Ecological Imaginings is a Bryn Mawr English class like none other, at least that is what I have surmised after having taken English classes on this campus for four semesters now. In this class I have learned about the importance of the class as a team. It may be true that we are individuals who all ended up having to work together because we all signed up for the course, not necessarily the people, but even still, I have come to realize that, to an extent, we are responsible for one another’s education as well as our own.
When taking the idea that we are responsible for one another’s education into consideration, I can’t help thinking about class participation. I want to assert that I am not uncomfortable speaking in class, for the most part, but I will also acknowledge that I did not speak as often as Anne (and maybe even other classmates) would have preferred. This truth is not specific to this class, however. I have had similar experiences throughout my education and in various class settings. There are times when educators and peers have appreciated what I have had to say even if I don’t speak every day and there are times when it seems like they don’t because they would rather I speak more often than not. What I try to remind myself, however, is what one of my high school science teachers said to me once in a conference. She said, “Celeste, there are a lot of students in the class who talk a lot and say nothing; you don’t talk a lot but when you say something, it’s something.” Although this bit of encouragement may not be applicable to every classroom situation that I find myself in, it is something that reminds me not only to use my voice but to say something that I truly believe is meaningful and contributive. I hope that I have not let the class down in this respect.
As for the written works and projects that I have produced for this class, I know that I have not been consistent with the formats expression styles I have attempted to tackle. I had never been in an English class that allowed room for such creativity, that was open to assignment ideas that were not traditional papers or presentation with topics that had already been predetermined by the instructor. I want to take full advantage of this freedom. That having been said, I do not know if doing such has helped or hindered my progression in this class. I like to think it was beneficial because I think it allowed me continuously challenge my approach to addressing a question that I posed relating to the materials we were covering.
Overall, I know that there are things I could have and wanted to do differently, but I also know that there are things that I would not have done differently at all. This class challenged my expectations of the structure of a class. Through collaboration, creative approaches to assignments, participation, and active listening, I have come to realize the holistic value of a class that incorporates ecology, English, creativity, and spaces for conversation inside and outside the classroom.