When I decided to do my Mason Core philosophy credit, I decided to go with the option for PHIL 338: Philosophy, Sex, and Gender (the course title has since changed) because it sounded like the least painful option. I had taken a philosophy course before and did not see the point, but this class opened my eyes. I loved it. I ended up following the professor to her next class because that sounded interesting. I then realized that that was what I wanted to do, and I took two philosophy courses the next semester and officially changed my major to philosophy.
The most valuable aspect of my academic experiences here would be how they have made me think about the world and expand my thinking. Some of the texts I have read have made me examine a lot of assumptions that I have had the privilege to be able to take for granted in how society operates. I have also learned to analyze how society operates past a surface level and into the more internal structures. I have also learned about myself, about how I think, and about my own value system. I cannot say I always enjoyed the challenges I have faced, but they did help me grow into who I am.
I have learned how to balance my different responsibilities better than I had before. As I have come into my understanding of myself as a disabled person, I have had to learn how to try to balance my time better and try to keep ahead when I am able. I have to balance school, work, doctor’s appointments, and also my physical capabilities. I have also involved myself in advocacy work both on and off campus and been able to help people. I am also proud of what I have learned academically while at Mason and the work I have done.
I have had a great experience with most of the professors I have had while at GMU. I have made an effort to talk to them outside of class both to discuss the course content and to get advice. In particular, I would have to say that I owe a lot to Professor Jones and Professor Brandhorst. Professor Brandhorst recommended I apply to a fellowship, and it has been an absolutely wonderful opportunity for me. Professor Jones is the person who made me want to pursue philosophy as my degree and for grad school. She has been a wonderful mentor to me. She has helped me with my grad school application, encouraged me to apply to a conference, and has just been super supportive of me.
I have been accepted into a Master's program for philosophy, and I will start that in the fall. Ultimately, I would like to get my doctorate in philosophy and become a professor myself.