Risks and Rewards Applied to the Real World

“If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” –Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild”

            Not only in real life, but in Octavia Butler’s short story, “Bloodchild,” it is evident that there is potential for a risk or reward for every situation. After analyzing the short story, I realized there are many similarities and connections between it and this course. For one, in “Bloodchild,” there is risk working with a partner, yet in this class, there is a risk working without one; working either independently or with another person, can be tricky, and just like everything else in the world it comes with a risk.

For example, in “Bloodchild,” Gan is put in a position that could result in either a risk or reward for him and Gatoi. Gatoi finds out that Gan has a rifle in his house, which is illegal. “It was clearly hard for her to let go of the rifle… She was old enough to have seen what guns could do to people. Now her young and this gun would be together in the same house.” (Butler, Octavia E… Bloodchild (p. 26) Gatoi knows that Gan owning a gun is a risk to her but letting him keep it would provide her with a reward; him being the host body for her young. Another risk for her is having her children grow up in a household that has a gun in it. But without accepting this risk, she would not be rewarded.

Similarly, in the “To the Forums! 2: Foundations for Care and Good Faith” module of this class, we discussed trusting in the student and having faith in them. In INTD 105, Dr. McCoy puts her faith into us to complete assignments on our own. This act allows us to put more effort into our work without having a stressful time, allowing us to submit better quality work. “One of our key course concepts is care. An antonym or opposite of care is harm (To the Forums! 2: Foundations for Care and Good Faith).” I think this quote is saying that if there was no one caring, it would be harmful. Just like how if Dr. McCoy wasn’t giving up the freedom to have “Self-Assessed Assignments,” this could potentially harm our grade, and maybe even our mental health.

In the syllabus, it states that we will have “Self-Assessed (Graded) Assignments” that will help us to be “moving steadily away from linking feedback for growth to stress-producing grades that end up inevitably becoming the focus instead of the learning…” Just like the epigraph, this part of the syllabus provides us with a situation that could result in a risk or reward. The risk is students becoming too lax about completing their assignments or giving themselves a grade, they are undeserving of having. The reward is being able to participate in a less stressful class and having freedom.

This loops back to “Bloodchild” because both Gan and Gatoi had to apply “Care and Good Faith” practices with one another. For example, like I said previously, Gatoi having faith in Gan about owning a gun. He needed it for the safety of him and his family, and eventually Gatoi realized that and allowed him to keep it even though she knew it was illegal. Putting her trust and faith into Gan led Gatoi to have a positive reward, by him agreeing to host her young.

            Not only has this class made me more aware of connections literature can have to the real world, and how to find the connections easier, but it has also taught me how to demonstrate all the “Learning Outcomes” from the “Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education.” Specifically, in GLOBE, the learning outcomes are “Integrative Inquiry, Application and Transfer and Reflection.” I genuinely feel as if this whole class embodied “Integrative Inquiry,” which is defined as “To ask meaningful questions connecting personal experiences to academic study and co-curricular life; to synthesize multiple bodies of knowledge to address real-world problems and issues.” In INTD 105, most of are prior assignments were based around connecting our real-world problems and experiences to the class. For example, in the module, “To the Forums! 2: Foundations for Care and Good Faith,” we watched a video called “The Danger of a Single Story.” This video described the life of a woman, and we had to relate to it and describe real-world situations and experiences that were related.

            The second learning outcome was “Application and Transfer.” Defined as “To adapt and apply skills, theories, and methods gained in one or more domains to new situations,” in GLOBE. An example of this from this course is the putting trust into a partner aspect of this class, which was one of the main lessons. I know me and many other people prefer to do things alone, but this class has shown that in some circumstances, working with others can really be rewarding. 

            The last learning outcome I believe I’ve developed is “Reflection,” mentioned in GLOBE. Out of all these outcomes mentioned, I think this is not only the most important one, but also the most mentioned one throughout this class. Geneseo’s definition of reflection is, “To reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time; to make personal, professional, and civic plans based on that self-reflection.” I think reflection is used in this class most when we do our “Care for Course Accountability, Care for My Growth and Care for Peers’ Growth” self-assessments every few weeks. I actually really enjoy this assignment because it forces me to look back and reflect on the quality of my work and the effort, I’m putting in. I also think that reflection helps to keep everyone in check. For example, if the quality is mediocre, our self-assessments force you to admit that, and admitting that you aren’t trying your hardest motivates you to try harder.

These three learning outcomes tie in with everything in this course. I think that INTD 105 has managed to complete the hoped outcomes just in the one course itself. I have been able to reflect, apply and transfer these lessons to the real world, and to connect real life experiences. Throughout this course, I have realized that everything is truly connected. Risks and rewards and utilizing good faith practices both come up in the real world and in literature. In this course, and in “Bloodchild,” the idea of trusting in a partner is present. Both have taught me that every situation can be different, just like how not every situation will have a defined risk or reward. I’ve learned that sometimes trusting in a partner can feel like a risk, but usually it will result in a reward.

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