Literature and Reading in a Newfound Light

Up until this semester, I held a close-minded disposition towards literature and the various products that are generated from it, especially written works. I used to regard literary works- copies of text printed and published made accessible to society- as mere inanimate objects, something hard-bound and concrete. To me, these were the finalized products in which their authors were certain, confident of their creation and their ‘final say.’ But, then I was introduced to a whole new perspective, completely the opposite of this previous mindset I had exhibited. I learned of the concept of fluidity and its relation to literature. The dictionary states that something ‘fluid’ is “changing readily; shifting; not fixed, stable, or rigid.” This concept, I learned, can certainly be applied to literature, and the process of publishing literary works. As a result, my previous self’s perception of literature and what goes into the process of creating the final version of a text completely transformed due to my enlightenment of fluidity. The renowned literary work Walden, written by Henry David Thoreau is a perfect representation of fluidity, and has helped influence my new perspective on literature.

Before I explain the concept of fluidity within Walden, it’s essential for me to provide some brief background information on the text and its author. Thoreau’s ambition in writing Walden was to provide a carefully chronicled account of his experience in living in a cabin he had built in the seclusion by Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. The work itself reflects his transcendentalist outlook on life, his appreciation of simple living and nature, and the emphasis put on being self-reliant of oneself. Ultimately, Walden was a reflection of Thoreau himself and his personal growth and development during his time in seclusion by the pond. By reading his work, we are able to share in his personal findings, observations, and means of discovery throughout his journey. With this in mind, the concept of fluidity in relation to Walden makes itself present in Thoreau’s initial process of writing and publishing it which in turn, has helped inspire my new outlook on literature and the production of it.

It’s important to note that the writing process before the publishing of Walden included various revisions of its manuscript by Thoreau. Author Robert Sattelmeyer on his essay on “The Remaking of Walden” sheds light on the true extent of Thoreau’s writing process. In 1850, Thoreau had a manuscript on Walden, but it was only a form of its earliest stage in progress, not quite entirely reflecting his experiences at the pond. He later added partial revisions to this version, but didn’t revise it as a whole until 1852. By the time the final draft was published in 1854, it had undergone seven manuscript drafts, mainly partial and incomplete (Sattelmeyer 58). The revisions themselves ranged from something as simple as the alteration of single words and the deletion of sentences to something substantial, such as the introduction of new passages and chapters (Sattelmeyer 59). Although the final version was printed and published, Sattelmeyer encourages readers not to regard it as “fixed,” or concrete, because Thoreau and his work shared a correlation with each other. As Thoreau developed, so did his writing (Sattelmeyer 75). In this case, Walden resembles a true fluid text, in which Thoreau was consistently molding and shaping it into what it stands as its true form today. Walden in its fluid text edition is even open to the public now where readers are able to analyze and compare the changes and modifications Thoreau made to his work.

The concept of fluidity in connection with Thoreau’s writing process of Walden encouraged me to regard literature and its products in a new light. Fluidity is common in the everyday world; in fact, it exists everywhere in our daily lives. Fluidity in itself is a discipline, many of us have to learn not to be so rigid, be accepting of change, and be capable of dealing with the many obstacles that we encounter on a daily basis that frequently throw us off from leading “stable” lives. Literature, too, is reflective of this, it’s reflective of us as people. In this sense, literary works hold a strong resemblance to the creation of art, and ultimately, it is a type of art. Although not translated in paint and brush, it expresses the author’s wishes, their feelings, observations, and experiences, just like Walden. Due to my newfound perspective of a literary work as something not rigid and fixed, but as an evolutionary process, I’ve found a deeper appreciation for literature and the process of publishing it. The time that is required to write something that is as extensive as Walden requires trial and error. Not only that, but Thoreau’s mind was fluid in itself, constantly adapting, shifting, evolving, and finding new outlooks and perspectives that he attempted to transfer onto paper. Consequently, this new outlook has taught me to embrace fluidity in my life, rather than try and suppress it, because it was seven partially written and revised manuscripts that resulted in one of Thoreau’s greatest successes.

The Necessity of “English” as a Discipline

I believe that my view of “English” as a discipline has changed as a result of my work in this course, but not necessarily in the way I expected.

