This class has been occupying my mind
I left last Thursday class a little shaken. Our conversation and the Breaking Project reading made me think about things I didn’t really want to think about.
I had a not so fun sophomore year. In my classes, I was looking for a space to discuss/reflect on my reactions to the things that were happening to me outside of the classroom. This was not cool with my professors. I realized that I needed to go on Dean’s Leave. So, I did. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I spent the year connecting to people and telling and listening to stories on my/our own terms, not the terms dictated by a college or a professor. I learned a lot about myself and the world last year. Last year, I became acutely aware of the importance of a college degree. If I wanted to have any kind of paying job with more responsibility than babysitting, I would need to come back to school. So I came back, but first I promised myself that I would not turn to my classes for support in the way that I had tried to do as a sophomore.
My plan worked out great first semester. School and social/emotional life were separate, just the way I planned.
Last Thursday, that separation became blurred and I got scared. Reading personal stories about professors was hard (and frustrating because these were the types of stories that were not allowed in previous academic conversations). Having to respond to those stories in class was even harder. It felt like the boundaries and promises that I had created for myself so that I could come back to college were forcibly re-drawn. It didn’t feel good. Didn’t feel safe, even.
I work best when there are clear expectations. I work best when there are boundaries. I work best when there are rules. All of these things help me to feel safe.
It might be OK that I don’t feel completely safe in this class, I haven’t decided yet. I’m coming to the realization that a lot of this class is going to be about blurring boundaries, so it seems like I’ll have to get more comfortable with not feeling safe (sort of an oxymoron?). How should I feel about this? Will I grow in this class? Do I want to grow in this class? Is there more than one way to grow (intellectual, emotional, social etc) and can those types of growth happen in isolation? Is not feeling safe the only thing that leads to growth?