October 03, 2005

Structure, Sociology and Sense

I did intend to go to bed about half hour ago so I'd be wide awake and lively for Societies Fayre tomorrow, but decided my brain was too active to fall asleep.

Feeling a bit lost at the moment, I love structure, but at the moment I've got so many things going round in my head that I can't structure anything to make any sense – arghhh!

Ok…this is my first blog entry on this blog – I'd prefer it to be more to the point and less waffle, but looking at the rest of the blog entries tonight I think I can make an exception. If you are reading this and thinking 'woah – too much text' be thankful that this is not the "test" entry that everyone seems to do on their first entry – it's as if people expect the Warwick Blog technology to work for everyone else, but not for them!

Right – so first entry – this is me. I'm Alison – and I've just joined the Sociology department as a postgrad research student. It's still surreal at the moment and I'm not quite sure what I've let myself in for – after 4 years of Computer Science full of maths, logic and programming to sociology with seminars and essays. Bit of a change!!

It's been really amusing this week seeing the faces of those I do and don't know, when I tell them what I'm doing. The reaction ranges from complete disbelief and horror to the congratulatory smiles with the unsaid look of 'well, don't know why you did computer science in the first place?!'

In some ways I'm quite flattered that people see me first as a geek but I've also been quite shocked by how weird I feel being back in Uni doing a subject where people enjoy having pointless, small-talk conversations and want to look at you when they talk to you.

I had my induction day on Wednesday. As you would expect it was pretty boring, especially for those of us who had been at Warwick for our undergraduate degrees! There's not much to report except that there was a big handout given out explaining how to register online for modules, and a lot of other bits of paper handed out, with loads to read, not used to that!

I had my first seminar on Thursday – that was scary.
It was philosophy and social theory so I thought I'd throw myself in the deep end. I've always desperately avoided philosophy and had vowed, many years ago, to never do philosophy (although I had also vowed never to become a Christian, but didn't stick to that either) so I succumbed, deciding that it would actually be a sensible thing to do (like becoming Christian) so 9am, Thursday morning, I was in a small room with 10 other people – arghh!

It was plugged, on the induction day, as a 'free-for-all, anyone welcome, whatever academic background' course so I thought it would be ok. Then within 5 minutes the 'what do you do?' discussion became a 'evolution vs creation' discussion (cringe), everything I had tried to avoid just happened.

Although, after the initial panic of 'what the heck am I doing here?' and 'please don't ask me to talk about anything complicated' had gone away I discovered that I was enjoying myself and spend two hours listening to what was being said and things actually making more sense in my head. I didn't say anything, but it was a really good feeling to be in an academic setting for 2 hours and not being bored, but feeling quite excited about the subject!

Really should go to sleep now – apologies for anyone trying to follow my chatter. There's lots more I could say about my first week (the seminar, in particular), but that's enough to get my blog started!

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Welcome back Alison. Congrats on the new course, I'm sure you'll be fine :)

    03 Oct 2005, 09:28

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