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SuperMarioGirl's picture

Notes from Tuesday Sept. 21

 I'm writing these notes as a condensed conversation. I'm sorry that it doesn't flow very well...


Discussion on Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost

- Students learn best with what they're interested in, but the problem is that students don't get to ask about what they're interested in with our current education system

- Have you been in environments that don't allow you to ask your own questions?

- Yes, but I prefer that, because that's how life is outside of school as well.

- I'm a better worker when I take control of the situation and ask questions myself

- Kids only pay attention to grades, not feedback. Grades are distracting

- Even when we're in environments that foster our own questions, we typically only ask about what we know, not of the broader questions

- Graphic novels allow readers to be more involved in text, and text alone allows you to get lost, because there are no visuals to guide you on what to expect what's coming next

- It's hard to fit things together in A Field Guide to Getting Lost

- The book is like a conversation. Solnit travels from topic to topic so quickly that it's easy to get lost, hard to fit things together, and hard to remember the beginning of the train of thought

- California writers are different than east coast writers. They tend to meander about, while east coast writers are straight to the point.

- Reality Hunger was so scattered that you could give up on making connections, but A Field Guide to Getting Lost won't allow us to do that

- Most people in the class seem to agree that we're on house arrest which separates us from the world, but we're also on house arrest because we have access to things at home that connect us more to the world than ever before

- Is it possible to explore the world the same way using technology on "house arrest" as you would have done physically outside?

- World of Warcraft connects you to a virtual world

- But you're isolated from the real world

- Solnet is over-generalizing everything


Map Making

- I don't think geographically. How do we prioritize where we've been?

- [Name undisclosed] has been to few places, but her world in New Jersey is still big anyway, because her whole life is there, and she knows the place really well

- Few people represent what they know with physical spaces

- [Name undisclosed] thinks she should have included other people she knew who grew up near her, but she didn't think to do that during the actual map-making process


Back to Solnit

- She contradicted herself

- Can you know where you are and physically be aware of your environment, but mentally be elsewhere?

- It's more than just about us getting lost. It's also about the people who can't find us

- Being lost may be somebody else's perception. We may not think we're lost, but somebody else can't find us, so according to them, we are.

- "Never to get lost is to not live." ---> This is not true for everyone. 

- For hundreds of years, there have been people who have lived their whole lives within a 2 mile radius and never gotten lost

- But they can be mentally lost

- It [the quote above] is an inherent part of life, not a requirement

- Solnit is making huge generalizations based solely on her own experiences.

- She is not telling us how to live, only how she lives [and lived].

- She is trying to claim a shared experience and make recommendations (vs. Bechdel's individual experience)

- It's not so much about getting lost, but turning on/off a light switch

- Getting lost changes you and encourages growth and expands our personal maps

- Being lost isn't always advantageous

- When is getting lost advantageous or not advantageous? 

- There's a point when you're so lost, that it's too painful, destructive, you can't find yourself again, and it loses its purpose


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