If there is one thing that my graduate education has made me realize, it is that I have to un-learn everything I learned in school and in undergrad. I was taught to make decisions with reason and not emotion, and follow instructions without questioning. If you plot my grades over the past 19 years in education, you can see an inverse relationship between my obedience and my grades. Come to graduate school, and I had to think for myself. Think for myself?! It was intimidating at first, but slowly I realized this is what I was destined to do.
This class has made me question my goal to be an educator. I want to continue in academia after my PhD, and I don’t know if I will be a successful professor (or a professor at all), but I will try. I will try to keep pace with the new culture of learning and I will try to listen to students and improve based on feedback. There will be critics, and there will be failures, but I will keep trying to get better.
I am reminded of a quote for moments like these:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt