Monday, August 04, 2008

The Fear of Entering Graduate School


So I will begin graduate school in three weeks. I will be studying Public Policy for two years and the second year I will choose a concentration. The first year will be mostly mandatory classes along with one elective. I am not going to lie…I am scared! I just received the list of my mandatory classes and even their names sound hard and so unlike the “Azadeh” that I have known throughout college. Since I majored in Comparative Literature, I studied so many amazing literary topics and enjoyed almost every second of it. But, this past year I realized that for the kind of foreign affairs and human rights-orientated fields that interest me, I need to gain a different set of skills and so I applied to foreign affairs and public policy MA programs. Now that I have decided to go to the Kennedy School of Government and have enrolled in their Public Policy program, I have started to actually realize how much I will probably be challenged by the nature of the program and in general its atmosphere.

Needless to say, having gone to a liberal arts school like Oberlin College I am used to a very different social scene and ways of interaction. In a way, in Oberlin I was mostly surrounded by hippies, idealistic and peace-loving peers and even professors. Now, I am entering a professional school with peers who are probably more realistic and hence more moderate (more practical and perhaps less academic) in their way of perceiving this world. I have always seen myself somewhere in between these two sides. So I should be fine at the Kennedy School. But I continue to be a bit nervous and stressed about it. Though, I have gone through harder times than this and I really hope I can succeed in my graduate studies. Before even having started my program, I feel guilty for the fact that many intelligent Iranian young women and men could have been in my privileged situation and be at the school that I am. But, to be honest with you this feeling of guilt has proved to be a rather unproductive feeling. Instead, I should probably look ahead and work as hard as I can so that hopefully in the future I could be influential and helpful in the lives of at least a few human beings. Who knows?

I will take the following classes this coming semester (along with one elective course and my teaching fellowship-teaching Persian-that is 20-25 hours per week):

1)The Responsibilities of Public Action

2) Market and market Failure

3) Quantitative Analysis and Empirical Methods

4) Strategy, Structure, and Leadership in Public Service Organizations


Frankly, I cannot even make sense or remember these long names, let alone understanding what they are all about. A challenging academic year is fast approaching….deep breath.Ready? GO!

5 Comments:

At 1:52 AM, August 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Azadehjoon,
You have been through sooo much and this should be nothing compared to the pain and suffering you endured while you were in Iran and in exhile. I admire your strength and AM POSITIVE you will make it.
Stay strong and know that it only takes unique individuals like yourself to make it to great schools.

Lots of love,
Mahtab

 
At 9:51 PM, August 13, 2008, Blogger White Duckling said...

Azi joonam,
Be brave,future will be bright:)
boos

 
At 2:49 AM, August 22, 2008, Anonymous darroohojaneman@yahoo.com said...

Dear Azadeh,
I was following you web log for months; but I was not courageous enough to comment until this post.
My ambitions for future are to some extent similar to yours; however, I'm seeking for a career in public service rather than human rights and development. Also, being a Canadian Citizen made Canada a much more strategic option for study and work than U.S. for me.
However, this time I MUST come and comment. Although I do know that you are more experienced than me, I wanna make you surer and ask you to believe. Believe in your qualities and this invaluable opportunity that is now in front of you. I don't wanna be a verbose speaker on the stressed-out prestige of HKS, but I wanna say that YES, YOU CAN.
It would be the "Audacity of Hope"...


Take good care,

Mahoor

 
At 5:19 PM, August 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Azadeh,

You'll have a great future, I just know it, feel it. Don't worry, especially not about your own qualities. You possess them. You can do it.

Love to your mum (and dad when you talk to him on the 'phone).

And of course : love to YOU,
Lucy

 
At 2:03 PM, August 27, 2008, Blogger Azadeh said...

My Dearest Friends;

Thank you all very much for your beautiful comments. I am flattered to have people like you as the visitors of this blog.
Much Love
Azadeh Pourzand

 

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