Aug '08 - Jul '09
I wish we could skip first days. I'd like to start off on the third, or maybe the fourth day, when we already know what we're doing, where classes are, and who's sitting next to us. But we all have to go through it ... the administrative issues, the syllabi, the introductions. And there's a good chance that, like myself, many others have the same anxiety that comes with returning to classes.
Most of my anxiety today came from knowing that I'd be starting thesis. For those of you who may be hearing my story for the first time, I'm attending the University of Southern California in order to get my two-year Master's degree in Building Science. I have a six-year Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati (back when they still had it), and while I love architecture, I practiced long enough after undergrad to know that I didn't particularly love the way it was being built, and I certainly didn't know enough to change that on my own. So I decided to return to graduate school to study whole building design ... you may know it as "sustainability." When describing it to non-architects, I refer to it as "putting solar panels on buildings." That usually gets the job done!
(A note on my title: this is my second year at USC, however, it's my third semester, and first post, thus the 3.1.)
In a way, I'm glad that I didn't start my school blog at the beginning of my first year. Grad school was new and shiny for me then; I walked away from a full-time job as a project manager, discouraged with all the things I didn't know, and eager to prove that grad school would be the perfect remedy for this. Then I was reminded that there's no magic switch to gain all of that which you don't know - but there is critical thinking, discourse, innovation and inspiration, all of which has made my experience in higher education so much richer. And as soon as I figure out how to fit all of those things into my thesis, you'll be the first ones to know!