Reflection on GIST
Where were you when we began this process?
My mind was a bit less broad and I think I had a better sense of the world.
Where are you now?
I’m not terribly sure. The mind, like the universe, is ever expanding? That’s if there is a universe. That’s if I have a mind.
What’s been happening in between?
As I’ve said to Anne before, regrettably in a state of tears and little sleep, I’ve felt a more or less consistent lack of connection between my postings and those of others online. Most of the time I tried to respond directly to someone’s posting in hopes to generate a dialogue, but this often fell short. I think it improved more greatly by the end of the semester.
I’ve also been trying to keep a look out for silly things online that seemed relevant to our course, such as the LOL theorist image. I seemed to find myself wanting to jump-start people’s thinking more rather than be the one who’s been jump-started.
How have you been learning? What have you been learning?
Everything is related to GIST. That’s all I’ve been learning about. I have countless people about this class throughout the semester and found that taking this class made me have some interesting discussions with people that I probably wouldn’t have thought to have otherwise. Last year I would hear people talk about how they were so interested about what they were talking about in class that they’d have conversations that last late into the night about it. I never really experienced that until this semester.
Where do you think that the edges of your learning now lie?
What did you bring with you, that you are now leaving behind?
A lot of texts and thoughts and ideas about gender and how certain subjects should just stay separate from each other.
I also, for some reason, never really thought the digital humanities were that relevant or that interesting to my life. My boss in acquisitions told me that I should be in touch with Katherine Rowe, that as an English major it should be something to look out for in my future.
What have you picked up, while here, that you will carry on with you?
My final paper makes it sound like I hated Steven Johnson’s Everything Bad is Good for You. Which I did, in many ways. But in other ways it was one of the most wonderful things I’ve read in a long time. I do not know if it was because the writing was easily accessible, or because it was on a topic I’m interested in, or simply because it was on paper, but I thoroughly enjoyed the act of reading the book. Last week (or earlier this week? I can’t tell the difference) I picked up a fiction book I bought the first week of freshman year. It’s a hefty book, and I never really had the chance to get past a couple of pages. But I started reading it again. With this course (and this semester) being so heavily reliant on technology and computers and the internet I have never been more grateful to read a book just for the sake of reading a book. I didn’t feel pressured into either hyper reading or close reading. I just read.
Another thing that I will leave here with is my curiosity and interest in Library and Information Science (LIS). I know a lot more about what we do with information—how we convey it and preserve it, and how the digital realm directly affects these issues. I have an internship this summer in Thomas’ Special Collections department in which I will be cataloging artifacts. My aim is to keep exploring the field until I can really see where I want to go with it. That’s with keeping an ever watchful eye on the digital humanities, of course.