Learning to Take a Risk and Trust Oneself

Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild is a love story like no other, the partnership of Gan and T’Gatoi is quite unique. Gan is set out to become a host for T’Gatoi’s children but having witnessed a terrible birth of another Terran it has left him in fear. Gan holding a rifle and ready to pass his duty off to his sister has brought us to the point where Gan says “If we’re not your animals, if these adult things, accept the risk. There is risk Gatoi, in dealing with a partner” (Butler 26). The conversation led to a decision of both risk and compromise. Rifles are considered to be illegal therefore Gan should not be in possession of one, but in this case, he would like to compromise with T’Gatoi. Asking for her trust in allowing him to keep the loaded rifle in exchange for him to host her eggs is a very hard decision to have been put on T’Gatoi. She must decide whether to allow Gan to keep his rifle going against the law while also understanding the risks and harm it could cause, but in exchange he will trust her and carry her eggs. Or take his rifle away and destroying the trust he has in her already. In the end Bloodchild is all about the risks and trust within a partnership. T’Gatoi must trust Gan to keep his rifle while also accepting the risks behind that decision, while Gan must trust in T’Gatoi and accept the risks of being the host understanding it could result in his death. Gan accepted the risks and had grown trust within his partnership with T’Gatoi. T’Gatoi had the difficult task of accepting the risk of allowing Gan to keep his loaded rifle while knowing that he could at any point use it killing her or her family line but was able to gain the trust that he won’t use it to kill her and move forward.

The story line within Bloodchild goes way beyond the pages or words written by Octavia Butler and can be represented within the risk’s students have to decide from as well as the rewards that will follow. While T’Gatoi has to decipher the risks and rewards of Gan keeping his rifle, students have the risk of taking a course and failing or taking the course and succeeding. Within many courses there is a need for partnership and as with Bloodchild these partnerships come with a need of trust and also have a trail of risks that may be following along. In Professor Beth McCoy’s INTD-105 writing seminar course the students are in partnership with her as well as with themselves. The course was set up to be a self-assess course meaning students are responsible for staying on top of their work. By participating in all work, the students will have the opportunity to learn and grow with the help of their peers and the help of themselves for completing the work and gaining the opportunity for feedback. With the outline of the course being self-assess there is a risk for each and every student to not take this seriously and not provide a writing to receive feedback or give their peers feedback. T’Gatoi had the ability to accept the risk and gain trust within Gan, “I won’t leave you as Lomas was left—alone, N’Tlic. I’ll take care of you” (Butler 29). While T’Gatoi was able to accept the risk and be able to take care of Gan, the students also can accept the risk and know that if they put in the right amount of work, they will be able to protect themselves.

Within Bloodchild it is clear to see the risks between the partnership of T’Gatoi and Gan. Their relationship is easy to relate to the relationship students have with themselves. Although Gan is the one risking his life for the lives of T’Gatois offspring, T’Gatoi has some pretty hard decisions to make. T’Gatoi had to decide whether to allow Gan to keep his rifle despite the law or take it away from him because they are illegal. While making her decision “It was clearly hard for her to let go of the rifle” (Butler 26), she was aware of the damage it could do. It could take the life of herself, Gan or her offspring and she understood that by allowing him to keep his rifle this would be the risk she was undertaking. She needed a few seconds to gather her thoughts and make the decision knowing the risks and outcomes. She was truly relying on the trust she had within Gan.

Throughout the conversations and layout of this course it was easy to see the similarity between the students and T’Gatoi. Daily students have decisions to make regarding their academic success, knowing that whatever their decision may be there will always be a risk. There is always that one in a million chance that the decision made can have a disaster within. This meaning that not everything pans out as it is expected to. Students could choose to take the time to do their work and make it perfect but could still end up failing the majority of their assignments and end up failing the course. While there is always a risk, some risks are a lot more safe or easier to handle than others. Taking the time to complete an assignment and then receiving a low grade is a risk, but it is not something that a student cannot handle. They will have more assignments to complete that can help to determine a better grade, as long as hard work is put in. T’Gatoi needed to think through her decisions and think about whether or not the risk can be handled or not. This is something students do daily with their school assignments. 

Throughout Bloodchild there were a lot of decisions that had to be made, all involved thinking of the final outcome of whether it will become a reward or a risk in the end. T’Gatoi was basing her decision on the knowledge she had picked up over the years as well as Gan’s word, students have the opportunity to be guided into an understanding of how their work ethics can help them.  With the help of this course and a few others it has been made clear that students have the option to fail or to succeed, it comes with their decision as to if they would like to work or be lazy. Sometimes a lack of work is not a matter of laziness due to everyone’s idea of completion, being different with no set finish line. The amount of work put in is equal to the feedback or effort given back. Students understand that if they choose to do all work and even extra work, they will more than succeed. But they also understand that if zero effort or work is put in that they will fail. Students understand the risks and rewards that can happen to them regarding their decisions. Connecting the students trust and risks that they have with themselves with T’Gatois trust in Gan was made very clear throughout the discussions that were had.

T’Gatoi faced many risks throughout the story, the biggest risk was allowing Gan to keep his weapon even while understanding the damage it could cause. Students face many risks within school, the biggest risk is themselves. Students have the risk of choosing the wrong decision and then the only one to blame is themselves. T’Gatoi has to have trust within herself just as students need to have trust within themselves. It’s all about taking the risk and learning to grow in trust with oneself.  Throughout this semester there has been a lot of growth within my work. By doing all my work it not only helped to benefit my growth but also benefited my peers’ growth. It took trust within myself to complete all my work to the best of my ability in order to have the ability to grow. Submitting “To the Forums” weekly allowed for me to get feedback as well as provide feedback for my feedback. Doing so allowed for growth for everyone. Reading Bloodchild and learning about T’Gatoi and her trust within herself helped me to realize how similar it is for students and how they also need to have trust within themselves and understand that there is always a possibility for risks.

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