City Tech, Fall 2016

Category: Midsemester Reflections (Page 1 of 2)

Mid Reflection.

Reflection.

Since we began this course I know we’ve done a couple in class reflections or free writing exercises that a little bit of reflection. As a writer I believe I haven’t changed much. I’d hope this would be different but in all honesty I haven’t kept up with my practice writing with my weekly blog post and comments. When it comes to analyzing text and understanding a story I do think I’ve changed.

Being able to understand a character’s motives, how they interact with other characters and overall the importance of their actions in a setting or story. I know that I was able to do this before but it is different now because I look deeper. The constant questioning you made us do, and looking for evidence to back our ideas and conclusions, looking at the smallest things to help us see why they do what they do.

The power and scope of science fiction was something that wasn’t lost to me before this class. I know that many science fiction works from books to movies have influenced our society in big ways. A connection I noticed after watching the short film of the machine, and blade runner, as well as reading a Brave new world and Do androids dream of electric sheep was with the company Apple. Early on before they became what we know today they had an unveiling of an early personal computer. The idea behind the marketing was that they wanted to sell a computer that was different from the boring office IBM and microsoft computers that were the norm. The painted this picture with a very controversial commercial that showed hundreds of people dressed the same, same bald heads, etc. They all looked like robots or androids. Then comes in the hero; a woman running through the middle of all the androids with a giant sledge hammer. She throws and smashes a giant screen that was talking and brainwashing the crowd. I saw a direct connection not only in the idea, to (Do androids dream of electric sheep), but I also saw a visual connection to blade runner.

This inspiration on these science fiction classics is something I love. I want to design street wear and start my own brand with my illustrations and ideas. Many of the logos, and graphics I create are inspired by films and books. Their typefaces, logos, poster designs, the imagery in a scene, a piece of clothing a character wore, or an interesting phrase or quote a character said that stays with me. I grab inspiration from pretty much everything around me. I know that science fiction still till this day is looked on like a genre for nerds but everywhere you look you can see references to it and how it inspires products. Clothing that famous designers create, the cars we see today inspired by films from decades ago. Technology we use today inspired by ideas that were hinted in movies and books. One thing I noticed and love is how the writers of the books we read basically predicted the future?  In a brave new world they predicted a helicopter / plane. It could take off vertically like a helicopter but once in air, it’s propellers would shift forward and it would fly like a plane. That is incredible.

A new idea, or well not new idea but rather something I noticed in these writings was the importance of religion. I grew up Roman Catholic and I went through all of the customs and things Catholics. But as soon as I was old enough to make my own choices I stopped going to church. So I’ve never been into religion personally I knew that it was important for many. I like the idea of learning about religion and where it began and it’s history but I always had an issue with evidence. What I found interesting in pretty much every single one of our readings was the importance of religion. How in many of the “Advanced” societies that we read about they would talk about advancing past the nonsense of religion and gods, but as you continued you’d notice how they’ve developed their own religions. Praising machines, or the government and listening to their rules. I found it interesting how all these societies no matter how advanced still had many of our issues. The second things were out of their hands, they’d become stressed and look up to a powerful being for help and structure. For a brave new world it was the world state and soma to make them feel good and structured. For the Machine Stops it was of course the machine to make them feel safe inside their little bubble.

For the next half of the semester, I hope to just continue looking at and being exposed to reading and stories I haven’t seen before and I hope to become a better writer. I’m pretty much just over the place now spitting out my ideas as I go. This was just like a free writing exercise for me.

My Tangential, Meta-Analysis of Self-Reflection

As you have seen with my posts as a whole, 750 words shouldn’t seem to be a hard thing to do. And yet, I feel like it’s so much more difficult to write about myself in this specific post; a meta analysis of myself as a student versus an analysis of a text. The textual analysis seems easy to do and comes naturally to me, since it’s a narrow scope to work with and there seems to always be something interestingly specific I want to talk about from the readings. Though it’s not apparent, when you’re given a limitation to what to write about you usually write better contrary to what you probably believe. When you’re given no scope, then you don’t know where to start and the process becomes muddled and difficult to initiate…so I guess this rambling is a good way to start my reflective analysis since I’m a pretty introspective person in general who tends to go on tangents; this prelude speaks a lot about me.

