The Taming of the Student
I swear, sometimes grad school makes me feel like an untamed horse fighting against a bridle...
I managed to get my first bad grade of doctoral study over the Thanksgiving break, just in time to shake all confidence as I enter my first finals season of doctoral study. Sigh.
Now that I've spent the majority of the day letting myself be angry about what I consider to be a rote memorization and verbatim regurgitation approach to education, I can look (slightly) more objectively at the ill-fated assignment. It was basically an issue of detail and clarity (they wanted more of both).
This is where my bad-student-ness comes in... I know I know the material. I don't think I should have to recite PowerPoint lectures back at people to prove that I can make a decision about an appropriate study design for a research question. At no point in life (except of course during the next two years) will I be asked to know any of this information from memory. Instead, I will be expected to know where to get the details I don't have top of mind and think through things critically.
Obviously, I favor Einstein's notion that education should train us to think rather than focus on learning (read: memorizing) facts.
But alas, none of my pedagogical or ideological feelings about education (regardless of how passionate I might be about them) are going to change the fact that I am in the program that I'm in and that in order to get through said program I must prove that I'm a good memorizer and spitter-backer of things. I have to accept the bit and the bridle if I want the degree.
And while I also spent a handful of hours today questioning my decision to pursue said degree, the sad fact still remains that I would still rather be here, doing this exact thing, than anywhere else. I even hit up the student store sale today to reinforce my commitment to the journey and program with some university swag.
A little retail therapy never hurt anyone. Plus, it's almost my birthday.
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