In Octavia Butler’s story “Bloodchild”, there is a recurring theme of partnership, along with the risks that go along with it. A line that really conveyed this idea was “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is a risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner”(Butler 26). The idea of partnership is key throughout this story, as the Terrans and Tlics must work together to coexist peacefully, where the Terrans help the Tlics to reproduce and in return, the Tlics protect the Terrans. However, through this partnership, there were many risks that were in the way, as Gan would have to take on a position that would take a serious toll on him both mentally and physically. However, he knew that in order to protect his sister from being implanted with eggs and also provide protection to his family, he had to be the one to carry T’Gatoi’s babies. This was the final reward that Gan worked towards. He had to take that final step of risk in order to get closer to his reward, which is an idea that can be carried out outside of just a story. For example, in college, I believe that this epigraph has formed a throughline for the conversations I have engaged in over the course of the semester. The idea of risks and rewards has been a consistent theme throughout each class discussion. The course title is “Risks and Rewards of Academic Partnership” and that is exactly what we focused on throughout the semester. When working collaboratively with others to work towards a common goal, there can be different risks that may pose difficulties to work through. However, it is important to take these initial risks to get to the final success. This common theme can be seen through both the fictional story, as well as in our everyday lives.
There have been many examples throughout this course that support the idea of risks and rewards of partnership. One example of this is the “Care for Peers’ Growth”, where we focus on not just our own progress in the course, but our peers’ as well. Through the different discussion boards and forums, we can work to help each other and give tips on how to better articulate our ideas. This allows us to see the same idea from different perspectives and gain new ideas. However, a risk that can come from this is disagreement on a topic. Sometimes, we may feel differently from others about a certain subject. However, despite opposing views, it’s important to show respect to other thoughts and opinions.
Another example that portrays the risks and rewards of academic partnership is portrayed through “To the Forums! 9: Looping Back to ‘Bloodchild’ and Yourself”. In this forum, we discussed how the idea of risks and rewards ties into the college policies for both the faculty and students. For example, one college policy surrounding COVID-19 stated that everyone must wear masks “When a person leaves their work station and walks about their office space, enters a hallway, transverses a building or goes outside and has the potential to come within six feet of another person.” Although this is a simple and quite self-explanatory act, it is the most important to follow. This rule goes to show the importance of working together. Everyone, no matter what their position is at Geneseo, must oblige to this rule for the safety of everyone else. What we are all going through currently can serve as a prime example of the risks and rewards of partnership, as we are all taking a big risk, in hopes of achieving our goals, which in our case, is safety and good health. We as a campus have to work together and follow the rules equally to all be safe. There are many risks to being on campus together, especially during these current times, yet we have to take that initial risk to be here in order to collectively come to our common goal of having a safe and stable campus. One person’s actions can affect everyone else involved, so it is especially important now to understand this key idea of partnership and acknowledge and risks that may be in the way of the final reward.
With this knowledge, the idea of the risks and rewards comes into play when discussing the topic of academic partnership. When working with others, one may encounter many roadblocks in the way, whether it’s disagreement on a subject, uneven distribution of work, and much more. Through these difficulties, it is important to realize what you are essentially working towards and to stay determined to get to your desired reward. I believe that this throughline can be presented in a variety of different ways, even outside the classroom. The idea of working with someone and the risks that go along with it carries out into the outside world, where we are constantly finding ourselves depending on and collaborating with others to get to common success. That is why these lessons that we are learning in this class are so important; they can be used throughout life, not just in stories that we read. It teaches us the importance of knowing how to work past hardships when working with others, as well as take credibility in our own abilities. Along with depending on someone else, it’s equally important to acknowledge our own contributions. It is crucial to be responsible and take action for your own tasks. Lack of responsibility can become a difficulty in achieving success, resulting in you acting as your own risk in partnership. That is why it is especially crucial for everyone involved to be able to contribute efficiently, or else the partnership will not work.