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Flora's picture

un-learning behaviors

This week, when I perceived the difficulty of the Grosz and Harding selections, I shut down. I did not want to post until I was confident in what I wanted to say. I suppose it's the classic perfectionist mind-set: it's better to do nothing at all then to do something badly. Luckily, the past couple of classes explained the readings to me well enough that I feel I've gotten my confidence back and am no longer trying to avoid thinking about the subject.

I am mentioning this anecdote because I also had this unproductive response extremely frequently in reaction to attempting physics problem sets. I hadn't learned techniques of getting around this road block then. Instead I would resolutely (and comically to my friends) avoid anything to do with class during these times. I would hear a professor's voice and literally sprint up a flight of stairs straight to my room and lock myself in, mid-conversation with a friend. Taking risks and admitting weakness are not things that came naturally to me. I had to learn to it when I came to Bryn Mawr. Perhaps this could be a useful intervention in the sciences? I know risk taking has certainly been discussed as a masculine behavior in our readings.


On another note, I would like to really push Grosz's idea of accepting the existence of multiple truths/perspectives. I would push harder and say that multiple truths would not destroy scientific practice, but broaden it. It feels (ha!) very important to me that this idea of the existence of multiple perspectives be respected and not approached as a challenge for scientific missionaries.



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