Friday, September 18, 2009

A Personal Update... From A Human Scientist In The Making

Hey everyone! Wassup. Like my "about me" blurb has been saying for some months, i've been going through some changes. All very much about growth, but it has still been challenging to shed skin. But i'm beginning to see shiny new skin for sure. And i'm thankful. I’m probably going to be posting even less, but for good reasons.

This week I started my new grad school program at a distance learning graduate school called Saybrook. I am pursuing a Masters degree in Human Science. I was really challenged with choosing this field, because although it speaks to me (with courses like Social Systems Transformation Theory, Intervention In Human Services & Community Development, and various other courses that look at race, class, gender, immigration, global issues, and basically figuring out how to create healthier new social constructs to counteract the oppressive ones. After all... social constructs are constructed by people! Ok, long parenthetical statement there)...Although HS really speaks to me, I was continually haunted by the notion that i would not be able to create a living for myself with this degree. Should I just get a Psychology degree, since i have so much experience there? But i want to work with communities, not just the individual. And Human Science has a psychological approach as well as a social justice approach. The social justice approach was really lacking for me in my previous Expressive Arts Therapy MA program, but at Saybrook- there’s even a course called Expressive Arts For Social Change! Perfect.

I also plan to do an independent study on Black Feminist Masculinities while i am at Saybrook, as well as take courses that would help me specialize in doing Expressive Arts centered therapy with couples and polyamorous folks. Excitement!!

I feel great about my choice. Ever since I was young, I had a fascination with the idea of being a “scientist”. The archetype of the eccentric scientist that appears in so many children's books and movies really appealed to me from early on, and i remember playing with a chemistry set and microscope with glee. I only recently realized that i will be able to call myself a scientist after i finish this program! Instead of turning chemicals from green to blue and looking at a butterfly wing under a microscope, i will be breaking down paradigms and social constructs down to their most fundamental elements, scrutinizing them with a critical lens, and reconstituting them into something that can help communities, and honors humanity, healing and justice. The science of what creates a change agent and paradigm shifts. Yes. This is what I want to be doing.

So yessss.... although i am sure that i will be finding amazing stuff through HS research that i can post here once in awhile, I will probably not be as active as i once was (i was posting almost twice a day when i started, almost 2 years ago!). I am considering this to be a move intended to deepen good work around issues of healing and social justice. In the meantime, I encourage folks to scroll down, and also to look through the links right here on the right for some of my fave posts/discussions, and also to peep the links to other really good feminist identified sites.

I am thankful to every single person who has read, skimmed, lurked and commented on this site, and passed it on to others... as well as those bloggers, colleges, women’s interest sites and others who have linked and recommended me as well! I am aware and respect that not every woman necessarily wants or needs a male ally or for a man to identify as feminist, so i definitely appreciate those of you who find what i do to be of worth. This site is for brothers too, I am still looking for y’all man!! We got a lot to ground and talk about. I know hetero brothers who are conflicted, trying to find love... but how can you truly love someone you don’t respect, someone you think is not equal to you? This is only a little piece of the healing I am talking about that men need to do. I am convinced that the path of the male feminist is a path of healing and justice for all.

Aiight? Till soon y’all, bless up!!

~richard

6 comments:

Jacob Aziza said...

We're gonna miss you here, but glad to hear you found a path that seems a rally good fit for you.
Looking forward to your occasional updates about the program, and even more to the change you are sure to help create as a result.

-Bakari

richard said...

thanks Jacob Aziza/Bakari! :)

Christopher B. said...

good to take care of you! isn't that part of social justice work - if you aren't modeling healthy, what are we modeling? keep on!

SeBiArt said...

i love you, celebrate your choice, and i'm proud and motivated too.

i must say directly that you may as well carry on and simply collect an honorary degree for your pursuits thus far instead - would be well deserved and far cheaper!! :) that said - really the choice makes so much sense.

and the motivation i speak of is that earlier this year - i spoke seriously with my fam about much the same thing - getting back to the psychology studies, but trying to figure out how to merge it with my 20 years of artistic experience in a way that is of real service to communities rather than for frivilous escape-ISMs and Id-happy highs. it makes sense i guess to arrive at such questions now considering the plethora of humanitarian agents that make up my family. been running from the inevitable it now seems.

whenever you have a moment - i would love to pick your brain on this. but for this and every moment heretofore - BRAVO reeechard, BRAVO!

richard said...

@Christopher B: Thank you for the beautiful and wise affirmation! :)

@Berri: whagwaan dahlin!! so good to hear from you, and thank you so much for your words, it means a lot coming from you. I'll see if Saybrook will just read my blog and give me a degree, i'll get back to you on that :)

and yes, we should make a phone date at some point. i am VERY much feeling what you are saying, and indeed we both come from families that were serious about becoming change agents. know that Saybrook is a distance learning school, you could take classes from your bedroom... i did mention that they have a course called Expressive Arts For Social Change, right?? Its taught by Natalie Rogers, daughter of Carl Rogers, a luminary and pioneer of humanistic psychology.

mi haffi run a go do schoolwork! love yu!! xoxo

Robin T said...

i'll miss the occasional long-distance updates on what you're thinking, but congratulations on your next move! sounds like the program is a good fit!

much love,
robin