When it comes to analyzing texts of any kind (books, short stories, comics, films, etc.) I always tend to look deeper into their significance, even before this class. It would be a lie to say that this class taught me to think about text in a critical way, since in my own “neurosis and OCD” (don’t really have that, but feel like I treat things that way), I actively seek out the connections and allusions texts make to either other texts or to the real world. However, that being said, this class is helping me with my issue of over-analyzing texts because I do sometimes tend to extrapolate far past the intended meaning of a text through. The strict attention to having support to claims and the amount of support you need for those claims is cumbersome for me, but also very good at grounding what I say in my analysis of texts; so for that, I appreciate this aspect that you highly emphasis us to do and am taking note to use this more effectively in the future when I read into other texts outside of this class.

One thing that challenged my assumptions was the fact that Science-Fiction can be used as a driving force for discussing ideas that people either do not openly want to talk about or about concepts that are difficult to grasp. Don’t get me wrong, I think that a lot of classic literature (those that remained timeless) tried to challenge ideas and serve a purpose beyond entertainment, but I didn’t take Science-Fiction so seriously in this regard. Case in point, Brave New World; I read this book before in high school, but completely forgot about it because I read it on my own, didn’t look into it, and practically forgot what happened in the book. I did not take it seriously, since it did not seem like it was trying to make a commentary (at least in my mind) compared to 1984, a book that I knew was attacking the ideology of Communism. I just heard on a whim that the two books were similar, so I read Brave New World on my own and all I retained from that before coming to this class was that “it’s a book about different sets of people based on how they were genetically manipulated”, coupled with a good plot. Now I know that it’s commentary, the major theme I took away from it, was that the idea of manufactured, unified happiness seems to be the goal of our society. Moreover, I’m seeing this “manufactured happiness” in our own world, in our mass consumption of media, entertainment, and “escapes” (with drugs, alcohol, and even the internet); much different view from what I had about the book a few years ago.

This idea of using Science-Fiction to parallel our own lives will greatly play a role in stories and plots I’m planning to write for myself later down the road. As an aspiring, amateur writer (among other “amateur” ventures I tie myself into), I will definitely consider utilizing larger scoped messages in the work I want to produce. I believe with this added depth, my own work could be both enjoyable through entertainment and through introspective thinking; I would like to have it akin to solving a mystery or having a “tip of the iceberg” effect, similar to what Hemingway also conveys in his writing. (As you saw with the “Work In Progress” comic I lent you, you can see that I aim at manipulating the reader, but if I can also do that with purpose I believe it would immensely add to my writing [just another tool to exploit I guess…].)

Seeing as how I’m not sure what the other half of the semester entails, I don’t know what I’m looking forward to. That being said, I do like what this course has provided with us so far. I’ve liked every reading we have done thus far, so whatever is planned out in the future I will probably also like, assuming it continues to follow this routine and track. (And if the format changes, I assume it serves a purpose, in which case I’ll greet it with an open-mind regardless.)

Mid-semester Reflection

I didn’t know what to expect when I first signed up for this class. My initial thoughts were reading about aliens and space travel. I was wrong from the start. I learned that science fiction has the real elements of a fictional story such as plot, protagonist, antagonists and conflicts that lead to a climactic element. However, science fiction makes you think more about what you are reading. Your’e in a futuristic or alternate reality setting. With technological advances being the norm, it really makes the reader think what we can do (or possibly should not do) with our advances in technology that affect our everyday lives.  I also learned that values of a culture play a major part in science fiction. They mold its constituents into a certain life perspective. Lastly, I learned how to take textual evidence to support claims about the books we’ve read. It helped to really delve into not what only a character is saying, but what he/she is implying or trying to communicate to others.

With science fiction, its’ plot is grounded in reality, meaning that even though we are in a fictional world, real things still exist as they would in everyday life. There are socioeconomic differences in the stories. (Metropolis, Brave New World) People can have families, homes and dreams even though there reality is vastly different from ours. In Brave New World, characters such as Bernard and Hemholtz had their places in society as the “cream of the crop” by being in the Alpha class. However, they couldn’t be more different. Hemholtz always had something to say or to be done but couldn’t find a proper outlet for it, being a university lecturer. Bernard, a specialist in hynopaedic training, had detested what the society offers. Conventional sex and popping soma like skittles made him a social outcast for a short while. (Chapter 3).

