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Final Presentation

Avery Larson

Final Performance Write-Up

                For my final performance, I decided to represent something that I learned in the Evolution of Stories class with something I learned from another class; throughout the semester, I have learned to apply concepts from one subject to another subject. I didn’t really understand how to do this before taking this course. Moreover, I didn’t understand why I would want to do it. If an idea weren’t taught in a certain class, why would I want to seek it in an outside source and apply it myself? I won’t pretend that I ever thought the idea through, verbatim, but I was definitely resistant to what I perceived to be excessive, unnecessary effort.

                Now, at the end of the semester, I can’t fathom why I ever thought that way. I’ve become somewhat (extremely) obsessed with several of the issues the class has been debating – the Library of Babel, evolution as change, the broader applications of Existentialism – and my opinions of these subjects have shifted as rapidly as the discussions. I think about these things often enough that they quite naturally invaded the “areas” of my brain reserved for other subjects, and then took them over completely. I now embrace the similarities between the subjects I am exploring, and where no similarities exist, I enthusiastically create them. More than any individual concept I have been taught in the Evolution of Stories, this new openness to crossing disciplines is important to me.

                Therefore, as I said earlier, I wanted to represent this in my project. I decided (after much deliberation and much more blank staring at an open notebook) to use a flashy little trick I was taught in Linear Algebra to rank my classes according to “influence” – I have another post on Serendip explaining the math I used, which I will quote at the end of this reflection, for convenience’s sake – and “prove” that the Evolution of Stories was the most influential. In my mind, this idea seemed terribly clever; in practice, my fear of public speaking resurfaced and I rushed through a good portion of my material, forgetting the majority of the reasoning behind the project. I should have expected such an outcome, but I didn’t. I also failed to anticipate how unsure I would be, come presentation time, that my audience was interested in or enjoying the project and insecurity pushed me to gloss over another part of the explanation.

                For me, though, the presentation went fairly well. I was pleased. I was nervous, but I had so much fun creating my project that I couldn’t help but be a little proud to present it. 


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