Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scary, New and Educational

This week marked the beginning of my summer semester. That probably doesn't seem like a huge deal -- I'm basically a professional student at this point -- but there was something about it that was pretty unnerving. I'm taking a class that is outside both my university and my subject area.

For my program, I have to take three classes of electives in a related field. I decided, since I'd like to focus my dissertation somehow on marginalized groups of people, that sociology would be the best choice for those courses. Unfortunately, my school doesn't offer that subject at the graduate level, so I had to take them elsewhere. The upside of this is that the school where I am going is in the CUNY system, and thus a whole lot cheaper than my private university.

It's also significantly closer to my apartment. I'm talking a 20-30 minute commute instead of two hours. But, as much as the distance to my regular classes sucks, I'm comfortable with the setting and the people. I've also been in the program for two years, so I feel as though I have a decent grasp on the subject area. All of that is out the window for the next several weeks.

New people. New setting. Less comfortable chairs. A subject area in which I have only a tenuous grasp. Administrative headaches so that the credits can be recognized and financial aid will still be disbursed. It's scary. But I'm confronting it. Which is something to be proud of.

I'm trying to acknowledge to myself when I do things that are brave. Going to a book club meeting a couple of weeks ago. Calling Medicaid for information. Taking a class in an unfamiliar setting. I'm hoping if I keep that all in mind I can develop confidence in myself.

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