“There is risk in working with a partner,” is probably the Butler quote that has been brought up most often in our class, but it’s amazing how it continues to be so relevant. The part of this class that I have come to admire most is how everything relates back to each other. Like we’ll read Locke or Rousseau and make it relevant to the Clay’s Ark commune. This quote has been in the front of my mind lately as we’ve been working on our final project. And it’s occurred to me that this has been the plan since the beginning.
Although the main goal of this class is analyzing what brings and binds us together, we’ve never let that quote get too far away from us and our discussions. Through almost every book we’ve read we’ve found a way to make it relevant. I think it was Veronica who said once, when we were in a cluster group, that she relates all of the work we read back to Bloodchild, which is a testament as how we’ve come to use Bloodchild as our frame of reference. For me, after reading Bloodchild, I viewed relationships in Butler’s fiction through a special lens because of the implications that were instilled in me from this quote. Everytime Butler introduced to a relationship I assumed would be important, for example Blake and his family, and Eli, I would greet it with caution because I understood the risk involved.
For this final project we’ve had to negotiate with not one but about 20 partners. There is high risk here because we’re all relying on each other for our final grade. I know at least for myself this has been different than any kind of final project I have ever done, but I feel like I’ve already taken away so much from it. It’s helped me understand what it must be like to work in government. The constant deliberation over what could be simple decisions because everyone’s opinion is different. If you asked all of us individually how we wanted to do this project I’m sure you’d get 20 different answers. Sure maybe some would be similar, but none would be exactly the same. It’s been a real lesson in compromise I think. And that’s part of the risk, when working with a partner there is always the possibility that you won’t get what you want. What we want is rarely what someone else wants, especially if it’s important to every party.
We have come so far though, as a class and as a community. I think we’ve become much more comfortable with compromise. Because while there is risk in working with a partner, if everyone puts their faith in each other, there is the possibility of high reward.