Writing What Matters

Writing 181

Before I begin to explain where I stand on the personal/academic divide, I’d like to address an anecdote/fact on my workflow with others in GitHub. In GitHub, as a way to organize the issues that come about from our programming work, we use a system called GitHub Issues. We generally file an issue and end up closing it later with approved code in what’s called a “pull request”. In the GitHub Issues feature, we are able to label our issues to further organize them. As such, it’s common to see our issues have multiple labels at a time. For instance, we could have an issue on GitHub pertaining to a set of tasks. The corresponding labels for them are enhancement (new feature/request), security (corresponds to things relating to the security of the project), and help wanted (self-explanatory). Simply put, not all of our issues on GitHub can fall under a single category.

For me, the divide between “academic” and “personal” works in a very similar fashion. I could have a school assignment that I need to complete by the end of the week (academic). However, it may be pertaining to my interests or it’s about a personal topic like my hobbies, relationships, etc. (personal). In a sense, writing can have multiple “labels” like an issue on GitHub. Not all assignments have to be strictly academic or personal; it’s okay to have an overlap! Personally, I always have preferred the type where both labels are added; it keeps me engaged on the project and help me connect to it in a way that I wouldn’t before.

So, what would I consider as “academic” and what would I consider as “personal”? Simply put, academic would refer to anything related to the school setting or my education. Personal would be anything else, from relationships and hobbies to my own thoughts and ideas. As such, an overlap works because my definition of academic doesn’t pertain to a specific style, but a location or it context. In fact, a lot of assignments I’ve had are a fit for both. I’ve done a few projects in the past for various subjects in which I’ve made visual novels or a website for them.