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Re: what happened?

Posted by alexandra_k on April 28, 2009, at 11:57:48

In reply to what happened?, posted by alexandra_k on April 28, 2009, at 11:20:55

it is interesting to think about what it is to have an education
lets face it the difference in the educational systems (Australasia vs US) is significantly a function of
the mighty dollar

(though the influence of britain confounds me and i don't know what to say about that)

though i appreciate the freedom that comes from being encouraged to focus on your interests
the freedom that comes from being allowed to (the absence of requirements and hoops)

i also appreciate the support that (may) come from appreciating the value of breadth
maybe i would have had support here to appreciate breadth
or maybe i would have slipped through the cracks
not graduated college because the breadth requirement is higher
not be given the opportunity to do philosophy at all

four year (generalist) degree vs three year (specialist) degree
early specialization is required where people don't have the luxury
of being financially supported by their parents for longer
21 is an adult in the US, 18 is an adult in Australasia
parents are NOT expected to put their children through university
'adults' make the decision to go (a financial investment of the form of student loans)
traded off against their future careers
i'm not expected to motivate my students in australasia
if they aren't motivated they should rethink their decision to attend
i'm expected to motivate my students in the US
that is what their parents are paying for

first year university here is more like last year high school
the quality of the work is incommensurable...
the number of other classes the students are required to do
the extra-curricular activities that are strongly encouraged
incommensurable systems

i came partly because i thought there was something lost in a 3 year PhD compared to a 5 year
seems obvious to me that 2 more years can't hurt can't do anything but help
but i'm not sure that is the case...
2 more years of hoops.
it isn't the case that you take the classes that interest you
it is the case that you take classes that fulfill the requirements

i find myself losing my passion and interest for philosophy here
i find myself being confronted with parts of philosophy
that i simply don't give a sh*t about
i find myself not able to take the classes that interest me
because of this and that requirement
this and that timetable clash
and i have more freedom than the students here
i only have the timetable to deal with

we have three years...
but in those three years...
what we get in those three years...
is so much more than the students get here when they are writing their dissertation
is the more we get equivalent to the two years coursework?
incommensurable systems

i'm appreciative that i got to come here and broaden my experience
to come to appreciate and respect difference a bit more

(has challenged some of my stereotypes and assumptions
spending more time with my father i came to see just how many he has
and how while i disagree with many of his
in many respects i am / was just as opinionated
that that is where i got some of that from
that there are things about him that i don't want to be like
i don't want to die of lung cancer
i don't want to be racist (i've always drawn the line on that)
i don't want to be nationalist)

my therapist is a better role model for me...

i'm appreciative that i get to go back and have 11 months of writing up in that kind of environment.

i'm appreciative that i have the opportunity to go back (as a mature student)
that they won't hold my lack of science background against me

i'm appreciative i got to take cognitive neuroscience coursework here
what (for some) was a hoop
was something that i was given the opportunity to discover a passion for

what is philosophy?
what is neuroscience?

what is it that i'm passionate about?

(i want freedom in philosophy and hoops for science)

what is best for me...




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