Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Thinking about today

smilewithsh's picture

I agree with aphorisnt and I also find myself thinking about today's conversation and processing today--and this whole semester. I too feel as if there are times I didn't really allow for absolute and complete porosity of my life, my thoughts, my pursuit of the knowledge and learning we were doing in context to the class and the space that was created with this 360 dynamic.  I was used to compartamentalizing. I was scared to used Serendip, to have my voice and my words being so naked and out there. What if I was wrong? But then, I kept thinking of the progress I felt I had gained in my own experiences. I hesitate even know to bring it back to my own experience. It seems too centric of me, me, me. But that is also the only way I could frame being in this 360. Today, when we were writing, I was at a loss for words. I found myself too facing the tiger, language failing me. But I remembered, I remembered that when all is said and done, when everything has happened, when we plan and go about life, no matter what the end result is, no matter how hard or difficult or twisty and curvy the path may have been to get where you are, my mother always reminded to take a step back to say alhumdullilah. Thanks be to God. Thanks doesn't become to cover the sentiment and connotation of alhumdullilah. In it's purest form it's aknowledging the existence and utter nature of this world as being just the way it is. Sometimes, I think about how our environment shapes us. What does is truly mean to be "eco-literate" ? I feel like this is the beginning of my questioning. Slowly starting to feel more comfortable to make claims about this Bryn Mawr environment for example. There would be times during conversation in class where I feel like I wouldn't be on the same mind track as others or where the dialogue would be going. There would be points, where I would feel a little aware of the fact that I was a conservative, non-White, religious student in the class, on this liberal campus. My world, is part of our world. Or it at least come from it. I think I just have been really thinking of this circling around and going in circles idea and thinking of what can actually be done. I think we have each pushed and questioned, and took even if only baby steps, towards truly attempting to impact our campus, our environment in some way. I think we haven't stayed silent. So all in all, the things that did happen this semester, the things that didn't, alhumdullilah for it all.


Simona's picture

Thinking about yesterday

I also still find myself thinking over the conversation we had (and thinking over how I surprised myself and probably yall with my bit of emotion there)-- yes, I agree I/we could have pushed ourselves to dig more deeply, and yes I still find myself sometimes frustrated by the circles we seemed to weave. But looking back, I still am in awe of how much i (we?) have learned, and how much I personally grew. Perhaps it is because I'm not coming from other 360 experiences or classes set up like this, there never seem to be tears or life conversations (or digging, ha, get it) in geology courses as much as I love them. And, I'm not surprised we went in cirlces around these topics-- there are no answers to these questions, no easy solutions to these problems. I feel like, as frustrating as circles might be, they allowed me to get to know the space-- like hiking a circuit over and over, sometimes I feel like I'm going no where, but each time I'm astounded by the new flower that just bloomed or the deer peaking out of the trees. For me in this 360, I think with each circle came a deeper understanding of how dynamic and complex these concepts are. Like Kelsey said yesterday, I honestly would struggle to describe exactly what I learned in this 360 if asked. But after most meaningful experiences in which I've grown, I'm never really able to say what I've learned, I just know... i have learned, i have grown. So, with that, I'm super grateful to have been going in circles with yall, whether they led to more clarity or more confusion, whether they went deep or just scratched the surface. Now that surface has been scratched, and I will continue to explore its indents, its roughness, its peaks and troughs, and I will think of yall. 

Student 24's picture

thank you

I don't have a whole lot to say. Well, I do, but I think I need more time to give everything the fullest or most attentive response I can give. But I just want to say thanks, Simona, just for that phrasing about going in circles being like hiking the same trail over and over again. I did verbalise my restlessness (which doesn't seem as negative as "frustration," which may have been a word I was using earlier) about having the same conversations over and over again... but you're right. They're not the same conversations, even though there is a pattern of walking and talking we create. But there is a reason for routine. It creates connection with the space, comfort and familiarity. But that doesn't have to mean we're settling down in that space. We're traversing with that pattern, but we are traversing. And the world is only so large and language only has so many words and our minds have only so many memories so far... So just to wrap this up, thank you, again.

We notice new flowers with every re-travelling of a path, but also, new flowers grow and bloom by the time we get to the same spot again. It's not the same spot anymore, really. And I think that's the hopeful part, the desire-based perspective, that we can apply to our 360 family and home.