INTD 105 and Me

Over the semester and throughout the class my writing has changed and developed. At the beginning of the semester, my writing felt like I was still in high school and I felt that my improvement was stagnant and that I could rarely improve. However, through the course of this class, I was able to find my voice as a writer and as an academic writer. Through both the Bloodchild and the Heating Plant essay I was able to learn how to not only improve my writing but also change how I view my writing,

The biggest thing that helped me improve not only my writing but also my thought process I started to think about things like our discussions in class and to our small group discussions, in those small groups, I was able to hear my peers thoughts more clearly as well as learn to express my thoughts, when we were brought back to our large group discussions I felt that the things that people discussed were more developed and were very well thought out from the small groups that we had.

One thing that stuck with me was our discussion with robbie routenberg. Even though we were pushed to being online and were not able to talk in person, the discussions that we had were very impactful for me. I never really understood what happens when there is a racial incident on campus because I am fortunate enough for it to not directly impact me but, hearing the process that happens and that many people are willing to learn from their ignorance was very impactful because the view that I had was that most people make these comments out of hate and less of them saying them out of ignorance and the fact that people are still willing to learn and grow stuck with me that. It showed me that I had the willingness to grow and that I should try to learn how to give people second chances.

One thing that is crucial for me to improve as a writer is to be able to keep trying and to keep persisting. One thing that I learned from my time in INTD 105 is that the first draft isn’t going to be the same as the final product. I used to believe that if my first draft and my final product were so different then they wouldn’t be good. Throughout this class, I have learned that my first draft changing isn’t a bad thing but a good thing. I may have gained new developments since starting my draft and, the more that I learn the more my draft is going to shift to fit what I have learned. I think that my initial fear of my work not being good enough on the first round stopped me from improving my writing skills throughout my adolescence. This class has pushed me to challenge those fears and that has made me a better writer overall.

The Overlooked Truth

When looking at the university we see the amalgamation of many different people and facilities that for many people simply goes unnoticed and therefore unappreciated. This can be seen through The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU). This association pushes for universities and colleges to look at how they help relate their education to the issues in the world around us. This also helps us show that we have the ability more to come together and for us to look past the bubble that surrounds them. We have to be able to look past the confounds that we are comfortable with and help approach problems with others that they may not have thought have been people that they may have worked with. This push to work with people that may have never been an obvious choice, as well as people that go unnoticed and under-appreciated, can not only be seen in our campus but as well as the readings that we did in class which was the short story Bloodchild by Octavia Butler.

In the short story Bloodchild by Octavia Butler there are some characters that go unnoticed, one example of this is the main character Gan’s parents. Although we only truly interact with only one of Gan’s parents which was his mother we see how both of his parents try to protect both Gan and his sister. For example, Gan’s father directly disobeys the order that humans may not have firearms in order to help provide a small sense of security for his family. Or through his mother refusing to eat T’Gatoi’s egg although we don’t know the exact reason she refuses the egg, we do know the side effects of it. The egg provides a state that is more sedated, the person consuming it is in a sleepy drunk like state. This coupled with the fact that T’Gatoi goes and stings Gan’s mom it makes her almost unable to properly protect Gan if something were to happen to him. The relationship between T’Gatoi and Gan’s mother seems to be at first one where they are close friends but, when I read it the second time their relationship seems more untrusting and almost hostile. I believe that Gan’s parents sacrifice in order to protect their children despite the consequences that may occur.

Another case can be seen on our own campus. The heating plant at our school helps heat all the buildings as well as the water in said buildings according to their website they provide  “high pressure steam, heating hot water, domestic water, and natural gas”, affects every single building on campus.” They also provide different services like keeping the landscape in check as well as a locksmith who helps ensure the safety of the students, on the Facility Service website they claim that they provide a “safe, reliable, aesthetically pleasing building and ground”. These are vital to the safety of the school, they help to keep the college running but, they often don’t get any sort of recognition that they deserve. They are often working behind the scenes making sure things are nice to look at and that there are “provide quality maintenance services that assure safe, reliable, aesthetically pleasing buildings and grounds”. This means that the grounds that we expect to look a certain way are meticulously cared for by group of dedicated people that often don’t get the thanks that they deserve.

 When looking at all of the facilities and the people that run them that go under-appreciated it’s easy to not understand how vital they are and how they work endlessly to help provide a better campus every day and that with that you can see the importance of integrated learning. Because we often don’t see how we work together as a unit and how in order to solve different problems we need to look at the different people that work on campus to make it better and the sacrifices that they make in order to provide it. 

All in all, I think that it is vital to understand integrated learning and show that not everyone will be recognized and that many people are often working together to help people move as a unit and that in order to help solve bigger issues we must be able to work with people that we may not have first thought of working with and that we must make sacrifices that may go unnoticed by many people.