When I was planning and selecting which classes I wanted to take this semester, this one immediately caught my eye. Not only did it fulfill my Recent Literature degree requirement, but it was a topic that caught my interest. I may not know every detail of the latest and greatest technology, but I would not hesitate to label myself as a technophile. I enjoy learning how things work; I find it fascinating. I have also always wanted to learn how to code (even if it was only learning the most basic ways). Thus, Lit & Lit Study in the Digital Age sounded perfect to me. Over the past few months, this course has shown me a new side of “English” – one that I did not know existed. I never realized how hand in hand it went with information in the digital age.

In the last twenty years, give or take, a push for STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has become prominent. I remember in my high school, multiple art classes were cut in favor of technology ones, or they began to incorporate technology into their work. For example, they recently tore down the darkroom that several of our photography classes used to develop film and make prints. To the best of my knowledge, those classes now use iPads to edit their photos. While I understand why and do believe that STEM education is needed, I never liked how it seemed to take away from arts subjects such as “English”.

If I am being completely honest, I felt overwhelmed when we started to use programs such as Visual Studio Code and Python, despite how eager I was to code. I sometimes could not keep up, whether it was commands failing in the terminal or being unable to push my journal files to GitHub (I finally became confident about doing so just this past month). However, I still found it genuinely fun to do. I never thought that I would be able to make my own webpage, which was neat! I liked that we often had group discussions to go along with this work, too. Doing everything online can be very isolating, so it was nice to have face-to-face communication as well as someone to turn to for help. Before taking ENGL 340, I had my doubts about being an English major. Although, my faith has been restored, as this type of work is more of what I would like to pursue in the future.

Back to the topic at hand, I have learned over the past semester that to understand modern technology and ways of communication fully, we still need “English”. If I did not have any prior knowledge of reading or literature in general, I would struggle to do the activities we did in this course. I can not imagine trying to understand Walden in Voyant Tools if I had not read and studied it first, much less creating journal files using Markdown. I think that the new wave of STEAM education (STEM + Arts) is more ideal compared to sole STEM-based learning as it allows students to better themselves in disciplines like “English”. Furthermore, and for me especially, being able to intertwine skills from different areas helps students to better themselves in all of these subjects. For instance, writing lab reports with unfamiliar vocabulary and formatting is significantly easier for me because I have that background knowledge of constructing essays for my English courses.

Overall, this course has taught me a lot about “English” as a discipline in the digital age, but I know that there is so much more to learn – and I am excited to discover this information!

Illiterate in Coding

I’m bad at math. A lot of people are bad at math, and there are lots of reasons for that, but as an English educator I want to focus on one reason, literacy. People tend to think of the English discipline when they hear the word literacy, but there are actually many more types of literacy than people realize. Math has a literacy to it. You have to be able to understand the deeper meaning that certain sets of symbols have when placed together in order to decipher the code. I’m talking about solving an equation, but I may as well be talking about reading a complex story or poem. I’m literate enough in math to solve basic equations, but it takes a lot of mental gymnastics. I have to look up the order of operation, use a calculator, and probably phone a friend. It isn’t second nature to me because I’ve never been interested in math, so I never bothered to become really fluent in math. However, I can write ten pages analyzing a single poem just for fun. I’m the annoying English major who will obsess over why a green light is green and what that means. I understand the way the authors use motifs through their writing because I was interested in English enough to become very proficient at the skills involved in the discipline. Beyond being literate enough to understand the symbols involved with math or English, there’s also the jargon involved with those and other disciplines. It helps to have the right vocabulary to talk about a discipline. Where I’m leading this is in the title, there is a literacy to coding too. 

This is something that I knew on a surface level before we had to go home. It was while we were getting into the thick of Git Bash that I began to understand that coding in a type of literacy. My journals that are full of commands are just vocabulary lists. That made the work we were doing in class a lot less daunting. I had a real handle on things, but then we were in the middle of class when we found out that we were coming back after spring break. Starting online classes took a huge toll on me because I love learning above everything else. I want to be an educator because I’m a life-long learner. Not having classes anymore hurt, especially in this class because I didn’t feel like I had learned a lot yet. I took this class because I knew there was so much I had to learn in it. When I decided to take this class, I had several expectations. I was excited to learn more about English in the digital age because I want to be able to assure my future students that English is still useful and worth learning more about. My main expectation was to be learning about the role English takes in the technology age. I thought we would be discussing how English as a discipline needs to react to technology in order to stay relevant, current, and updated. Needless to say, it was quite the shock to find out that no one could define digital humanities, and I’m still waiting on an answer to the question, what is digital humanities? I think that the class as a whole weren’t quite literate in code enough to keep up with what we were supposed to be getting done. That’s no one’s fault, but then on top of us being behind, COVID 19 hit. Because we weren’t having synchronous classes anymore, I decided to do my own research. I realized that I knew very little about coding save for what we did in class, but from the little I knew, I could tell that coding is just another type of literacy. There are symbols, orders of operation,  I am far from fluent in any type of code, but I would say that I am really good at understanding poetry which has a ton of symbols as well. In order to approach digital humanities from a lens I might be able to understand, I combined coding and poetry. 

