I know I’m required to write a blog post at the end the class, but I figured I should get a few thoughts down before that. In that final post (for class, not ever), I’ll write about “the journey”—the ups and downs, what I’m proud of and what I hate—or maybe something less cliché. Today, I just want to write about my Writing 420 class.
Collaboration is not a novel word to most University of Michigan students. I know personally, I’ve heard it in classes ranging from psychology and organizational studies to economics and statistics. I know that collaboration involves working with other people, and the end goal is presumably to improve or create work product. Collaboration sounds relatively simple, and even beneficial in theory, but what about in practice?
Well I think it depends. On the one hand, working with other people can breed new ideas. On the other, it can cause conflict, awkwardness, and as I’ve witnessed, occasionally tears. My experience tends to be with the latter (the negative in general, not the tears). But not in Writing 420. I have never seen collaboration so concretely in action, never fully understood its benefits, until this class.
Each student at that long table in our North Quad classroom wants their classmates to succeed. We critique each other, compliment each other, and always provide ideas to supplement those critiques and compliments. If it weren’t for my classmates, this is a brief summary of how my portfolio would look (this will really only make sense to those of you who have seen it, I apologize for that and will hyperlink to my final project when it is completed): a confusing, meaningless homepage, an about page misleadingly titled “About me,” the presence of Wix website pages that I intended to be hidden, and no project. Without the help of a classmate, I literally would not have a project. My Map that I have spent days tweaking, hours moving little boxes to align the various aspects, could never have existed without collaboration.
So, I wanted to thank my classmates for their collaboration, for providing me with the tools to create a project I can be proud of. I hope all Minor in Writing students get so lucky.