision has shown me that it is beneficial to weigh out the positives and negatives of my own in any given situation.
Whether it is making the decision to hangout with my friends or be proactive and get my work done early in the semester I had struggled choosing the right path. In most cases it would’ve been the better option to get my work done but with all my friends hanging out together I had decided I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity. The first time I had come back with a bad test score I was lucky it was able to be dropped but it gave me a wakeup call. I realized I was no longer in high school and the stakes have risen. I realized that I need to put more effort into my work and sacrifice some social time to achieve what I came to school to do. As the semester had gone on I had found fun in learning, I had realized that with a group studying can be much less of a chore and I can negate the sacrifice of missing out with my friends. It has become a great social outlet for me and has also improved my test scores. This has become a great reward that I have been given as choosing the option to benefit myself has benefited me in more ways than I could’ve ever expected. But on the other hand this also shows there may be unexpected outcomes. Coming into this semester I had hoped to play soccer. Soccer being the main reason I had decided to attend Geneseo it had really devastated me when the doctor had told me I would no longer be able to play until I get surgery. I hadn’t seen this result before I had come to Geneseo but even though I may have not been happy then it led me to meeting some of my best friends. With the decision on coming to Geneseo to play soccer I hadn’t seen any risk but in the end there had turned out to be another side to the option of playing here.
But with taking these risks even if they had gone sideways something positive had come out of each one. Even if it took time to see, each one it was a positive outcome for me. In many situations there can be positive outlooks if you see it from the right perspective.
Much of what Gan had experienced in “Bloodchild ” is the same in some aspects. What may seem incorrect to humans may be important to the T’lic and vice versa. The humans fleeing from Earth had nowhere to stay and were brought in by the T’lic in return the T’lic had placed some restrictions on the humans and had them aid them with their young. Without the risk of allowing the humans to live on their planet the T’lic wouldn’t have the reward of having somewhere for their young to grow. And similarly the humans wouldn’t have anywhere to live if they didn’t allow the T’lic to grow their young within them. In each aspect there is a group that is reaping the benefits of the others’ risk.
Throughout this semester the risks versus rewards part of this court had been what had been the most prominent part of this course in my day to day life. This class has shown me that with a great risk can come great reward if you are willing to work in good faith. If you decide to work hard and sacrifice what others will not, you will attain what others cannot. Butler’s “Bloodchild” had shed light on this aspect for me in a real situation being that Gan had a hard decision on his hands but was able to decide what would be the best for him. Gan may not be a direct mentor for me seeing as our situations are not similar, but how he has conducted himself throughout a pressure situation like he had experienced gives me a guide on how to treat situations I may not be able to navigate easily. As many students begin college they go through changes that they did not see them having to go through and that is one thing Gan had done well that I had admired, even though it is fiction it is still useful to use these characters and how they have treated their situations so maturely. The risks and rewards of this first semester have been evident to me after the fact of the situation, not so much at the start. This is why I believe that before people make decisions they should take their time and think about what each decision could bring.