Technology is always a critical part of any science fiction story. It makes the reader question whether what limit humanity is willing to push in order to make technological advances. “Do Androids dream of electric sheep?” is a great example. In a world where mechanical beings known as “Andys” are considered illegal on earth due to the fact that they can be so alike to humans and were able to kill them on Mars as well, that bounty hunters are hired to execute them if they are found on our planet. The Nexus 6 is the closest machine has been to man and it scares them. Guys like Rick are the gunslingers to ‘retire’ them, even though he questions his own humanity as each killing occurs. The question arises; if we can, does it mean we should?   Technology is a big factor in Brave New World as well. Humanity has mastered mass production of biology. People are no longer born, but manufactured. What does this lead to? Well, it’s a hierarchy literally made up of letters which determine your place in society. People are conditioned to life that is not really their own, rather a standardized life where everything is predetermined for them. The clothes they wear, the jobs they do, even what they are allowed to know.  The question arises again; should we be doing this?

Textual evidence to support claims was a big learning experience for me. I never really read critically for as long as I’ve read books. But thanks to this class, reading in between the lines has become easier. Take for example ” “You made some bounty money today,” Iran said accusingly. Rick said, “Yes, I retired three andys… Something went wrong today; something about retiring them” (pg 170) From this, you can extrapolate a lot of information about both characters. Iran’s tone suggests that she does not like what he does as a living (bounty hunter) and she might have some empathy for the androids. Rick uses the euphemism of “retiring” instead of killing to make his job seem more tolerable. It shows how maybe the life of a bounty hunter may make him question his own humanity. From this you can conclude a conflict between this married couple, both concerning marriage and their own separate lives.

Overall, science fiction is an art that is deserving of your attention and interpretation of the stories that feed the imagination. They have all the elements of fiction with the addition of a speculative point of view such as alternate realities or futuristic settings. Technology not only molds the story, but also the characters that are in the story. Lastly, learning how to read critically and finding textual evidence among the text has helped me enjoy reading much more so. I even bought the novel “1984” because of this class.

My Midsemester Reflection

So it is that time for the rest of the semester to continue on till its last final days. If there is one thing I can find it funny, it’s that time is going really fast. But no matter what, I will always find this class to be interesting. Before I came into this class, I have seen Science Fiction movies like Star Wars, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Avengers, etc.  As I seen those movies, I always define Science Fiction as a make believe story that is filled with technology, space and aliens. However, when I got into this course in the first day, I just got myself in a whole new experience of Science Fiction.

Through the times I’ve been with this class, I’ve begun to learn new things about Science Fiction. What I liked about the course is that when you read or watch anything that is part of Science Fiction, in some scenes, they actually have meanings. In other words, you have to understand what the main idea of the story is and what the details in the story mean. For example, back when we were reading a text called “Brave New World,” we, the readers, have been discussing on who the characters are in the story and what their lives are like in the future. The way how we understand what this book means is when we have to know what certain key terms the book uses to describe its important quotes. The thing that makes our discussion interesting is when we do a reasonable explanation of what the book means. We would first have to know what kind of questions the book has in stored for us readers. After that, we would answer the question by knowing which quote you had to read that goes along with that question, and when we use the quote, we then explained what that means and how it answers the question. So the fact of what makes this course interesting is knowing what Science Fiction truly means.

Although that learning more things about Science Fiction can be really good for you future knowledge, it can sometimes be a bit more challenging. But as I kept on moving forward in this course, it actually helped me solve some problems I had. For example, I didn’t really get on how you were suppose to find important details as you keep on reading the text. But I learned that in order to find the important details, you have to keep on focusing on the text, read carefully and know which details best supports to the topic of the book. Another example is when I ever find the details in the text, it was so hard to know what that detail means that it was difficult for me to explain it. During our discussion, before when we dealt with the texts, they had said that in order to really know what the details mean, you would have to read it again and annotate it to understand the details better. Things I had to learn can be rough, but as I put my mind into this course, it gives me strength to not deal with any kinds of stress.

Not only did this course help me gain experience with Science Fiction, but it also gave me some new ideas that I never thought of. For example, they taught to me that there was one major key term that every Science Fiction text have in common. And that key term is “Hierarchy .” The reason why is because I have known a bunch of Science Fictions and I didn’t realize that there was a certain term makes all texts related to one another.  At first I never knew what hierarchy was from the beginning of the class. But as I continue with the other texts we’ve gone over, it started to make sense to me. So if I see another book or movie that is Science Fiction, I would then notice where does hierarchy come into action.

