Sunday, January 07, 2007

A new start

Tomorrow begins the second semester of my master's degree in sociology. Let me recap semester one for myself.

I found it to be very heavy and constantly weighing on me. My time felt always consumed, despite spending very little of it actually studying. I hardly did any readings for my theory class, I often felt inadequate in my statistics class, and I did what I had to do for my immigration class. Despite what I'd been promised, I never experienced a moment of mind-blown-ness. Instead I just felt disheartened and unimpressed by academia.

I worked as a teaching assistant which really meant grader of bad papers and hated those weekends spent devoted to that. I worked as a research assistant and hated the feeling of passivity, or non-motivation that I always felt when doing the work.

The first month was difficult, that first stats midterm brought me to tears, and I rarely arrived home before 8 or 9pm. It was tough. And I got it in my head that I hated grad school. Maybe I do, but after the first month things were really not so bad.

This semester is going to be different. Here's why.

My three courses are less intense. That statistics course I took is the dreaded PhD required course that everyone thinks of as a huge obstacle to overcome. Done and done. Theory also is something I am not at all interested in. Done. My immigration class had us writing much more than other courses require. Done. My three new courses this semester are interesting and fresh, all with professors who score highly on (very crucial, you know.) I'm taking urban sociology, qualitative research methods, and a course at the school of education called something like Education, culture, and language.

Not only that, but my teaching assistant job for this semester is for an undergraduate level statistics course. The grading I will be doing is for math tests! Yeehaw! This is MUCH better than papers. Much, much, much.

The research assistant job may be the same, though my supervisor told me that I may be able to do some data analysis which may be more interesting than what I was doing before. We shall see.

So I'm feeling optimistic. I have also made some plans to re-claim my interests. I'm going to play my guitar more often, and perhaps my trumpet. I'm going to enroll in bellydancing and continue going regularly to the gym. And I'm going to go to the theatre and to concerts more often. In order to do all that I'm going to cut my facebook/online activities down substantially. Not blogging, of course.

And I'll take it from there.


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