An epigraph is a short quote that suggests a theme. This course’s epigraph is from Blood Child by Octavia Butler. “If we’re not animals if these are adult things except the risk Gatoi in dealing with a partner”. When first reading this epigraph, I had no idea what this meant. There was little context. Now, with conversations in class and the material readings, I have a firmer grasp on what this epigraph is expressing. It addresses failure. The most frightening point in any college student’s career. College students learning that it is okay to fail. It is a gamble that will help with growth. It is revealing that it is a risk to trust. You are risking comfortability and safety. But risk leads to development. Our class discussed growth. Having a goal will help make the learning process easier. In college, you experience a lot of change. Without goals, many feel lost or directionless. Some may consider these growing pains. These discomforts include becoming self-confident, experiencing loneliness and needing to learn. Goal setting is the key to having a successful college experience.
This epigraph speaks about the value of setting goals. For instance, when handling writing this paper it was directionless. I relied heavily on sprouts of energy. I waited to write this because I was afraid of the work that would entail. I would rather fail at something that I don’t work hard at. I can recognize the experience of failure. So, I avoid the hurt of the whole situation entirely. Which isn’t the point of growth. You can’t avoid things and still expect to mature. I mean you can, but it’ll be a slow change. My goal for this class is to have a better sense of self and to set boundaries. I want to feel confident in my decisions and not backpedal.
A boundary that I need to set for myself is prioritizing schoolwork rather than socializing. This dilemma I’m facing is something that is like how Gan is feeling throughout the story. In Blood Child, the main motif revolves around eggs. In this society, sterile eggs are for human pleasure. For example, getting drunk and living a longer life. These eggs are advocated by the Tilc for the Terrans to use. Nevertheless, the eggs are also used for the Terran’s demise. The Terrans get sick and die when they are fertile. Despite this fact, the Eggs are still promoted by their society. I associated this dichotomy to the problem we face in college. In campus culture socializing is promoted. The school offers a plethora of clubs and even Greek life. This helps foster strong a campus community. Not to mention making lifelong friends for students. Socializing seems advantageous for the students and is highly promoted by SUNY Geneseo. However, when done in excessive amounts socialization was my demise. Having a social life is fun but it ended up hurting me in the long run. It’s a distraction from another core value high achievement. I decided to focus on my social life mercies my studies. Socialization is a trap like the egg’s in Blood child.
In class, we also discussed whether Geneseo students are adults or kids. When you’re 18 you’re living on a cusp between being an adult and a kid. Blood Child is a coming of age story. Gan prefaced his story with “my last night of childhood began with a visit home.” Stating that there is a distinct difference between childhood and adulthood. In Bloodchild Gan is faced with difficult adversity. It wasn’t until he experienced this was he an adult. This is similar to my belief on adulthood. There are some experiences one must go through in order to be an adult. That’s why I think most students here are just kids. In a sense, college is a coming of age story. We are challenged mentally in many aspects. It’s rare for young people to have a strong sense of self and awareness that many adults have. This process is hard at any age.
In class, we talked about whether someone has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Having is a growth mindset is thinking that things can change. Having a fixed mindset is believing that things cannot be changed. Students should want to have a growth mindset because then you can be learning. Most people have fixed mindsets. They believe that is people were to change it would be in fixed stages. That is why people think there is a difference between a child and an adult. They think that development comes in stages. A fixed mindset is the thought that if you turn 25 that’s when you become in a real adult or when you’re 16 that’s when you leave childhood. Life doesn’t come in stages set packs easy to digest stages it’s all curve. You learn things little by little you change slightly. And then when you take a step back you realize you’re a completely different person than you were maybe 5 years ago. This is because in a sense everybody is growing whether they realize it or not. Everybody’s changing nothing is set in stone. so, it would be counter-intuitive to believe that there is a difference between a kid and an adult. Plus, to think that some kids are we wiser than the adults in power
In conclusion, the epigraph is more than it’s literal meaning. The meaning of the course epigraph is that you need to trust. Trust is a risk that requires you to have faith yourself and the other. In college, you need to trust the institution and yourself. Both parties need to feel safe while stepping out of their comfort zone. This will allow growth in the school climate and the student body. This helps prepare them for the real world.