We’ve reached the end of the course. It seems so hard to believe it; time goes by so fast. It was such a pleasure to be in this course. I wanted to use this blog to go over what I have learnt this semester and tie it with this last book we are reading. In my opinion, I think this book really incorporates the type of mental work we have been doing this semester. We have been finding ways to record, capture, understand, archive our thoughts on Chicano literature and l think our own views on the life themes we have been finding along the way. A professor in another of my courses mentioned to me and this was probably said by many intellectuals before her, that “the more we know, the less we understand”. I think that with this course I have truly come to understand that. There is no use in trying to pass myself off as some sort of expert, some sort of “major of x or y”, in the end I don’t really intrinsically know the issues/ideas/concepts we have been studying. We read of experiences with drugs, abuse, search of identity, racism, in these books, yet I feel like the more I read the Having been in a course that was small enough to hear each other think yet large enough to learn and be exposed to different opinions was such a pleasure, I think this class really encompasses what the true essence of university is meant to be. And in my experience of being in university for the past four years, opportunities like this have been very few.
Like Valeria Luiselli divides her book into sections titled “roots and routes”, “archive”, “credible fears”, “stories”, “rhythm”, “family plot”, personally, reading this book has made me consider those same sections in my life. It’s not as if those thoughts existed before - I think this time, in my life at least, has been one for many thoughts – but that this book has highlighted several themes that have been on my mind for the past few weeks in social isolation. Especially those regarding archives and maps. I think this narrator exudes a lot of worry due to her high sense of responsibility. I think she lives a life with a mission, purpose, vocation and that weighs on her more for feeling like she would misrepresent those she is giving a voice to, or by not owning up to the task set ahead of her. I think this is so relatable. As she goes on this mission, this trip, she figures out what things will be like along the way. There is no plan, no fixed itinerary. I think life in general can be compared to that - at least this whole pandemic has made me rethink and notice what I have taken for granted. And what is beautiful is that despite not having a plan, the narrator seems to want to leave something in the world that is written by her, something good that changes the world for the better. Like that is the product of a structureless, zig-zag sort of a route, that in the end, ends up being her own purposeful and meaningful path, and that is what I think this book teaches. I don’t know if this last bit made any sense. It makes want to appreciate sounds more and color, and especially with the pandemic, I think it makes me want to live more.
Going back to what I have learnt in this class, I think it really helped me overcome some fears, especially in feeling free to express my opinion by overcoming my fear of embarrassment and doubt in myself. It is hard to find places to do that. And that it really helped me learn through discussion. I am very grateful for having had this experience and for "archiving" it under my conception of university. I want to take this approach to my reading in general, and my studies. Once again, thank you very much for these past few months, and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s class.