Combining Communities

During one class this semester, we were given directions to ask each other about a term or a concept on which we would like some clarification. Within my small group, I asked about the term “both/and” since I feel like I hear it in class all the time, but it is said in so many different contexts that I hadn’t been able to pin down the meaning. Claire Corbeaux and Brittney Bennett helped me get some clarification on this term, telling me that it is generally used to describe something that can be labeled as either/or as well as both. While this definition initially seemed a bit too similar to the word itself, I used it to venture a guess that almost anything can be seen as a both/and because almost anything can be seen in any context.

This conversation led me and my peers to think more about interdisciplinary studies and the many ways in which we are able to make connections across different fields. For example, Claire pointed out the intersection between business and the arts in that ads are an essential part of business promotion. This even reminded me of how Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville said at the conclusion of her lecture here at Geneseo that she is currently taking a beginner level math course so that she can eventually take geometry and use these new skills to better understand mask-making.

Abby Ritz added in that she never would have known about Antoinette K-Doe, a costume designer with many early ties to the Baby Dolls, if it were not for this course, because she is not in that specific local community. This reminded me of a painting we studied in my Renaissance Literature class with Dr. Sam Fallon entitled “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”, by Peter Bruegel the Elder.

When my colleagues in this other class and I examined this painting, we noticed that as Icarus drowns, and his own small world seems to come to an end, life continues for everyone else. Everyone else’s worlds are intact, and they do not even seem to notice Icarus’ downfall (quite literally). This painting seems to convey the overarching message that no matter what happens, life will go on. However, at the same time, maybe we should pay closer attention to the events going on around us and the work and lives of our peers, because it might give us a more all-encompassing view of the world.

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