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Silent in Silence and other thoughts

HSBurke's picture

It seems sadly appropriate (or maybe ironic?) that the class called "silence" is the one I have most trouble speaking up in. This problem isn't new for me -- I struggled in ESem and it looks like I'll be struggling for a while again. I know I'll hit my stride eventually. What helped me last time, though, was using Serendip as a form to (unselfishly!) share unspoken thoughts with the class. 

Today, during our discussion of poetry and whether or not a person's interpretation can be "wrong" or "right", I was reminded of my high school's entrance exam. There was a small section of analogy work (triangle is to shape as purple is to _____) and some mathematical ratio problems. But the bulk of the test was poetry analysis. We were given one poem and 50 minutes to annotate and write and analytical essay. As someone who is ambivalent towards poetry on the best days, needless to say I was worried. But I did my best, writing so quickly that most of my thoughts were illegible. I never thought much of that poem after taking the test. Until this class, that is. I wonder, now, what it was they saw in my analysis. Were they looking for something specific? Did they just like my style? Maybe all they wanted was a well-organized essay with all the parts in the same place. I'll never know of course. I have no real conclusions about my experience here, but would welcome yours.

And off to a completely separate thought! 

Our last activity today was one that I think threw a lot of us off. When it came to the end and we were expected to share around the circle with the rest of the group we were all a bit iffy on what we were going to say. And going second, I was able to watch the rest of the groups grapple with these uncertainties. Something I did notice was that we were all so caught up on figuring out what we were supposed to be saying that no one really listened to the other groups until it come to the very end (making JHunter’s silence even more powerful). I know it's been mentioned before but I thought I'd call us all out again. What can we do to really listen when we try so hard to formulate our thoughts into something we think worth sharing? 

Another rambling thought…

I wonder if it’s ok to not worry about how “academic” we speak online. Certainly I haven’t tried very hard here. Isn’t it more important just to get the thoughts out? I think back to ESem where we were encouraged just to be casual, not to worry how good we sound. Does the same rule apply for Walled Women?

Thanks for listening to my jumble, guys! 



Anne Dalke's picture


same rules apply!