For me, while an overall positive and enjoyable experience, the avatar project definitely was a mixed bag, but that was my own fault. In the beginning my work definitely suffered in part due to simple stupidity. I had done an avatar project before and had disliked it and thought this was would be similar. I wasn’t giving the project my undivided attention and my work definitely suffered because of it. In order to fully get into your character and try to understand what they were going through, you couldn’t give anything less than all of your thought. What I failed to realize is that the content of the project is what made it so great. You were trying to live the life of a person most likely going through a terrible part of history on a very personal level. Once I realized this, I got very into my character and learned a lot about the way people thought, acted, and reacted during these times and during these terrible experiences by trying my best to get into the mind of my character.
Additionally, while the focus of this class has been about trying to understand how victims move on from terrible experiences, I accidentally fell upon a path of writing a character on the other side, the perpetrator’s side. I quickly changed this to turn my character into a victim and while this wouldn’t have followed the general course of the class, I’m disappointed I did this. In order to properly represent history we need to try and analyze as many of the different people and their ideas during a specific time period. Learning in class about the victims and their difficulties in moving past the repressive Chilean regime would have offered me great learning from one side while I learned, through trying to understand the thinking of a perpetrator, about the other side’s point of view, as dirty and gross as it might have been (or not been for some people). This could have offered me the depth of learning, I believe. I am not entirely sure why I abandoned this character. Maybe I was scared of the amount of depth of writing required to get inside the mind of a torturer and/or murderer. Maybe I thought it would be too difficult to try and write about a perpetrator and to show that they could have been a victim in their own way without too positively depicting their situation– they were a torturer and/or murderer after all. Whatever my reason was, I was disappointed that I took the (definitely not easy) less difficult route.
Nonetheless, the avatar project is definitely the part of the class which required the most thinking from me and offered me the chance to try my hardest to truly learn about what people went through in the past. For this reason I ended up really enjoying the project and wish I could have written more.