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.

Taking a Risk for Growth

In the syllabus, INTD-105 students were given the epigraph “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” This epigraph is a quote from Octavia Butler’s story, “Bloodchild”. In this story, Butler writes about the partnership between two different creatures that live together, the Tlic and the Terrans. Specifically, Butler tells the story of the Terrans, Gan and his family, and the Tlic, T’Gatoi.

Throughout the story, Gan watches T’Gatoi help another Terran, Lomas, go through a gruesome birth, “Paler worms oozed to visibility in Lomas’s flesh. I closed my eyes. It was worse than finding something dead, rotting, and filled with tiny animal grubs.” (Butler 16) Gan knew that he was expected to bear T’Gatoi’s children, but after watching this birth, Gan soon came to the conclusion that he would rather die than go through the birthing process, “I don’t want to be a host animal…Not even yours.”(Butler 24) After arguing with T’Gatoi, Gan eventually comes to the realization that he would rather go through the birthing process himself rather than his sister. While agreeing to give birth to T’Gatoi’s children, Gan considers the risks he is taking in agreeing to give birth and wants to ensure a fair partnership between him and T’Gatoi. Gan says “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” (Butler 26)  When Gan said this he meant that if T’Gatoi really saw him as a partner, like she said, and not just a host animal, then she would have to deal with the risk of allowing his family to have an illegal gun. Having risks, like a gun, in a partnership ensures trust and fairness with one another. This gun is seen as a major risk to T’Gatoi because any family member could easily kill her. However, Gan is also taking many risks in the partnership between him and T’Gatoi, such as the risks that come with giving birth. 

 At the beginning of the semester, when I read the epigraph for this course, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.”, I was immediately confused about what this meant about the course. However, soon after I dove into “Bloodchild”, other course materials, and class discussions, I began to understand how this epigraph really does form a throughline for the conversations we’ve engaged in this semester. The risks that come with the partnership between Gan and T’Gatoi are very similar to not only the risks associated with the academic partnerships we have discussed in this course through forums but also the risks and potential rewards that come with the partnership between Dr. McCoy and her INTD-105 students. 

Throughout this course, we have discussed the many different risks and rewards that come with academic partnership specifically. For example, one major topic we discussed is a college or university’s code of conduct that both students and school faculty and staff are expected to follow. After reading the rules and regulations SUNY Geneseo students, faculty, and staff are expected to follow, I became aware of the fact that the set of rules are in place to ensure safety throughout the community, and if these rules are not followed by the community, many risks could occur. For example, Article IV, section 3 of the Student Code of Conduct, states that the “possession, use, or storing on campus of firearms” (SUNY Geneseo) is prohibited. This means that SUNY Geneseo does not allow any type of firearm to be present on campus because of the danger that could come along with such actions. When SUNY Geneseo sets in place such rules they are taking a risk in hoping that the Geneseo students, faculty, and staff will follow these rules so that safety through the community is ensured. This discussion is a great example of how the epigraph given to students created a throughline of risks and rewards throughout class discussions. Like the Geneseo community, T’Gatoi takes a big risk in her trust that Gan and his family will not use their gun to harm her. This is a huge risk, but a risk that needs to be in place to ensure fairness between Gan and T’Gatoi.

In addition to the throughline of risks and rewards the epigraph has created for class discussions, the students of INTD-105 and Dr. McCoy have a similar throughline as risks and rewards come with our academic partnership as well. INTD-105 is a self-assessed course, which is a big risk Beth has taken. In the course syllabus, when discussing self-assessed assignments, Beth states “…I had been moving steadily away from linking feedback for growth to stress-producing grades that end up inevitably becoming the focus instead of the learning that is one of the first words in Geneseo’s Mission Statement.” (McCoy) Beth wants a greater reward for her students, learning and growing from work, rather than student’s focus being on the grade they receive from their assignment. Beth takes the risk of self-assessed assignments, in hopes that we will learn from the feedback she provides. Again, the epigraph sets up a great throughline of risks and rewards for this aspect of the class as it is very similar to the risks associated with Gan and T’Gatoi’s partnership. The students of INTD-105 could easily dismiss the greater reward that can be achieved when work is self-assessed and just give themselves a good grade without thought, just like Gan can dismiss the risk T’Gatoi takes in allowing his family to keep a gun.

Overall, I strongly believe that the epigraph “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.”,  formed a throughline for the conversations INTD-105 students have taken part in. This throughline of risks and rewards is evident in class discussions, materials, and the basic structure of the course itself. Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education, GLOBE, has the main goal for Geneseo students to be able to “… reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time; to make personal, professional, and civic plans based on that self-reflection.”(GLOBE), and in INTD-105 we have gained this ability. Reflecting on this course, given the epigraph, has been great practice for GLOBE’s goal for students of self-reflection. Since reflecting on how the epigraph has created a throughline for the class, I’ve been able to look back on all that we have learned and how I’ve grown as a student through the course. 

