I came into this course while I was just starting to get a grasp on the fact that my gender identity didn’t quite fit the person that I thought I was supposed to be.  I have fought to project this image that I thought other people would see as desirable just for the sake of fitting in. I knew I was different (I wrote a really long email to myself about how I wasn’t male and wasn’t female) but I knew it wasn’t acceptable to just let that show without trying to hide it. So I laid claim to the title of ‘freak’ and described myself as weird while growing my hair out and putting on makeup every morning. I wore dresses and skirts even though they made me incredibly uncomfortable, which is when I discovered my love for brightly colored tights and used them to sit comfortably. Don’t get me wrong, I love to dress up every now and again, but it’s not me every day. Some days I’m suffocated by the existence of my breasts so much so that a binder doesn’t faze me and other days I wonder why I’ve thrown away all my push-up bras.

                So right when I started admitting that all of this might actually be something that I can’t ignore, I started this semester and was excited by the potential that all my classes had. Along the way a teacher decided I was too opinionated for my sex and one of my classes refused to contemplate the words of Foucault, Butler, and Bordo . Lucky for me, I had this class to go to right afterward and that realization basically kept me sane and fighting even when I wanted to storm out of the room screaming.

                This last paper was, while difficult, incredibly cathartic. I finished it with time to spare because I got to write about what I was passionate about. I used sources just to destroy the legitimacy of their points of view. In this class I’ve learned how to use rhetoric to understand how words can oppress without meaning to as well as set people free, with just a little tweaking. I’ve gotten much more thoughtful about every sentence I speak and have learned to listen even harder when someone disagrees with me because even I am not perfect. I learned that I love theory and the way it speaks and that a lot of people struggle with it and I love trying to explain it to them, whether the theory was in this class or not.

                As much as this class has taught me, I will be sad to let it go. However, I know that it has taught me so much that I can’t really be sad that it’s ending.  I can only be grateful to have been a part of it and been able to grow and learn with it. Basically, thanks everyone for aiding in my learning and thank you, Malatino, for giving me the freedom to take what I needed to from this course and really making me want to work to understand everything. I’ll miss you all.

With gratitude,

Skyler Powell


Also, what finals do to me:


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