A reader’s brief perspective on engaging to learn.
Continuing last months blogs of how amazing teachers are, I will disclose that I’ve decided to take some on-line classes this semester. It’s been an interesting and fun challenge. Granted it’s a bit intimidating one one of the classes is filled with high school seniors- they must be smart if they are taking a college course already! but so far I am holding my own. Doing everything on-line has been the biggest challenge overall. Not just the technology part of it (that does suck up a lot of my time trying to figure things out) but the almost artificial interactions I am having with classmates. In order to replicate the discussions that naturally occur in a classroom environment they have a weekly “discussion” online. The professor presents a question, usually based on information read for that week, and then each student is expected to write a reply. The discussion part comes in when we have to reply twice more to something our classmates have written in a constructive manner as would be fitting in a classroom- basically you can’t just write, “I like what you said.”
As I said this is the hard part for me. I like to talk and listen and engage in a conversation where you can see an individuals face and attempt to read their non-verbal cues. It is this type of interaction that allows me to learn- does that make me an auditory learner or kinesthetic learner or some other type of learner? I’m not totally sure, I just like to engage. But at the same time I’m a bit introverted. Scratch that, I am an introvert stuck in an extroverts body. I cringe at social situations and go into over processing mode prior all the way down to if the shoes I’m wearing will work. I hate going to social events where there are other people who may have (wait for it) …expectations that I speak to them! However, when I get there my other weirdness of not wanting anyone to feel left out kicks in and I actually talk to people, especially if they don’t seem to be engaging either. If you ask Kim she will tell you all day long that I am an extrovert- it really kind of sucks. So why am I going here? Well, in this day and age, how do we really engage about books? How do we discuss them and share them and appreciate them so much that everyone else knows how amazing they are and replies back and starts a conversation?
Let’s go with a book club. I’ve never been to one. I would love to try- especially after watching the movie The Book Club, but they seem few and far between. Well at least one’s that read lesbian fiction. I actually live in a very LGBT-history oriented location in the US and there is an actual LGBT Center in the next town that caters to retired LGBT members. And they have book clubs. Two of them actually. But they don’t read lesbian fiction!! The titles vetted for each month are current bestsellers off the New York Time’s list or something similar. But why? Why have this amazing opportunity to discuss lesbian literature with other lesbians and forego it in favor of a straight romance? As of yet, I have not joined either.
That is going to be my question for this week. I believe that discussing something allows us to understand it better, relate to it easier, and remember it longer. I would absolutely love to be in a book club focused on lesbian fiction, so, if anyone has any ideas on how an introvert can start a book club please let me know. And if the suggestions could include eager members that would be a bonus! But since this probably won’t happen quickly what are the best ways that you have found to discuss LesFic stories that you love? And when I say discuss, is it in an environment that is free of bias? Are individuals allowed to express a differing opinion and not be judged? Thanks everyone for contributing to my LesFic book addiction!!