The Writing Mind

Where the Journey Begins!

BSU, Blogfest #5

Tillinghast Hall, one of the original residential halls of Bridgewater State University!

  • BSU in the present and future!

Bridgewater State University in 2022 will be so technically advanced that I as a thirty four alum would not know where to begin!

I envision that classroom material will not only be all digitized, but also be made into a 3D format as movies are now!  There will be more residential halls and less green, but thankfully either the original structure of Woodward or Tillinghast Hall will be intact—but highly renovated.  Bridgewater’s beginnings as a womens’ teaching college will carry through the decades, and serve to be the greatest pride of the institution.  For Blogfest 2022, I suspect that the topics covered would be indefinite life spans, butchered remakes of classics, the rise in economy, aerial car travel, and clones. 

I would want the President of 2022 to know that Bridgewater State University has come a long way, and that its strong community is behind its development.  The care and support of its members permeated any negativity that has happened, and would continue to take steps in ensuring its greatness. 

Right now in 2012, President Dana Mohler-Faria has done a wonderful job of advancing BSU on a national and international scale from adding to the institution’s rich legacy of diversity with its study abroad/tour programs in six continents.  President Mohler-Faria has also awakened the town with newer degrees of scientific technology made with the construction of the new science building, as well as drawing in more students with newer parking lots and residential halls.  As a student though, I have felt a lack of communication among other administrative and departmental members, and would encourage that there be more of a connection between members of the campus, even if it just means knowing one’s first name and role.  I had come from a community college, and that is where my knowledge of a welcoming college community comes from and where I could be biased, but I also feel that we can all do better!  Navigating through some administrative offices once, I saw that not all administrative offices seemed to know the other office well, with the same happening between academic departments.  No one knows everything, even if they have a doctorate degree, to me being smart is having BOTH the academic and interpersonal credentials!

It has been a great experience to be part of Blogfest 2012 and hope to blog more often, whether BSU related or not!

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Race and Gender at BSU, Blogfest #4

As Sean, Kelsey, and Kirk shows: one should see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil!

  • Race, Gender, and Gender Identity: Where do you stand and what will you do about it?

As the daughter of Indian immigrants, I have learned that I am just as important as any other person, and that I am able to lead a rich life.  Growing up differently has not only been rewarding, but it has also given me a sense of deep appreciation towards those around me.

Being human means that you will be imperfect, but realizing your imperfection makes you into a better person.  There were moments in elementary school that I felt I was treated differently and was singled out from playing with my other peers, but that only taught me to not be judgmental of others where also as a result, I became more and more curious on life and its people.  I had a sheltered upbringing, so until my college years, I was not too familiar with other lifestyles that existed in American society.  College does not only make you book smart, it also can make you people smart from its diversity.  I first was fascinated with those that identified as transgendered, and found it very interesting that someone could discover one day that they instead identified as the opposite sex, and then could take measures into eventually becoming the other sex.  I also met peers who ranged from being homosexual to atheist to those from around the world, and through these meetings I see that these groups are the most perfect of humans—because of them realizing and going with their “imperfections”.

We bloggers are asked what we would commit to doing in promoting gender and racial equity, where my thirsty sponge of a mind can only continue to be more tolerant of these diverse crowds.  To be labeled different is very hard to live with, and what I have also lived with, so I do not want to add to the misery of labeling others as different!  We all are entitled for a place in society!

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Lessons Learned, Blogfest #3

As an aspiring student of the world, I have had friendships from all corners of the earth,  but I did not have a friend who was sitting right next to me all along!

While it is true that climbing your way up in academia is difficult and a journey that no one wants to take, having a great mentor beside you greatly eases the pressure of this hard climb.  Josh was one of those people, that in my time at BSU, has helped me to become confident both as a student and as a person.

If Josh wanted pushups, you gave him pushups.  It was during our archaeological field school in the summer where I was struggling with the work that Josh was able to raise my spirits.  Our class location was at another spot and generously helping me out with the rides there, we enjoyed each other’s company and found more similarities than differences, such as us having our birthday month being the same and our days being half apart.  Being from the sleepy Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, I was unaccustomed to the crazy driving habits of some Bostonians, and would always hold my breath whenever he drove.  His crazy driving to me though said a lot about him, that he was confident and was able to stand on his two feet.  Being raised a princess with things being given to me, I did not work hard in getting what I wanted or to build up confidence.  I was always stubborn though, but for all the wrong reasons!

