I chanced upon this “e-journal entry” of mine, 2 yrs ago, in preparation for my Comprehensive Exam. And I realized how much I missed studying. I hope this will serve as my constant reminder to pursue PhD in the near future.
May 9, 2009
I have almost a little more than 72 hours left before I see for myself how do I fare up as an aspiring “communication specialist” kuno. As early as this, I could sumise that this is no smooth drive; especially trying my best to veer away from and sometimes giving into temptations of complacency. I thought I could develop a sense of discipline of strictly reading and memorizing to fulfill my scholarly duties; but instead developed this habit of random-reading. Whatever subject fancies me for the day that will likely be my subject for the day— or a week. It’s a far cry from Mozart’s 10,000 hours of practice that made him genius. The stored notes didn’t come in handy. I completely did not use them (my classmates who would be reading this might go like—“WHAT THE HECK—“). For my development theories, I befriended Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly; for my Development communication theories, I was introduced to Littlejohn and Foss (I’ll be no Communication scholar has not read this book), Kathryn Miller’s few concepts, drowned in some UNDP, Worldbank, IDS, and most especially, SAGE publications.
Given this seemingly sea of literatures, I think it’s still a long road ahead, because it was only now that I was able to establish a reading habit that will take me to read a book in three days or less. I don’t know if I was able to completely soak in all the information; but what is most important to me is to remember the salient ones. That’s why it’s important to find a reading or writing style you can most identify with. There are a lot of websites out there. The global village just offers a wide array of materials. Then look around you, and experience how the theories you’ve read unfold before your eyes. How the concept of phenomenology (knowledge creation through experience) hits you when you reflect on your most valuable lesson learned; see the connection of symbolic interactionism (one’s ability to relay complex messages) into a scientists’ explanation how the tahong practice sex (that’s how my sister put it in layman’s term); or identify poststructuralism concepts when deconstructing a boyfriend’s text message; and the list goes on. Well, that’s just me when I look at people and things. So if you see me squinting at one corner as you become skirmish with your boyfriend, thing is, I am actually analyzing how your meanings become different that raised the boiling point. It’s not that I am playing nerd; in fact, I hate that. I realize that there are better things to do that get yourself in to a love squabble. At least, I get to answer some queries. And if I begin asking you about your values and about important things in life, I am actually construing your meanings and correlating with your previous lived experiences (more valued experiences)—a perfect euphemism of psychoanalysis cum rumor mongering.
It’s not that I’m trying to recite the concepts that I came across with, I’m just trying to bridge oceans that theories arose from experiences—it’s human-based, so there shouldn’t be a misconception that theories are solely understood by bookish people who happen to have an academic duty of earning a degree. The thing is, I realized there is a need to learn to enjoy the process of learning rather than look into it as an end. It’s something that I learned from an undergraduate research. Learning becomes more valuable if it was looked into as a process rather than an end. It was an epiphany to me that maybe, this was the main guiding principle that I lacked when I started in College. I let worry eat me up, I was in U.P. a prime state university, so I should, by all means earn a UP diploma. This made all the scientific learning gone in haste the moment I walked up the stage, with the Aida march belching in the background. Now that I look back my mind is always drenched with “What ifs.” Yeah, if someone out there had explained to me how I will actually make use of my technical background as a weapon to survive my chosen path, I would have done better—or at least tried to. But everything is just water under the bridge.
So, amidst everything, I stopped the attitude of reading to memorize; or stressing myself (for now, hehehe) because I have to prove something (although that can’t be helped sometimes). Learning through experience, is one of the salient keys to happier life. But more importantly, enjoying the process, and learning through the process is the key to a more fulfilled life. Pray a lot to be guided thoroughly. Even if prayers seem unanswered, continue to pray, because praying makes you realize that SOMEONE UP THERE is actually walking with you through your ordeal, challenges and triumphs.