With my first semester of graduate studies now behind me and with just one week left in the winter break, it is not too soon to begin getting mentally prepared for the next round. Indeed, I have already acquired many of the books needed for my coursework. Although this semester promises to be every bit as challenging as last – perhaps even more so – I now possess a commodity that bolsters my confidence; one that has no price but cannot be underestimated. It is experience. I have done this before… at this level, in this school, with these professors. I know not only what to expect, but also what is expected.
And there is great comfort in that, for as much confidence others have had in my ability, the only way I could ever know for sure is to make the attempt. And in that attempt I have succeeded, there is no reason why I cannot do it again. This is not to say the work will be any easier, quite the contrary, I expect it will become increasingly difficult. But my fascination with my chosen course of study has increased exponentially, due perhaps to the simple fact that my perseverance – and patience – has ignited me.
Like many, I took communication for granted. We learn how to communicate at an early age and as we grow, we become more adept. Of course we learn about the mechanics in school, and to some extent we develop a style and a voice in our communication, but these are just structures, we learn little if anything about why we communicate as we do. Furthermore, communication is at the root of all other learning. Understanding why one way of saying something is more effective than another, why some comprehend where others do not and how to convey exactly what we mean are just some of the reasons to study communication.
As a writer, I am often frustrated in finding ways to convey the precision in what I am trying to say. Even with a large vocabulary and access to many more words, organizing them with the punctuation necessary to open my head to others is always a daunting task. I’ve been told I write well. Okay, I think so too. But I still struggle, often, over how to get it just so. And here’s a little honesty: Even the best pieces I’ve ever written are not perfect. Not one. I have yet to write anything that exactly conveys what I am thinking. I get close sometimes, but I am not yet there and although “perfection” is perhaps impossible, I believe there is much room for improvement.