graphic novel > academic writing?
This week has been one of my favorite weeks at college, ever. I think it has a lot to do with the conversations we’ve been having in class. I’ve been connecting things from this class to lots of things in my life outside of class, I’ve been reading more, thinking more, smiling more, and writing. I feel really lucky to have been a part of reading what we’ve read and saying what we’ve said this week, and I feel sad to be saying goodbye to this unit. I hope that we can make graphic novels as exciting as academic writing (I’m laughing at myself because the response to that seems so glaringly obvious to me: YES! OF COURSE WE CAN!)
One of the questions I’ve been asking myself this week in response to our readings and discussions about making the academy more accessible is: what is my personal responsibility in facilitating this change?
I have spent my entire life immersed in a environment of privilege. I’m white; I’m good at school; my gender and sexual orientation mesh with what other people think they should be; I’ve always known/felt that I am loved unconditionally; I’m Jewish; as a teenager, I spent my summers at expensive Quaker camp...
I am aware of how lucky I am (my parents made damn sure of it). Despite my awareness, or maybe because of it, sometimes I feel completely and utterly paralyzed to do anything. Here’s part of an e-mail I sent to a friend a couple of years ago as I was trying to work through this issue:
My existence in this country affirms that the genocide and enslavement that happened (and happen) on this continent are OK. I can believe and say that genocide and slavery are wrong, but I won’t leave. Actions speak louder than words.
Conversely, the times when I feel most excited and ready to take on challenges and be a part of change are when I’m not thinking critically about my privilege--when I let myself feel human before feeling white. I feel ready to work after reading poems like Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. She says:
[I] do not have to be good...[I] only have to let the soft animal of my body love what it loves.
But if all I crave is to knit and listen to NPR, then maybe, that isn’t enough. ahhhhhhhh, the paradox.