Remembering and Wishing

sterrab's picture

            I was a tourist. And so I stated as I reflected on one month of participation on Serendip and the course. I had been fascinated by the interactive work on the online platform and the subdiscipline of the digital humanities. On my first day, I assumed many things about the course and myself. I guess that’s why we should never assume things. I had eventually evolved out of the generalizations I had made.  I finally adopted the open classroom and the interesting discussions that branched out from title analyses or word definitions and were ongoing on Serendip. But there I was again, an observer, failing to pull my camera down to see what lay ahead of me with my own eyes.

            I have tended to remain silent many times, but not out of shyness or indifference. I grew to listen to what my classmates had to say, as I found the conversations to be intricately fascinating and chose to sit back and take in.  I can be a silent participant, but I did speak up every once in a while when I thought my contributions could be useful to the comments of others. Even if the board activities were imposing, I like how they sometimes forced me to be more outwardly vocal. I sometimes feel too self-conscious about my opinions that I do not speak up. The board activities challenged me to get up and share something, whatever it may be, finally stating what I kept to myself out of hesitation.

            I regret not participating as much in the online group discussions on Serendip. I posted my weekly Sunday posting, but not much else. I would comment on the group threads rarely. Sometimes, I just found nothing else to add to the conversation, and I was again just silently on the surface of the webpage, never entangled in the web.

            Although I may sound to have not put more time in being more vocal and participatory, I did grow intellectually and personally. The course readings kept me alert in the English language and culture and humanities in general, given my minimal background in the field. I am honestly not sure how I may have contributed to the learning of others, but I feel that my stance in providing the other perspective and the different cultural background especially when reading Persepolis was beneficial to them.

            Persepolis hit the peak of my joy and pleasure in the reading list of the course. As mentioned in my previous webpost and 2nd webpaper, I was able to identify with the culture of the book. Other readings were interesting and fascinating to learn about, but I might have just grazed the surface as I could not relate to some of the things that were referenced, Margaret Price’s work included. Throughout the course of the semester, I grew more critical of the readings, the word choice, and the title of the work we read. However, many times my social and cultural difference set me astray, not letting me penetrate beyond the surface of the words and text.

            My online postings were independent from the other reflections posted by my classmates, and most independent of mine. The Sunday web postings on Serendip, were for me a time and space to expand on some of the things that were briefly mentioned or that I found of interest outside of the course discussion. I did put much time and thought in formulating my Sunday web postings and my 3 webpapers. The quality of my postings and the web events have improved over the course of the semester, as they became more loose and free in thought. I particularly enjoyed my 2nd web event where I examined the genre of my life writing. I would never have imagined to write about my life story or a fragment of it, but there I was finally opening myself and sharing a piece of me. I think that that moment marked a crucial point in my evolution in the course and in me. I  finally had the guts to go beyond my comfort zone and write about my story, or rather the gaps in it.

            Even if there may be things I appear to have not completed at full capacity, I did put all my effort in learning from the humanities, to which I was vaguely familiar. I am really glad to have made the decision to take the course, because I really learned tremendously. I thank my classmates and Anne Dalke for an incredible, memorable experience!