Take the Risk and Grow

Octavia Butler’s short story “Bloodchild” shows the protagonist Gan’s decision making as he makes problems requiring risks and rewards of his actions. Growing up, Gan knew he would have to bear a child for T’Gatoi, their family friend and superior because there are two species; the Terrans and the Tlic. Gan was born for the purpose of being T’Gatoi’s carrier. After a deal was made that Terrans, Gan’s species, had to provide someone to carry for the Tilc species because they were offered land and protection many years ago. Gan witnessed a birth gone wrong and heard other stories, he began to question being the bearer. He realized the risks associated with giving birth and the unfairness that they just expected him to have T’Gatoi’s children when so many dangers can occur. In time, he agrees to carry the child, so his siblings do not have to. However, Gan makes sure that he offers conditions or rules for his relationship with T’Gatoi. In order to set these rules, Gan said, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner” (Butler 26). Gan explains how everything you do has a consequence attributed to it. In life, there are many risks and rewards but you have to weigh your consequences and go with your gut. 

The quote from Bloodchild, forms a through line for our conversations that we have engaged in throughout the semester. The main focal point for the course is risks and rewards, hence the name of the course. When discussing risks and rewards, the main idea of conversation is advancing our thinking to include deeper and more complex thoughts when tying it back to scenarios in Bloodchild. This quote has weaved its way in creating a throughline and building the core idea; risks and rewards, through all the work this semester and has provided a basis of conversation in the forums. Even if we didn’t notice the epigraph at first. Partnerships exist everywhere in life. For example, could be a partner for a group project, your relationship as a student with an instructor, or your relationship with your boss and coworkers, or even your relationship with your school. Every time you make a decision there are risks and rewards. Everything you do has a consequence attributed to it. Just like becoming a student has a tremendous risk but also amazing rewards. Every time you submit an assignment there are risks and rewards. Did I really do all I could? Did I prepare as much as needed? We have to take risks in life in order to learn more and be more. College can be scary and stressful but we have to be able to accept when we’re wrong and see what we can change. If you are not willing to accept the risk or take risks you cannot grow to be the best version of yourself. 

Throughout the course, understanding the epigraph, has made a pathway for us to connect to our thinking. The epigraph illustrates that risks and rewards can be understood many different ways and thus forms a throughline for discussions for everyone through our semester in INTD 203.  

In each of the forums, we opened a new level of partnership and development. Our conversations are essentially dealing with a partner, but not always entirely the same partnership as Gan and T’Gatoi. In this course, students depend on each other to share ideas, opinions, and feedback from one another. In the syllabus, Dr. Beth says, “You have the opportunity to care for the course, for yourself, and for others.” We focus on not only our own growth but our peers’ as well. This happened in the second module, unlocking our ability to take care in what we do in our writing. “To the Forums! 2: Foundations for Care and Good Faith,” Dr. McCoy motivated us “to commit now to conducting ourselves with each other in good faith.” We use this when doing our “Care for my…” sections, acting as checkpoints in our growth and understanding. We empower ourselves with regard to thinking due to being in an academic partnership. Accountability is critical in order to improve our writing skills. Helping others with feedback and connecting ideas was all part of our accepting the risk, we could be wrong when giving feedback. But we accepted the risk to see the rewards of deeper thoughts.

In module five, we met with Dr. Cope, Associate Provost for Academic Success. We engaged in strong conversations. He provided us with information on understanding our academic partnership and how we use it. Dr. Cope explained how one of his buckets is to work with other divisions to achieve student success. We have to take risks in order to grow in our academic partnership. For example, participating in TA’s Zoom hours to get help or using professor office hours accordingly. The help you need is there. Use the resources provided or continue to struggle. He works closely with people to demonstrate the importance of partnerships and connections in our future. Dr. Cope understands the risks and rewards of his job. If he does not do a good job, he has to understand that he did not help a student or caused them more pain from a situation. Also, if the student is lying or not truthful about a scenario at school and he helps them, he could lose a colleagues trust. Understanding risks makes you grow as a person, with failure makes you stronger as a person. When we unlocked modules six and eight, we discussed and learned the rules for partnerships affiliated with Geneseo. This clearly ties into our epigraph with partnerships and knowing how to stay on track for our academic success or head into trouble. We examined rules and regulations students and faculty have to abide and also saw the risks if we do not follow the rules. By doing this, we looked into the academic partnership between students and educators. Everyone has rules they must abide by depending on their partnership. We accepted the risks and learned the rules, so we could get a higher education.

