Into the Weeds

The first two weeks of my graduate studies have been a whirlwind of events, books, and articles to read, as well as a class facilitation. Each week, I anticipate reading as much as 750 pages of material with my grad course’s and undergraduate course’s materials combined, writing a minimum of three papers, and 15 to 20 hours of grading of undergraduate assignments. I also agreed to be an embedded tutor at the community college where I am a tutor, which means offering direct support to students for as many as four hours per week. I work from 8:00 AM until nearly 8:00 PM six days per week, and somewhere along the way I fit in laundry, cleaning, going food shopping, and caring for my little family.

I am having the time of my life.

Sociology is the language of my logic; By definition, logic is “a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something” (Merriam-Webster). It is through the lenses of sociology that I continue to learn how to communicate with and in the world as more than an individual but as part of a whole. It demands imagination, reflexivity, compassion, integrity, and humility. It also requires brave levels of curiosity to traverse uncomfortable territories, despite perceptible danger.

This week we discovered the worlds of prison building in The Golden Gulag, systems of governance and power through The Muqaddimah, and the differences between natural and social scientific methods. I observed my fellow grad student peers struggle as much as I did (do) to keep our composure as we made our way through the academic weeds. You see, it’s not just that we’re going through grad school; We knew grad school would be hard. We are grad students that are attempting to function in the academy while managing ourselves in condensed social situations after being isolated for over a year because of the pandemic. Between classes, the hallways are packed with people that are half-masked, and classrooms feel smaller than they ever have with less than CDC recommended space between students. We have another few weeks before the vaccination mandate takes effect at our University, which means that we are knowingly interacting with unvaccinated people on a daily basis even though we might all be vaccinated. And we’re smart enough to know that depending on how long ago we got vaccinated, it is wearing off. I got my jab in April.

Nevertheless, we persist.

Next week we study the logic of medical personnel with regard to criminals (perceived and real), and our first section of Marx. What I wouldn’t give to pick Marx’s brain about our current state of affairs.

Until next time, stay safe.

Published by eahrendsocgrad

I am a first-year PhD student at the University of New Mexico, studying sociology. My current research interests are mental health and social movements.

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