Bloodchild Essay

Sarah Wicks
INTD 105

In the short story “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler, we learn through the protagonist Gan how the world works around him. We are exposed to the fact that Gan will eventually have to carry the eggs of the creatures that are in charge of the planet that Gan and his family live on. We read the way that Gan is exposed to the idea of how the process works. This is eye-opening for both the reader and Gan. Gan has lived with the idea that he will eventually do, this the first time that he is seeing what it looks like. In a way, we are like Gan in going into colleges. It was expected of most students in high schools that we will go to college. The majority of people who do go into higher education do not read things like the mission statements or the code conduct. These are forms of writing that indicate a college’s missions as well as how they want their students to act. Because many people do not read these statements, they may be surprised by certain rules that are enforced throughout their four years. However, even though many students are unaware of what these writings colleges are often enforcing them. This is like how Gan is unaware of how the eggs are being carried although T’Gatoi is continuing to enforce the tradition. This could also be seen when colleges started to make WiFi checkpoints to help take attendance for large lectures. This is done by taking a student’s location relative to a “checkpoint” This could be argued that this is an invasion of students’ privacy and that it is a form of Loco Parentis. This is because colleges are forcing students to download an app on to their phones that then take their locations at all times. The students who were having their locations tracked found that it was an overstep by the university because of the fact that it seems like the freedom that they had gained by going into college was now being taken away. In Bloodchild the humans are reservations and have restricted freedoms. This can be seen in the fact that because of rebellion that had happened between the Tilc and the humans. The humans now have no access to weapons. They also have to help the Tilc populations reproduce. The fact that humans have been placed in a position of submission is similar to how students on campuses in the modern world are being tracked and controlled. The humans in Bloodchild have no way to properly protect themselves and have no way to gain independence from the Tilc. In the story despite the fact that Gan understands that if he shoots the animal that their family would lose the last form of protection that they had. He chose to give that up in order to appease T’Gatoi. This shows how Gan is willing to take the risk of losing protection for his family for the sake of someone that he seems to be submissive to. When we look at this through that lense it can be seen that some students are like Gan accepting the loss of their privacy in order to keep the university and their professors happy. When looking at Bloodchild we understand that for Gan his life and his purpose were planned before he was born. His mother throughout the story was hesitant to leave Gan alone and is often animosity toward T’Gatoi. This could be seen as our parents looking out for us despite the rules that our colleges impose on us. The fact that Gan has blindly followed anything that T’Gatoi told him to do, even if it meant that there would be a lack of protection for his family is a way how students will blindly follow what is expected of them and never question what they are being told to do. They will let themselves be tracked by their universities without saying anything because of the fact that they see themselves in a submissive position. Due to the fact that many students are often unwilling to stand up for themselves and when they do they are often faced with disciplinary actions. Universities feel that they have a right to control students. They do not understand that they may see a repocution for their actions. When the humans rebelled they were defeated by the Tilc but, for the first time they saw that humans have a power that they were unaware of. In order to reestablish control they had taken their guns away. Despite the fact that they were able to regain control they had to maintain that position and they saw the way that they would do that is through restricting freedoms. Because of the fact that they humans had been defeated they were unwilling to stand up to the new restrictions that the Tilc placed on them. The humans live with the fear of what the Tilc might do if they rebel again. Because of this Gan’s mother is hesitant but ultimately compliant to what T’Gatoi wants. She understands what had happened when the humans had first rebelled. Although she does not want to give up her son she understands that she must. In conclusion, when you look at Bloodchild you can see similarities to the risks we take when we are compliant to someone in higher powers authority. We gain a better understand that despite the fact that we often go blindly into situations because of the fact that it was expected of us to do.

Essay Rewrite

Sarah Wicks

            In the syllabus for this class, there is an epigraph that is part of a short story by Octavia Butler named “Bloodchild” It reads “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” This made me think about how this could be related to the idea of risk and rewards. One of the things that I thought of was the idea that in order to gain a reward we must, in turn, take a risk. By taking a risk in people or in institutions we are assuming that there will be an outcome that will benefit us in some way. Humans naturally make moves that will give us the outcomes that we desire. But, in making those decisions we also risk losing an unforeseen outcome which may have a greater negative input.

            One example that could be discussed is college. In going to college, you are taking a risk with the desired outcome that it will help you get a job and will make you more successful. However, if you are to fail in completing your degree you may end up in a situation where you have debts and no way of paying them back or you may find that the field that you have studied in is not an applicable job field and has very few spots. Although, the risk in going to college may for some outweigh the benefits, others may not see that as a deterrent and instead are will to choose majors and are willing to sacrifice many things in order to get the job or opportunity that they desired.

