I’m a little sad to see this class come to an end. It was a little ray of progressive sunshine in my first semester as a full time college student, and honestly my favorite class I’ve ever taken (as dramatic as that sounds). My high school senior year English teacher taught me just how important self reflection can be, so I’ll try to be honest with myself without being too negative.
I think self reflection is difficult in that it’s very much like observing yourself grow physically (since I guess it is quite literally observing yourself grow mentally and/or emotionally). You know you’re taller than you were when you were five, or that your favorite pair of jeans don’t fit anymore, but you never really saw yourself changing. I guess that’s how I feel about this class.
While I am an English major and a self proclaimed writer, I have never been a strong essay writer. I don’t think my essay writing skills have improved much, but I do think they have bettered some. I don’t know how many teachers I’ve had before that have given me a mediocre mark or a “needs improvement” without being able to tell me what to improve or how to do it. Beck’s and my peers’ constructive criticism has really benefitted me. As someone who spent a rather large chunk of her time in high school as a journalist, I’ve learned to really thrive and improve myself from others’ corrections and suggestions.
However, the area that I think I’ve improved the most in would be my world view. While a lot of enjoyment in this class came from being in an environment where others shared my views and added to them with thoughts that fit with and expanded on my values, I also learned to think about these issues more deeply. I learned to ask myself “why?” until I can’t answer and then decide to find someone or something that can. And then I’ve realized there sometimes aren’t answers, or at least ones I’ll find anytime soon. When I was really little, I was one of those kids who asked why to everything. Everything. And it annoyed everyone around me. I guess I learned to be that again, just with myself instead.
Reading feminist literature and essays as well as pondering questions about personhood, gender, race, class, and other things has bettered me not only as a critical thinker and feminist, but a person as well. Without this class, my understanding of feminism and other like movements would be superficial to say the least. Even if just how much I’ve changed isn’t so clear to me, it is clear that I’ve grown. So thank you to every one of you for helping me do so.