Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Second Guesses, First Impressions

Five days ago, I wrote a post explaining that after much deliberation and uncertainty, I had come to a conclusion concerning what my fall class schedule would look like. In the days that followed, I second guessed that decision almost constantly, but every time I thought about making a change, I felt very apprehensive. Changing plans is a very difficult thing for me, even when it seems pretty obvious that changing my plans would be for the best. I don’t fret over making the wrong decision from the outset (like some people I know), but I do worry about changing my decision once it’s already in place. That’s when the fear of regret really sets in. It makes it very difficult whenever I become uncertain about a decision I’ve made, because nothing feels right after that—it feels like a no-win situation, whether I stick with my original plan or not.

Fortunately, my apprehension about changing plans doesn’t always get the best of me. Sometimes I go ahead and change my plans and realize a short time later that I have undoubtedly made the right decision—I just had to give the anxiety time to settle. Such is the case this semester. Contrary to my previous blog entry, I will not be taking the dispositions seminar after all. Instead, I will be taking another seminar from the most famous philosopher at my school. It will be my third time taking a seminar from this person, which is part of the reason I hesitated taking his course in the first place. Not because of the teacher’s style or anything, but because I’d heard rumors that this seminar was very much going to be a repeat of a seminar I’d already taken from him. I’d also heard rumors that the class was going to focus largely on philosophical topics that I’m not very interested in. For those reasons, I originally chose not to take the class, but after seeing a copy of the class syllabus, I realize those rumors were not accurate. Yes, there is going to be some material in the course that I’ve already studied, but overall the class sounds much more interesting than I had originally expected. I’m actually rather excited about the course, and I think it will better serve me in preparing for my dissertation than a class on dispositions would have. So, instead of a Tuesday afternoon class, I have a Monday afternoon class. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll have my TA responsibilities, and on Tuesdays, I’ll also hold some office hours. But that’s it. Not too shabby.

If you read my previous entry, you know that one reason I favored taking the Tuesday afternoon class was because doing so would allow me to stay at home on Mondays. I very much liked the idea of commuting to campus only two days per week. It’s probably premature of me to say otherwise, but having made it through the first two days of the semester, I’m already feeling differently. I think taking my own class on Monday afternoons will feel good, because I’ll go to campus specifically for that purpose. I won’t have been there all day and be worn out and tired of being there. That will be nice, because I always find it terribly hard to stay awake during afternoon classes when you’ve already been on campus all day. As for Tuesdays, I thought I would feel annoyed at staying on campus to hold office hours when I didn’t have an afternoon class to attend. Students pretty much never come to office hours, so they typically feel quite pointless to begin with. I thought it would ease the pain if I knew I was sticking around for another class, not just wasting time being on campus. Well, that didn’t feel so bad today, either. In fact, I think I felt more relaxed during my office hours because I knew I wasn’t going to class immediately afterward. I knew that, as soon as the office hours were over, I could get out of there, and that I’d be getting home before it was very late in the day. It was nice—nice not having a day that starts early and ends late. I think I’ll enjoy this.

And so you see, wisdom has prevailed. (Knock on wood—it’s only the second day of school and I don’t want to jinx myself.) Other things seem to be falling into place, too, which is nice. I’m feeling very hopeful today, very confident about the semester. It’s a nice change from how I was feeling one week ago.

1 comment:

  1. So glad things are working out for you! Go forward with faith :)