It turns out that I’m not the first person to think of this. There are whole books of code poetry. I read several poems from the book Code Poetry: Poems Written in Programming Languages, and I did not understand them at all at first! It turns out that there are poems in every type of programming language, not just markdown. I had to do a lot of research for every poem I read. I combined my ability to analyze poetry with the little knowledge I had and was gaining about coding, and it was incredibly challenging and fun. One some level I knew that programming languages are languages, but I never thought of them as languages that could tell stories and convey deeper meanings. It showed me that code and English can not only coexist but cooperate with one another. There is room for the literacy of coding in the English discipline, and when the two work together, the result is complex, creative, and keeping English current in the digital age.

Growing… COVID-19, Technological Difficulties, and Becoming a Digital Humanist

During our final class meeting, Dr. McCoy mentioned the importance of technology in our final course statement. I tried to imagine how we would have accomplished the same goal without the use of technology and realized how difficult it would have been. Continue reading “Technology in the Classroom”

Understanding text as “data” and accepting its fluidity

The survival of the humanities in the digital age relies upon the understanding that text is data: specific information that is carefully packaged for our analysis. In my experience as an English major, analysis is typically undertaken as a quest for interpretive meaning, bringing to the fore questions of symbolism and literary devices, like: “What does the green light symbolize in The Great Gatsby?” and “How does Fitzgerald’s diction convey this particular meaning, and not another?”

After focusing primarily on qualitative approaches to literary analysis, ENGL-340 introduced me to the quantitative analysis of text as data. With quantitative analysis, each bit of information is examined without projecting more meaning than what’s provided. An example of quantitative analysis applied to The Great Gatsby might be: “How many times are the eyes of T.J. Eckleberg mentioned? Where are they mentioned most often?”

ENGL-340 also introduced me to text as a corpus of data, or corpora if there’s more than one distinct corpus. We apply quantitative analysis to one body of text, or a collection of related texts, in search of patterns. Patterns are the keystone of meaning according to quantitative analysis, especially when examining a large corpora. For instance, you might wonder “What patterns can we discern across classic novels written by the modernist “Lost Generation”?” These “patterns” might materialize as the repeated use of a word, theme, or structural organization. From there, you might imagine why the great writers of the Lost Generation made similar, or different, stylistic choices.

Incorporating this mode of analysis into our literary approach is crucial because it bridges the perceived gap between the humanities and the sciences. Human thoughts crafted into words crafted into sentences crafted into coherent bodies of text are historical objects of information worthy of scientific analysis. They are markers of humanity’s achievements: some of the greatest, most timeless self-knowledge we’ve touched upon as a species is found in literature. Why not examine its concordance, then? Some tips for quantitative analysis that I picked up in ENGL-340, and which I hope to bring to future classes, are:

  • Searching a corpus for patterns at the command line: using a digital copy of the text you’re analyzing and the command line, you can search the text for the occurence rate of specific words, for a total word count, for the longest and shortest words in the text, for the word that occurs most often, and so on.
  • Generating graphs and other visuals for your data on Voyant: rather than using the command line, you can also view the quantitative analysis of textual data you upload on the website, The cool thing about Voyant is that it generates different charts, graphs, and visuals of the data you’re focusing on.
  • Comparing data across versions using a Fluid Text Edition: here, we can analyze how data in a corpus has changed or stayed the same over time.

The second necessary development in my perception of literature as a result of ENGL-340 is tied to this final bullet point. First, there’s understanding text as data. Then, there’s understanding that text is fluid: not a fixed and stable object, but rather, an ongoing project.

Our favorite books, poems, and plays were formed gradually and with great care– not suddenly and miraculously crystallized. If we have access to earlier manuscripts/revised copies, we can compare versions of a text to better understand its development. Referring to a fluid text edition also brings awareness to the humanity of the author: reading Thoreau’s first draft of Walden, we are reminded of the flaws inherent in everyone’s first draft. It also serves to remind us, quite fittingly for Thoreau, that everything is done with some degree of deliberation in the literary world. Individual words are chosen with extreme care: Thoreau scratched out the words “book”, “work”, and “lecture” when describing Walden across various versions before finally settling on “book”. The attention put toward such minute matters reveals Thoreau’s dedication to “getting it right” as a writer– a quality not all writers, or authors, possess.

