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Self Evaluation!

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Nkechi Ampah

Ecological Imaginings

Spring 2015

Self Evaluation


Ecological Imaginings has definitely changed my perspective on classroom dynamics. I was sure, after last semester when I took Critical Feminist Studies, that there was no way to blend the elements of a collaborative classroom with traditional academia without it being at least a little painful. I was wrong. I had an incredible time in this class this semester. The biggest marker for me, was that I was completely engaged with the subject matter at every unit.

So much so, that the concepts continually made their way into my own life. The rabbit/duck “optical illusion” highlighted false play for me, which has continued to stay with me, and inform my opinions about higher education. The concept of ecological time and space, sharing space in the world, helped me, and the class, think about the ways in which we take space in class, which is directly, from someone else(while that sounds ominous, this is a good thing when done mindfully). Last semester, I thought about this as well. I had always struggled with speaking up in classes, and I was much more confident after CritFem, but it was kind of like learning to ride a horse for the first time(I imagine, I don’t know how to ride a horse, but I did watch that movie about the black kids that learn to be cowboys against racism), I had enough confidence, but didn’t use the restraints nearly as much. This semester, I was really conscious of that. To not use my voice to continually put out my thoughts and feelings, but rather, to be aware of the needs, thoughts, and feelings of others. When structuring the teach in, I met with many of my fellow classmates beforehand. This was an interesting experience for me, to help other students flesh out their ideas, and really listen to what they had and help it work more cooperatively with others. I felt really selfish at the end of last semester(an interesting thought as my first thought was to call the work done in the teach in some sort of assistance to others, when really, they also helped me), and I’m glad I’ve done more work with working collaboratively with others. It relates back to my thought about collaboration needing to look more like a braid(first unit The Hungry Tide, Amitav Ghosh), This is the second biggest area of growth I saw in myself this semester.

I am also really proud of the work I’ve done this semester. I made all of my web events interesting to me, and also ecological. At some points, it felt like ecological was a catch all phrase, used for any and everything, when we wanted it to relate to the class. However, I would argue that everything we did was actually related. The intersections of all of the work from this class is very visible. Also, I turned them in far more on time than I had previously(an ironic bit here, I know).

And speaking of Serendip, major growth there! This semester, I changed my name, from name, to my actual name, nkechi. I had struggled before to claim my words and be more authentic, but I am working towards becoming more of a public intellectual. Initially, that term terrified me, what responsibilities does a public intellectual have? What if I am misunderstood and that is held against me for all time to come? This is something I’ve lost the fear about. Like Myspace, things that you put out into the world become old and obsolete, the same can be said about our writing, and opinions. Serendip has allowed me the opportunity to go back and not edit, but rather, respond to myself, challenge my earlier ideas, and respond to others who do the same. I am excited by Serendip these days, rather than afraid of its potential, or rather, my potential with it. This is not to say that it has been all smooth sailing. I still struggled with committing to putting up posts in a timely manner, and, about things that interested me less than the conversations we had in class. I don’t mean to say that these things are not important, in fact, they were one of the biggest ways I struggled last semester, but, I won’t lie, I’m still pretty proud of myself.

I will end this self evaluation as I tend to do with all of them, with goals for the future, although I don’t know when again I’ll take a class with you, Anne (sad :( ). Things I need to work on, communication, I want to not let fear have me drop off the face of the earth, moving up my posting, being more ecological about sharing ideas, and contributing to the conversation being had not only in class, but also online, and lastly, punctuality, the time has come for being prompt, or perhaps the time has already come, and this is yet another example of lateness.

I really hope to take another class with you, Anne, or at the very least, on Serendip, which is basically like having class forever.


Till then,