“I Made This”

The eye of the audience witnessing the creation of art.

The eye of the audience witnessing the creation of art.

“… finding the faith, and I think the word “faith” is appropriate here, to walk up to your market, your world, your tribe, your community and saying here, I MADE THIS.” Seth Godin’s idea that the world no longer runs by the impositions of the individual but rather now by the collective and shared information of the community struck me as sharply true. An idea so clear as such can be applied in almost every worldly situation, and one place in time that I find not only applicable but also relatable is the entire first semester course of my AP English 3 curriculum. As not only a learner but a creator, I have picked up many new skills throughout the time in class, skills that I found have been applying more and more to everyday life.

Seth consistently emphasizes the fact that our world has changed to a point where any individual can imagine an idea and bring it to life. As he states, we’re no longer in the “Henry Ford days” where one person imagines an idea that thousands of other people would execute. In our classroom, every single person (and I emphasize “person” because, in my opinion, this applies to the teacher as well) is collectively taught to “create” rather than “follow.”  We are taught that the path to success leads down the road you choose for yourself and not the road someone else may tell you to follow.

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Photo @ 2010 by Jonathan Reyes [CC BY-NC 2.0]

I believe one of my greatest strengths and at the same instant one of the things I would like to improve upon the most this semester is instilling in myself and in others the collective idea that I and they can confidently say “I made this” without being judged. Almost every single week we reflect, revise, bless, and press our essays so that they may become better than they once were. And before I continue, I would like to say that I’m almost never confident about my own writing because I generally always hold my creations to a low standard. This is where I believe the revisions improve the most upon, because with the help of the three other group members and online peers, I am able to take notice of what exactly is it I’m not confident about and improve on it (for example, the essays and responses we’ve done in class and online).  Revising other essay’s, in my opinion, is equally as challenging. Getting someone to a point where they are confident about their own work is no easy task, so over time I have worked on and developed certain techniques that I use when not only critiquing peers’ works but also in normal conversation as well. I never outright criticize a piece, but gradually work on building the conversation to a point where I can comfortably state my opinions without any form on insecurity present. Basically, I work to gradually build levels of intimacy to a point where I can talk to someone as a friend rather than a critic. This is also present in all of my peer reviews and revisions done on Canvas.

In addition, before I entered the class, I never would have thought that I would’ve been able to confidently sit through an academic discussion and participate, but with the confidence I built through peer revisions and the overall class activities in general, I was able to do just that and will continue to do so in the form our ZapCast podcast channel.

*Feel free to constructively criticize at your pleasure.*

Definition Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R7HhJujKTxaBEOdaaFqCeJk7exW7f8qht2XFOhJI9QI/edit?usp=sharing

Descriptive Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RtYWnxHSeh_LXVxL21pTroEu2JHdKDufK_dYOHcZmoE/edit?usp=sharing

Narrative Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18qsO_LrFCiRNAlhPNr2qHjgtOBbbCuCtqBBW-9_0JtM/edit?usp=sharing

Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/zapcast/zapcast-episode-1

Arthur Cleveland Coxe Reviewhttps://docs.google.com/document/d/13vRJ6BPe4OqkJW4dlyn2fR7K6ovJ4v-2xTFZ7d0Pfz8/edit?usp=sharing

“Are we going to connect and amplify positive tribes that want to make things better for all of us, or are we going to degrade to warring tribes that are willing to bring other groups down just so they can get ahead?” This point in the conversation comes right around the middle of the conversation, and is the single most fascinating idea that I found throughout the discussion. Even looking outside the window today one will find instances of people acting for themselves to the detriment of others, and I find such acts rather appalling. In fact, just the other day I witnessed a car seemingly in a rush somewhere nearly kill a mother and her child by running a red light. So disgusted by a selfish act, I reflected upon an idea I created and have been trying to my best ability to act upon for some while now called “collective happiness.” Collective Happiness for me is emphasizing the overall happiness of the community over the happiness of the individual; essentially putting the well-being of the group ahead your own. Seth Godin puts a lot of importance in benefiting with others rather than benefiting FROM others. Ways I’ve recently been trying to do this is taking time to do things for others, such as reading through and editing someone’s essay when they ask me to, or taking the the time to help someone with their homework even if it’s detrimental to my own.

The only question I have about the discussion and the only point he has that I disagree with regards his statement that being number 1 in a small market is much more fun than being number 3 in a large market. Godin’s main point that this is so is because when you fail in a small market, you have a chance to start over fresh because your impact is not going to be as large. Albeit true, is it really more fun consistently starting over and over without seeing consequences you can use to better your work? Personally, I believe the most fun in screwing up comes from seeing how your mistake influences influences others. While rather cynical-sounding, I find the most fun comes from redoing your work while taking caution to avoid the mistakes you made before.

All in all, Seth Godin’s conversation has opened in me doors and pathways whose directions I have no idea go where. I’ll walk down them regardless, though, because if I have learned anything at all, it’s the fact that I have to be confident that wherever I end up will be on my own terms.

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