Journal 8-22-03

My overall impression [of the program] is positive.  I am relieved at how engaged and excited I am by the class and discussion.  It was good to meet and talk with others in small groups.  I’ve been reluctant to speak up in the large group, which doesn’t surprise me.  But it is overwhelming — it seems like so many people want to speak up about what they think, and that’s good.  I’m also happy at discovering ideas the others have that I had not yet considered.  I just feel nervous that I have not quite formulated so clearly what I think.

I definitely see how immature I am in the field, which is of course OK.  I should be.  As [my friend] was saying, what is important at this point is to see whether the program is meeting my expectations or at the very least that I don’t think I’ve just made a huge mistake.  In these things I am confident.  For the first time in my life I think (save a few courses in undergrad) I am excited about learning and reading.  After talking to my family and friends, I discovered they had similar experiences in their graduate learning.

Pressing thoughts at the end of today are on the idea of balance.  It is such a broad thought too, that I hope I will be able to shape it into a more manageable scope throughout the course.  Mostly, I suppose, I am interested to understand my own bias and prejudices and how those shape my opinions in the profession.

What I did speak up about today was our own responses to the Patriot Act being based in fear.  And I think this is another balance question.  It is interesting because, again, for the first time I see that difference between discussing based on my past knowledge (beliefs, bias?) and gaining understanding that to go further I will NEED MORE INFORMATON.  How refreshing.

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