Friday, April 23, 2010

What You Know and Who You Know

The end of the semester is almost here. I can't wait. I love the beginning of each semester because I love the challenge of new knowledge. However, I really like it when the semester ends because by then, I am ready to move on to other challenges.

But before I can move on, I have to prove to my professors what I know in the form of finals and papers. I have a 10-page paper due in my Asian Studies class in lieu of a final. My paper is on Mao and Nixon and the immediate after-effects of Nixon's visit to China. In between now and the day the paper is due, Megan has prom and starts her new job, so life happens in spite of Mao.

Yesterday I was talking to my former Computer Science teacher, telling her how I had to take 15 hours a semester next year in order to graduate (some bizarre university policy that my last 30 hours had to come from UT) if I want to take my foreign language at the community college this summer. She said, "Oh, no you don't. The university will waive that for you. Come see me and I'll take care of that for you." Cool! I don't have to knock myself out next year and end up with a bazillion more credits than I actually need. Good thing I know the right person who knows how to get that requirement waived.

I am investigating a Master's program at the University of Georgia in Environmental History. I have gotten lots of encouragement from my Geo prof and other environmental historians I have contacted. Now I just need to dialog with my history department here at UT. The thing about environmental history is that it straddles two cultures - history and science, so the social dynamics are a bit muddled and territorial. I am reading a great book entitled, "First Along the River: A Brief History of the US Environmental Movement" by Dr. Benjamin Kline. It is quite fascinating! I told my Geo prof this morning that I know what I want to be when I grow up - an environmental historian!

The encouragement from this post? Keep plugging way! If you're not sure why you are where you are, but you know you're supposed to be in school, hang in there. You'll figure it out eventually! Stay tuned . . .

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