Thanks to ENGL-340, I am able to see the oft-overlooked juncture between qualitative and quantitative analysis in literary studies. With attention to the nature of text as “fluid data,” we can study the information before us both objectively and subjectively. Subjectivity particularly applies to imagining plausible revision narratives that explain changes made to a text. Of course, quantitative data is also fodder for further interpretation. Information, writing, art, life– I think James Gleick once called it a “moving target,” and I find that more than adequate. These things are constantly in flux as a result of being alive; final stability is like death, or whatever name you give to completion. Just like the way we learn from one another, we learn from art as we observe and analyze its change over time, its variations and constancies. In this way, ENGL-340 enhanced my understanding of literature and life.

Getting Lost Behind A Screen

The massive wave of technological advancement within the last two decades has spurred more than just shifts in culture and social dynamics. The entirety of the modern world (more specifically, America, but generally and first world country will do) has morphed into a society that’s nearly unrecognizable from that of the beginning of the previous century. In 1920, the radio had just been invented. Now, 100 years later, students are finding the connections between literature and technology, and how both have an immense impact on our culture, our future, and the way we think. 

If I’m being totally honest, the premise of this class confused me just a bit. In registration and the first couple of weeks of classes, I wondered what exactly was the purpose of this class. Ask me two months ago, and I would have said I’m in this class to learn about technology and literature, and how they’re related to the world we live in. While this isn’t incorrect, I realize now that there’s an ulterior motive – to change the way we, as students in this ever-changing society, think. Coming into this class as a second-semester freshman, I still hadn’t really learned just how different college English classes are from that of the ones I took in high school. In my secondary education years, English class went a little like this: read some state-mandated classic novel, analyze the dickens out of it for two and a half months, and then write an essay on it, usually some form of rhetoric analysis. Maybe there would be a multiple-choice unit, filled with generic strategies on how to pass the state testing like the Regents exam, or get a 5 on the AP. Not entirely sure why, but everything I knew led me to believe that college is just going to be a more advanced version of this – reading harder books, and more in-depth and complex essay prompts. Nothing and no one told me otherwise. 

Needless to say, this semester has been a whirlwind for me. While my view on English as a discipline changed drastically over the course of the part of the semester that we had on campus, I now feel that it’s almost entirely changed since being home. Having to switch to online learning forced me to read and think in ways I hadn’t before. All my life, I have been a hands-on learner. The kind of person that needs to have a physical copy of the text in order to fully process, read, and analyze it. I prefer in-class discussions because it allows us to talk about our ideas and converse with each other informally.  Reading and discussing on a screen just doesn’t do it for me, however, that only puts me at a disadvantage in the current situation. 

Over the past couple of days I’ve been rereading certain chapters of Walden, and I notice that he consistently forces the reader to be self-aware of their consciousness, and of their thoughts and body. He wants us, as the readers, to not lose ourselves in everyday life, but rather go through life conscious of our choices and ability to affect others. Since quarantine has started, I’ve begun locking myself in my bedroom, not coming out for hours on end because I’m studying or doing homework. I barely talk to my siblings and only really stop to eat or dawdle. But in reading Walden, I realized that it’s so easy to lose yourself in front of a computer screen, and come out dazed, forgetting who and where you are. 

Taking this English class has more than changed my view of English as a discipline, but it’s changed my view on everyday life. I now walk through my house aware of every step I am taking, and everything I say. I sat down to reread one of my favorite fantasy novels the other night, and I was constantly reminded of Walden and Thoreau’s plea to have us find meaning in everything. In rereading that novel, I came out with an entirely different point of view on the characters and their actions – they are just as unselfaware as I was. 

Before this class, I had an immature and primitive view of English. The object was to read books, analyze, and write essays. What I didn’t realize, however, is just how immensely English can change the way you think – you don’t need a philosophy class for that.

Studying Literature in Relation to our Course

When I first saw this question, I was having a bit of trouble understanding exactly what was being asked. After a long few minutes of really thinking to myself, I think in simpler terms, this question is asking me to think about whether or not the digital aspect of this class had an effect on the way that I read and understand literature. 

When I first decided to take on this class and saw that it was called “Literature in the Digital Age,” I thought we were just going to be discussing how literature has now changed in this time of advanced technology. Although this was partially correct for some of our assignments, I could not have been more wrong when we were studying Walden, the real heart of the class in my opinion. 