Especially during this semester, Josh has helped me grow as a person.  I have learned to smile and laugh even more and to not be afraid to speak in class, once I have thought out what I would say, an observation that he also found with his sister.  While I am a constant work in progress, I have found a new footing into becoming a better person and student from meeting Josh.  Our beginnings were kind of the same, with him coming from strong parents both in work ethic and character while my parents were strong in work ethic but not character, but different in how we were raised.  I do not think that it is only the responsibility of a “professional” teacher to teach and influence, but rather that we students also have the gift of teaching, but we just have to be open to it!  

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It Takes a Community, Blogfest #2

The town of Bridgewater on a good, sunny day!

 

  •  Thoughts reflecting Community

According to Wikipedia, community requires interaction whether it is a group of people in an area or in biology, between organisms in a populated environment.  While we should never find academic answers on Wikipedia, this “internet community” says it best!

Community is about successfully being together and bridging gaps, and is very much emphasized everywhere we go.  Whether we are the BCC or BSU community, we have to be more than one student, faculty and administration member, and an employee in one place.  Having that requirement is not enough though, for these members at large have special qualities that they bring, whether it be their race, religion, or gender.  The quantity and the attributes then make up this community, where then it is either the Berkshire Community College or the Bridgewater State University community.  The question now is whether BSU is truly a community? 

I think in an imperfect world like which we are living in, we cannot exist as a perfect community because of  its quantity.  The cliché of “too many cooks spoil the brew” is so true in any community, where the negative effect can turn towards hate crimes.  Not intending to keep the flame alive of BSU’s own hate incident regarding gender, we see that not everyone can support another lifestyle that exists in society.  Not wholly being a pessimist though, I also recognize the positive effects of being too many people in one place.  The swift action taken after the incident by the BSU community through its rally was amazing, with it being an extra hoorah for accepting other existences.  Though not directly relating to the BSU community, Kony 2012 is also a good and bad cause when handled by a community.  Many of us are against child soldiers and would sign on to the petition, but others could sign on solely for the interest in the oil reserves in Uganda.  Though it is good that we all do not think alike, it can also be bad!       

Community, deriving from the old French comunité and from Latin communitatem during the 14th Century originally implied that something was shared.  Our feelings and ways of life, once we share them, tend to reflect the same thing and makes up the various humanitarian and common interest groups around campus.  My involvement in a multicultural group brought me closer to my peers and friends, while promoting diversity within the greater Pittsfield, MA community.  We also do not have to belong to a group to share similarities and differences, our friends and others around us are our best teachers in making us belong to a community!

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Blogfest #1

BSU

The iconic landmark for Bridgewater State University!

Greetings One and All!  My name is Maya Bahl, and I will be blogging for your entertainment during Social Media Week at Bridgewater State University during March 19-23, 2012!

Blogging now for five years, I can say that the experience has been, and will be, very beneficial to my professional, social, and academic career.  I began February 2008 with a poetry space, since at the time I was also assisting in editing another college’s literary magazine as well as developing my own collection of poems that I enthusiastically wrote for pleasure.  I envisioned this new blog to reflect myself, so with a simple template on Google Blogger, I proceeded to add a thousand more gadgets to it.  I went into blogging knowing that I could either make a fool out of myself for the whole world to see or that I could get dinero from it.  With a specified picture slideshow from the web (“India”), a Japanese print of the day, a dual clock showing Massachusetts and India’s time, a Shakespearean Insult of the day, one of my pictures, and a classical music player—my audience and I were off to a great adventure! 

I was never in a journaling habit but I hoped to be more regulated with writing with a blog, and today at the very least, my blog has been updated with newer gadgets.  I still need to work on being regular with posting, but a helpful way that made me consistently blog is having prompts.  I constantly need focus in my life so blogging with a topic has helped me, and could help you, blog often and get your writing more focused.  Writing within reason on the web is very valuable in this digital world where everyone is connected because it gives you a chance to self-promote yourself, whether you want to be a professional writer or not.  Building an online profile on career oriented sites like LinkedIn or simply tweeting on twitter would convince those who are constantly looking for potentials either on the job market or socially that you are a good candidate for them, because your writing is the truest reflection of yourself.  Writing through blogs can also help you shy folks out there to break out of your shell, like it also had done for me!    

I am looking forward to blogging for the week, and hope that you will also join me in your own journeys of self-promotion!

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