The course epigraph states “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, T’Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” –Octavia Butler, “Blood child.” In this course we talked about a lot of examples and within these examples we try to think of the risks and rewards of putting these examples in our daily lives. The book “Blood Child” has many examples of risks and rewards which is why I believe we spent so time going back and explaining what we learned and comparing it to the book.
Right in the beginning of the year we talked about Growth mindset. Trying to convert yourself to have a growth mindset is a risk because your changing the way you think. However, what we have learned in the course is you need to compare your risks to your rewards. By changing your mindset to a growth mindset, you can achieve a lot more success in life. In an earlier forum this year we were asked to watch a video on growth mindset. In this video Carol Dweck stated that she has been studying growth mindset for decades because she wanted to answer one question. This question was why are people with the same intelligence successful and some are not? She found out that the reasoning behind this was the person’s mindset. They explain in the video that someone with a fixed mindset thinks that you are not in control of your abilities and someone with a growth mindset thinks skills can be developed overtime. You may be asking “so why is growth mindset a risk?” Well, with a growth mindset you are taking risks to succeed in something you decided you wanted to be successful in, but if you fail at that task then mentality you may turn back to a fixed mindset and not try to succeed at something different again. For example, the one thing I have been trying to do better in this course is starting my writing earlier and doing it in segments of 5-10 minutes. I am trying to become a better writer, which is growth mindset, but if I do my writing in segments and forget about it one day and don’t turn it in then I will have a worse grade. But if I do succeed at this way of writing my grades will be better.
Like stated earlier, “Blood Child” has many examples in taking risks. Many examples show that Gan is taking risks for his Tlic partner. In the beginning of the book Gan shows a fixed mindset but realizes he needs to kill an animal to help his fellow Terran. It states in the book “”slaughter? But I have never–” and he then manages to get smacked across the room by TGatoi. He is risking doing something he never has does before because he respects and cares for T’gatoi. This action relates to our self and peer care we talk about weekly in the discussion posts and on our zoom calls. When we grade ourselves at the end of the year one of the ways we grade ourselves is by caring for others. It states in the syllabus that we get graded in three categories which are “care for my course accountability, care for my growth, and care for my peer’s growth.” Caring for our peers is a great risk like the epigraph states because you are taking time to look out for other people instead of yourself. However, the reward for this partnership outweighs the risk because caring for others is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person. Gan and T’gatoi have this partnership in the story. Gan is giving up some of his rights to her but in return he will have safety. In a student’s case, they are giving up time and effort but in return they are helping to grow their partner as well as themselves.
Another example of how this epigraph relates to the topics we discussed this semester is when we got the honor of speaking to Mr. Cope. Mr. Cope joined a zoom call to mainly talk about the attendance policy that Geneseo created due to COVID-19. Mr. Cope also explained the process of deciding what classes should be in person, hybrid, online, or asynchronous. He stressed that one of the main goals for Geneseo is to get and keep students on campus. We all realize that being on campus is such a big reason for going to college. When he was done speaking, I asked him a question that stated, “why do we have asynchronous courses now if the goal is to get kids on campus?” Mr. Cope replied “first asynchronous courses are more accessible to students. Think about how many times you were supposed to be in a zoom class and your professor’s camera freezes or you cannot log in to the meeting. That day of learning is potentially gone. Also, if you have a in person class at 2:30 on Mondays and Tuesdays some people may not be able to make it because that is the time, they have to watch their baby brother.” The example of an asynchronous class correlates to the epigraph because the new way of learning is a risk. The risk of not having a teacher to talk to in person with questions you have is a risk that has just been created. Until COVID-19, almost every class setting was taught in person by a teacher. However, the reward is flexibility in a troubling time. Mr. cope said that a well mapped asynchronous course should have the dates when everything is due before the class starts so the student can manage their time and know when they should work on their assignments. In addition, a lot of people had other responsibilities during the first semester of school because of COVID-19. Having an asynchronous course made it equal for all students to succeed in a class. The epigraph states there is a risk in dealing with a partner. Well, like stated before INTD 105 has helped students show that it is important to care for your peers. There is even more reward for the community of Geneseo with having the options of asynchronous course because it shows that we care about our peers outside of the classroom.
The epigraph that we received before the semester even started has in fact created a through line in the conversations, we have had with each other. At first reading the book “Blood Child” seemed like it was just another book to write essays on, but as we began to start writing forums and talking to a class the ideas between the book and our lives are quite similar. Risks are things that we need to be able to take as humans because the rewards of those risks are what creates better individuals.