Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Great weekend!!!

The overall experience during this past weekend retreat was very positive. I have been writing for a good amount of time during the last two months so even when it would have being useful to join the dissertation house I felt that I needed a break and go outdoors. I always feel that going outdoors renovates me and I enjoy sharing with others and confronting challenging with others as a team. This retreat give me the opportunity to do it. Sometimes while immersed in my own world I forget these feelings and needs. It is always refreshing to know that you can build a community and also work as a team with others that are traveling a part of your own pathway of life. Most of my own community and networks have not come thorough graduate school so it is great to be able to get together with old friends and also meet new ones that are going through master or doctorate programs.
This weekend was also very valuable because I hear and experience several things I will try to implement in my day to day activities. For example, I learned or I was reminded about the importance of keeping your contacts with people in your previous department or school alive and vibrant after graduation and of course to build them when you are there. Also, I was preparing to start writing my dissertation so some of the tips during evaluation time became handy. For example, I hear from a student that participated in the dissertation house that you can start with writing the full outline of your dissertation and also that you can start writing a chapter even before you finish one previously or even when you feel you are not ready to start writing them at all. You must start and continue adding everyday a little bit because the accumulation of all the little bits will at the end over time become a lot. Also, I witnessed our the team work improved during a single day quite a lot. In fact, we took quite a good amount of time to work our first challenge because reaching an agreement and taking action took time. But by the end of the day, all of us were able to work as a single unified team in a coordinate and with perfect synchrony effort to put together a puzzle as fast as we could. In this exercise every one in the team counted and all worked together harmoniously. Also I think I always wondered how was to work for the F1 racing pit crew, I think I got a taste of what it feels this weekend too ;). This specific experience tell me that with a little bit patience and if all are enjoying what we are doing, an effective team can be built very fast.
Once again, I really loved this retreat. This is the second time I participated. Last year I met several people and I kept a good relationship with some of them during the past year, I hope I will do better this coming year and that I may be able to participate again as an alumni next year!

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PROMISE Community Building - A Place for Graduate Students.

PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) seeks to increase the numbers and diversity of Ph.D.s in the STEM fields by building community and supporting graduate students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Here, we salute the spirit of PROMISE!
Click one of the tabs at the top: "Home" to see the main blog site with all posts, "Retreats" to see more information about the Community Building Retreats for grad students, and "PROMISE Videos" to see some videos from the PROMISEagep YouTube Channel. Other topics and pages will be added as the blog site grows.