Crossing Boundaries Once Again

When I first enrolled at SUNY Geneseo, and even when I first registered for this course, I was skeptical, but curious, about the relationship between the sciences and the humanities. A class I took with Dr. McCoy last semester caused me to reconsider my skepticism; however, as I entered this class, The Art of Steve Prince, my vision was still clouded by the assumptions I had previously generated regarding the intersection, or lack thereof, between the sciences and the humanities. Indeed, I had always assumed that science and the humanities were distinctly separate realms with no direct connection or relationship with each other. While I was beginning to warm to the idea that science and literature might be intimately and intrinsically connected, I was not ready to see that there is science in art and art in science. But, as this course draws to a close, I find that my views have shifted tremendously and that I am now incapable of visualizing art without science and science without art. This transformation was made possible by many things, particularly, the work of Steve Prince, the lectures and lessons of the supporting faculty, and the blogging process.

Furthermore, my thinking across barriers with respect to academic disciplines mirrored the thinking that I and my classmates did across cultures, communities, and individuals. This class helped me to see past the exclusionary labels assigned to academic disciplines and unearth their similarities and differences in a way that connects and celebrates each respective discipline. In a similar fashion, this class, and the thinking it inspired, encouraged me to, in the words of Steve Prince, “look more and name less” and recognize that human beings, though each bearing different creeds and cultures, though each occupying different communities and spaces, are essentially united, not in spite of their differences, but in a way, because of such differences, as well as the similarities that lie beneath these differences.

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Nonlinearity in INTD 288 and Beyond

How we think determines how we perceive and understand the world around us. The integration of disciplines was not something I was expecting throughout the semester in INTD 288: The Art of Steve Prince taught by Dr. Beth McCoy. The integration of disciplines encouraged my peers and me to challenge ourselves when it came to our ways of thinking—something proven integral to our success in our course epigraphs. The intellectual progress participants gained through this course ultimately cannot be measured in a straight line; but rather through a course of nonlinear steps. In other words, the product of this course and the knowledge gained proves itself unique for every participant. At first glance, ‘nonlinear’ according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is vaguely defined as, “not linear.” Diving deeper, one can interpret the word ‘nonlinearity’ as: random behavior, or, unpredictable. Something that cannot be static or proportional. Since this course has come to a close, I can recognize not only my nonlinear growth, but the nonlinearity of SUNY Geneseo, and our nation as a whole through the teachings in this course.

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This is Paratext

Table of Contents


Chapter 1:  This

Chapter 2: Is

Chapter 3: Paratext


To plunge into the paratextual chain of citations is to risk discovering that the subject matter is complex, contingent, and interdependent… It is also to risk discovering that one’s own identity is complex, contingent, and interdependent. ~ Beth McCoy, “Paratext, Citation, and Academic Desire in Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo“*

(This is paratext too.)

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Finding My Way Through My Through Line

I wish I could say that when I posted all of my blog posts in one day this semester (including a few several days past the deadline), it was the first time. I wish I could say with confidence that I know I will improve if I am given the same assignment next semester. Normally, I would say these things, but I said these things last semester and look where we are now. Last fall, in a different course I took with Dr. McCoy, we were given an almost identical assignment, except that there was not a mandatory deadline for the first blog post. Last semester, I managed to get only one blog post up in October, which was not followed until November when a group of my peers and I posted the traditional collaborative blog post. The last eight went up on the day of the deadline. This semester, I had told myself I would know what to expect—same professor, same classroom, similar assignment. Because of the mandatory first blog post deadline, I was able to get my first post of the semester up in February on the day of the deadline, I believe. Then, I mapped out the rest of my blog posts on Google Tasks to give myself concrete deadlines even though they were based on a floating one. I also opened drafts on the actual website rather than in a private Word document on my computer, which I do think helped somewhat. But evidently, something was still missing because for the second semester in a row, I did not post my final eight until the due date, and even then, I posted two of them past the deadline. This is quite unlike me. Continue reading “Finding My Way Through My Through Line”

the line, in light of Steve Prince’s Art & the Baby Dolls

Prior to this class, my perception of the line was focused on that in poetry, having taken three poetry workshops almost consecutively within the past two years. What this class offered was a broadening of that focus, to consider different realities and possibilities of the word, both literally and figuratively. Continue reading “the line, in light of Steve Prince’s Art & the Baby Dolls”

