I am genuinely saddened to be writing my final blog post for this class. I have come to love the process of blogging, its structured freedom, and its catharsis.
I have always loved writing but always utilized it as a tool rather than a form of expression. This course somehow walked the fine line of enabling both to be made possible. I have blogged about past, present, and future in this class; each piece with a focus but with an aspect of flexibility that allowed me to be both creative as well as diligent in my subject matter. I expected to enjoy this aspect of the class, but I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did.
I found it ironic that the class had such structure in maintaining a cadence and flow, but very little guidance in the way of content. To me, this was liberating. What’s more is that the form and function of assignments meant that the work we were expected to produce had the potential for lasting value. We have all written papers, reports, dissertations, case studies, and so on, only to have them ferreted away in a file buried deep within an aging hard drive. Not here.
When I first started this class I was hard on the hunt for a job in tech marketing, so I made it a point to write a blog on the topic. I am proud to say that I submitted that blog as a writing sample to my dream job, and got it. So, in that sense, without this class who knows if I would have gotten past that gateway.
One of the reasons I believe that it was even possible to have produced such work in a class with so little guidance on content, is the fact that we hold ourselves to a higher standard knowing more than one person will read our work. I, for one, knew that each and every one of you reading this post might potentially read another and I felt obligated to deliver something compelling and rewarding for you in the process. Certainly, all of us should feel responsible for producing quality work in our academic endeavors, but there is a heightened awareness to what you are putting out into the ether when you speak to a wider audience, that it might reflect on your character and competency more keenly.
This was made evident in each and every class discussion. Anecdotally this was far and away the most engaged I have experienced a body of students. The fact that we all live and breathe the subject matter, along with the genuine feeling that we were colleagues and not just classmates, made me feel comfortable challenging others and thoroughly enjoying being challenged. I will put it this way; I had my mind changed on a topic in almost every session, and for me, that is the quintessence of learning.
I also feel that the dynamic between undergraduate and graduate students sharing the same (cyber)space was a boon to the overall breadth of perspectives that were shared. I have nothing but respect for the intelligent, well-read, and thoughtful demeanor of the undergraduate students whom I encountered and learned from over the semester. I sincerely hope that the perspectives that we graduate students were valuable in return. I believe BC has a long way to go in breaking down the barriers between schools and age groups, and where BC fails to connect students of all walks of life in a cohesive and constructive environment, I believe Professor Kane’s class succeeds. Indeed, he is an example, as are the graduate students, that we are ever students in this life and that we should look to everyone who we encounter, not just those higher up or further along, for wisdom and enlightenment.
Where I did not feel like I learned, I still feel like I gained respect. I genuinely tried to become a Twitter user, only to find that I just cannot bring myself to engage with that platform. That being said, I now see its value as a lightning fast news source. I am on the fence about deleting it, but I think I will keep it, for now, to see if maybe I can broaden my horizons beyond just topics related to this class which in turn may instill a more lasting desire to use the platform.
In the end, it was you, my colleagues, along with Professor Kane’s indefatigable and enthusiastic nature that made this class so valuable to me. As we part ways, I mean it sincerely when I say that I would be happy to continue to be a colleague and resource to each and every one of you. Though I hope our paths will cross again, until then, best of luck to you all. And with that, I’ll leave you with a musing.
Interconnectedness of Thought (We are the IoT)
The world we walk has many paths,
Each leads forward and none go back.
Our memories fade like evening light.
Some we chase,
some we fight.
But stay the ones you choose to share,
and tender in another’s care.
Embrace the power of the crowd.
To speak your mind,
and speak it loud.