The school and research semester ended earlier this month, and then I quickly shifted into Art-A-Whirl mode, getting my work ready for my first physical art show in … a really long time. But the intellectual work I’ve been doing has been inspiring my designs, and I’m really proud of them.
One of the things I spent spare minutes doing during the semester was downloading and reading research articles. Hundreds of them. I had planned to read and do regular summaries and analyses for the blog, until it hit me that I needed to read the lot before my analyses had the kind of value that I wanted them to have.
The juxtaposition of the desire to make information about healthy relationships with ourselves and others accessible to everyone with my own standard of doing it in an informed and helpful way gave me an opportunity to think more about why pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology is so important to me.
It seems to me that if we felt less shame about owning our imperfections, if we felt like we had better skills and tools to understand each other and communicate even when we disagree, that the world would be in a better place right now.
Even when I was young, the things that captivated me and made me want to learn always seemed just beyond what anyone else was able to understand. My fellow kindergartners communicated confusion with amazing clarity. We all have our different gifts. I realized that I had an opportunity to share the beauty of the world that I saw, and things that have great complexity have more places for beauty to hide; there is nothing in the universe more complex than the human mind.
It is my hope, this summer, to start sorting through the research articles that I have and to start with some broad reviews of different research areas. It will certainly help me start to organize the information in my head, and hopefully it will be interesting to you. Science has revealed so many interesting and helpful things about the ways we can and do interact, and I want to hear your thoughts about it!
Next Monday I have a meeting with my mentor to talk about next steps before applying to Ph.D. programs. I’m working on drafting my personal statement in preparation. I’m feeling simultaneously anxious and excited! I also wrote to a former mentor and neonatologist about working in his neurobiology lab, where he studies the effects of iron in specific regions of brain development. It would be an incredible opportunity to learn more about neurology and brain function. Social Psychology is increasingly cross-disciplinary, and I have a particular interest in how behavior is tied to brain function, so that would be an epic opportunity!
I hope you all are well, and I hope you have fun things in store this summer!
Love you all,