Showing posts from January, 2014

Another Reflection on Reflection… with Proof (!)

A kind professor once told me that the most insightful ideas, the most profound projects always develop out of “openings,” points in our lives where “we become interested in, attuned to, involved with, and perhaps awed by other things, other people, and, in moments of reflection, our own selves” (Michael Hyde, Openings, 3). Not only did this professor teach me the truth of this matter—through conversations, lectures, and example—he wrote an entire book about it. For our intents and purposes, though, it is enough to know that openings are everywhere, but they are never noticed unless reflected upon. It is for this very reason that I start each and every one of my final papers the very first day of class—fifteen weeks before their due dates. No I don’t start writing—that comes later—but I do start thinking; I start looking for openings—for people, ideas, experiences, news stories, songs, even, that speak to me. I start noticing how things (a purposefully vague word) relate to the

A Reflection on Reflection

                Josh Turner’s baritone voice quietly fills the interior of my car. Outside the window, old field goldenrods gently dance in place. I have noticed, lately, their shade is growing deeper, richer, more desperate for attention. The fall sun has taken its toll on them—given them life, given them color, but given them a crispness, too, that signals an end. In a given semester, I don’t have time to notice the Texas wildflowers. I notice other things—the traffic patterns, the characteristics of my colleagues’ footsteps, the tendency for deadlines to draw ever nearer—but not the wildflowers. This semester is different, though. This semester I’m taking supplemental classes at a university ninety miles away—ninety miles that I have to journey across four times a week.                 Ideally, I could spend my time on the road catching up with homework; after all, as a grad student I have just four months to read approximately eleven thousand pages and write four (according