Throughout pretty much the entirety of the course, we were asked to read a select chapter or essays from Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden. He talks about living the simple life in the woods. How did this change my idea of studying literature? Well, the whole entire book was online, not in paper form. To add to this online experience, classmates comments could be seen throughout the “book” as you were reading the assigned section. 

Being a person who went to a high school where the curriculum was pretty much based around technology, this whole idea of doing stuff online was not a shock to me. However, we always read our books the traditional way. So reading Walden in a non tangible form was definitely an odd experience for me. The thing that really threw me off was the comments my classmates would make throughout the book. The way I usually read is that I do not like to get any outside ideas or opinions before forming my own. Reading other’s comments while I was reading the online text was distracting to me. I basically had to come up with a new way of reading, which for some might be cool but for me, I get the most out of reading when it is uninterrupted and while I value my classmate’s ideas, it would have been better for me if they were not there while I was reading. (Yes I know you can hide them while reading, but it still alerts you to their existence and I was tempted to look anyway). 

Also, although we had some discussion in class about the book, most of the conversations took place online prior to class. It made me realize something about myself. I enjoy in person discussion so much more than online discussion. To me, when a person speaks what they feel instead of writing it, it has more impact when engaging in a discussion or a debate. I really enjoy the natural flow of a conversation as opposed to the robotic way we all write. 

Let me make this very clear, I am not trashing the convenience and luxury of doing things online. Look at what’s happening in the world right now. The fact that we are able to finish the semester online is remarkable and I am grateful for having the ability to complete my studies and not fall behind. In my opinion though, some things should be left to be done in person. 

So, how has this class changed my view of studying literature? It made me realize how much I love the feel of turning the page of a book, and the voices of others around me.

The Merits of Applying Digital Analysis Tools to Literary Studies

As a graduating senior, I have often been asked a variation of the following question: “Why study English?” and my response has always been, and will probably remain: Well, why not study English? One of the most valuable lessons that my time within the English major at Geneseo has taught me is that when it comes to literary studies, the possibilities are boundless. That being said, I’ve also learned that when it comes the digital humanities, those possibilities become tangible. 

As I reflect on the various digital skills I’ve learned in our digital humanities class, Voyant Tools remains the most influential in my studies outside of class, particularly on my independent study on the influences of Lord Byron on the Brontë sisters. While I admit I was a bit wary of using this digital-analysis tool, most of my qualms were related to the unfamiliarity of it all. My experience with Voyant Tools was largely based on frustrating trials and errors. To be quite honest, trying to figure out Voyant felt like trying to decipher Middle English — it was tedious, time consuming, and required many workshops and tutorials. One of the hiccups that I encountered occurred when I tried to upload Jane Eyre in its entirety in addition to Lord Byron’s Corsair. I was considerably overwhelmed by the numbers, that is of course until I took a step back and tried to assess what specific aspects of the literature I really wanted to focus on. 

So, after learning how to split plain text files of Brontë’s works into separate chapters, I endeavoured to also split The Corsair into its three cantos. Finally, I returned to Voyant Tools and uploaded Cantos I in addition to chapters 11 through 27 of Jane Eyre because I wanted to decipher how Byron and Brontë were utilising language in the developments of their heroes. I chose Canto I because it is our first interaction with Conrad and the descriptive language is at its prime; the same can be said for Rochester in Chapters 11 through 27 of Jane Eyre. When I searched the syntax, I typed in the term “cordial” but as I typed the letters “cor,” Voyant suggested “corsair” and noted that it occurred in two instances throughout the texts. Normally, I would have assumed that it was simply reflecting Byron’s work, but I had just finished re-reading the first Cantos while I was stripping the text-file for all numbers, roman numerals, and unnecessary publication information and I did not recall seeing the word appear in the text. So, I searched “corsair” instead to see what the context of the word might be and I was surprised to find that it did not appear in the first Cantos at all, but rather in Chapter 17 of Jane Eyre. This tool launched the exact context of the term in the reader view and I was able to follow on as Miss Ingram argues that a man is “nothing without a spice of the devil in him… he was just the sort of wild, fierce, bandit hero whom I could have consented to gift with my hand” and Rochester sings a “Corsair-song” because Miss Ingram “doats on Corsairs”  (JE, XVII). In all of the scholarly articles that I referenced for connections between Byron and Brontë, most of the critics pointed out the various physical and emotional similarities between Rochester and Conrad, but in my reading of their work, it never caught my attention that Brontë alludes directly to Byron’s Corsair. While I am certain other critics took notice of this allusion before me, this particular moment in my research was eye-opening, it even felt like an epiphany, and my interpretations took a turn in a different direction. 

