In the beginning there was grad school. That ended in 2010. Now what do I blog about?


August 19, 2008

catching my breath

whew! Summer session was very difficult. Tough class - not an easy breezy summer class which I would have preferred. I need to schedule an appointment with my advisor and register for fall classes, which means a trip out to the north shore in the coming weeks while I wait for my final grade for the summer session.

The class on diversity was emotionally challenging and mentally exhausting. All the diversity training have had in my life was ineffective and I was completely unprepared for such intensity int he discussions and debates. I wasn't the only one having some sort of cultural awakening; many of us in the class were exposed to some profound truths, truths which we have been sheltered from our whole lives. I am thankful for the experience and feel much more at ease with the subject now.

Work is busy now. I am gearing up for a meeting with someone to discuss re-grading my position. Comparing what I do and what I make to industry standards, I am way below where I should be. Advocating for change I can do, but advocating for myself is difficult. I am trying to stay focused on it as if I were advocating for someone else, to prevent becoming over emotional, which I tend to do when faced with a personal challenge.

Summer is coming to a close. The last few projects at the house are underway - the front stairs are being re-built and we are set for estimates on the insulation. I can't believe we are planning for winter already.

August 04, 2008

Summer session

I am more than half way through the summer session. It has been difficult. The class is a 'global diversity' course (requirement). I'm not one who's big on diversity issues so I didn't exactly go into the class doing cartwheels.

The first few assignments were trivial. Get to know you's and testing of the waters. Then BLAMO, we get hit with some major black/white readings and assignments. Tough topic. Sensitive issue. Everyone has baggage related to race issues. Me, too. I know I do.

In a diversity class it is all about people and their issues. People get defensive and start playing I'm-not-a-racist-bingo, checking off a square for each lesbian, Jewish, black, Asian and Latino friend they have. The 'free' square in the middle is for anyone who has ever attended an Irish/Italian/Greek/Puerto Rican or gay pride festival. Give me a break.

This week's Post Secret included the following image, which pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject. Note that the creator's final thoughts, what he/she learned, is covered by a label. This bit of irony is the point - it is what's beneath the label that counts.

mike.jpg PostSecret Aug 2008

Note: Since start of the class, author has been referred to as a social Darwinist, a racist and a meritocratist.

(than you, Raputa, for reminding to update my blog)