This past Monday, Shannon and I went to listen to Rebecca Solnit’s talk, “Hope and Emergency.” Shannon suggested we go listen to her speech after reminding me how helpful analyzing her video in class was at the beginning of the semester. As she mentioned in her blog post, I was also a little hesitant about watching the speech. Her soft-spoken nature did not come across very strongly to me via video, and I was worried that this would be the case in person, as well. After all, the video we watched for class did not positively impact my thought process about my own project until I discussed it with fellow minors.
Luckily, this was not the case when listening to her in person. Her soft, calm voice was extremely strong. And this strength in it was only furthered by the fact that she was standing in front of a completely full auditorium that was silent, listening eagerly to every word she said. Every so often, she would take a short moment to take a sip of her water…and it was at these moments that she allowed her last spoken words to linger a little longer. This smooth, natural execution is what made her in-person delivery that much more impactful.
What stuck with me the most from her talk was when she talked about shortsightedness being such a huge issue. She addressed this by speaking of recent protests and how it is important to deal with power by not solely focusing on the past or present. Rebecca commented on how the focus always has to be the future. And how what we do now DOES make a difference.
This particularly resonated with me with regards to my project.
I find myself focusing on my past research. I also find myself focusing on where I am now with it. Sometimes I struggle to get past my current frame of mind regarding my progress, and I feel as though what I’m doing now is not as important or groundbreaking as I would like it to be. But keeping Rebecca’s advice in mind, I know that the parts I am working on now ARE extremely important.
Sticking to my production plan.
Continuing my research and annotated bibliographies.
Preparing and delivering my presentation pitch.
All these items, although not in a final deliverable state, WILL help me get to my end goal. Yes, there will be challenges and obstacles that may alter my path I initially laid out for my work. But, as Rebecca spoke to, reminding myself that everything I am doing now has importance in my final deliverable will continue to drive me.