Why am I here?

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rbtaggueg

Today’s topic asks the question: Why am I here?  The simple (or not so simple) answer to that question is that I am here to try something new.  Over the course of this past year (and a reminder, I am a first year student in Sociology), I’ve found myself in a bit of a quandary.  Foremost in my mind is to figure out what kind of scholar I want to be.  While I do believe that I’ve found a home in my department, it becomes clearer to me every day that “sociology” is exactly as broad as it sounds.

To my dismay, I’ve found myself constrained by the freedom.  In its broadness, my chosen field of study has given me pause to think.  What do I really care about?  And more importantly, how do I approach it in a manner that makes me satisfied that I’ve carved out an academic identity that is not only unique, but meaningful?

To that end, I think that is one of the reasons I have gravitated towards the Mellon Public Scholars Program.  It provides me with a venue through which I can make a contribution.  From the past week’s readings, I’ve learned that doing rigorous, theoretical research is not mutually exclusive to finding practical, meaningful solutions to the social problems I find to be most-pressing.

Being in the MPS Program these past few weeks has already provided me with new perspectives, and more importantly, a greater appreciation of not only my positionality as a graduate student here at UC Davis, but also as a member of a community which strives to change the world for the better.  We may all have a different approach, but having that shared goal makes me hopeful that we are headed towards a brighter future.