Connecting Bloodchild to our work has become routine. In Forums seven, we associated Bloodchild and rules for students at Geneseo by connecting the rules for the characters to our rules in our academic partnership with the school. I previously stated, “In time, Gan agrees to carry the children. However, Gan offers circumstances that make their relationship seemingly equal in status, as “there is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner” (Butler 26). Gan needed to understand what he was in for. He agreed to do it, he accepted the risk. This is because it had to happen for both people. Meaning Gan or a sibling had to bear a child and T’Gatoi needed someone in Gan’s family.” I also wrote, “I believe it is important to follow the rules because they are in place to keep students and other personnel safe. While some of the rules are not as significant as others, it is good to follow the rules in order to stay safe. In Bloodchild, problems with honesty and hierarchy contribute to Gan becoming more aware of problems in his life.” Even though at first, Gan did not want or give permission to carrying a child. He now understands the rule was put in place to benefit both species, similar to the Code of Conduct for school. It exists to benefit both the students and the school in keeping the community safe and to understand his or her responsibilities and duties as a Geneseo student. The rewards for following responsibilities help benefit the people around them. 

The power dynamic is exhibited again when comparing what we learned about Geneseo with the rules in Bloodchild. In Forum 9, I wrote, “I said this sentence in my first essay, “There is risk in any partnered work”, this is relevant in this conversation because my academic relationship with the school has risk in it. For instance, if I don’t do well academically, I may not graduate, this is a risk. In Bloodchild, Gan has a deal with T’Gato and he could lose his life due to this deal from the birth of the eggs, this creates a risk in their relationship.” In many of the writings this year, we connected the throughline into much of our work. It can all circle back and connect to the epigraph. During the forums, we accepted the risks and continued to grow and try our best while pushing to become the best versions of ourselves. Gan and his species also accepted the risk of giving up their bodies for the Tlic to empregnant them. This epigraph proves that both Gan and T’Gatoi place trust in each other and both have risks and rewards, which we wrote about in the beginning of the semester. Ultimately, accepting the risks associated with making decisions, makes you understand yourself and be the best person you can be. 

Resulting from our thorough conversations, I believe that the epigraph has formed a clear path for our discussions throughout our semester in INTD 105. In life, if you are not willing to accept risks or take risks, outside your comfort zone, you cannot grow to be the best version of yourself. In quarantine, we accepted responsibility and took risk of learning new activities or accepting the risk of being exposed to covid- 19. SUNY Geneseo’s “GLOBE” allows for us to see our college experience through a holistic approach. Under learning outcomes, in GLOBE, it says, “Reflection- To reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time; to make personal, professional, and civic plans based on that self-reflection”. Reflecting upon this epigraph and understanding and making connections is very useful in critical thinking. Allowing you to get deeper in your thinking and see the through line in different ways with different writing styles and prompts through work. Over time it creates a deeper meaning and makes meaningful connections through work using an epigraph. Overall, reflections make time for mistakes and corrections. We take risks when we get reflections from our peers but ultimately creates a better writer and better students. Every student should be given the opportunity to practice in the ability to reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time. Students need the option to grow and learn from their past, mistakes and even what we do right. GLOBE gives a great opportunity for students to work towards something and get a reward out of hard work. 

It’s Worth The Risk

When given our syllabus in the beginning of the semester it included this epigraph, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” Before reading the story Bloodchild by Octavia Butler it might not be obvious what this quote means. The quote is dialogue between Gan and T’Gatoi, a Terran and Tilc respectively. The Tilc in this story are a species seen as more powerful than the Terran. Even though Tilc are more powerful they have their weaknesses, like not being able to carry their own offspring. They rely on the Terran to carry their next generation for them. To survive, the Terran need the Tilc to protect them and rule over them, and the Tilc need the Terrans to carry out the birth process. They both must trust each other for their partnership to work out, and just like any partnership, there are risks. This epigraph brings up the risks and rewards in the context of Bloodchild, which can be compared to risks and rewards of academic partnership this semester.

