Two Down and One to Go

Hey folks,

I recognize that my posting here has been somewhat spotty, but true to form, my winter-break plans to boost posting and activity fell through as usual. I'm not that upset, to be honest. It happens.

It's really strange to see how much this website has changed over the last x-number of years that it's been around. I hope at the very least that I've become more coherent and well thought out.

Having finished my second (and junior) year of college, and watched so many of my friends graduate, I suppose there are a few reflections to be made regarding college (including key events from this semester), my personal progress as displayed on TealArt, and my plans for this summer and next year (including graduate school and life, or whatever follows).

I'm too close to finishing to seriously contemplate transferring from college, but I think I totally would. I've become more displeased with the psychology program (including the curriculum). I'm closest/most comfortable with the faculty that are, in most cases, furthest from my actual interests. The faculty in my area(s) have very applied interests (that are in some cases violently opposed to my interests), I suppose it has not helped that there will be only one semester of the six that I'm at this school where all the professors will be teaching "normal loads" (sabbaticals, study abroad programs, etc.)

To make matters worse, most of my peers are generally uninterested in going on with psychology (its a popular undergrad major), or they're interested in clinical/social work possibilities, or they want to do neuroscience (the best option of the three), but very few are interested in being social scientists, which is strange. Anyway. Enough complaining. For a while there I was really interested in branching out in major ways, and in the last few weeks/months I've become more interested in psychology and the possibilities therein, and at the same time I've become a bit more disillusioned and bitter about my department and potentially field as well.

This renewed interest in psychology has been stirred by more exposure to the cognitive science area of the field, which I had previously stayed away from because the links between cognition and brain (and genetic/biological essentialism/determinism) were/are off-putting, but I think there is room to ask really interesting questions without capitulating to corrupt epistemologies.

I had one of those semesters which I think just "worked" and fit together nicely, despite the insane load (no, for real this time, I'm not doing it again). I took Social Psychology and Personality Theory, and there is clearly a lot of overlap between those fields, even to the extent that I got certain lectures more than once. I passed notes and texts between all of the classes and projects that I worked. Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde quotes (from my special project) ended up in my psychology of women notes/margins/papers, I passed material between Psychology of Women and the Gender Studies class. I quoted a B.F. Skinner article (from personality class) for my Gender Bending final, and mentioned Cognitive dissonance (from social psych) a few times during class. So it all worked out really well, and I'm pretty happy about that. I'm worried about two of the psych grades, I sort of depressed by it, but it might turn out better than I fear it will at this point. We'll see how it works out.

Editor's Note: Why yes, I do realize that I'm writing this completely out of order.

In addition to the already understood goals of generating income, decompressing, and getting ready to apply to graduate school, I have a couple of projects for this summer that I'm rather excited about. One major thing on my plate is that I'm working on setting up a special project for myself next semester (which is basically to do research that I'm thinking of in terms of designing a course on post-structuralism and psychology that would make contact with many of my interests regarding narratives, methodologies, social/feminist theory, and psychology), so I have a lot of reading to get through (that I really want to work on. In a connected note, I agreed to be reading buddies with a friend this summer to get through Derrida's On Grammatology. All of these are built around the project of increasing my reading speed/efficacy a bit, because I feel like that needs to happen. I also have a paper from a class that I really like and intend to rewrite and make it publishable.

I remember that 3 years ago now, I was stressing my ass off over a 4,000 word (max) paper about, masculinity. The subject, particularly my handling of it, is slightly embarrassing now (though as I think about it, in a couple of specific ways, I was almost on track). In the last month, I've written twice that, and more. (Admittedly not on a single project, but that's close). I think I'm a much better writer today than I was three years ago, but I'm still not pleased with much of my writing (and for I suppose many of the same reasons that I was displeased by it, 3 years ago). As I think about it, though, when my writing is motivated by something more than "demonstrating knowledge and synthetic ability" I'm more pleased with it (can you tell I'm still bitter about something.) So go figure.

That's enough for now. Enjoy!

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