It is without a doubt that the connection I have to Jane Eyre is largely sentimental and as a result, I have read it every winter for the past eight years and eagerly took advantage of the opportunity to study the text twice the academic level in the Spring 2017 and Fall 2018 semester. Yet, in all those times I engaged with this novel, I never once noticed Brontë’s reference to Byron, but it took this digital analysis tool less than five seconds to uncover it! I was amazed, even as I write about it and reflect on it, I am still in awe about it. This particular instance taught me that when we, as students of English, leap out of our comfort zones and and utilise digital analysis tools; we are bound to find ourselves presented with unforeseen possibilities and challenges in our interactions with literature. Indeed this is what makes studying literature so extraordinarily rewarding and I am glad I recognised the merits of digital humanities before bidding farewell to my beloved discipline.  

New Views on “English”

As my last blog post (can’t believe I am writing that) I would like to reflect on a topic that has been discussed many times throughout this semester, Medical Voluntourism. As part of our class collaboration for the Final Course Statement, we addressed the issue of medical voluntourism and unpacked solutions to this matter. Volunteers are attending these trips for the wrong reasons of hoping to mix medical experience with traveling to different exotic locations.  Continue reading “Solutions to Medical Voluntourism”

Literature and Technology: The Connection

Over the course of this semester in Literature and Literary Study in the Digital Age with Dr. Schacht, I feel as through I was given a unique opportunity to not only learn more about the things I can do on my computer, but also to think about literature, books, authors, and English as a discipline through a different lens.

For starters, as we near the end of the semester, I feel as through I have learned more about what my computer can do and have been given tools to help me manage my computer more effectively. With the use of github and the command-line, I not only have an online space to upload and store files that may be taking up valuable space on my computer, but I also have a collaborative workspace that may come in handy in the future. Additionally, I’ve learned valuable skills about the markdown coding language and how the python coding language works. These skills are obviously in high demand in many fields in todays society, so having this basic understanding will surely only help me post undergraduate education.

While learning all of the new things I can do on my computer were interesting, I think the most valuable lesson I learned this semester is in regard to how I view literature and what tools myself and other people can use to further understand it.

I don’t think I ever fully realized the amount of work that goes into creating a work of literature. Obviously, I knew that in order to get published, authors go through an intensive revision process that often times takes several different attempts to get it just right. I don’t think I understood that those revisions can be as intensive and tedious as simply changing one word to a different one until the author is satisfied. This idea has given me a greater appreciation for all the novels that sit on my bookshelf and around my room.

Going off of this idea, I also have found an appreciation for how easy it is to track these changes using technology. Using Voyant Tools and the Fluid Text reader, I feel like I have been able to connect more deeply with literature. Being able to find specifics about a text in Voyant Tools and then to be able to track those changes over a series of manuscripts has only deepened my understanding of the pieces of literature that we have worked with this semester. On top of that, its just pretty darn cool to see all the revisions to a text and how a manuscript may have started versus how it was published.

Overall, I think there is a huge connection between English as a discipline and technology. I think before I use to think of English more as just reading and writing – now I think of it more as a way of communication, a diffusion of ideas, and how we get from one point to another with the impact of technology. English is about how we communicate and how ideas are shared through reading and writing, rather than just reading and writing. Technology plays a very unique role in this, as the more advanced we become with our computers and our phones, the more we can do to communicate. From talking drums to the first telephone created by Alexander Graham Bell to the ability to group facetime, ideas are spread at a fast rate through talking. On top of that, the invention of the printing press has enabled us to share ideas through writings at a much faster rate than ever before, and it has just gotten faster as time has gone on – the use of a printing press is not even required any more, blogs, such as this one, and other online sources give you the same way to communicate through writing.

The connection between English and technology is a great one. The more you can do with technology, the more english enables you to do, share, write, read, and communicate. We have a web of information at our fingertips to learn and improve. Without the diffusion of information that english enables and the use of technology enabling more people to access it, the world would most likely be very different than it is today. This course, learning all these skills, and being able to have access to the tools that have been shown to us has ultimately changed my view on both English and technology; it has opened my eyes to how english, as well as other disciplines, and technology have a connection to one another that leads to improvements and advancements in all fields.