Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reasons for This Blog

Yes, there is more to this than seeking attention. There are a number of things I hope to accomplish and share, with the main goal of re-fostering within myself a sense of wonderment in astronomy. Within the space of a year, my outlook on life went from the previous post to one of quiet desperation. I want to change that. No, I need to change that. For some reason, late at night a couple of nights ago, I figured this would be a way of fixing it. So, here are the main reasons for starting this blog:

1. Hold Myself Accountable for My Mistakes:

I failed my first year of grad school. I don’t mean my classes – I did ok in those. No, I failed at the most important part of being a grad student: starting my research. I went from an idealistic, hopeful student to a jaded, emotionally wrecked bum. I spent most of the year feeling depressed and hopeless, and I dealt with it by wallowing in self-pity. However, I didn’t have to! I was somewhat unlucky in how things turned out, but I am far from blameless. I hope that by reflecting on what I could have done better, I can face the rest of my grad school career with a sense of personal responsibility and purpose. I sincerely hope my mistakes won’t become yours.

2. Renew Self-Interest In My Research:

The intense frustration I felt at not making any progress in my research effectively killed any enthusiasm I had in astronomy. That’s bad, because there will always be failure in this field. In fact, there will always be failure in life, but I digress… I hope that I can use this forum to post things in astronomy that interest me, whether it’s related to my research or not. The important thing is, astronomy should have a bigger emphasis in my life, and if I’m not excited about my project, something needs to change.

3. Practice Writing Skills:

As a student in a STEM field, my practice in this is sorely lacking. I recommend finding some way of practicing writing skills, because it’s so important in communicating ideas. I have found that since I don’t write all that often, my writing is awkward, laborious, and time consuming. And I’m not even mentioning my public speaking skills!

4. Foster Public Interest In Astronomy:

This is pretty self-explanatory. As a T.A., I was shocked to discover last semester how little students knew about basic astronomy concepts. I was even more shocked to discover that their apathy toward the subject outweighed that even more. I understand that astronomy is not for everyone, but without public support, astronomy in this country will fail. Just look at the current funding situation.

5. Show That Astronomy Is An Important Aspect Of My Life:

This may be directed more toward me than it is at anybody else. While I have other passions, I need to remind myself that just because astronomy isn’t as well documented photographically, it’s not any less important. ☺

Well, that’s a lot of blogging within the past couple of days. This is really a lot of writing for me in my spare time. Until next time, happy computing!

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