The Importance of “English” as a Discipline

We’re living through a very strange time, and now, more than ever, people are starting to consider the importance of technology, and things like “English” as a discipline, and literature. It was never something we really contemplated before. It was so easily accessible that we just accepted it for what it was. Now, however, it seems that everyone is starting to realize how important these things are for communication. If we did not have them, it would make it infinitely harder to get in touch with one another during these trying times. This is why I’m very glad I took this particular class. If I’m honest, I actually only enrolled in this course because it was the only thing available, but I was pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out.

To be honest, before we began distance learning, it was hard for me to see how anything we were learning in this course related to English at all. It seemed kind of silly to me. I thought coding had more to do with math and, though I realized technology could be beneficial when it came to things like reading and writing, I did not think it was a necessary tool to have. But now I can not stop thinking about how important coding and technology actually are to English and literature. It has made things easily accessible, as well as more widespread. Technology’s effect on the way we communicate has changed the English language forever. Not only has the internet changed the way we speak and share information, but it has changed the way we write, especially via email and text message. This is why I see literature and reading a bit differently after taking this particular course.

Though it has been difficult under our particular circumstances, I actually feel like I have managed to learn a lot in this class. The online modules have been really helpful, and though it sometimes feels impossible for me to focus on what I am doing, the journal entries that we have been posting to GitHub have been keeping me somewhat organized. It has been really fun using Visual Studio Code because seeing the end result of what you choose to code is always really neat. When I first learned how to insert pictures in code, change font styles, and switch up the font colors, I thought it was incredible. I felt so accomplished! I also enjoyed learning how to use Voyant Tools and TimelineJS. I am a very visual person, so seeing the pictures I managed to upload to my timelines was really exciting for me. In addition, Reading Thoreau was really insightful, and James Gleick’s “The Information” had a lot of interesting information about communication. The most difficult thing for me to follow along with was working in the Command Prompt, but it was not impossible. If I read through the modules carefully, I managed to succeed (most of the time). I never expected that one day I would learn anything about coding, and I am actually really proud of myself for being able to follow along with most of what we learned in this course.

One thing I learned about while learning online in this class was fluidity and fluid texts. I have never actually taken the time to think about how all literary texts are basically fluid. I mean, I have always known that works of literature go through revisions, and drafts and adaptations obviously exist, but I did not know that they were considered ‘fluid texts’. And like I said in one of the topics – this fluidity has a massive impact on each work of literature, so now, every time I sit down to read something, I think about what the work I am reading has gone through – I think about how it has shifted and changed according to the cultural situation. It is just little things like this that this class has altered for me. I am more familiar with my computer, and I understand how important technology is when it comes to “English” as a discipline.

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