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.