            This idea of people making decisions that they deem worth the risk may also be seen in “Bloodchild” when T’Gatoi needs Gan to kill an animal to help save someone’s life, Gan chooses to shoot the animal even though the possession of firearms in banned for the humans. “I would have to use it to shoot one of the biggest of the achti. Then T’Gatoi would probably confiscate it. Firearms were illegal in the Preserve. There had been incidents right after the Preserve was established—Terrans shooting Tlic, shooting N’Tlic. This was before the joining of families began, before everyone had a personal stake in keeping the peace. No one had shot a Tlic in my lifetime or my mother’s, but the law still stood—for our protection, we were told. There were stories of whole Terran families wiped out in reprisal back during the assassinations.” (7) In this moment Gan deems that losing the gun is worth the risk in order to save the man’s life. Another thing that could be seen as someone who is accepting a risk with an outcome that they desire could be seen in Gan’s mother when she refuses the egg. Gan’s mom dislikes the feeling of consuming the egg even though it could keep her young for a significantly longer amount of time. She is so reluctant to have the egg that T’Gatoi has to go far as to sting her so that she would be able to relax. Another outcome that is presented to Gan’s mother when she is not consuming the egg. She able to stay more aware of what is happening to her family and the world around her. In the world that Gan and his family live on they are not seen on the same level as the Tilc. In the past there has been conflict between the two races and it seems that if Gan’s mother is able to stay aware she may be able to protect her family better.

            In every risk that people take they are striving for the goal that they are set on. They make sure that the outcomes that may come from the risk are as minimal as possible. Many people try to negate the risk that they take by assuring that they are making what they deem as a safe move. On the other hand, many people find that in making these changes they may sacrifice other opportunities that they had not for seen. Often the risks that we make have more undesirable outcomes that the outcomes that we wanted. Because of that many people are hesitant to take risks because they are unsure of how to conduct and how to control the odds of the outcomes. If you play your moves safely you may find that you did not fully reap the benefits and are left with some form of guilt however if you overshoot you may lose more than you want and now have made a decision that may impact you further into the future.

Epigraph Essay

Sarah Wicks

            Looking at the epigraph for the syllabus, it brought up many questions about adulthood and childhood and whether as college students we have reached adulthood or if we are still considered children. The epigraph is part of a class book called “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler, it goes “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.”. In class, we discussed how this quote can pertain to us as college students and someone brought up the fact that in college we are not quite adults and yet we are not considered children. We lay in a limbo of adulthood. College for many people is the first time that they are experiencing independence yet, we still are forced to maintain within a set of rules and guidelines that are imposed on us and many of us are still reliant on our parents for things such as money. We also discussed the fact that there are many stages of adulthood and we experience adulthood in stages. For example, you may start driving at sixteen however you cannot vote till you are eighteen and are not permitted to drink until you turn twenty-one.

            Another way to look at the epigraph is through the syllabus itself. For example, the quote discusses taking risks and, later in the semester there is a collaborative essay and through that, we are taking a risk in others in order to hold up the group, so all the work does not fall into the lap of one person.  This risk can also be seen in taking classes with a professor that you do not know, this is due to the fact that you do not know how hard the class may be and how difficult the teacher may grade you on work that you hand in. Within taking these risks you are exposing yourself to failure both as a group on the collaborative essay or as a student taking a class with a professor that may teach at a level that you are not ready to take.

            There are also risks in things like college, as discussed before many students fall in a limbo where many people do not consider college students as full adults even though through the eyes of the law we are considered as adults. This can be seen through the many privacy laws that are enacted when you become an adult. Laws like FERPA and HIPAA are two laws that help protect the privacy of students from parents. FERPA, for example, protects students from having their grades told to their families. This law was enacted in 1974 and is a way for students to gain greater independence from their parents. HIPPA is another law that grants students eighteen and older away to gain greater independence. This law is a way to assure that a person’s health records remain private. Without express consent from a person, hospitals and doctors may not disclose health records to any person. This is also protected with doctor-patient confidentiality. Through these law students are able to develop into adults. However, even though through the eyes of the law, students are full-fledged adults for many parents they still view their children as children.

            For many years colleges acted In Loco Parentis, this is Latin for “In place of parents” This was a way for colleges to have greater control of their students and was also a way for parents to be assured that their children are safe. In Loco Parentis took many forms. For example, curfews were often placed on young women attending colleges but, a curfew would not be placed on the male students. They may also expel female students for not acting “morally right” However through a series of law changes as well as the case of Dixon v. Alabama (1961) which landed in the Supreme Court has ended In Loco Parentis in colleges and universities.  

            Another way that parents may not see many college students as adults is the fact that many students are still dependent on their parents in one way or another. This could be financially by either paying their college tuition or cosigning a contract to take out a loan. This could also be seen in emotional support; many students still call their parents or visit them when they are able to. Through this dependence, many parents are unable to see their children as adults and still hold onto the idea of them not as the people that they are becoming but, rather as the people that they were. They may also not view them as adults because of the fact that many students have not finished the preset stages of adulthood. As stated before, there is a process of adulthood starting at sixteen and ending at twenty-one. At twenty one you are legally allowed to drink alcohol and is seen as the last phase of becoming an adult by many people as well as many scientists who state that your cerebral cortex or the part of your brain that makes rational decisions is not fully developed until the age of twenty-one.

            In conclusion, although many students may be seen as adults in many ways many are still considered children. Because of the fact that adulthood is seen by many to not have started until age twenty-one, there are also many laws that show that students that are in college are seen as adults and therefore should be treated with the same privacy and protection as an adult.