Octavia Butler conveys the risks and rewards of decisions made on a preserve in her short story Bloodchild. Bloodchild is narrated by a young human named Gan. Gan is ‘Terran’ (human living on an alien planet), dominated by the Tlic, insect-like species. The Tlic can not reproduce of their own, so the Terran are carriers for the alien species eggs, and in return, the Tlic protects them. Gan does not question his role as a carrier first; being a carrier has its risks and rewards. Students have risks and rewards in school. In Professor McCoy’s course “WritSem: RisksRewardsAcdPart” exhibits this.
Students can assess their work. Self-assessing your work is “a process that depends on trust, transparency, accountability, care, and acknowledging the possibility of harm.” (McCoy) This is a massive reward for students because students focus less on the end-producing grade and more on their thinkING and self-growth (Professor McCoys biggest takeaway from this class). As a student, I stress my grades, so this class will help me grow as a student and person. I can focus more on my thinkING and applying it to my work than my actual grade. With rewards come risks. A risk you can encounter in this course is not taking given feedback and using it to your following assignments. Professor McCoy and peers provide feedback on assignments in good- faith practice. So If a student does not apply the feedback, they will have a difficult time growing in this class.
A considerable part of self-growth in this course is self-assessed assignments. Self-assessed assignments are “graded” using “care for course accountability, care for growth, and care for peers growth,” as shown in the syllabus. Making sure you hold yourself accountable to your work comes with responsibility “process that depends on trust, transparency, accountability, care, and acknowledging the possibility of harm.” Sometimes you are your harshest critic. You probably are tougher on yourself than others, making it difficult to see others’ work and not compare your work. With the responsibility of self-assessment comes with a lot of risk and reward. Just like how students self-grow in this course, Gan in Bloodchild also self-grows. At the beginning of the story, Gan does not understand the real sacrifice he has bearing T’Gatoi offspring. After witnessing the birth of Bram Lomas, he is filled with horror and dread, but he considers his feelings with everyone around him and can face his fear and bear his weight responsibility. He upholds his duty making him come of age and leave his childhood behind.
The most crucial reward of self-grading is not having to stress about making sure everything is “correct” to get a good grade but instead putting your focus on making sure your work is personable, and you are thinkING. While performing self-grading, you learn your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you define your own goals/steps to improve yourself while meeting your expected level of educational achievements.
A self-assessment risk is accurately grading yourself (are you giving yourself enough credit or giving yourself too much credit). As scary as risks can be, they can also be a good thing. You can take Professor McCoy’s and peers’ positive feedback into consideration. However, not taking feedback and applying it to your other assignments can make it challenging to grow your mindset.
Along with self-growth making sure you set goals for yourself is also vital. My goal for this semester and course is to speak up more, especially in group discussions. I struggle a lot with a class discussion. I feel like other people’s opinions matter more than mine. Sometimes I think that my perspective on the material is not very valuable, so there is no sharing point. My feeling for this stems from my social anxiety. I have to face my fear and participate in class discussions so I can self grow. This relates to Gan’s situation in Bloodchild. Gan is put into a position that he is not used to, but he faces his fear and self-growth.