Calvino vs Me

Integrative Seminar Week 6


Today’s class was about finding our own faults. We were asked what we thought we could do better in our chapters. This question made me analyse my own work from A to Z. I think the most significant flaw in my writing is that I’m not able to use words efficiently to show what I’m thinking. Maybe this is due to lack of vocabulary usage, or that my thoughts aren’t concrete enough. Either way, it’s one thing I want to improve. Another thing I struggle with is adding intangible aspects. I would like to improve on invoking certain emotions in the reader’s mind when reading my work. This obviously comes with practice and experience, both of which I lack.

This is the difference between a student and a writer like Calvino. Calvino can teleport me to his cities within the first few lines of his chapters, and then he leaves the rest for me to imagine. He uses a bunch of regular elements that a city might have, like arches,alleys,staircases,pipes and buildings. This is something we can make up in our head based on the versions of these things that we’ve seen in our past, but he adds an imaginary element to it. This forces one out of their visual impression/observation from the past.

I cannot let my imagination as loose as Calvino can. This is primarily because I think about how the reader will perceive things first. Something like that might take time to fix, but writing exercises help with that.

We then discussed the difference between art and design. I think art is a lot more about self expression than design is. It has no restrictions. And it can be interpreted in a million ways. Whereas for design, the user comes first. Designers have to care about opinions,the user’s perception, and about every single detail of their work and how others will find it useful.

I also learnt how critical thinking and reflection are related, and how they make up critical reflection. While reflection is looking back at how we understand something, critical reflection is about applying reflections in daily life.

After this discussion, I went through my work again and knew that it needed a major upgrade. I gave my own chapters some self-critique, and I think that helped me see them through the reader’s eyes. So with that, I decided to write a better set of drafts loaded with more imagination and clarity.

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