Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” has truly opened my eyes to the similarities between the risks and rewards of the imaginary planet she writes about, and the risks and rewards I will be encountering as I enter this course. While the concept of her novel was quite obscure, I found myself comparing my coursework to Gan’s journey throughout his life and how he manages the risks and rewards that come with the decisions he has to make. After reading the syllabus, I have many risks and rewards I have to think about too in this upcoming semester.
The main risk and reward debated in the novel is by the main character, Gan. While Gan has been chosen as the human of his family to lay the eggs of Tlic T’Gatoi, he soon realizes that carrying the eggs might not be as happy and exciting as he had originally assumed. He had originally looked at this opportunity as a privilege, until he witnessed the emergency labor of another male Tlic. In the birth, Gan witnesses the host being eaten by the larvae he had just hatched. Gan ends up killing an animal with an illegal rifle and letting the larvae prey on the deceased carcass rather than Bram Lomas, who was the Tlic who had just hatched the eggs. This scarred Gan, who then proceeded to balance the risks and rewards of being a host, and even was considering suicide if he decided if the risks outweighed the rewards.
Gan’s balancing of his risk and rewards about being a carrier of eggs is similar to my future coursework in this class and how I also have to consider the risks and rewards. One thing I noticed on the syllabus was the huge part I play in grading my own work. The self assessment portion of this course truly opened my eyes to the risks and rewards that come with it. One reward I see with so much self reliance is being able to evaluate my work and determine if I truly feel like I am improving or not. Sometimes I think it can be difficult for onlookers to see extreme differences between two works written by the same person, and the individual themself in my opinion is best at gaging whether they are improving or not. Because of this, the concept of self assessment will really reward me in that I believe I will be fair in assessing my improvement throughout the course. One risk in self assessment that I am worried about however is whether I have the ability to truly judge my work how it is. I am usually much harder on myself than others are, and I might get too antactical when grading myself and assessing my improvement. I must learn to be practical with myself, and hopefully this risk will become more minimized. On the contrary, this self assessment technique truly allows me to be free to make my own choices about my work, which is something I look forward to in this course. While this may normally seem like utter freedom, after rereading the syllabus I realize that the course will still keep me in check and limit me. such as having people such as my classmates give me feedback and help me assess myself. Along with this, the rubrics limit my overthinking when it comes to the self assessment aspect.
Knowing the risks and rewards of this coursework truly helped me set goals regarding the future of my work in this class. As I stated earlier, Gan balanced the risk and rewards of being a host for T’Gatoi’s larvae, and eventually decided to continue being a host and not commit suicide. This was because he had one goal in mind, which was to keep his family safe. One major reward of continuing to be a host was just that, as if he continued he was told he could keep the illegal gun to keep them safe. This goal ended up helping fuel Gan’s decision, and therefore helped him balance the risks and rewards efficiently.
Knowing the risks and rewards of this coursework truly helped me set goals regarding the future of my work in this class, just like Gan. I know that going forward, my goal throughout this class is to improve my writing skills. Looking at the risks and rewards of the self-assessment portion of this class, I know I need to be careful when self assessing to achieve my goal. I will be sure to carefully revise my work, and look for minor differences between paper to paper to see if I can see improvements in any aspect. Along with this, another goal I hope to accomplish throughout this course is to improve my intellectual thinking skills. One way I plan on assessing my improvement is by comparing this very paper, to how I would approach it months from now when I finish this course. Hopefully I will have new critical thinking skills and the ability to look at this very paper with an open mind on how I improved.
Setting goals has always been an extremely important part of my life, just like Gan whos goal fueled him to keep carrying the larvae. In my opinion, my goals will be sure to keep me in check as I balance the risks and rewards of self assessment as I enter this class. With my end goal of improving many writing aspects as well as my critical thinking skills I will be sure to take those goals into account when I am not only writing and expressing my ideas, but also as I assess myself to see how far I have come since the beginning. Gan talks about T’Gatoi and says how “the Preserve was hers by the time she came back… [as a] reward for her hard work.” I know that with my goals in mind, the rewards will outweigh the risks just like they did for T’Gatoi.