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That's All, Folks.

AnotherAbby's picture

This is a little bittersweet, honestly. I know I probably don’t seem like the type who would get emotional about things, and typically, I’m not, but I’m sad that this is the last paper I get to write for this class. I want to take a breath, even though I just started. It’s a strange feeling. We’re not coming back on Tuesday this time so we can all do our best to figure out what the twenty pages of reading we did actually meant.  How am I supposed to explain my issues with Deep Play to my mother? She’s not going to understand. I need fourteen other people to argue with me about it.

I definitely think I’m a different person from the one that started this class. I don’t honestly know if I’m AnotherAbby anymore—yes, when we started class, I thought that was clever and hilarious. There were even more Abbys around me than I was used to, and I already used the name as a gmail account, so it seemed to fit. But, I feel like I’m more than that now. This class sort of bionic (wo)man’d me. We can rebuild her. We have the technology. Coming out of the first writing conference, I was shaken. I’d never gone through something like that before, where someone I respected pointed out to me that yes, I was an okay writer, but I wasn’t going far enough with it. My concepts weren’t great. I hit a good idea near the end of the essay, but I hadn’t gone anywhere with it. And, the scariest part to me was that it wasn’t something I’d half-assed and knew was going to come with criticism. No, I’d actually tried to write that paper. I knew it wasn’t my best work, but it wasn’t until the writing conference that I knew just what I would need to do to succeed: Start over.

So I took the technology of Serendip and I rebuilt myself.

I don’t mean that in metaphysical kind of way. I mean that I had to entirely rethink how I went about my writing process. At first, it was alien to me. I can’t use the format I learned in high school to write papers, with five paragraphs of assertion/evidence/commentary, but I also can’t just talk about my day? Then what’s left?

That was what I tried to work with. What was left. And, from there, I started writing the way I thought was right for the class. That process was messy, and took a lot of trial and error, and I’m still not entirely sure that I’ve worked out how to write the way I think I should, but I think I’m getting there.

The discussion was probably my favorite part of class. I honestly just like hearing people talk, and this was a perfect platform for that, because no one was talking for the sake of hearing their own voice. When we spoke, we had to back whatever we were saying up with our reasoning, whether it be an opinion we hold thanks to a unique experience or an idea that grew out of one of the readings. Personally, I liked when my opinion changed over the course of a class. I guess I was playing the believing game before I even knew what it was, which is probably one of the best concepts I’ll be taking away from this class. I may be a cynic, but in spite of an maybe even because of that, I find that trying to believe wholeheartedly in ideas that are not my own is the best method I can use to see where someone else is coming from.  

With that tool at my disposal, I’m not sure where the edges of my learning are now. If I can convince myself that anything someone tells me is right and try to see the world as it would be with that “anything” as one of its components, then I don’t think my learning has edges. I can keep going. If I can see a new world for each and every idea I’m told. I can synthesize what that means, and if I like that world and that idea, I can try to make it happen.

Although, I definitely still have learning edges in subjects outside of what we’ve covered. I know where my edges lie in calculus. That’s kind of the point of calculus.

I’m glad I was placed in this ESem. I know the others couldn’t have given me the same experience, and, as corny as this sounds, I feel like this class was where I needed to be. It helped my writing skills, my discussion skills, taught me reading strategies, and introduced me to Bryn Mawr. It really grew me from AnotherAbby into Abby. And I don’t care if they need to ask me which one I am.