Any class you take can have risks and rewards. The amount of work that you put into something is directly related to what you are going to get out of it, or what grade you are going to receive. The syllabus is a great way to outline what happens throughout the semester of every class. In the syllabus for INTD 105, Dr. Beth McCoy clearly states that students “assess their own coursework based on feedback they receive from instructor and from peers.” I am not used to having a class where my grade is not dependent on a test or quiz, but rather how well I can spark a conversation though an essay and how much I have grown over a semester. That said, with allowing us to self-assess, Beth is putting trust into her students and hoping that they will be fair in their grading process. She does this so that we are able to think and express our thoughts during our writings without fear of failing the course. This way of grading takes away the stress on the student, which in my case is the reward but still has that risk of unfair grading opportunities. Throughout the course we must risk putting our writings out for others to read and critique but in working with others we learn how to better our writing skills. Ultimately if we compare the risks and rewards to those in Bloodchild they will be less severe but will still be present. While the decision to stop working in a partnership might cause a species to die off in Bloodchild, not practicing partnership in college might lead to failing classes and getting bad grades. Not practicing the same partnership skills in INTD 105 make it so that you cannot better your writing skills and learn from your past feedback.

   Just like Gan placed his trust in T’Gatoi to protect him and his family, we as students place our trust in our professors and peers for good feedback. Starting with talking about the pandemic and how it has changed college courses, we have concluded that we are all struggling. Not one person asked to be put in a situation where they are forced to work towards their degree online. With this being something that we have not done before it comes with a lot of risk. Many students had challenges with being home, such as no quiet place to study or having attendance issues. While students are turning to professors for help, the professors are still trying to figure out how online leaning should be carried out. With all of us unsure of what to do, until we go back to a sense of normalcy, we must rely on each other to succeed this semester. Our discussion with Joe Cope included new polies regarding covid-19 to help us understand how online learning requires a different set of rules and rewards. The only way that academic success could happen this semester is by placing trust in others and knowing that we are all figuring it out together. This is not as simple as making just one quick change and requires time to get used to.  

We spent a great chunk of time reading and creating conversation regarding both the Student Code of Conduct as well as a list of polices needed to be followed by professors. When applying to Geneseo, a student is made aware of rules in the code of conduct and are required to follow them while attending college. By ensuring that students know the risks of not complying, Geneseo can make sure that its students are safe and protected. Just as students have rules or policies to follow, so do professors. After reading both sets of polices, I found that they were very similar, starting with the ones regarding no “alcohol & substance abuse” on campus and a “smoke free workplace”. For students there are polices such as the “Good Samaritan policy” which makes it so that “in instances of life-threatening medical emergencies related to possible alcohol or drug overdoses”, the student that calls in for help is exempt from sanctions afterwards. By taking away the risk of getting in trouble, Geneseo is making sure that students can still receive help in a situation they cannot handle. A specific policy for professors is regarding nepotism, stating “the College prohibits family members from participating in employment decisions regarding each other”. This got me to thinking about if such a rule was in place for grading between professors and students they are related to. In both cases, the polices made for both students and faculty may have risks such as being fired or suspended by the school, but the rewards are that these polices keep everyone safe. This however only works if both sets of individuals follow the rules, continuing our conversation on academic partnership.

GLOBE (Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education) builds a holistic way to see your experience at Geneseo. This means that we were given the parts and now we must put it all together ourselves. The pieces that we read and discussed were important to show us how partnership works in INTD 105. Without working together, Gan would have died and T’Gatoi would not have been able to have offspring. T’Gatoi took the risk of letting Gan keep his gun, knowing they both need each other to survive, that he would not kill her because it would not benefit him. They both needed to put in effort to benefit. Just like we needed to put effort into this class and others to get a good grade and to work on personal growth. Without taking the feedback of others you just continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly. With this course I have learned there are always going to be risks in working with others or pushing yourself to do better, but most of the time the reward is worth it.

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.

Covid Cant Stop us From Learning

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.

How Feedback Can Lead to an Excellent Academic Partnership

Throughout Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild,” the idea of partnership is explored in a unique way. Gan has just threatened to kill himself and let T’Gatoi implant her eggs into his sister, Hoa. At this point, when Gan says, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner,” he has told T’Gatoi that he wants to keep his gun so his family can protect him someday (Butler 26). This quote is relevant because it is illegal for Gan to have this weapon, so by letting him keep it, T’Gatoi would have to compromise and let him break the law. She ends up handing the gun back to him, and in exchange he allows her to implant eggs into him that night. This was the beginning of, for all the reader knows, a long partnership, as the story ends with T’Gatoi saying, “I won’t leave you as Lomas was left—alone, N’Tlic. I’ll take care of you” (Butler 29). Although different from working on a group project, they still display a partnership that will last a very long time. T’Gatoi and Gan are just one example of the way we have explored partnership this semester. This epigraph and the events surrounding it is a great representation that through giving and receiving feedback, a partnership has the ability to be very successful. T’Gatoi and Gan expressed exactly what they needed from each other and were able to make their partnership work. Throughout this semester, almost all of our conversations have explained a certain aspect of partnership and how feedback can make or break it, even if we did not notice in the moment. 