With this kind of knowledge, I would start on analyzing every time I read or watch anything that involves Science Fiction. What I would do whenever I read a Science Fiction book is going over the details as I read the text. Maybe I would take out my notes and write down the important details after I annotate the quotes. As for watching movies that are Science Fiction, first thing I have to do is enjoy the movie and of course, know what’s going on. But if I see the movie again, then I would just analyze it and pause in scenes that can be meaningful. After I analyze and write down some notes from the Science Fiction movie, same thing with reading the text, I would ask myself “What does this have to relate to the real world? Could this be a potential of what’s going to happen in the future?”

What I expect to see in the rest of this semester is knowing what other kind of Science Fiction topics I’m gonna learn besides the text that involves robots. I hope to see some aliens be part of a text. Also, I would love to see if there is another movie I have to watch like how I watched Blade Runner. So I hope to see some more interesting ideas with Science Fiction than before!

Midsemester Reflection

In the beginning of the semester my greatest misunderstanding was differentiating science fiction from fantasy. At first thought it’s believed science fiction and fantasy went hand in hand. Being both are manifestations of the creative mind of the creator of the story. Also, both genres bring life to imaginative, out of the world fiction. However, midway into the semester I’m able to see the difference between science fiction and fantasy. I now understand science fiction portrays technologic and scientific advances as a way of life. Whether that advance in culture provided the ideal haven or an apocalyptic province, science fiction is very versatile in a sense of creating worlds based on systematic formations in theoretical fiction. On the other hand, fantasy has a supernatural twist on reality in terms of being abstract fiction. Overall, both science fiction and fantasy are genres that break the rules of reality sending its reader to an imaginative world of great wonder.

Even so, half way through the semester, we’ve read two science fiction novels, a number of short stories, and watched collections of film, and the common link is all had to do with world building and the hierarchy of civilization. I understand the world building and cultural advances play a huge part in science fiction, however for a long time I’ve always believed space age and creature creations (such as genetic freaks, monsters and zombies), was an important factor in the genre. It would be interesting to analyze science fiction in another light outside of cultural standards and cybernetic control. More or less, it will be great to focus on text such as “The War of the Worlds” or “The Time Machine,” just to get a group perspective on these cult classics, among others. All things considered the text reviewed half way through the semester had been enlightening in understanding human standards and what it is to be human.

Furthermore, up to this point the new ideas encountered has to do with science fiction being more than an imaginative conception of humankind. In fact, the dynamics of science fiction alters the way simple ways of a mundane world. The ability to introduce worldly possibilities into modern era is amazing, in the sense of making known to what if and what could be. Any person with an imagination could be compelled by the realistic possibilities of science fiction. Generally speaking, we live in a technological advanced society where things are simpler and useful. Majority of the world’s population rely on the convenience of technology, Science fiction embraces the philosophy that technological advances will improve society and human development. Actually, the reason I enjoy science fiction is because it sheds light on realism of human behavior surrounding their setting and situation.

In the hospitality industry, we are constantly dealing with many personalities, in addition to continuous change in settings. The mantra of the hospitality goes “to provide experience,” with that said the challenge is how can I as an individual motivate a team, at the same time provide the best experience for a nonstop rotation of people. This is an example of world building because my decision-making will determine the outcome of a small population’s happiness. Therefore, understanding human behavior and their perspectives in different scenarios is vital in hospitality. What’s more, while hierarchy is significant in science fiction, in term of hospitality that ideology is out the window. For the reason hospitality is to treat everyone as equals no matter the social status or classification, hierarchy is seen as belittling to an individual. With that said, I think this way of thinking changes the standards of world building. Instead of having a world of status and social dysfunction, everyone is equal, manifestly ridding society of ego, and later advocate the achievement for peace.

Moving forward into the semester I hope to study further into science fiction in the sense of learning how to create text-based on the genre. It’ll be a fun challenge to create a science fiction text using all I learned midway into the semester. Also, I want to challenge my understanding how to maintain a society using free will, and individuality as a focus in a social order. Moreover, it’ll be interesting to see science fiction outside of utopian/dystopian text. Instead it’ll be enriching to study science fiction using space age text, as well as focusing on science fiction in our world today, and the effects it has on our society. I believe observing science fiction around us will stimulate our understanding of the genre.

