I have a confession, both myself and Sabrina Bramwell are academic orogenes. I know how that must sound, crazy, but its something that we both noticed after dicsussing our different approaches to writing blog posts. While we are both orogenes, we come from different academic disciplines, yet we still exhibit similar writing skills, like Essun and Ykka. We established that we have different measurements and ideas of successful writing and how to achieve it, but have come to a middle ground on how to make our “academic orogeny” more beneficial for the both of us.
I am a fulcrum-trained orogene like Essun. My discipline in history has handicapped me from using my free-thought and expressing a thoughtful writing style. Because I am conditioned to writing structurally argumentative, before this class, I never reached my full threshold as a scholar. I was more concerned with going forward with an argument than I was with actually thinking out the ideas that I was learning, and expressing them in a way that was intellectually fulfilling to me. I also lacked experience practicing blog writing, which would have been beneficial to my development as a writer overall because it helps the flow of thoughts. It is for this reason that I would compare myself to Essun. In Jemisin’s works, Essun is surprised to say the least, at the level of orogeny that Ykka is capable of. This is because the Fulcrum did not allow her to practice orogeny freely and she was forced to constrict her power for all of the time that she lived Tirimo. When Essun first arrives at Castrima and Ykka is showing her around, first she is surprised by the sustainability of the comm, then she is also surprised by the orogeny of Ykka.
“And all at once, you stumble while you’re walking. There’s no obstruction on the floor. It’s suddenly difficult to walk in a straight line, as if the floor has developed an invisible downward slope. Toward Ykka. You stop and glare at her. She stops as well, turning to smile at you. ‘How are you doing that?’ you demand.”
Ykka is not Fulcrum trained, and she is unsure of how she is able to make the floor move, but regardless, she is able to do it and even Essun, a formally trained orogene, can’t image how. I would compare this to the difference in writing style between Sabrina and I. While we are both formally trained, being that we are graduating college students, we have been trained in different disciplines. When I first arrived in English 101/431, I was so impressed by Sabrina’s ability to write fluently using her thoughts and without working off of arguments or having to already have a conclusion before she started writing. When I asked her how she was able write in this way, her response was very similar to that of Ykka, she didn’t know. She has practiced this writing style for so long through blog posts and other exercises, that it became second nature to her and expressing open thoughts was not as much of a challenge as it was for me.
Sabrina is what I would consider to be a experienced orogene in the English discipline, like Ykka. She exhibits powers in writing that would appear to me as impossible without strict disciplinary training, that she developed through positive feedback and constructive criticism. Ykka is able to run Castrima, use orogeny to keep order, and (initially) maintain cordial relationships between orogenes and stone eaters. Although Essun is Fulcrum-trained, she lacks in some of the areas that Ykka has mastered solely through experience. As a history major, I assumed that argumentative writing style was the best style and because I was able to draw strong arguments from sources and critique them, that alone made me a great writer. What I learned from Sabrina is that being able to flow with my writing can be a lot more useful because instead of letting my argument decide on my thought process, I think first, then formulate arguments.
Overall I am grateful for my argumentative writing skills that I gained from being a history major, but I can also appreciate Sabrina’s ability to use her mind to formulate the ideas before writing an argument. I think this ties back into the concept of integrative learning. When academic disciplines come together, students can take some things from each and ultimately become more engaged learners. That is the message that this class has taught me. English writing and history writing are one in the same, the only difference is in the approach to both, but by combining the two, I can be a stronger orogene, I mean writer, in all subjects.