As with all new classes, I came into this class somewhat terrified and overwhelmed and possibly hoping that it would provide me with a space in my schedule where I at least felt somewhat comfortable in the sense of already having an idea about what counts for feminism and what counts for feminist theory. I was also looking forward to learning much more about feminist topics and the ways in which they play out in the world at large. I feel like this class gave me all of those things, while also pushing me to be more self-aware and more adventurous/creative in my approach to acadedmic work, as well as inspiring me to action as opposed to only working with theory.
In thinking about the edges of my individual learning, I think this class highlighted three posible areas of needed growth for me. The first, and possibly most important to me, is that it continuosly challenged me to reconsider how I speak, what I speak to, and to whom I address my comments. It helped me to feel way more comfortable with being unsure and with being criticized, and it also helped me to think through how to have a productive conversation across various levels of understanding, which has led directly to my final project of attepting to institute a changing conversation about gender on our campus and in our community.
The second area where I feel like I've started to grow and will continue to grow is my understanding of how to do academia. I came into BMC with a very idea of academic work being dry readings, dry lectures, and dry and impersonal writing. This class has led me to challenge myself to work away from that particular comfort zone and to further consider the role of dialogue and creativity in our expanding understandings of our world. From our unconventional class structure, to our use of social media as a means of communication, I feel like this class changed my understanding of how to be a student, and pushed me to think more creatively about how to write, what and how to read, and how to view.
Finally, this class has challenged me to be a more careful reader of a variety of media. It's always been easy for me to read a boring text carefully, but I've struggled with reading anything enjoyable with a critical eye. Since our class materials covered such a broad spectrum, I feel like this class has helped me to become more practiced in critical reading. i feel like this is a skill that will stick with me through a variety of future challenges.
As a whole, there were definitely times where I found it difficult to understand why we were working on some of the things we were working on, and times where I felt like I didn't know if I should speak or not, but I think that beginning to work through those frustrations and fears will actually help me as I move forward. That said, I will say that I enjoyed everyone's commentary, and that I will miss the community that we have only just started to build here. One of the sadnesses of a class like this is that it feels, to me, like we're ending just as we were beginning.