This week, I’ve been thinking about learning and teaching. Second year of college started on Monday, reminding me of all the reasons I love and hate being in college. I have some very interesting papers this semester – applied social psychology and life span development being my favorites – but the teachers don’t make the topics as fun as they can be. So instead I’ve tried to curate resources and study in my own way. I’ve also asked my friends if they’d be interested in a weekly study group to revise what we’re learning, volunteering to be the one to take charge because, as I’ve noticed in the past, I learn best when I teach others. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do so this time too.
I’ve talked here before of the student community on Tumblr and Instagram (aka studyblr and studygram, respectively) and how it helped me survive and even enjoy my last year at school. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself drawn to it again, not just to admire the pretty study spaces some lucky people have or their beautiful handwriting but also the concept of making studying fun – romanticizing it, talking about it. More specifically, I’ve been considering the idea of starting a student blog, a sort of journal where I discuss, as I said to a friend, “adventures of a psychology student on a mission to change the face of Indian education”.
But that’s just a joke. Well, part of it. I do want to do something in the future that works on at least some of the flaws our education system has (such as testing students’ memories rather than aptitudes) and (more ambitiously) perhaps start an experimental school of my own. But I also find the very act of studying, of making pretty notes, of uncovering, organizing, and sharing information extremely attractive and fun. Moreover, psychology is such a fascinating subject, a balance of facts and theories, science and social studies.
I know I’m not one yet, but I also really love the idea of scholars. I have the Dark Academia community on Tumblr as well as the super smart female scholars in Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive to thank for that. Of course, unlike those characters, I don’t have the liberty to focus all my time and energy on just my studies and I’m definitely not a fan of research–I’m more interested in figuring out how best I can apply the information we do have. Running a student blog, reflecting on what I’m learning and how, while also sharing resources I’ve curated, seems the closest I can come to pretending I’m a Rosharian scholar (do check out the series; it’s one of the best out there – and I give it extra points for how sensitively and accurately it portrays mental illnesses).
I’ve considered something similar in the past – keeping a journal to reflect upon each class – but this sounds much more convenient, not to mention it finally gives me an excuse to take more “aesthetic” pictures and post them along with my words–something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now, but couldn’t decide on a theme or platform for.
This time around, I’m definitely going ahead with the idea. I know I have a tendency to quit things as soon as they stop being fun, but I’m hoping this will not be one of them, because I really enjoy studying and impersonating fictional characters to motivate myself, as well as taking (or trying to take) beautiful pictures, curating things, and sharing my thoughts. I also want to write more regularly – not start a streak, but to get back into the habit – and this seems like a good exercise.
I’m keeping it separate from this blog, because this blog is about a lot of things and I’ve for long wanted a second, more specific blog. I finally have an idea for one. Perhaps keeping it separate will allow me to write with more focus and also start from scratch with a new audience. I’m calling it ‘The Bell Papers‘, inspired by Pavlov’s famous experiment. I’m really looking forward to getting started and seeing how this turns out.
“It does not matter where you go and what you study, what matters most is what you share with yourself and the world.”
― Santosh Kalwar