So you may be wondering - do they do speed dating at Clark University?
They may, actually. My old roommate mentioned to me that Dodd Hall is doing a speed-dating-type-of-meet-and-greet-event in order to encourage neighbors to meet each other.
Comparable to the Dodd event, my experience with speed dating wasn't actually speed dating. However, my 9am Lab in Social Psychology did engage in a speed date set-up, where we rotated in lines and spoke to our classmates for two minutes at a time in order to decide who would work well together in research project groups. Needless to say, there was plenty of giggling and "what are we supposed to talk about, again?" before things like, the areas of psychology we are interested in, were actually discussed.
I can think of very few ways I'd rather spend a significant chunk of my 9am course, than getting to know my classmates via (almost) speed dating.
Beyond my nearly-speed-dating-experience, classes have remained pleasant! I've officially had two of each of my three courses (Lab in Social Psychology, Women in Society, Women in Jewish Culture) and I was able to meet with Prof. Fox yesterday in order to discuss plans for the independent study/Jewish Studies capstone I'll be working on with him. So far we've begun drafting a reading list, including books by Earl Grollman and Anne Brener. We will also be examining texts from the Bible and Midrash - to start with, likely I'll be examining Psalms and the Book of Job (as a reminder, I will be looking at the dying process as a whole, likely with a focus on how folks cope).
A great thing about my college experience so far is that everything seems to be rather interconnected - integration of topics seems to be key in making things relevant to the individual. In my own life, I maintain interest in learning about gender, sexuality, religion, spirituality, death. It is especially exciting to me when these concepts intersect, and I can combine multiple of my interests. But sometimes these intersections can feel overwhelming. Today, in Women in Society, we were discussing the importance of including examinations of class, race, gender, ethnicity, & society in our discussions. But there are so many things to pay attention to! How do I manage to pay attention to all of these important social structures that shape peoples' experiences and lives? It's nearly overwhelming, all of these significant factors, because it's not just about women, it's also about all of these unique social structures that play an important role in distributing power and privilege. But it's simultaneously wonderful. I have so many different viewpoints from which to examine subjects of significance, and I'm so grateful to be taking classes where aspects are considered and people are aware of their own biases & privileges, and my classmates are open and willing to be a part of discussions.
Earlier today, on the third floor of Goddard Library, I sat in a chair and (dutifully) did my homework. Following which, I opened up The Fault in Our Stars, a novel by John Green. And, somewhere around chapter twenty-one, began to cry uncontrollably, startling a student near me who was working on his laptop. The book is about living and dying with cancer, and other things, like love. Overall, very lovely and wonderful, but quite sad.
Two things about this experience made me happy (although I do apologize to the student I startled):
1. Goddard Library is a wonderful place to read/spend time, and I am mildly upset that I only recently discovered that I love to spend time there (I must make up for three and a half inexplicable years without the library by spending a lot of time there this semester) and
2. that even things seemingly unrelated to course work can have thoughts from my classes applied to them. This may sound a bit common-sense-like, but it always pleases me to realize that I can interpret any type of media and use it to further ponder things that are of significance to me. Like, in this case, death/dying, and coping. And, I suppose, things like love.
And that's all for now! I'm off to read more, or watch 'Six Feet Under', or possibly get started on next week's homework. I hope that everyone has a lovely weekend!
And here's a link to some poetry about cats, because I like both poetry and cats.