Final Reflection – Haley Kastendieck

As this semester comes to a close, I’m reflecting on all that I have learned from this semester. From my time in SJC -100, I’ve learned more about cultures around the world, the origin of folktales, how society was in the 17th century to today, and different approaches to storytelling. Coming into this class, I didn’t realize the impact fairytales had on our society, past being nostalgic as we think back to our childhood. However, as we read through each story, not only was I brought back to reading them as a child, but I was gaining more knowledge on the history and culture behind each story, analyzing how these fit into the time period in which they were written in, (or how they contrasted, if the story was more radical for its time), and the real and raw experiences in life that went over my head as a child. What surprised me was the real topics that were expressed in fairytales, like abuse, teen pregnancy, and arranged marriages. Now reading these stories gives a new perspective on the real struggles of life past the perfect magical world that Disney portrays. Fairytales are important, as they not only fuel our imagination, but teach us important lessons from an early age. Viewing these stories with the characters facing real-life issues was very refreshing and depicts the hardships we encounter on the daily. Most of the stories we read in class we’ve heard about or know a version already. Likewise, most of the aspects of each story, or the lesson that is being communicated we can connect to our world today. One of my favorite parts of the class was our group discussions, where we all could offer our different interpretations of the story itself, as well as in what ways these themes transpire in our lives today. Not only did it transform they way I dissected each text, but opened my eyes to other experiences that these stories hinted at or related to. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to finish the stories that we had planned for the semester. While I would’ve liked to discuss our interpretations of the next few fairytales, our in-depth conversations of the tales we got to is why we ran out of time, and I wouldn’t want to change that. Our class came to many realizations as we worked through the details of each tale together, compared the message to our personal experiences, and were able to bounce ideas off of each other. Additionally, these discussions boosted my confidence, and allowed me to be comfortable in contributing everyday, where I would normally be nervous to. While it was interesting learning about the history of fairytales and why people tell stories, I think that breaking up the first few articles of the year throughout the semester would be helpful in the future, as you could get into the stories earlier on, and can apply the articles to the text as you go. I had a great experience in SJC-100, and I know that I will continue to read more fairytales, and different versions in the future!

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