My Reflection

My general knowledge I would say has improved when I look at science fiction text from before I stepped foot into the class until now. I actually want to write a science fiction novel, and I’ve been working on it in my creative writing class. The readings and discussions have opened my mind so I notice a lot more when doing my own personal readings, the many ideas were thrown around in class have to lead me to conclusions I would have never come to myself just analyzing the text. I’m actually grateful for the many different ideas my classmates bring up during our discussions I have learned a lot even strengthened my vocabulary from listening to them speak and articulate their ideas. I have to say every class there’re an interesting subject people have very different interpretations of that leave me with a better understanding when I leave the room. I have also learned a lot more about science fiction as a whole in general, through in class discussions and my own out of class research. The Idea of a Utopia, dystopia and Utopian work I never thought about or even really read about I found very interesting, and the work we have done makes me want to read more books about the concept. I would also like to try and tie it into the story I’ve been developing for a while now giving it an interesting setting. The way we have learned to critically analyze work I can use in just about any subject especially how you taught us a different way of writing essays by putting the thesis in the conclusion. I found that very interesting and makes the writing a whole lot easier if you use your ideals to build the thesis last after finding the proof. I haven’t actually been in a writing class in almost 3 years since I can’t into college with all my English credits already, taking these classes has woken up the writer in me. I have to relearn a lot to improve my writing abilities, it’s a slow process so far but I’m making noticeable progress I think. After I graduate I will be doing a lot of critical analysis on reports, and writing reports as well especially on new technology and implementing them in projects I will be building, so I have gained a new understanding of analysis. I would hope to continue to pick up more techniques when it comes to critical analysis of text, and annotation techniques. I also would like to learn more about the writing process for science fiction, I always wondered how long does it take for someone in the field to create the many special places or these wonderful ideas. For example, the entire concept of the force in Star Wars, or designs and explanations behind each space ship and how it travels. They give a strong and intelligent basis for space travel and light speed that makes me wonder did they have to learn Rocket science just to write up designs and explanations on why this particular spaceship flies as fast as it does. I believe it takes a long time to write these worlds and stories into life so I hope we can maybe cover the process and the time it takes to get to the finished product. The two books and previous readings we have done has actually helped me on a group project I’m doing in another class basically, it deals with the pros and cons of giving Androids or Artificial intelligence human emotion. Using the work, we have read and discussed I was able to easily throw ideas around to help direct which stance we should have and give some insight to possibilities of what a future could hold with such technology and how humanity might react to it. Also, I would hope you give us a list of a few books to check out when the semester ends, something to read to help us understand more about science fiction writing. Coming into the class I could say I didn’t know much about science fiction writing, but I did love reading it and I had ideas for my own stories set in a distant time on distant planets. Now I have a new found understanding of the process and the hidden symbols and ideals you can throw into your work. As the semester carries on I hope I will absorb as much as possible and become a better writer for it.

Going For A Moment To The Past!

Never give up despite the obstacles you might encounter in your path towards success. That is my personal motto. It has helped to continue my career and achieve my goals. Although I have faced many challenges, I have learned throughout the years to never quit. On the contrary, I have courageously pushed myself to overcome those obstacles and accomplish my dreams. One of these challenges was to learn to write and read in another language. But, my appreciation for literature and infinite love for books has helped to see this challenge as a fun game with one possible outcome: win it. All this have led me to take this Science Fiction intensive writing course. At first, the main objective I was looking to acquire from this course was to improve my writing skills as well as increase my knowledge of the science fiction genre. Little did I know that this course would help me develop into a better writer, thinker, and reader while increasing my interest towards the Science Fiction genre.

At a young age, I discovered the world of Fiction and since then, I became a passionate reader of this genre. However, I never thought there are more subgenres of Fiction, and particularly the Science fiction genre. When I was introduced to this class, a new world opened to my eyes and started growing fond of the subject. Then I was faced to the inevitable: our homework assignments consisted on sharing our ideas to the rest of our fellow classmates by writing in blog through the OpenLab website. At first the thought of writing blogs about science fiction stories seemed frightening and difficult to me. Not only because of the fact that everyone in the class would read my ideas and personal thoughts, but also I was mostly afraid that I would not be able to properly write a well-developed blog without having a significant amount of grammatical errors. Nevertheless, with the help of the professor, classmates and above all my strong determination I decide to face my challenge and work to succeed them. I can only agree that my knowledge of thinking about the Science Fiction genre has significantly increased throughout the course of the semester. As the class progresses, I have become more participative in the class and group discussions, compared to when I started the course. The close readings, annotations, and analysis of each of the science fiction novels and stories have been helpful since I have been able to apply these knowledge to the rest of my courses. Surely, I have become a better critical reader and thinker as I can now easily find and analyze textual evidence from a book to support a claim or main theme. It has also helped me enrich my vocabulary as I have learned new key words and definitions that I did not utilize before in writing or speaking. By doing the blog assignments I have learn to place my ideas and thoughts in an organized way so they would sound coherently to the readers. I have improved so much since I started this journey and this has been reflected through my grade. Who would have thought that from being a pessimistic girl who thought that would always get a grade of 3 in her blogs, she would improve and become a more confident winner girl who would get 4’s and 5’s and what is most impressive, some of them being choose by the professor as featuring posts due to the good quality of my work. This has only motivate to continue to get even better and accomplish what I dream and want.

