Jordyn

What is Digital Humanities? Is there a definition? Is it something simple and easy? Nope. Then what is DH? And why should it be taught at the undergraduate level? Here’s why: DH isn’t just one thing. It’s not a fact or a definition one can memorize. It’s not something that can be understood in 5 minutes- or even 5 weeks. It isn’t something someone can look at can say “Ooooh. Huh, now that’s digital humanities.” It’s not something useles. It’s something that is on a completely different level than any other subject or idea. It’s real. It’s relatable. It’s understandable. It’s intellectual. It’s sophisticated. It’s essential. That’s why it should be taught at an undergraduate level.

Digital humanities is collegial. Why? Because, like we talked about in our class, it discusses important issues; like how the world is changing while the level of learning at the collegiate level doesn’t move more than an inch in the direction of transformation- and our world is transforming every day. Classes in the field of digital humanities are moving in the right direction- allowing for the things that the world is doing now- collaborating, interpreting, etc. 

Digital Humanities opens up a brand new world, and a brand new way of interpreting that world. It’s investigating, collaborating and learning…continuously. It’s something that will be with you forever, if you decide to take a trip down an unfamiliar path and end up in the world of DH. In this world there is a certain sense of freedom. There are places for creativity, personal opinions, discussion, understanding, and of course, learning.

It’s different from any other boring old course because it’s the exact opposite of memorizing dates, titles and authors that honestly, are probably NOT going to help someone in the long-run. Personally, I walked into DH on the first day of class interested into what exactly was going to be taught. I had little to no idea. When our professor said the words “blogging” and “posting” I was like: “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” She meant that we had to share our thoughts about important pieces of writing, videos and articles. And then have others in the class read our comments and add to them? Um, no. I’m an individual. I do things on my own. No, thank you.

I absolutely hated sharing my opinions- afraid that someone would go against me and we would have a debate. Why was I like that? Because I never had the opportunity to explore new things and learn things that I didn’t even imagine were out there. So, I really thought about dropping the class because it was going to be so different from all of my other classes. I was so used to memorizing and reading boring, useless things that I didn’t want any part of something new. I wanted a teacher to stand in front of the class, lecture for 50 minutes, put up a PowerPoint and leave me alone.

Now, I want to debate- to share my insight- and I hope that others would want to converse with me about things. Like are we the “Dumbest Generation?” How reliant are we on technology? Are books really going to disappear from the library shelves eventually? What has “Digital Nation” said about our world? DH has changed me. It has made things real to me that I knew were out there, but I never really examined closely. I have gained so much knowledge from this class. I am more observant of  the changes in the world. I am more familiar with the thought of me being a “Digital Native.” And most importantly, I am ready to move on from this class, and go out in the real world and share my knowledge with others and have real, prefessional discussions with someone. And I want to continue to learn new things because only one semester of this is not enough to qualify me to teach and preach. Like I said, DH has changed me- for the better- and has enriched my sense of self and my intellectual abilities, and those changes will stay with me forever.

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