Upon taking a leave from grad school, I created a syllabus for myself to follow and use this semester. I gave myself writing assignments, a reading list, and several activities and field trips. Each month I’m writing an update on my progress and experience. Click here to view the syllabus.
According to my self-made syllabus, my monthly check-in was due yesterday. What do y’all think I should get for turning it in a day late? Minus one point? 10% off of the final grade?
Oh, it’s so nice not to be in school this semester.
So it’s been a month since I started, and after reflecting this afternoon, I think I can say that this month has been more about raising questions than anything else. I’m almost done with one of the readings on my list, Chris Guillebeau‘s The Art of Non-Conformity, and in retrospect I think it was a great book to start with. I read most of it while Sean and I were on vacation in Puerto Rico, and spent a lot of time thinking about Chris’ thoughts on action, responsibility, and self-determination. He has this one great case study about two young men who contacted him after seeing a presentation he made. In short, one of the guys was all talk and one of them sprang into action.
I developed this syllabus because I wanted to get into the talk, and then push beyond it into action. I wanted to take my questioning and dreams a little more seriously, and then see what happens when I take action on making them happen. It’s very, very easy for me to get stuck in the dreaming phase, and to be anything but present in the moment. It’s also dangerous for me to linger there too long because then I start to regret not being the five or seven or ten different people I’m not. This past week, through my writing and conversations, I decided I’m ready to jump into some more action. I need to get out of my head for a bit.
On March 12th I’m signed up for the equipment workshop training at local arts organization Squeaky Wheel, and I hope to have made plans for my silent week at the Abbey by the end of February. Once I finish the AONC, I’m going to read the chapters on finding a mentor from The Anti 9-5 Guide and email the local photographers whose contact info I’ve started compiling. I think Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection is a logical next step in terms of reading.
What else do you want to know about this experience of mine? Is there something about the syllabus you want me to write more about next month? Let me know in the comments!