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Self Evaluation

ekthorp's picture

 I chose to take Gender, Information, Science and Technology last semester, mainly for the section labeled Gender. I did not think much about the other words I the class title, and so I was a little surprised when I learned how much Technology we would be using in class. I did not realize how much science and math would be involved in class discussion and functions. I was a bit nervous by the heavy amount of involvement with technology, because I am not especially skilled with it. As the semester progressed, though, I found myself more and more at ease utilizing technology. I think this happened for many reasons. Both Professor Dalke and Professor McCormack coaxed me into using increasing amount of technology in my web-papers, such as linking websites and using map-charting technology. Both professors encouraged online class discussion as well. All of my classmates became increasingly comfortable with technology as well, which gave me support and encouragement to work on my technological skills as well. I enjoy the serendip website a lot more now at the end of the semester than I did at the beginning. My favorite part of serendip was being able to see the pictures taken of class. I also enjoyed being able to share relevant subjects online with the entire class, not just the professor. Being able to go back and see what was said on which day of the class, and the events and context of that day was helpful. The online and technological aspect of the class was something I undervalued at first, but I ended up truly appreciating.

My favorite component of Gender, Information, Science and Technology was receiving challenging reading and coming to class and having it completely clarified for me. I found material that could be considered confusing, such as Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the late Twentieth Century" and excerpts from Michael Chorost’s . World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet, the most enjoyable.  I loved having the reading illuminated in class after reading it the night before, and not understanding all of it. Again, my classmates were very influential in helping me understand material because in class discussion, they would both ask and answer questions I had. The readings for this class forced me to open my eyes to a lot of issues I did not even know existed. They brought me into different worlds, which I thoroughly appreciate.

Occasionally, my enthusiasm for the readings would wane. This tended to happen on readings where I was not as interested in the material, such as when we read Karen Barad’s work. I would participate less in class, and read less of the reading. Occasionally, I would get frustrated at the reading, or bored with it. This was alleviated when we read short fiction or watch movies in place of academic readings. I think that dispersing this more enjoyable homework throughout the semester, and not just at the end, would help inspirit the readings. I generally enjoyed most of the readings, no matter when they were read throughout the semester.

My favorite days in class were when we would have visitors to the class. My favorite visitor was Tian Hui Ng, but I enjoyed when Micheal Chorost and Kim Surkan visited as well. Tian struck me as the most interactive visitor, and I really enjoyed the way he forced people to participate in the class.

As a whole, this class helped develop skills I was not entirely sure I had, such as being able to post images online or track air flights on different kinds of maps. I loved having free reign on my web papers, because I was able to discover what I am skilled at and what I need to work on. I was also able to explore different and new readings, as well.  By taking this class, I also realized that I much more enjoy doing an indepth study on one person than broadly stuffy a group of people. I enjoyed researching Amelia Earhart than I did researching Nerdfighters. This class helped me discover numerouss things about gender, information, science and technology, but also about my self as well. 

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