Going into this class, I believed that it was going to be like every other writing class I had been forced to take over the years. My previous writing classes could have been better as we broke down different writing styles and just wrote continuous essays on rather pointless topics. However, I would find this class much different and defy my expectations. Our course epigraph from Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” says, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.”. At first, it was unclear how this quote would navigate our thinking through this course but upon reflection at the end of the year, it has become quite apparent. Looking back upon my work I believe that the course epigraph forms through line for the work I’ve had the opportunity to engage in this semester. This quote has helped me navigate the idea that I am no longer a child living in this world but instead, an adult who can ask more questions and think deeper.
At the beginning of this class, we wrote an essay that discussed what we believed we would get out of the class as well as what we thought we could bring to the table. I treated this first essay like I treated the rest of my previous writing classes and that was without much care or thought behind the words I was writing. I was trying to just get words onto a paper to complete an assignment instead of thinking deeper about the assignment and asking questions. This led to a lot of my thoughts being disconnected and completely unstructured. Instead of taking time to think deeper and have a plan for my writing, I would just write any idea that came to my mind. The advice I received from this essay was to slow down and unpack and although Dr. McCoy iterated that these were common words of advice at the beginning of a semester I still found them incredibly helpful. This advice helped me come to an understanding that not everyone in the world interprets things the same way. This was something that I already knew but I don’t think I understood the magnitude to which this was true.
This was pointed out to me when Dr. McCoy asked what it was I meant when I said an “ordinary class” because while this was something that was clearly outlined in my brain I failed to understand that others had a different view. This helped me understand that I needed to think about things deeper and ask more out of myself. Applying this to the real world and not just my writing became a goal of mine which I think was really beneficial. Using this sort of deeper thinking I was able to start asking questions that I previously would have never thought of. I was able to practice this deeper thinking in my lecture classes. I found that when I was able to just sit and listen to someone speak it was easier to think of deeper questions and continuously ask why. I would either relay these questions to my professor or would look it up on my laptop but either way I would leave the class with a better understanding of the topic. I specifically remember sitting in my humanities class while the professor was discussing writing around the time of the French Revolution. When I would normally just sit there mindlessly listening I instead found myself scouring the web for different things about the French Revolution to gain an understanding of what was going on at that time. This allowed me to develop a better idea of what the author was thinking along with a better understanding of the writing we were working with as a whole. It was these types of things that this new thinking opened me up to.
This idea of deeper thinking along with the class epigraph helped drive my final rewrite for my “Bloodchild” essay. Using the feedback from my first essay I was able to narrow down my thoughts and have one clear concise idea drive my essay, instead of an unorganized essay filled with a handful of ideas. This allowed me to go into further detail since I could put all of my thoughts and explanations into this one idea rather than trying to divide it up over multiple ideas. This idea that I was able to focus on was the idea that in my opinion college is not often how it has been described to people. I was able to come to this idea through deep thinking to go along with some reflection within myself. A line that I used in this essay was “College sounded like an extension of childhood filled with fun but it is the end of childhood filled with responsibilities and discomfort.” I believe that this quote sums up my idea for the essay. This is a conclusion that I was able to make through the guide of the course epigraph. I had to come to an understanding within myself that although college is known for its fun there is also a ton of responsibility to go with it as well as a ton of risks. The responsibility of taking care of yourself is something that I had the luxury of being oblivious to. My parents had helped me every step of the way to get to college but once I was here there was only so much they could do. I feel as though this was something that was rarely touched upon when I would have conversations regarding college with those I knew who had gone to or were in college. There was always discussion on how college would be the greatest years of my life but everyone failed to mention the multitude of risks associated with it. Through this process, I have learned that only good things happen when you continuously ask questions. I wonder if I had been introduced to this way of thinking before college if I would have asked more questions and perhaps been more skeptical of college as a result. All in all, the course epigraph helped mold the idea for my final “Bloodchild” essay as I expressed my concern for gaining more knowledge about college and asking tougher questions than perhaps we are. I will make sure that I attempt to spread this kind of knowledge whenever I can and whenever I am asked. Moving forward, I’d like to try and encourage others to allow themselves to engage in this type of thinking so they could further improve their lives.
Nothing I can do will change the past, only the future which is why I must continue this way of expanded thinking through this next chapter in my life. Accepting that the past cannot be changed, I am forced to move forward with a more open-minded perspective, forming the next phase of my life. I am free to focus my energy on the possibilities of the future because I realize it is pointless to worry about things that cannot be altered. This dedication to broadening my thinking serves as my compass, directing decisions in my life that have the most thought behind them.