I should point out that the knowledge and skills I have obtained throughout this course has been of increasable value in other courses. I have utilized the skills and knowledge acquired from this class in other areas of study such as Philosophy, English, Math, and courses related to my Computer Engineering major. Especially my philosophy class since the majority of the time our main work is based on some close reading and analyzing of the book in order to understand the ideas the philosopher tries to convey to his readers.

Sure enough I have learned so many concepts through the course of the semester, yet I still a long way to go. I hope to learn more about the sci-fi film and some more background history behind it. I also look forward to read more stories of this genre. I want to learn all the necessary tools that would make me improve my writing skills. I might not be the greatest reader/thinker but with my strong determination and power of will help me become the best version of me.

Yesterday

I figured why not title a reflective piece the name of my favorite Beatles song pertaining to nostalgia and the past.  Now, I’m here to chew bubblegum and reflect, and I’m all out of bubblegum(and it’s disgusting!)

P.S I’m having technical difficulties right now. This was typed up on a borrowed laptop. I promise my class notes will be up before class tomorrow.

 

Man, these reflections always trip me up. It’s not that I don’t have the answers, they’re probably buried deep down in my subconscious. The thing is that writing is just so natural to me that practices and methods that I’m being taught usually don’t manifest themselves in my writing unless forcefully. I’ve been writing in very much the same way for a few years now and you can thank my English teacher in senior year for that. Yes Professor, I could go for a more formal method of writing but it’s not my style. I feel like what stands out about my writing is authenticity: I don’t phone it in. I’m unabashedly me and that’s not something I will apologize for nor correct until that becomes harmful. That being said I’ve noticed some slight differences.

For one I actually read the text. That’s not me being smart and saying that I never read, though I have been going through a drought until this course provided me with interesting texts to read. Plus I’m reading things I haven’t already read; when I was in eleventh grade I was assigned The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, one of my favorite books that I had already read in the seventh grade. But I digress.

One of the definite changes I’ve noticed in my reading is that I’m closely reading the texts I get assigned. It sounds silly but I never looked into the meaning behind the words in the millions of stories I’ve probably read throughout my whole life. I always read to entertain myself, not to analyze. But it’s astounding what you can gleam from a single paragraph of a book let alone a page. As a writer, it gives me a newfound appreciation into the writing process. Writing words isn’t as simple as typing them in on a keyboard and calling it quits like I am doing right now. It’s a process; an art form I’ve yet to discover but so desperately want to be in on. I look at back on this series of paragraphs and compare it to some of the stuff I’ve read In The Road or even in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and I cry fake tears at the realization that I may never be that good. But I guess that’s what you’re here for: to make me a better reader so that I can have a better understanding of how to get to where my favorite authors are in the hopes that I’ll develop my technique and maybe reach their heights. Or maybe that’s a lot to pin primarily on you and I need to own up to the fact that a lot of my growth as a reader and writer will hopefully happen outside of this classroom and long after our association has come to an end.

