November 16, 2004
But on the other hand....
It must be nice at time to not question every detail, to take yourself so seriously, to test your worldview every time you buy groceries or turn on the tv. It must be nice to be satisfied with a "good enough" research question that will get your dissertation finished, rather than a question that provokes too many trips to library and almost finishes you before you finish.
My advisor once told me that my goal should be to be the outstanding person in my field. I believe he's right, and I think I'm on track to do just that (some days, I feel that confident, anyway), but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to settle for a little less.
Can you tell I've been working on my dissertation?
What is Education, Anyway?
I just spent the last ten minutes posting comments to another blog about why it seems that students (these days, and probably in every day) aren't more engaged and interested in education. As I was posting, I couldn't help but think, why aren't I writing this on my own blog?!
Last week, in one of my classes, we were talking about this very issue, only in terms of why people don't like change. We were discussing the impending Singularity (see my Buddhists/Futurists blog for a good start on the topic) and lamenting that people don't really want to have multiple careers in one lifetime. They just want their steady job, a house, blah blah blah.
I guess it's easy for me to say that I don't want that since I don't have a steady job, and I don't own a house. But, I also don't think that I've ever thought that there were those guarentees in life, and to me, education has always been about building knowledge not just gaining training.
I don't know why that's the case, though. Why do I enjoy the process of education and yearn for more (although nearing the end of my doctoral coursework, I AM looking forward to being more in control of what I learn from now on) while others are simply satisfied with the acquisition of a few skills? This comes up for me in my work with first year students, and I sure don't have the answers.
November 1, 2004
Pawlenty Was Wrong!
The Presidential Election is drawing near (thankfully--let's just GET IT OVER WITH!), and Minnesota's swing state status means that the candidates come through almost daily.
This weekend, Bush was in town to rev up his base at the Xcel Energy Center. Naturally, Tim Pawlenty was there to support his party. While Pawlenty spoke, he held up the U of M flag--a gold M against a maroon background--and, to show his support for the President, he turned it upside down to so that it was a big W. He waved it proudly to the crowd, suggesting that the U of M supports Bush.
I didn't know the university endorsed Bush?! Last I knew, the university was not affiliated with a party, and considering how much the Republicans have cut funding for higher education, I'm quite honestly SHOCKED to think that the university would support Bush.
I hope that the university administration voiced concern over Pawlenty's actions. I hope that I'm not the only one who is outraged. And, above all, I hope this all doesn't matter in a few days anyway, when Bush is voted out of office!