The one transition that really shocked me out of my shoes was the abrupt change from “School as a Group Activity” to “Scholars work Alone.” While I was in classes, I never understood the point of conferences. Now that I’m without a forum to discuss my ideas, conferences make a hell of a lot of sense.

This difference has been a major stumbling block for me. How do you continue pushing for new ideas when there’s no one around who cares to hear them? It’s a similar stumper to the “if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one to hear it…”adage. If I have a great idea, the best one of my life so far, and no one’s there to witness it, what happens? I’ve become the tree falling…if no one is there to hear my ideas, do they exist? I can say they do, but as a classic verbal processor, I begin to wilt without a community of fellow yakkers.

My response to this has been to take my ideas to the street; think Guerrilla Sociological Theory. I’ve made my “Others” (random Lost reference) listen to my ideas and it’s been interesting. Turns out their outside perspective really helps and can be wonderfully insightful in ways I never could have expected. And sometimes they just roll their eyes and we talk about tv. I love that too.

There will be more to come on friends as a support network because I need to publicly acknowledge that undertaking–and in this case, my friends have been HUGELY supportive–but at the end of the day, I’m the one that will climb this mountain. And, sadly, I’ll have to do it alone. That’s what pressing for original “takes” on things requires, I think.

I just wish I could take someone with me.

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