I appreciate how much this class has forced me to think. I’m still not the most fluent speaker so you rarely actually hear what I think, which is unfortunate. That’s why I need to blog more. Perhaps the text that has kept me on my toes the most is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Believe it or not for as much sci-fi as I love and consume, I’d never really read or seen a good story about androids. The argument I constantly level against sci-fi(especially books)  is that a lot of it is absolute drivel. Most of it is inconsequential and does nothing but try to thrill and land horribly; walk into the sci-fi/fantasy section of your local Barnes and Noble and bear witness to the biggest allocation of crap in one place. The reason being that most of it does not challenge what we know. *Enter Philip K. Dick, the king of getting his work adapted to the screen.* It’s so easy to say androids want to take over the world and feel superior to their overlords, us. It’s harder to write about a society based around empathy and understanding and speak to how hypocritical that society is and thus make a statement about our current time and place. It’s even harder to question whether or not we belong at the top of the hierarchy and ponder what’s real or not in a world designed to readily accept both? The real kicker for me at least: he does this in like 200 pages. It’s an excellent example of how you don’t need to endlessly expound on your thoughts to come across smarter. Sometimes being concise and getting straight to your point pays off even better. It’s magnificent how by just reading, really reading with your eyes and your brain working at the speed of light, you can take away all the thematic questions he raised and be able to learn a thing or two about writing, like I did. That’s what I feel I’ve learned in this semester so far and I didn’t even know until I put it onto this page. Funny how that works, huh?

My hope is that I’m not done here though. I don’t know what else I can learn. I feel like what I did take away was so simple that it literally hid right under my nose. So maybe it won’t be that I necessarily learn something new in the back half of the semester, but that you’ll help me realize that the tools I needed to succeed, especially as a writer, are well within grasp and something that’s almost inherently a part of me. I feel like that’s the makings of a good teacher anyway, which is what I genuinely believe you are. It’s easy to tell someone what to do, it’s harder to make someone realize they didn’t need you to. So work your magic, eh? You’ve been doing a great job so far and I can only imagine what else you’ve got in store for us.

Once more unto the breach

I always found Science Fiction as something wonderful. It shows so many things in so many different ways. It allows for a leap into the unknown or uncertain future or the past. Often it makes good guess as to what may happen and tries to teach a lesson by going to an extreme in some cases. Other times it is just good writing that makes a world that is believable and grounded in a large part. By reading and watching older works that I of the most part have not before I came to appreciate what we have now and what came before. That is not to say that older works were worse than what we have now, it was just different. The age, culture and temporal factors made them what they are vs our own. This made some of them less powerful because of what is normal now and the progress made. However this also brings in something to wonder and think about. It creates a window to those who wrote, what their fears where, what has happening around, the time, events of importance and the writers themselves. So all the works he have gone over have widened my view on Science Fiction from what it was before. It has also made me look more at the works themselves to find small things hidden with and while it was difficult to do in some of the works overall it had led to interesting ideas. Science Fiction is a deliberate act, it is not written lightly. The person writing it has a set view on an idea or set of ideas that they wish to show to others. Everyone is different, some people can be easily exposed to new ideas while others need to be pulled into a world where the ideas are at the center stage for them to get it. Also a radical world setting will put the reader into a state of questing not only the fake world before them but the real world behind as well. The ultimate goal of Science Fiction to shed light on something that is possible to happen and show the positives and negatives of it on the world. To bring forth questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no, to think about both sides of the argument. What is right, what is wrong, what is lost for what gain, is this possible or out of this world and many more questions that depend on each individuals values, morals, and views on many different things.

Overall all that I have come to believe is more or less the same form a time that I no longer recall when it was. However many of them where worded or created to be applicable over long periods of time. There has been no reason to change them, nothing has heavily changed before these reading and they lacked anything overly impactful to cause it. One of them being about human look androids, I still find them every interesting but at same time annoying in a sense. But this was set back in high school when I started battlestar galactica and the human looking androids killed off 12 full worlds and hunted down the few humans left. However as the story went on, they became an interesting factor and more alive. Their being was much different then what humans where, they could die and come back. Now that is something that many people wish for and the whole story was filled with culture that exists now and myths and stories. All of which is throughout the story and leads to an ending that ties everything together in the best possible way, this is the newer one not older one. Even if I was against human like androids I have no power over what is made or when. Also trying to destroy them or making them suffer would lead to a bad outcome. Or a bad outcome can happen even without negative action against them. Also people tend to think that humans are smarter than they are. And yet we still are without space travel, underwater cities, flying cars, advanced virtual reality and so many other things that many wrote or filmed as being done by now. Even steampunk has more advance things then we have in some cases. Science Fiction in many cases is much better then what we have now, look at star trek. They have problems that affect whole star systems and wars in deep space but earth is a utopia and overall humans are perfect, thy seek out new things, work together, and are free to do many things, they have a whole galaxy to work with. As all ways everything I learn I try and use to make myself better or to creat new ideas about the world that no one will want to hear about or will bother to understand because everyone lives within their own little world and everything outside it is just noise. Also in many cases it is just too idealistic or different to work and would not be possible. People are people and because of that there will all be problems, conflicts and overall no way to make them all happy because that is something else for everyone. Also why should they be happy when it is so much easier to be angry at the world for what it did to them? To harm others verse caring or think about what you are doing to them. Most people do not care what they do to others and even if they do they never really know the impact it makes. Everyone is in their own world, everything has a different weight in each. That is the main problem people create their own monsters and then blame them when they get hurt by them. Humanity is just to word people use to describe something they can never be, because it describes something other then what most humans are or ever will be. It fails to unite anyone, humans still kill humans for whatever reason works for them and even if you remove all of them such as region, outward looks, nations and every other factor, people would still kill other people, steal for them, hurt them and do evil. But some would still carry out good deed. That is the saving grace of humanity the fact that not people create monsters, not all are monsters and some help monsters and most just try to live their lives in a world that is not fair. Also I have no idea what we are doing next because no great detail has been give out about it. Overall I would like to improve my writing, see more Science Fiction and do new things.

