To be perfectly honest, by the time I get to the 3:00 class of The Graphic Novel, I’m pretty mentally exhausted. I’m almost absolutely certain that I’m not the only one. I also always find myself doodling during the lecture as I attempt to pay attention to the class matter and not completely let my mind wander off into space. The last two classes where we’ve been discussing Lynda Barry’s graphic novel What It Is, I’ve enjoyed immensely. I like how we’ve shifted from just having a lesson where the professor is providing us with information to what I would consider much more of a personal, and almost intimate conversation. The topic of the conversation itself has changed from the mentally of being prepared to talk about expected materials to dreams, childhood memories and inner thoughts.
It seems rather normal to try and avoid talking about personal stories and thoughts in a classroom setting, but this book directly invites you to talk and compare stories from your childhood, dreams and fears. Hearing other people talk about dreams, like having your teeth fall out or having dreams about going through your entire day before waking up, shows just how similar our minds work even though we are all very different people in other aspects of our lives.
Some professors get upset if they catch you drawing during class since that means your not paying attention to what they are saying. Instead, Professor Whalen has been encouraging us to draw during class and share what we’ve been drawing as we have discussion. Personally, by being able to doodle in my notes while talking helps me feel more relaxed and more willing to participate in discussion, it helps me feel less nervous about speaking in front of the class and has even helped to spark a jumping off point for my group’s comic assignment story.
These last two classes seem much more creativity based instead of the regurgitation of knowledge that most lectures so heavily rely on as their driving force. By shifting to creativity, we’ve been able to have more thoughtful discussions and more people who are normally quiet during class have started to speak up in order to share their own dreams and childhood memories.