The Benefits of Collaborative Work

When Dr. McCoy assessed my group’s collaborative blog post, she asked how we accomplished working together and being able to formulate our thoughts as a group. I’ll admit I am usually skeptical about group projects: I like to work on my own. However, I think that working with my group on this blog post opened my eyes to the rewards of being able to not just discuss texts with other people, but to be able to put this analysis in writing in the form of a group blog post. I think my group members worked off of each other to build a strong analysis of the catastrophe we wrote about, the impact it had on society, and how this related to Jemisin’s trilogy.

I found it interesting how we each had different strengths and interests, and our writing became stronger by combining those. Some of us focused on writing about how the earthquake and tsunami occurred, some on how it impacted society, and some on how what we were learning related to the texts we have read this semester. Personally, I focused on contributing to the post by connecting our discussions to the text. However, by talking through our ideas, through collaborative writing, and by editing each other’s work, I think we ended up addressing all parts of the prompt with each person’s ideas. For example, while only one person typed out these actual lines: “The art that Yoshimoto created in response to the earthquake and tsunami is symbolic of the way that life, through tragedy and survival, ultimately affects the way that art is created,” this was an idea that we came to a consensus on through our discussions.

In addition, I particularly noticed and enjoyed the benefits of collaboration when I was struggling to sum up the part I wrote about the runny-sack and the normalization of tragedy in Jemisin’s world and ours today. I wrote that “Essun has been through so many disasters at this point in the series that she cannot harp on the instability of her life because she is constantly forced to adjust to new circumstances.” I was struggling to sum up the paragraph and voiced this concern, so Heather helped me finish by adding this sentence: “She initially laments over the fact that she lost her runny sack following the attack on Castrima-Under, but ultimately accepts that everyone loses something in the tragedies that one faces.”

Our collaboration reminded me of how characters in The Stone Sky work together to first recapture the moon, and then try to “fix the world” (Jemisin 387). While Nassun’s mother starts the “project” of recapturing the moon, she dies before she can open the gate and complete the task. Nassun originally decides to use her powers and the Obelisk Gate to turn everyone in the world into stone eaters and save Schaffa’s life, but as she watches her mother die she decides to complete her mother’s last wish. This wish is to “Open the Gate, pour the Rifting’s power through it, catch the Moon. End the Seasons. Fix the world” (Jemisin 387). Here Nassun collaborates with her mother to complete a monumental task that will result in vast change. Although my project with my group members will not result in the “fixing of the world,” we still, like Nassun and her mother, worked together to accomplish an important task. I know that the results of our work are stronger than if we had done it alone, just as the results of Nassun and Essun’s work are. Furthermore, at the very end of the book, it is Hoa and Nassun that are going to work together to “go make [the world] better” (Jemisin 398). They understand that such an enormous task as changing their unjust society cannot be done alone.






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