In each module, a new understanding of partnership and feedback was unlocked. Even from the very first “To the Forums!” assignment in module one we have been growing into academic partners. Although partnership is important between students, I also feel that we have each become partners with Professor McCoy in a way. In this first discussion, we shared our palimpsests, helping each other to see beyond the surface and into the depths of ourselves. After this assignment, Dr. McCoy advised me to weave in some more personal information which would help me begin the processes of unpacking my writing. This is where I believe we all began to reflect and internalize the fact that our readers cannot get inside of heads. Saying that different songs connect to certain emotions was not enough. More detail had to be added so my peers could understand just exactly what I meant by that. In They Say/I Say, by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, it says, “we suggest that you summarize what ‘they say’ as soon as you can in your text” (Graff and Birkenstein 21). For this, “To the Forums!” assignment, I used Dr. McCoy as the “they.” I used what she said and applied it to my piece to help elevate my writing. If Dr. McCoy had never highlighted areas where my piece was lacking, I would have never learned or grown from my mistake.  

We then unlocked our ability to take care in what work we put forth and the feedback we are given. Leading to the prompt in “To the Forums! 2: Foundations for Care and Good Faith,” Dr. McCoy urged us “to commit now to conducting ourselves with each other in good faith.” This is something we have carried with us into our check-ins. We are essentially being held accountable because in an academic partnership, accountability is so important to create a good end product. This ties nicely into partner feedback because, while you are held accountable for your work, you are also accountable for taking care in the feedback you are given. In “Bloodchild,” we also see this level of care between T’Gatoi and Gan. Gan is quite obviously hesitant to let T’Gatoi implant her eggs into him, but because they both cared enough to hear each other out and compromise, they ended up having a successful partnership. They Say/I Say provides good strategies to take care in the feedback we are given. One suggestion made is, “starting with a summary of others’ views” (Graff and Birkenstein 21). This is a good way to make sure you are taking care in the feedback you are given. A good end product requires feedback, because simply agreeing will never allow you and your partner to reach your full potential.

We have also explored implicit bias. Although it is not as clear how this relates to partnership and feedback, it most certainly does. Implicit bias is bias based on something that people have internalized without even trying to, as described by Professor Jerry Kang in his TedTalk that we watched for “To the Forums! 3: What is Implicit Bias?” When working in a partnership, there are always preconceived notions, which is not fair. We will instinctually want to give feedback before seeing our partners’ final draft or before we really delve into their thought process. Feedback is important, however it must be given in an unbiased manor to be most impactful. Implicit bias is always a part of many aspects of partnership, whether we want it to be or not.

 We also looked into “Rules for Partnership,” which ties very nicely into partnership and how feedback can be very impactful. We examined all the rules both students and faculty must follow, which let us look into academic partnerships between students and their professors. There are certain rules that each group must follow in order to maintain a working partnership, with give and take on each side. For example, as students must not plagiarize, all faculty-led research done “must comply with the highest standards of ethical research practice and with applicable federal and state guidelines,” as stated in the “Research Compliance and Policies” section of Geneseo’s “College Policies” page. These rules did not just appear for some unknown reason. Although there probably was a baseline for the Geneseo students and staff rules, these were likely built upon by people asking questions and providing feedback from the Geneseo community. When looping this all back to “Bloodchild,” there is also an evident partnership between T’Gatoi and Gan, each with their own set of rules. The Terrans are supposed to let Tlic implant their eggs into them in exchange for providing a safe home for the Terrans. These rules are analogous to the rules in place for Geneseo students and staff because it shows the give and take that must occur in a partnership. We do not see as much feedback in “Bloodchild,” however, I am sure compromises were made on the part of Tlic and the Terrans to come to their agreement. Although different than the partnership we are used to seeing, the partnership between the administration and the students is very strong because of student feedback over the years.  

We then gained a lot of insight from Dr. Cope, the Associate Provost for Academic Success. He shared such great information that can not only aid us in academic partnership, but also was proof of how important partnership and accepting feedback is throughout life. He explained how he works with other divisions to help aid him with their work towards student success. Even in his adult life, he is working very closely with others, proving just how important partnership is in the long run. His job focuses on making students as successful as possible during their time at Geneseo. As Dr. Cope explained to us, which I discussed in my “To the Forums! 11 Following up your 11/16 visit with Associate Provost for Student Success Joe Cope!” post, he “works to intervene when students bring forth issues about their academic experience.” This is how he uses student feedback to make sure he adjusts things properly for Geneseo students and their needs. 

