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Our Final Presentation

j.nahig's picture

First off, I would like to commend every person for her insightful, creative, and moving representation of the issues surrounding class and education. The presentations caused me to both reflect on this course and further my thoughts. One thing I thought was neat about the presentations was that the groups were integrated from both classes. The variety of approaches to this assignment reminded me of just how successful and progressive collaborative diversity can be. The diversity of the presentations really amazed me – they showed the many ways we can approach the issue of class, the wide variety of issues surrounding class (it’s not quite as simple as one might think!), the diversity of thought about class, and, most importantly, how every single one of these topics influences and furthers the “class” discussion (no pun intended.) It was also interesting to see how some people were particularly fascinated and influenced by specific authors and their ideas. I feel like understanding what has been written about class and education and either furthering it or arguing against it is one of the most crucial aspects in continuing the discussion within the academic world. I focused paper number eleven on the way in which academic writing restricts access to thoughts and ideas, so I was especially excited to see academia engaged in so many creative ways: further proof that writing is not the only way to share and change thoughts and ideas.

After bouncing around a lot of different ideas, my group decided that, considering the presentation was our final meeting, it would be fitting to end with something that addressed how to continue the discussion after this ESem ended. Someone admitted that they still felt uncomfortable speaking about class, and that there were things they had wanted to say all semester, but felt like they couldn’t. To our surprise, we all shared this sentiment, and guessed that, if we were any indicator of our class as a whole others, others in the class probably felt similarly. Upon reflection, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that we feared another group would do something similar, or that Anne and Jodi would address the topic of ‘continuing the conversation’ during class between the time that we met and the time of the presentation. Clearly, we had no idea how many things people had in mind!

The original plan for our presentation was to have everyone write something down anonymously, read what people had written out loud, and then copy what people said onto the board. We would then break the class into small groups to discuss patterns/surprises/etc. Taking a teaching method that Anne and Jody utilized, we planned to have small groups facilitate their own discussions, and then reconvene as a group with representatives from small groups giving a summary of their group’s discussion. If we had time, we would also have room for an all class commentary/discussion. Obviously, this was an extremely overly ambitious plan.

Even still, I would like to echo the sentiments of my group members that our slot in the lineup and our not inability to finish was very fitting. I think my group members summed this up really well, and I feel that explaining it would be repetitive, as they all covered it so eloquently :)

I guess all I can say is: if you were moved by this course as I was, please be sure not to forget it. It’s easy right now to say, ‘how could I forget this course??’ but based on past experiences, personal life concerns coupled with the inevitable distance and disconnectedness that time creates can overshadow or minimize the impact that something has had on you. Therefore, I am challenging myself to not let this happen by continuing to ‘call people out’ and engaging others in this under-discussed topic; I hope you will join me. Have a great break everyone!