Throughout the various course readings this semester, my interest level has varied normally corresponding to how well I understood the central arguments of the readings. If I were to devise a spectrum of appreciation and likeness for the readings in this class, comics would bookend the whole spectrum. My favorite reading was Ms. Marvel, though I believe it sometime tries too hard to address every single social issue an American teenage will face, while my least favorite reading was the attempt to explain Freudian psychoanalysis through a comic.
Ms. Marvel appealed to me simply because it was fun, stuffed with action, and humorous at times. These are not normal characteristics of class readings, especially for a science major like myself. As enjoyable as Ms. Marvel was, the Freudian comic was the opposite: completely disinteresting, confusing, frustrating, and overall ineffective. I understand the challenge of presenting and defining psychoanalysis and that, in some cases, a unique take on a topic can be effective, but the method of using a comic strip rendered a challenging topic completely incomprehensible. Freud, in his own works, provides specific examples to help explain his arguments and I think these examples accomplish what they are designed to do. In the comic strip, however, there are additional examples that become outright outlandish and, at least for me, ruined any chance to understand the content because of the insane level of abstraction. Upon a second review of this text, I actually found a certain scene where the comic aided in explaining an aspect of Freud’s argument. The example was the horse boy, I believe in the section that attempted to explain the Oedipus Complex, and because the horse faced humans were consistent between father and son, I was able to link the abstract figures to a general understanding of a specific point.
Regarding points that I wished we had covered more in class, I think it would been interesting if we spent more class time reviewing examples of teen media and then having quicker, more succinct discussion immediately after exposure to the content. When we discussed the readings assigned, sometimes class members who clearly had not read the reading, checked out and became disengaged from the discussion. I understand the value of assignments that should be completed outside of class and I feel as though the discussions on the outside readings were beneficial, but I think that supplementing discussion of this material with discussion of material presented during class time would effectively engage all of those present in class. Specifically, more live discussion, as I will call it, surrounding the most recent subjects like reality, would be quite intriguing.
Next semester, I am cutting down on the amount of credit hours I have taken in the first 5 semesters of college. I plan on taking only 12 hours of classes: two four credit hour biology courses (Endocrinology and Microbiology) along with a four credit hour classics/philosophy course with a favorite professor of mine called Theorizing Myth, which is apparently a life-changing course.
For future classes, I think the theme of surveillance would be awesome. As an increasing amount of technological companies that most of us gather our data and information, sometimes unbeknownst to us, the issue of privacy and general surveillance will garner more and more attention. Eventually, the uncharted waters of privacy rights in regard to data and personal information must be addressed and I believe that will occur at the legislative level.