GLOBE’s insistence that Geneseo students should gain practice in the ability to reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time proves just how important feedback is. The best way to change a student’s point of view is through partnership. Within a good partnership, there should be feedback given that is reflected upon by the recipient. If all goes well, this feedback will be taken into consideration to change the student’s perspective and learning for the better. Throughout this semester, we have explored partnership in different ways than one would expect. We used unique topics like implicit bias and good faith to aid us. We even based a good majority of the class on a short story about aliens and humans living together. Some of these topics we went over did not seemingly have anything to do with partnership, yet they did. Even though I know this course is called “Risks and Rewards of Academic Partnership,” it was easy to forget this while exploring some of the topics. Now, as I reflect upon the semester, I see that each and every assignment has been progressing us towards this end goal of knowing what good academic partnership looks like. We unknowingly have molded ourselves into great academic partners using not only the modules of this course, but also by applying the feedback we have been given throughout the semester. 

How I’ve changed as a student in INTD-105

As a first-year college student, reading the course syllabus was something new to me. I have never seen a syllabus with a class epigraph. This course’s epigraph comes from the book Bloodchild. The epigraph is, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, T’Gatoi, in dealing with a partner” (Butler 26).” This epigraph goes along with the whole story but mainly after Gan sees Lomas’s traumatic birth. Seeing how gruesome it was made Gan second guess having to bear the young of T’Gatoi. His whole life, he knew his purpose was to bear a Tlic young, but he never knew the possible harm of birth until now. Gan is still growing up and learning about responsibilities. He is split between being scared and not bearing T’Gatoi young, doing him harm, or he can grow and have her children even if there is the possibility for harm. Gan realizes he needs to take the risk and bear T’Gatoi young and have the reward of trust in his partnership with her. On pages 26 and 27, it talks about how Gan has two choices to pick from. He decided to change his mindset of being scared and decided to accept the risks. Gan says, “I knew what to do, what to expect.” 

Just like in Bloodchild, students in INTD-105 are challenged with risk, reward, and the possibility of harm. The outcome of this course is to produce a growth mindset and grow as a writer. Dr. McCoy built this course as self-assessed. In the course syllabus, Beth states, “I had been moving steadily away from linking feedback for growth to stress-producing grades that end up inevitably becoming the focus instead of the learning outcome… one of the first words in Geneseo’s Mission Statement.” Beth McCoy gives feedback on assignments and gives the student the option to improve or ignore her feedback and keep making the same silly mistakes. Having a self-assessed course makes the process more comfortable and less stressful for students. As a first-year student, this was a new concept for me. Throughout all my schooling, it’s been about grades assignments. All I have been taught is the importance of good grades because that is the final reward. I worry so much about getting a good grade that sometimes I forget the importance of learning. At the beginning of this course, I was putting myself into harm by not using the feedback to improve myself. I needed to change my outlook to a growth mindset. Using a growth mindset made me slow down on my work and accept the feedback. I ended this course with the reward of becoming better writer and finally being proud of the work I produce.

In high school, when you would get something wrong, teachers would rarely ever give you feedback or tell you what to do to improve. All they cared about was a grade. My most challenging year in high school was tenth grade, especially in history class. My teacher was very hard on grades but would never explain why he took points off or give feedback so I didn’t make the same mistake next time. This stuck with me – that teachers cared more about a number grade than making you develop to be a better student.   The grade was also more important than how long it took you to complete an assignment. So, when I came to college, I came with the “grades are more important than growing as a student” concept.  After completing the first assignment in this class, Professor McCoy commented with feedback on my assignment. I took this feedback as a criticism because it was something I was not used to. This is something I had to change.  My outlook had to change to better myself. I had to remind myself that the feedback is to help me learn and become a better writer, not as a critique to me as an individual. This is when I started seeing self-growth as a student and even as an individual. As a student, I took the given feedback (like slowing down, re-reading my work) and applied it to my assignments, which made me a better learner and made me change my outlook that grades are more important than growing as a student to the outlook that the quality of work and my growth as a student is greater (more important than) the grade.

