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spreston's picture

            At the beginning of this course, few of the topics we have discussed were things I even thought about—I had no idea there were so many genders/sexualities, I did not think about what constituted information, I strayed away from anything Science-related, and I took technology for granted but did not explore it further.  At the end of this course, I have a much greater appreciation for each of these topics and the inescapable entanglement of all four!  I am very pleased to have read and explored more about gender identity because I think that before coming to the Tri-co, if not before taking this class, I might have dismissed some of the identities we learned about as “weird.”  Although I think I may still be guilty of using gender binaries, I feel like I am on my way to erasing them and trying to be more open-ended to all lifestyle choices without the need to categorize them.

            I am also coming out of this class with a much greater appreciation and a little bit of apprehension about the power of technology.  This class has illuminated the great ways in which technology can change and shape our lives.  Before, I took all of my gadgets for granted.  I also had not given much thought to the potential of technology to merge with humans…this thought is still a little scary to me but I guess I’ll see what happens in the next 60 years!

            This class has also shown me how unbounded learning is…many of topics we discussed in class were confusing at the time.  I never knew exactly how I felt about many issues.  Outside of the classroom, however, my ideas and opinions often became much clearer.  I think this is due to the fact that many of things we studied are such a big part of everyday life and taking a step back and trying to fit them into the world around me helped me solidify my ideas!  I liked this because in other classes, math in particular, I often leave the class and stop thinking about it completely until I sit down to do my problem set….when am I ever going to take a derivative in real life, though?  I liked the applicability of this class to the world around me.

            I put a lot of thought and effort into my web postings and into my essays.  One thing I learned about myself is that when I write online, I am much more casual.  I am still trying to figure out whether this allows me to think more fluidly or whether it makes my ideas more jumbled.  I tried to explore the use of blogs and videos and embedding photos more as I progressed with my papers.  I found I also got frustrated because I would have to spend three hours just trying to figure out how to do something on the computer rather than actually creating content, but I am coming out of the class with a much better understanding of how to publish on the internet.  It was a new thing for me to have my ideas posted on a public forum and it made me much more comfortable with becoming part of an online community.  I think that in my writings in this course, I have learned to be much more exploratory…trying to think about questions that I do not have an answer to.  In this class, I enjoyed that freedom but as a result, I think some of my work my have wandered a little bit.  Overall, I am happy with my posts and my essays because they were a new way of thinking and exploring my thoughts.

            In class, I was much more active in small group discussions than in the large group.  Although I contributed to the large group on occasion, the big class size often overwhelmed me.  Throughout the class, however, I became more comfortable with contributing to the large group and I am very proud of this!  In small group discussions, I was very active and it gave me a chance to voice my ideas to my classmates more thoroughly than I would be able to the whole class.  I really appreciated the time we had to talk in small groups and get to understand our classmates’ ideas better.  Online, I also grew a stronger identity throughout the semester.  At the end, I was having so much fun responding to people’s posts and reading all of my classmates’ ideas!!  I was skeptical of Serendip at first but I came to love it and I think I provided some interesting posts to spark conversation as well as thoughtful responses to my classmates’ posts.

            Thanks for such an eye-opening class – I really enjoyed it!




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