This semester has been very enlightening in many aspects. To be perfectly honest, before this course I had never thought about laughter or humor in general. I didn’t realize there were so many types of humor models or theories for laughter.
Although these things have been very interesting I think the most shocking thing from the course has been witnessing first hand exactly how personal yet universal humor is. The sixty second stories really solidified this fact for me. For the most part each person told a very personal story about themselves or their family members or their friends; although the rest of the class don’t personally know these people nor did they witness the scenario we were all able to find humor in it.
A prime example of this would be Christina’s childhood fear of Santa gaining so much weight from cookies that he would be unable to fit down the chimney. Christina and I have had a number of courses together but still don’t know each other on a personal level and I certainly don’t know what she was like as a child. Regardless, when the clip played and the girl on the camera’s facial expression conveyed absolute fear and even anger and she began yelling about Santa gaining weight the entire class erupted into laughter. We all found humor in the same thing.
To go further, there have been plenty of times when I have found myself horrified by some comments that were made in class by my fellow students and on multiple occasions this had led me to fully recognize the diversity within the classroom. Perhaps this is why I found it so incredibly interesting that such a diverse group of people found themselves finding the same thing hilarious and thus, connecting through humor.
All of the books we have read this semester have helped to shed light on this fact as well. The more humorous books by Amy and David Sedaris or Tyler Perry or Jeff Kinney have had the same effect as those that were a bit more sentimental (but also funny), such as Gilbert. All of these authors seem to use humor to connect the audience to the book and keep their attention as well as connect the characters within the texts.
Overall, I would have to say the most shocking thing this semester was realizing and truly understanding not only how universal humor is, but also realizing that it has the ability to connect people. This fact is incredibly fascinating as well as reassuring; obviously, diversity is a wonderful thing but it is also comforting to know we all have a common thread between us.