One of the many goals for SUNY Geneseo’s students that GLOBE has created is for students to have the ability “to reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time; to make personal, professional, and civic plans based on that self-reflection.” Course INTD-105 demonstrates this goal.  Like me, I assume that many students came into this course with a set mindset on how they do their school work and how they learn and left with a different mindset. This class helped me reflect on my changes and outcomes of learning.  My “lens” has shifted from the beginning to now.  At the beginning of this course, I would always rush my assignments to get them done and check them off my long, daunting to-do list. The only fulfillment I got out of doing this was being able to check it off and worry about one less thing. I never found fulfillment in the work I produced. By rushing my assignments, I made stupid mistakes like making grammar mistakes, not having my words make sense, and all-around struggled. I was tired of feeling unfulfilled with my end work and not seeing improvement. I realized it was time to change that. I needed to slow down and put more effort into my work to succeed and become the better writer I always wanted.  After changing my “lens,” I instantly saw an improvement in my writing, and I finally felt fulfilled and proud of turning in my work.  The biggest take away from this class that I learned was that to grow as a student, you have to do things you are not used to. I came into class without a growth mindset, but I am leaving this course with this new mindset. With my growth-mindset, I learned it is not the end grade that matters the most, but what matters the most is what you take away from an assignment and how it makes you grow and become better. 

Coming into college, I had a fixed mindset.  A mindset set that grades are the most important thing in learning. This concept has been drilled into my head throughout middle school and high school.  To apply to colleges, we send in our GPA – not share our growth achieved in school.  In this course, Dr. Beth McCoy stresses that a meaningful outcome of this course is to have a growth mindset and grow as a writer.  In the beginning, the questionnaires were hard for me because of my mindset coming into this class.  I rushed into assignments and looked forward to completing them. I was putting myself into a lot of harm by doing this and not growing. I had to either be responsible and change my mindset to want to grow and become a better writer or continue to rush my work, get it done, and stay in harm and risk not having a better outcome. I changed my outlook and took Dr. McCoy’s feedback. I have seen tremendous growth in my writing and how I produce my work.  I don’t turn in my first draft.  I listen to the feedback and make corrections.  I am ending this course with a growth mindset and now knowing that learning is more about how you grow than an end producing grade.

What it Means to Take Risks in a Partnership

In Bloodchild, Octavia Butler wrote, “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” (Butler 26). This is in context to the character Gan holding a gun and telling T’Gatoi that she needs to trust him with it. This is a nerve-wracking task to put on someone; to accept the known dangers, in this case a loaded gun, and to choose to ignore the risk and continue moving forward; to trust. Bloodchild is all about accepting risks and trusting a partner. Not only with T’Gatoi and the gun, but Gan accepts a risk of his own when he agrees to have T’Gatoi’s offspring, even though it’s a dangerous task that can sometimes lead to death. Both T’Gatoi and Gan had to accept risks and trust one another in order to move forward with their partnership.

 The lessons in Bloodchild can go far beyond the pages of Octavia Butler’s stories, and into our own class. As a college freshman in my first semester, I am taking a big risk. A risk much scarier and intimidating than high school. I am terrified that I will fail, or make mistakes, but that’s all part of the learning process; that’s all part of the risk. I myself am in a partnership by taking Beth McCoys Writing Seminar course, and as her partner I need to trust that Beth knows what’s best for me. As the course has gone on, Beth has become less and less involved in the thought process behind my work. As scary as it is to receive less and less feedback and reassurance during the writing process, I have to trust that I am capable of doing well on my assignments and trust that Beth won’t set me up for failure. Like T’Gatoi has to trust Gan with a loaded gun, we as students in Beth’s writing seminar have to trust that Beth won’t let us fail and knows we are capable of excelling in this course.

Looping back to Bloodchild, just like Beth and her students, T’Gatoi and Gan took many risks, some happening even before their partnership came to be. T’Gatoi had to take risks in order to get to Gan in the first place. T’Gatoi had to risk her friendship with Gan’s mother, knowing that when T’Gatoi returned, Gan’s mother would only see T’Gatoi as coming back to retrieve her “just reward for her hard work.” (Butler 8). Coming back for Gan was hard for both T’Gatoi and the mother to deal with, yet it was a necessary step in order to make the partnership a reality. It was a risk that had to be made in order for T’Gatoi to get the reward of Gan, similar to  how T’Gatoi risked allowing Gan to keep the rifle in reward of getting him to have her offspring. 

T’Gatoi and Gan’s risks continued when they were together. Like I continuously reference, T’Gatoi had to trust Gan with a gun, even though T’Gatoi was scared and “it was clearly hard for her to let go of the rifle.” (Butler 26). Gan made a hard decision himself, after watching a birth go wrong, Gan was very scared to be implanted with T’Gatoi’s offspring, in fear that the same thing would happen to him. However, he knew he had to go through with it, because if he didn’t his sister Xuan Hoa would have to be implanted. Gan took the risk of going through with the implantation in order to avoid his sister getting hurt. 

