My semester in Intro to IDS

Starting my semester here this year, I enrolled in the Intro to IDS class. I had no idea what to expect. I knew I had to create my own major but I was nervous. How was I going to do that? What was it going to be like? What is to be expected of me in the class? I soon came to find out that not only was I going to be creating my own major with the classes I have previously taken plus the classes I will be taking, but I will also be using different things I have never used before. For one, the fact Robin DeRosa told me to get a twitter account completely threw me off…”why on earth would we need a twitter for this class” I thought, but it soon occurred to me that it would be a part of my education in IDS because it would help me understand a few things and open me up to the world of networking in my IDS program. We used a lot of different internet tools this semester and I feel it made me think more about what it will be like when I graduate. My education wouldn’t just stop as soon as I got my diploma, it’s just beginning, and my PLN will surely help with that.

Before I started my program, I had no idea what the word “interdisciplinary” actually meant. Sure–looking up a definition helped, but once I dove into the class, I began to really understand the definition through readings and in class work. I learned a new appreciation for interdisciplinary studies and I grew to love it. Being in this program makes me feel special because not only am I valuable in one field, but I have many skills that will be valuable in other fields. That means that once I graduate, I can tell all potential employers all these skills I have obtained through my journey in interdisciplinary studies. I feel like my understanding of interdisciplinary studies changed drastically over the course of this semester, which is part of the reason I feel special and have a new appreciation for it. I would define it as learning through many ways, and coming up with new ideas/solutions through understanding more than one discipline.

During this semester, I have read a few things that I have found interesting and relative to my work in the IDS program. One of the readings I did was called “Ten cheers for interdisciplinary” and in this reading (which I also posted about), it reflected why I like this program so much. It is a program that makes you useful in many ways. You don’t simply have one specific discipline that you master, you have many that are incorporated into your degree and your understanding. It touched home with me because I think my degree is very useful in the science field, especially with the climate change that we are experiencing around the world. Many scientists are trying to figure out solutions for the climate change but many of those scientists have an understanding in only the field they are considered experts in. They understand one finite thing but they can’t think outside that. An interdisciplinary scientist is different. An interdisciplinary scientist sees a problem and focuses not only on one aspect of it, but many aspects of it. For me, I have an understanding of meteorology, hydrology, chemistry, physics, math, and other environmental sciences. This allows me to see things from more than one perspective and think of ways to think about a problem in order to form a solution and communicate with others so that they understand each other and what solutions are available for a problem. I hope that more scientists take a more interdisciplinary approach to their understanding because I see many benefits for the future. This is all the more reason why universities should teach interdisciplinary studies. It is very beneficial for the future because it will allow more young adults to expend their minds and see things from all sides. This is getting to be in demand with several companies and employers. They don’t just want someone that understands one thing, they want people to understand many things so they become more useful to the company. Universities can help students prepare for the future by offering an interdisciplinary learning approach, even within disciplines. This will help other students understand different fields and will allow for better communication in the future. I hope that once I graduate, I will start a career where I can work with different people and help them to understand things from my perspective, especially in regards to climate change.

I hope that after I graduate, this program continues to grow and flourish. It has already grown exponentially in the past 3 years I have been here and more people are expressing interest in the program. Personally, I think that talking to people about what I do has gained interest in the program. It makes me happy to hear that I’ve inspired underclassmen to have an interest in this program and enter it. They think it is great for the future and that more people should know about it and I couldn’t agree more. It makes me happy to hear that people think what I do is interesting and I hope that more people in here in Plymouth State will enter the program and do great things in the future.

 

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5 comments

  1. Well put Ms. Wilk. Your spirit shines through indomitably with a warm glow and a friendly demeanor that welcomes the read and sheds light upon your personal reflection. The middle was an interesting insight to your own background, and I wish there was a picture there to help draw a stronger emphasis to it, or even to show you int he field.

    Even still, a delightful read. Best wishes on your journey forward and might you become the very best like no one ever was!

  2. I totally feel you with the hesitations at the beginning. I had reservations as well. It is crazy to think that we have come so far in just one semester. I also like how you mention communication. This is really important. Even within just your own field you will have a leg up on many scientists that have difficulty communicating their points and collaborating with other scientists as well as non-scientists.

  3. As a freshmen, I did change my major but reading this blog post I can definitely see the passion you have for this program. You make me want to change my major again and I love that! Best of luck in the future!

  4. I laughed at your final paragraph, since you are SUCH a great ambassador for our program and it’s probably partially your fault that I have too many students coming in all at once this Spring, ha ha! What a pleasure it’s been to get to know you and your work. You’re a gifted scientist, with a holistic view of how the sciences affect humans and human society. I know I will learn a lot from you from following your research, so please ping me when you post something here so I can follow your work– I am a fan!

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