C is for Contributing

| April 30, 2014

There are two major characteristics which distinguish this task from the ones I am usually presented with. Firstly, we often don’t get a chance to read each other’s work, as most papers are directly submitted to our professors via virtual platforms (where do they end up?). In the chaos which typically distinguishes end-of-semester struggles to meet deadlines, most of us would consider stopping to pay attention to someone else’s work unconceivable. We are all too caught up in our own endeavours to think that this may be of any help. However, as I read through my partner’s primers, I realise I should do this more often. Other than suggesting new ideas for my own work (as this primer testifies), it is also fascinating to see how the same task can take such different shapes when approached by a completely different perspective. Especially because of the constraint-free nature of this assignment, where a lot of posts take the form of private diary entries or short fluxes of consciousness, reading through someone else’s work gives you allows to peek into the mind of someone else and extract stimulating bits of information. It gives you the change to witness the path taken by someone else to get to your same location.

The second distinctive aspect of this assignment is that we hardly ever get the chance to contribute, in such a signifiant way, to another’s assignment. The idea of writing an introduction to someone else’s work is an important responsibility. Although the main bulk has been produced by the author, you face the challenge of adequately presenting with a short paragraph what he or she has spent a large part of the semester working on. And keep in mind that the role of the introduction is a critical one, as it can impose evaluation biases on the person reading it. So I’m now feeling the pressure build up.. I better get on with it :)