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Ch 1: Introductions Field Notes

Into the Rabbit Hole…

            I think like most of my experience in the English-Writing program so far, I am in a state of dazed confusion but intrigue after our first class. I initially wasn’t going to take this course because I was having to decide between a few paths I thought I should take; but in the end, I made the switch both because of listening to this fantastic podcast from the New York Times called Rabbit Hole and listening to Dr. Zamora and Prof. Levine talk on the Check the O.L. podcast.

One of the major things that stood out to me last semester was how writing is an act of civil engagement. I know how obvious that sounds, but I just have to admit that it wasn’t intuitive for me to think of writing in those terms. Obviously, writing is always a form of interacting with society on some level because you are writing and people are reading it; but, it is one thing to interact and it is another to be a participant. I didn’t make the connection to what a powerful act it is to be a participant in society as a writer until coming to Kean.

As I listened to Rabbit Hole and then to the Check the O.L. podcast about different areas of technology and how it impacts society/education, I had that feeling again of awe about the importance of being a participant. I’ve expressed in past blogs how I have been in survival mode for a while now, which can often lead to a kind of mindless walking through life. You do what is in front of you and just hope you can keep moving forward. Now that I have been able to slow down and look around at the world, instead of at one little spot right in front of me, I feel a stirring of something – fear, curiosity, feeling alive? Probably all of the above.

So this semester, I am feeling the stirring of being a participant not only with my writing but as a user of technology. I am especially interested in the focus on how it relates to the post-pandemic university as I see (even with the very small amount of knowledge I currently have) how education is never going to be the same. Not only will it not be the same, but education shouldn’t be the same because many of the old ways aren’t working. I can sense the harm of being uninformed about the changes that are happening with tech and education (good and bad) and that being informed is the beginning of being a participant.

In my various times working and being a student in higher education, I always had a true passion for figuring out how to help students learn better. I didn’t have all the tools I needed in the past, and I still don’t, but I see the impact that a class like this can have in being better equipped. Learning about NetNarr through the Check the O.L. podcast and now being in it makes me feel the return of that passion. I am excited to start learning and collaborating with this group of peers, and I look forward to continuing to have my mind expanded and healed.

4 replies on “Into the Rabbit Hole…”

Amber,

It was quite a surprise seeing you show up in our roster (I mean that positively) as I remember what direction you said you wanted to take, but it’s interesting that you made that decision after thinking more introspectively in the act of writing and what it means to you.

I feel this graduate program is as you said, a walk through constantly shifting directions. It can be scary but I commend you for allowing yourself to open up to these experiences and learn form it as much as it can learn from you.

I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of things you have to say about this course. I hope you find what you’re looking for here and you can always rely on all of us to help out.

Thank you Hugo, I appreciate the encouragement and confidence! I know, it was a hard choice to decide, but honestly I am thankful I did because I look forward to being with everyone again. In the end, it was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up 🙂

Your words Amber fit very much the direction Dr Zamora and I hoped for the first time we taught the class, about using our ideas, experiences expressed through digital art to imagine a better world. Not a distant utopia, but one just around the corner from now.

I will say too I have no clear idea what the post pandemic university will look like, but as a kid and a student I always believed by the year 2000 we’d be in those flying cars.

Looking forward to your imagination flowing here.

Prof Levine, I am really looking forward to learning from/with you and Dr. Zamora. I realized as I was considering switching over to this class that it was an opportunity to be involved in something that was unique so I am happy to be here!

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