I don’t know where to begin, because I haven’t written a blog post for a few months now. I want to apologize because while this blog is about me, it’s also about you – as your story is likely connected with mine and mine with yours. So I am sorry if I let you down by not writing, but I’m back and I will try and keep at it as I go into my last semester of grad school this spring.
At the beginning of the semester, I created a list of priorities as it came to my classes, and I even wrote on the top of the sticky note “respect your priorities” and I ranked which of my classes I wanted to focus on. After 3 semesters of graduate school, I have found that there isn’t time to give 100% to each of my classes – meaning that I can do all the readings, assignments and papers to my personally, set high bar, and my priority list has helped me to think about “what do I really want to learn?” and “is there something I am doing that I am ok learning only part of it?”
The problem with this list is that it does not include my priorities outside my classes, like this blog, which I feel has become part of my sense of self and perhaps even part of your connection to me. What I found was that because I was taking two leadership courses this semester, and I was doing 3-4 page weekly reflections for each of them, I felt as if I was adequately reflecting; however, only my course assistants were reading them and getting to see what I was thinking about. I seemed to lose steam to write on my blog because I felt worn out already by writing reflections for my courses on my perceptions of the world going on around me, as well as my awareness of the world of interactions and ideas taking place in my mind.
I had to protect myself and give myself more time for many of my courses this semester. I had a mix of technically and analytically-focus courses with softer skill courses (leadership), which challenged different parts of my brain, questioning who I thought I was, to how to price a credit default swap. I would get back to my apartment in the evenings at times completely exhausted, try and get a good night sleep, kick the next day off with a run, and then start again with trying to learn as much as I could.
My analytical frameworks professor taught me much about behavior decision analysis, and started off this section of the course with, “Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes that reason is that you’re stupid and you make bad decisions.” He was trying to get us to use analytical methods, math, probabilities and understanding our biases to make better decisions.
I also continued with the same drawing class I did last spring on Wednesday evenings, but this time was the course assistant so I went early and stayed late to help set up the classroom. We also had a really unique outing to the Harvard Art Museum to study some of the figure drawings that were pulled into a classroom for us to analyze and look at closely, to get some ideas for our own drawings. I loved getting to go deeper into my artistic side and continue to draw and make art.
I still don’t have the energy to reflect more fully on the learnings, ideas and discussions that took place this semester. I have slept like a rock the past few nights to try and make up for the high energy that was needed to get me to maximize my time at school. I do hope to continue to rest over the next few weeks and share more about what I have been thinking.
I will end this post with a beautiful sunrise the morning I left Boston, which brought peace to my soul and closure to a stimulating fall semester.