Looking back…

Hey all, today I am here to reflect on my journey inside our Science Fiction literature class. Throughout the many blogs, short readings, two books, movies, quizzes and essay, I now feel as though I am adapting to the work load demanded in this setting. In the three years I have been city tech, I have always taken a English class each semester and this is the toughest one so far. It feels good to finally take a class I really like and actually have to put some effort into. Another key thing I like about this class is that most English majors i meet, or English professors never really  showed me any interest in science fiction, but i finally get to talk about a very fun topic in class and be taken seriously. Since I am young writer hoping to build on my skill I really take to heart all I have learned in this class, even though i still have long way to go still.

When the semester first began I think I was a little unprepared for the workload at first. In my experience with most English classes they never asked for much. Usually I would have a easy reading, maybe a book and a first draft for an essay. I always had an interest in reading so i could handle most stories and I never had a hard time starting an essay let alone writing so i never had to push myself. On my first day of class I realized that even if the work was not hard, I was gonna have allot added on to my plate, but i was not worried I was excited. It wasn’t until maybe a week or two in that I began thinking “I need to push myself and focus on making good quality work.” With that I can say I now analyze our readings more thoroughly. I constantly see myself now trying to focus on trying to formulate decent theme, which I might have to use in an essay or blog post. I noticed with some of my blogs, I really like to focus on characterization, personally I find it easier to build on themes etc, through the character and how they react to the world around them rather then tropes or symbolism’s. But maybe I should focus more on the setting next time it could help me grow.

Another issue which I have and have been working on is my grammar. Throughout my life I made a very bad habit of not proof reading my work, or making an effort to learn how write grammatically correct. Its embarrassing as writer to admit I have grammar, but I have been telling myself all year I want to improve and when I entered this class Professor Bellli made it clear I had to proofread. Looking back at some of my older blog posts I now feel embarrassed thinking ” How could I publish that” or ” yeesh you cant even understand what I meant”. Before I would ask some professors what can I do to improve my grammar they would say ” Just read”. While I do read pretty frequently on my free time I didnt find it fully helpful. Professor Belli’s advice for improving my grammar was to read my work out loud so that I can easily find the mistakes. This technique has been helping me allot, in class and outside of class. While doing my own work i See allot of ways i can better my writing and while doing blog posts I now end up reading each paragraph a multitude of times in order to find those embarrassing mistakes.

Now my understanding of Science Fiction has completely changed in this course. I don’t remember exactly how I explained it in the beginning of this semester, but I clearly got this genre all wrong. My clarification of Science Fiction were specifically talking about setting or immersion into a fantasy and while i am sure i was not completely wrong,  I would say I was little misguided. Through our study of this genre we learned terms like extrapulation and estrangement all which are used in Science fiction in  order to make these worlds familiar but mysterious. The way I understand Science Fiction is that it takes the reality we understand and builds on the “what ifs” usually with science. Whats interesting is that every science fiction story we read makes us ask questions on human values, how the characters are relatable to us and how the world they live in is similar to ours. The science fiction genre is no longer just a way to get entertainment, it has become a philosophical tool that allows to ask deeper questions on happiness and existence. Every story or movie we review has now become a fun and intellectual journey. Anyways thanks for reading!

 

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