Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bad computer, bad!

My computer is on the fritz. Beorn is going to charge me a new one.

My one actual class involves social scientists studying other scientists. I really like to prof. He's pretty new and so a lot of the discussion and reading are from his book. Sometimes it's a bit much, but he's pretty willing to adapt and let us take the discussion where we want. For some reason the idea that disciplines involve a set of rules, like a game, came up today. The whole, "it's a game" argument irritates me. That's fine if you happen to know it's a game and you understand what the rules are. But most students, including many grad students don't know the rule of the game, and faculty are unlikely to be explicit in informing us. Maybe that's part of the game, you have to be able to "read" the unspoken rules, but that means that students of different cultural backgrounds/genders/etc will most likely be disadvantaged.

If my graduate school experience was a game, I think it would be tetris. Every quarter involves a different, yet similar, challenge in which the pieces are always moving faster and faster. Eventually the round ends and I get a score, I never lose, but I also never win.

The other reason I don't like the idea the disciplines are games is that I'm very interdisciplinary. What game am I playing here? Can I win when I'm trying to play multiple games at once?

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