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Monday, October 31, 2011

the pain, the pain...

(not to be confused with "the plane! the plane!" from that bad '70s TV show intro ...Fantasy Island).

After Roger's workshop, I found myself faced with the fact that all my complaining about other people who are "getting in our way" was really a more sophisticated form of me doing the same thing to them that I am accusing them of.

What upset me about the physics advisor is that she didn't take the time to understand what was going on...that she didn't inquire into it, but had a knee-jerk reaction to the thing she didn't understand.  Of course, I did the same to her...had a knee-jerk reaction to her knee-jerk reaction. So I approached her with what I wished for from inquiry, "what are you seeing that we are not seeing?"  It turned out that she totally misunderstood what the initiative was all about and was advising people from that place of misunderstanding.

Then today, I went an offered an apology to the advisor woman who left an angry, swearing voice mail on my machine.  I realized I was criticizing her for being impatient, just as I was impatient with her impatience.  I apologized and she was perfectly nice.  She gave me some advice as to how to approach the CLA students.

It turns out that they save their science courses for last because they believe they are difficult and find that they lack meaning. students feel nearly the same way about their general education courses in the liberal arts.  So she advised me to market it as a way to do more applied work in the sciences (which are the general ed to the liberal arts students).  Funny...that is what engineering students want...a more applied and relevant liberal arts experience.

the pain is about the dissolution of my own ego.  it doesn't really hurt, it's just humbling.

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