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Self Evaluation and Reflection

onewhowalks's picture

Sometimes I think back to the first day in ESEM. We were all so quiet and nervous. No one spoke, save forced commentary and nervous laughter. I was terrified to speak- enivronmentalism has never been my strongest point of knowledge and, furthermore, I'm always scared of saying the wrong thing. Fast forward to the end of the semester... obviously, you all know I couldn't shut up, but it was also greater than that. Going to ESEM became one of the most rejuvinating parts of my week. I looked forward to Tuesday and Thursday because I knew that no matter how much sleep I had (not) gotten or how stressed I was, I would be able to enter into an incredibly inspiring, comfortable zone. 

Changing Our Story was transformative for me. Not only has it changed the way I think about the environment and my place in it- thanks Latour - but many of our readings have become almost transcendent for me. I think about them in so many other contexts, especially Teju Cole's White Savior Industrial Complex, Bruno Latour's Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene, and Paolo Freire. Honestly though, most of the readings were incredible, espeically towards the end. It was really interesting to see how all the different moving pieces came together, from destructive play to toads to SciFi. Not to mention the introduction of the word teleological into my vocabulary! something surprising that I learned about my approach to readings is that I take everything in a little too easily, I think. I'm easily swayed by the academic texts put in front of me, and sometimes find it hard to take a moment to reflect and figure out if I really believe it, and how it intersects with other readings and beliefs of mine. This class helped me figure out the lens I was using to read and view not just the texts in this class but in all my classes. In that, I think I'm going to pursue an independent major studying the way we learn and teach social justice. I knew coming into the school year that I wanted to work in the anti-trafficking field, but Anne, my classmates, and the readings have really shown me what I value. Thank you for being there for me to take risks in my beliefs, too. That has been so valuable.

Oh, my classmates! You are all so brilliant. I love reading your posts and listening to you in class. I'm glad we got to a point where we could be vulnerable with each other- it made everything so much more important and comfortable. 

I’m disappointed in myself for the period where I was struggling to get the essays done. It meant that I couldn’t hone my writing skills like I wanted or needed to. I needed to have worked more on my revision skills, to refine my clarity and accessibility, but the month I got behind was the month that we were truly working on revisions.
If the Friday essays taught me anything it was that I need time to write. Time to think, time to process, time to revise. My meetings with Anne have really helped me understand the way I think and work, which is invaluable going into the rest of my time here and in general, espeically if I want to end up doing activism and/or education work.