As my second semester at Geneseo draws to an end, I am able to reflect back on this semester. When reflecting on the semester, I find myself thinking about the epigraph that was presented to us at the beginning of the semester in my INTD 105 class. The epigraph is a quote from Butler’s “Bloodchild”, which states, “ If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” In the story of “Bloodchild”, this quote pertained to the two main characters having a discussion of how if one is viewed as an adult, they should be treated like one and should play a role in decisions that will affect them. However, I found that this quote fits perfectly to the class, since my class was all about the intricacies of partnerships, and all the risks and rewards that come with every decision and partnership. This epigraph was the throughline, or as Dr. McCoy would say, “ the string to connect our beads”, of not only our course, but a majority of our conversations, especially in the conversations we had with robbie routenberg, Joe Cope, and Sasha Eloi-Evans.
As the class had used the epigraph to bounce all our discussions off of, I would think about what it meant to me, both at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester, especially through this unprecedented situation. For me at the beginning of the semester, this epigraph, for me, meant that as people grow into adulthood, they would accept adult-like responsibilities, but weren’t fully viewed as adults by everyone, since there was a risk that everyone feared when someone became an adult. When we first viewed the epigraph of the course, we were asked to use the epigraph as the basis of our first essay, where we were to analyze it and refer to it for our goals of the class. For me at the time my goals were to become more comfortable in publishing my writing, to write more analytically and intentionally, and to achieve all the goals that are common for college students of my age. These expectations and goals came from my need to become more comfortable and confident in my writing since I never felt fully confident with my writing. I really wanted to achieve common goals for college students, since I am a first generation student, so for me, it is important that I met some of these goals since my parents weren’t given the opportunity to attend college.
As the semester progressed, I found myself not only growing as a writer and reader, I felt myself growing as a person. I feel like I grew as a writer and became more confident in my writing because of the wonderful feedback I would get on my writing, especially over canvas when the class was writing our heating plant essay during the pandemic. An example of this was in the discussion tab under “Step 2 in assembling your facilities/ heating plant essay.” When I posted my paragraph about the heating plant, Dr. McCoy was quick to offer me counsel and help me improve my writing, especially through telling me to “Unpack the beginning,” and bring back ideas that I had at the beginning of the paragraph. This definitely made me feel more confident as a writer because she gave me individualized feedback that I feel would have been difficult to get from any other professor. I gained more confidence when we were working on skills, such as shortening down on words, which was something that I struggled with a lot. Even though I am not perfect in it and still am working on it, just having the practice with Dr. McCoy helped me understand the concept much more, as well as help me practice it more in depth.
Another way I grew was as a reader, which was important to me since in high school, I struggled to read analytically. As we had read “Bloodchild”, we were asked to read the story analytically, which was a bit of a struggle for me. However, when I was reading the story and being able to discuss in class definitely helped me analyze the story much deeper since we were able to bounce different ideas out loud as well as unpack each idea. This helped me analyze the story since I was able to view it from different perspectives and pull in different views from my experiences and listen to others’ experiences. I feel that doing this with the class also helped me with my nervousness, and it allowed me to get past my nervousness and share my ideas with others. This is something I have always struggled with since I have always feared people pointing out that my idea or interpretation is invalid, which is what would occasionally happen in high school. I am glad that I have worked on not only reading analytically, but on my anxiety about speaking my ideas.
As the semester became crazy, especially with the distant learning we would have to do due to the COVID pandemic, we had our conversations with robbie routenberg, Joe Cope, and Sasha Eloi-Evans, which we discussed the risks and rewards of schools. During robbie’s conversation with us, they brought up that the victims who come forward are taking risks. I feel that I did acknowledge this subconsciously, but to have this spelled out to me made me realize it much more since they are reliving the experience by telling their story, which is a huge risk for them. However, if they take the risk they could gain a huge reward of the preparator being reprimanded, but there is also a possibility of them getting away with their actions. When we had our conversation with Joe Cope, he brought up the risks that the administration faced when making the decisions concerning distance learning. This surprised me because he was being very transparent with us which is something that everyone wants in a partnership. When we had our conversation with Sasha, she explained the risks and rewards of balancing relationships between students and administration. This intrigued me because she would fight for students and make sure that their voices were heard when she was with administration.
When we had these conversations, I found myself understanding the concept of partnership more, especially in an academic setting. This was because I had begun to understand how important it is to balance partnerships that intertwine, to be transparent, and all the risks that people take when they come forward with something. To me this helped me grow since I was able to implement what I learned from these conversations into the partnerships I have at work, at home, in my role as Miss Puerto Rico of Rochester Princess, and in my life in general. This was important to me to learn since I needed to understand what I would have to put into a partnership and the risks I would have to take, to reap the benefits in the end. My growth I feel is something that I need since it will benefit everyone around me in such a positive way. This growth was very beneficial to me since it goes along with part of Geneseo’s GLOBE statement that says that we as students should, “gain practice in the ability to reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time.” This is an important idea presented by Geneseo since it reminds me that even though I have grown throughout this crazy and unexpected semester, there is still much more growing for me to do. I will do this by not only practicing the skills I have gained in this course, but also through learning new things and allowing myself to be open to any possible opportunities. I know that I definitely still need to work on my revising, work on my wordiness, and how my essays read off. I am excited for all that I have done in this course and all that I will complete as I continue to grow.