Self-Evaluation and Reflection.
English, as a subject, and I have ave a tenuous relationship at best: I usually don't 'understand' English, and English seems to enjoy grinding me into Julia-paste. As other similar classes, we are parting with a healthy respect for each other and a polite hat-tip, and quietly grateful for a break from each other. In this class, I’ve been learning about labels, about information, about other peoples’ points of view.
My class contribution and presence haven't been significant, but I my interest in internet and gaming culture helped me bring an outside viewpoint to our discussions. As my portfolio shows, I haven't been very good about the number web postings, mostly because it never felt like I had anything significant to contribute. But, I can honestly say I poured a lot of myself into my essays, and put much more effort into them.
I've learned my writing likes to stall out on me, and the kind of effort it takes to make it move. It's always easy, but the satisfaction of a finished paper is pretty great.
I brought in my own experience with gender in science, what’s it’s like to be a girl in mixed-gender calculus class. This side didn’t show up as much in discussion or our papers, but I believe it significantly affected my expectation of a class with ‘gender’ in its title. Gender, I believed, was everything: the reason science and technology developed the way they did, the logic behind they way systems are created, how information is sorted, why information is sorted. Surely the class would reflect that, given the environment (Bryn Mawr; women’s school) and instructors (female) and the subject (gender studies).
And it did, the material reflected what it was like to be a woman in a man’s lab, a feminist in a standard field of study. But that wasn’t all it did. GIST also threw light on other aspects of information, science, and technology. Gender is a factor, I learned, but it’s not the only one that matters.
I picked up a new respect for information. Before GIST, mixed-gender classes always felt like a battle to prove I was just as good as the boys. But information, unfiltered information, doesn’t have a gender; it simply exists and passes itself on. Now, it feels like information is the link that threads gender, science, and technology together, and it feels much less accusatory (if women had been on the first personal computer team, if women had been allowed to work on first programs).