Final Reflection: Interdisciplinarity and Other Thoughts

As I considered how to go about completing this assignment I realized that I had already reflected on much of the course content in some of my blog posts. So when faced with this assignment I tried to think about parts of this course that I had considered before but not made into a blog post. From this contemplation I generated the guiding questions which frame the subsequent reflection on interdisciplinarity.

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The Vocabulary of Learning

I’ve always been fascinated by language, perhaps in part due to my own difficulty with the spoken aspect of it. I like to write but I hate to talk. I am a fast talker, a remnant of a childhood speech impediment, and I constantly feel like I’m struggling to slow down and make myself understood. This is part of my daily life and conversations so you can imagine how difficult it is for me to engage in public speaking where nerves speed up an already too-fast mode of speech. Because of this, I prefer to put things in writing. I am more articulate on paper and I don’t have to worry about the connection between my brain and my mouth shorting out as it often does when I talk out loud. I believe from there my love of language has evolved simply because I prefer to read and write, especially when it comes to academics. Because of this, I have thought a lot about how language affects the way that we communicate; as I am in the process of studying both the English language and a foreign language, the importance of thinkING about this has become abundantly clear. Continue reading “The Vocabulary of Learning”

Connecting Through Art

While considering what art means to me I realized that in the past I viewed it as, above all, a method of self-expression. But throughout this course I have realized that there is so much more to it than that. Art can still be a form of self-expression, but that is not all it is. Not everyone likes making or performing art, but the fact is that it brings people together. They can be brought together by their shared passion for it or by their shared hatred, but they are still connecting as they produce or experience art in any of its forms. I think these connections are the most important thing that art can offer. The definition of art varies depending on the discipline of the person defining it, because one’s discipline often has an influence over what something means to them. In terms of art, the etymology of the word is a “skill as a result of learning or practice,” and I think this definition would resonate the most with STEM-minded people, whereas if someone is a painter then they’ll think of painting as the form of art that they are most familiar with. This same idea applies to dancers, musicians, architects, etc. Art has many meanings, and it is woven throughout every aspect of our lives because of how many different types of it there are. This is why it is so often that art brings people together, because there’s so many opportunities for it. When I was considering examples of this, I found that our class’ blog was abundant with scenarios in which art encourages connecting with others.

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Interdisciplinary classes are something I have found rather amazing during my time at Geneseo thus far.  The idea that a class is made up of students from both humanities majors and majors in STEM is an opportunity for rapid growth. Because a class that is not a general education requirement, that students chose to take, that mixes disciplines gives students the opportunities to learn something they would’ve never learned from their own majors.

In the beginning of the semester, I was very hesitant to decide if I would enjoy an INTD class, seeing as it was not just a class for my major, it was a class any major could enroll in. This made me nervous because I was very comfortable in my English classes. I knew most of my peers in the English department very well and overall was just overly comfortable with the course load I was receiving from most of my classes prior. This class was different. The class make up included English, mathematics, natural sciences, psychology, sociology, and many other majors. Once the class actually was held, I was not so nervous anymore. Everyone in the class seemed eager to learn and actively participate in conversations. The atmosphere of the class was different than a class that students specifically have to take to fill a general education credit or just a class for a student’s major filled with all students from that same major. It was an environment I really enjoyed being in. No one walked in the class on the first day thinking they were more prepared than others and that alone contributed to what made the class such an incredible place to be in.

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Final Reflection Post

Interdepartmental, or the involvement of many departments or classes, is the main focus of INTD 288: the exploration of the art of Steve Prince. From the beginning I found it difficult to see the connections between art and other subjects of study, especially within my major in STEM. However, as this semester evolved and more professors presented how their departments correlated to art, I began to alter my outlook. Continue reading “Final Reflection Post”