Engagement is important, especially when you have a large assignment coming up. Also, side note, as far as my stock image search went within Spark, there aren't any good photos for engagement. But back to the topic at hand - this monster essay. I've written some wild essays in my life...that's a lie, my schooling has been very traditional. But this essay is wild. I'm excited, or rather engaged, about/in this essay. I think dragons (my topic) are very cool and to get an opportunity to write about them in such an open ended way (like this essay affords) is awesome. I think with a rather large assignment like this it's always a good idea to split it into parts, so thank you for doing that Chris. Having small steps to a larger goal is a great way to keep people engaged and help them not get encouraged. You could have had a schedule type approach where to be "on schedule" we would have had to have certain things done by certain dates, but I think without any accountability that effectively become the same as you just throwing the whole assignment at us at once, which would have sucked. Back whenever we started this process if you had just taken one class period to introduce the assignment and said "Okay, your 2000 word essay is due March 17th," I would have freaked out, and probably waited until somewhere around midday March 13th to start my essay. That's really just a guess though, who knows, maybe I enjoy this allowance for creativity and self-expression so much I would have already had my essay done. I guess you could still make that argument for way things are currently set up, so thank you for doing what you did how you did it, again.

Okay, so side note #2, this video has nothing to do with persistence (the habit of mind I'm going to talk about in this paragraph) I just am proud of the product I made, and it looks really good in 4K. I digress. Persistence is another key component of a large assignment like this. Again, having this assignment be broken into parts helps with persistence. In a large, long assignment, if there were no small individual parts and just once long essay to write, having to power through all the process we are already doing now might test some people. Having to persist like that with no mental break or checkpoint is definitely much harder than having to persist through small assignments like the ones we've been tackling. I also think persistence and engagement go hand in hand. Although it's possible to be persistent without being engaged, I believe being engaged guarantees persistence. That's because when you're engaged, persistence never seems like persistence, it just seems like something you want to do. I guess that's if you're like me and you define persistence as battling through tough times. Or you could be like google and define it as "firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." Regardless, what I'm trying to say is that engagement and persistence can never really exist at the same time. I think that's a great duality those two attributes have, and to realize they are mutually exclusive is even better. By doing so, one is able to choose the easier path (in my mind, engagement, although it's kind of hard/impossible to choose to be engaged). Persistence could also be interpreted as the prolonged work of something so I guess being persistent is also technically not mutually exclusive with engagement but I mean it's really all up to interpretation.

Created By
Alex Haight


Created with images by Retis - "Stéphane Querrec, La Complainte, 2016"

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