Interdisciplinary Me

If you had known me as a kid, you would have known that I was always either reading a book, or trying to write my own. You would have found me hidden behind the thick bamboo that grew in my childhood home’s backyard, seated on the squeaky swing of my dilapidated play-set. I would have my faithful red clipboard in hand, where I stacked sheets of cheese-doodle-stained loose-leaf paper to write my stories on.

When I got to high school, I was still actively reading and writing, whether it was writing for English class, my journal, or myself. For myself, I wrote poems and short stories that were either just for fun, or that served as a sort of emotional catharsis that got me through those rough mid-teenaged years.

At the same time, I started to become very interested in the sciences, namely physics, which I took in my last two years of high school. Inspired by my teacher, enamored with the subject, and impressed (and a bit surprised) with my performance in the class, I decided to go into college as a physics major.

At first, I felt confident in my decision, but when I got to college and started to take physics courses I was immediately overwhelmed. It was nothing like the class I had taken in high school. Calculus was suddenly part of the equation. Calculus, and math in general, are two of my longtime rivals in life.  Why would I have ever entertained the idea of doing physics when I have always struggled with math? Didn’t I know that the two go together better than peanut butter and jelly? When I made the decision, I believed that I could succeed nevertheless , and I know that I still can. 

However, I found that as the semesters went by, physics had lost much of its magic, for me, at least. I found myself missing my roots: reading and writing. So last spring, I made the decision for myself to add an English major.

The addition of an English major excited me from the get-go, but I cannot deny that it has brought me some anxiety as well. What if my critical reading skills are not where they should be? What if my writing is not as good as I remember? Will I be able to translate the skills I have learned in my time as a physics student to this class?

Ultimately, I think the answer is yes. Physics and English may not have very much in common, but I think that that is the point. The tension between these two studies could be very interesting for me to explore throughout the semester. Plus, I think my background in physics will give me an interdisciplinary approach to this class, which could be helpful being that we will explore Percival Everett’s own interdisciplinarity (though his lies in biological science) that is featured in many of his poems.

One of the required texts for this class is Interdisciplinarity, by Joe Moran, which I look forward to reading, as I believe it will help me to readily identify the interdisciplinary nature of the works we will read  in class and examine the consequences of such multifaceted thinking and writing.  I also believe that through reading Moran’s work I will be able to incorporate my own interdisciplinary background into my work, not only potentially for this class, but for future classes and for myself, as well.

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