It’s been a long semester. From Hansel and Gretel and Sleeping Beauty to Red Cap and Bluebeard, we’ve had a long journey in this class. We’ve read a lot of stories and tales and analyzed everything from numerous different point of views. After reading through each and every blog I have done this past semester and reviewing my own work and thoughts about the class, I have come to a single conclusion.
The only thing I learned from this class is how to properly head my papers in MLA format.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of parts of the class that were somewhat new to me, or that I overall enjoyed! I loved being able to read some of these stories or watch some of the Disney movies I’d never seen. Watching Silence of the Lambs for the first time was an adventure in this class, and I really enjoyed it. But learning, by definition, is knowledge or skills gained through experience, study, or by being taught. I don’t feel as though that happened in this class.
I got to analyze stories, but I’ve done that in just about every English class I’ve ever had. I got to see weird, semi-sexual pictures based on the tales, but I could do that in any psychology class that has Freud as a topic. I got to teach a class, but I’ve done that before and will be doing that in the future. Nothing especially new. The skills this class gave me – the ability to overanalyze a piece of work until the work begins to lose meaning, or the chance to memorize different definitions of terms like Fairy Tale vs. Folk Tale – have all been taught to me before, or were able to be taught to me by my own self. The knowledge gained from these skills follow that same pattern.
The part that I think defines how much I learned is how much I will remember in the coming years. Sadly, I feel as though I will forget much of this class. The tales are all already familiar, and only those which are newer to me will stand out for this upcoming semester; even then, I doubt that by the end of my college carrier, I will recall with accuracy the events of Bluebeard or The Little Earth Cow. The truth is, none of these were very interesting to me, and humans have a tendency to only remember that which will benefit them in the future. When something is of little interest to me, there will be little benefit of that thing in my future path, so it makes logical sense why I wouldn’t remember these things, and thus, why I don’t feel I’ve learned anything about these tales that I couldn’t have grasped before this class or on my own reflection.
The MLA format headers are really the only thing I learned/remember now, and that’s most likely because this is the first class I’ve had that required it of me. I know that, in the future, more classes will require MLA formatting, and so when asked to learn it for this class, I did. I learned an asset. The other parts of class, the content? I feel as though I will lose that as time passes and will not retain it as though I once learned it. I haven’t ‘learned’ it, but instead went through the motions I’ve gone through for all of my years in schooling. Do as much as the teacher asks, as best as the teacher asks, and hope it’s good enough.
So, all in all, based on my personal definitions of learning, I feel as though I have learned only one thing from this class: MLA formatting. While we have done much in this class, from teaching to reading to writing and many other things, these things were no different from other things I have done in the past or will do in my own time, and so they had little impact on me. Thus, I did not particularly learn anything from this class; I merely repeated what I had learned before.
It’s been a good semester, and I thank you for the opportunity to be part of it.