As students in our partnership with Beth, we take risks and have to trust. I trusted Beth that as she stepped back and observed my work rather than helping me write it, I would be okay and do well. Beth in return had to trust me as a student to self assess my work and grade myself honestly. “I will offer feedback on your work, but you will assess that work, a process that depends on trust, transparency, accountability, care, and acknowledging the possibility of harm.” (McCoy). Beth could grade us herself if she wanted, but instead she took the risk of allowing us to do it, so that we could learn and grow from the experience of self assessing and reflecting. “This process entails substantial risk on my part. I believe the possibilities for thinkING and learning are worth the risk.” (McCoy). We gain so much knowledge and growth from assessing ourselves. I’ve tried my hardest to do my best work and think my best thoughts, because at the end of the day I am doing this for me. The risks truly redeem themselves with the rewards of trust, knowledge, and growth. We as students were given a loaded gun, and Beth is trusting us not to shoot it.

Being in charge of a loaded gun is a very scary thing, just like how being around someone with a loaded gun is scary. It involves having  a lot of trust in your partner and knowing that they will not hurt you. Like T’Gatoi trusts Gan and Beth trusts us (and vice versa),  a partnership is built off of having faith in one another. It means being able to take risks and trusting that your partner won’t let you down. It’s giving your partner a gun and knowing they could shoot you, but they won’t. It’s putting your life (or grades) in the hands of another person. It’s a scary, risky thing to do, but it’s what has to be done in order to reap the rewards of a healthy partnership where offspring, or in our classes case, a growth mindset and knowledge can come out of it. 

ThinkING, Learning, and Growing are these concepts worth the risk? (Rewrite)

ThinkING and learning are two concepts that I believe are the key to being successful in whatever you do in life, but especially in college. In “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler, the characters in the story are forced to depend on and accept one another. For example, The Terrans and the Tlic begin helping each other to survive. “Life on the Preserve” in “Bloodchild” is how an individual can flourish when they are willing to live with helping the greater needs of society, and then accepting what it offers back. This course really focuses on thinkING and learning, and I feel that in this course I will learn both the risks and rewards of these concepts. In this course I will have to give meaningful feedback to my peers and hope that in return, I get good faith feedback as well. This connects to the “Preserve” in “Bloodchild” Thinking is the action of using one’s mind to produce thoughts (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). In this course I can tell that I have already become a more in-depth thinker. For example, when I was doing the second to the forum assignment on good faith, I had to dig deep and think of how I try to use good faith. Also making connections requires deep thinking. Learning is described as knowledge or skill acquired by instruction or study (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Having the ability to self-assess myself will really show me whether or not I reached my full potential. As always, I set goals high for myself and try my best to achieve those goals, and with this course I have the opportunity to set my own goals throughout the semester. As Butler said Although I many not always achieve the goals I set that is a part of the “risks” much of what this course focuses on.

There are many risks and rewards that this class offers. One reward that I already took out of this course so far is having the ability to change my “growth mindset” for the better. In the syllabus it states, “These questionnaires emphasize growth mindset” (Professor McCoy). Having the chance to think critically and analyze many different texts is something that this course offers. In this class receiving feedback from my peers will help me to grow as a writer and person. Sometimes the feedback given by a peer might not be something you want to hear, or it may not be constructive but that is all part of the “risks” in this class. In this course the risks will help develop more opportunities for thinking and learning. I have always considered myself to have a growth mindset, where you can learn new things. For me in this course I am going to be learning many new things. Since this is a self-assessed class, I have to trust myself to stay on top of the work in order to succeed. I also have to look at my work from a different point of view, I can’t be too harsh on myself or grade too easy. As seen in “Bloodchild” it is important to contribute and make sacrifices to better each other, and accept what is given by others in return. For this course, it’s important that I remember this. In this class I am looking forward to learning how to grade myself, I have never been given this opportunity before. This course sets limits and rewards on self-assessing. As professor McCoy states “This process entails substantial risk on my part. I believe the possibilities for thinkING and learning are worth the risk.” (McCoy)

This course offers many risks and rewards and it is up too you whether or not you make the most out of it. For me, the process of self-growth as a writer is what I hope to focus on. By the end of the semester I hope to notice a difference in my ability to write, analyze, learn, think, and self-assess. There are limits on all of goals and choices that I have in this course, but in life there are always limits on what you can and cannot do. For example, in life it is key that you limit the amount of time you have to complete a task. You can’t spend everyday doing the same thing, if you limit your time on a task, like an essay, it will help you to focus more on the task and eventually finish it. This course is about responsibility and accountability. I believe that taking risks are well worth it especially if in the end a reward comes out of the “risk”. The overall goal for me in INTD 105 is to further my “growth mindset”, be honest with myself, continue learning, and thinkING to become a successful writer throughout college and beyond.