Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” is a story about the risks and rewards of decisions made within a “Preserve,” a space wherein power both makes choices possible and sets limits on them. A college course may be understood as one such “preserve,” and this course on the risks and rewards of academic partnership reads as no exception. In the courses foundational documents it states that students are graded by themselves. Students grade themselves based on their personal care for their course accountability, their growth, and their peer’s growth. This is how the course gives its students the power to make decisions but also set limits on them. The course creates a situation where students are given the opportunity to make choices that will affect their grade but also set a limit on them through accountability, honesty, and obviously the guidance of the course’s professor. This is where a connection to Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” can be formed. In the story humans live on a planet in a protected community previously mentioned as a “Preserve”. In the preserve the humans are protected by an alien race called the Tlic. In exchange for protection within the preserve humans have the eggs of the Tlic as they are ideal hosts. The group of humans provide one male of each family to be a host for the Tlic’s eggs. Through this relationship between beings, humans have the ability to make decisions that have risks and rewards but ultimately are limited by the Tlics. The goal within this relationship is the same for both Humans and Tlics, they want to survive. This could relate to INTD 105 because students and the course have the same common goal, to introduce, create, and sustain good academic writing.
I like to visualize the humans in “Bloodchild” as the students of INTD 105. We both make decisions that come with risks and rewards. Meanwhile the Tlics represent the limits held on those decisions we make, such as guidelines given within the course like its syllabus and the content given by Professor McCoy. While students are given the freedom to choose how they interpret and respond to content, they are actually steered in a very open direction by the prompts and guidance given by Professor McCoy. This partnership that I share with Professor McCoy, in my opinion, really creates an educational environment that can really have an affect on my growth as a writer. My personal growth is my number one goal not only as a writer, but as a student. The betterment of my thinking of my thinking is why I continued my education. The way I’m able to make a decision on how I would like to view a prompt and then be very slightly guided in a direction to take my thinking really opens my mind to what I’m writing about. The risk is very small as there is not really an incorrect way to take a prompt so there is no wrong answer. However the risk really comes with the understanding of the content. INTD 105 is online so students must teach themselves most of the time apart from Professor McCoy’s guidance. The reward of this course though, comes in Professor McCoy’s feedback and the overall growth in writing skills a student obtains.
While my main goal is relatively simple, to become a better writer. I like to surround myself with little goals that will effectively accomplish my main goal. Starting with a small goal can really help accomplishing a larger one. The first one to start with would be to work on writing better and concise central ideas that are relevant to the topic. Understanding a prompt and what it is asking you to do is important and it is what your writing will be about. While INTD 105 allows its students to interpret the prompt freely, it does give a writer somewhat of a path to go down. Much like the humans in “Bloodchild” understanding their purpose within their Preserve, understanding what to write about leads to better ideas and concepts on the topic. Being able to understand these prompts and knowing what to write about is definitely the first small goal to go for. Completing this goal comes with more practice, the more content I consume in INTD 105 the more I’ll be able to understand. A second goal I have is to better support statements I make in my writing. This is a key skill to writing as it helps connect ideas and convey a message that I want to leave to my readers. I feel that I can accomplish this goal by providing more efficient evidence that will fully support my statements in my writing. Using these skills would accomplish one of the Learning Outcomes of INTD 105’s syllabus in section C-3 which is “The ability to write clearly, following the conventions of Standard English”.
INTD 105 is about the risks and rewards of academic partnership. I need to make the decisions that will help me achieve my goals whether there’s a limit or not. The Content that comes with this course is used to make writers better. While online education may limit the amount of learning I can achieve, it is up to me to make the decisions that can maximize my learning, It will allow me to grow as much as I can as a writer.