It was refreshing to take a pause in the middle of the quarter to reflect upon the topics we had discussed in class. Although the topics (pencil, serendipity, bread, and fungi) seem entirely distinct, taking the time to draw out the facets of each of these concepts made me realize how interwoven they are.
This week as we have now reached the midpoint of the quarter I wanted to create a diagram that could recap the last four weeks with connections that I have made. I decided to draw out four sections for each of the week's main topics and began thinking of things that stood out to me most from each of the weeks. What were the main takeaways that I had been most impacted by?
Drawing out the roadmap of this course came out more chaotic than I thought. I wanted to represent the many assignments and content we have covered in the past five weeks. Starting out from the pencil, I wanted to connect it to trees, which link back to the mycomythology expedition we did last week. Pencils come from trees, which are supported by the mycelial network in the soil. Fungi are also responsible for bread, which we discussed in Week 3, proving to me that everything around us is truly alive.
I am so surprised at how fast this quarter went. Five weeks have passed, and I have five more weeks in undergrad. Then again, I'm surprised at how it has only been five weeks. This class has taught me so much and opened up my mind in ways I can't explain. I would've never thought that I could be capable of making bread and thinking about how connected everything in the world is. This class took simple things in life and put it into such deep perspective. Even a pencil, something I don't use much anymore, has so much meaning behind it and the science on how it functions.
Throughout these 4 weeks, we have covered and learned a wide variety of materials from carbon to bread to mycelium. To visualize everything we have learned, I drew out a diagram of all the things that came into my head while connecting the dots between all the subjects covered in class.
My entire diagram is connected by hexagons representing graphene, which signifies a carbon skeleton that connects everything from living to non-living beings. I started by thinking of our very first lesson on hexagons and the pencil. First, I thought about how a pencil is called a "lead" pencil even though it's made of carbon, not the lead material, and how this misconception carries out through other languages as well.
For this week's in-class activity, I drew a map representing the major ideas that we had learned this quarter so far. We started off with learning about the unique social and cultural makeup of pencils and even exploring its molecular composition and how this molecular identity could be interpreted and applied to various different things. This led us to our section on Quantum Space, which talked about the uncertainty and serendipity of various aspects of life and experiences, which stressed the idea of interpretation as well as broadening our horizons with free exploration.
After having embarked on a rather remarkable journey through this past half-quarter, some of the most prominent themes that I took note of was the interrelatedness and interconnectedness of many of the topics that we covered so far. Although the topics themselves were very diverse and unique, there were several, key aspects that seemed to be shared amongst them.
Throughout the course of Honors 177, I have always pondered about the vast difference between the topics chosen by the professor. From pencils, bread, connections, to mycology, these are topics that appear distant at first glance. However, upon careful examination, a common theme emerges: Connections and Balance. To further analyze these connections and the overarching them, it was necessary to examine the individual aspects that make the topic whole. My drawing focuses upon drawing both direct and indirect connections between each of these aspects.
The focus of my drawing for this mid-quarter blog post was an eye because in my opinion, throughout the first five weeks of this class, perhaps the most prevalent theme has been contemplating unseen connections between ourselves, society, and the natural world.