‘The Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City’ as the MALS program website so aptly declares, is what I seek to understand during my time here at The Graduate Center. For if there is one word that sums up my interest, it is ‘living’ – the act of living, of dealing with one’s life as it unfolds, and finding satisfaction and enjoyment in it. And, I believe that for anyone seeking an answer to the question of ‘life’, human life in particular, it becomes very important to understand the process of cognition.
Surely, understanding how my mind approaches and processes new information/experience can help me understand my life better? I propose to do just that by observing myself undergoing a new experience and tracking my thoughts, perceptions and feelings as I do so. Enrolling for the Digital Praxis Seminar is an experiment with myself, to see how I react to and respond to a new paradigm in research and inquiry; to know if the life of an academic, subject to constant overhauling of ideas and perceptions, is something I can live.
Until now, I have been a passive user of technology, usually upgrading my technical skills as and when required. This is the first time I have proactively enrolled for new technology-driven coursework, that I feel very much like a stranger to most of the ideas that are discussed in class. And this is exactly the kind of experience I am looking for, so I am very glad that I chose to enroll for DH. No matter that I may feel frustrated and experience self-doubt at times, I expect to feel exhilarated and overjoyed by the discoveries I will have made at the end of the semester. I expect DH to expand my horizons and reset my thinking process. As someone who has returned to academia after a good nine years, I hope it will be an apt launchpad to dive in to the sea of research and inquiry.
I like what you said about “noticing” your thoughts, actions, etc. That IS the best way to live, eh? Your thoughts regarding “understanding how my mind approaches and processes new information/experience can help me understand my life better?” seems like a truism. Looking forward to class and a great new academic year!