Education tries to be independent from religion. I am a Christian with a Muslim advisor and sometimes I wonder how people must view my stance to learn from a person with a different religion. Therefore, I was not surprised at a conference presentation recently when someone asked if I was Muslim. when he heard the name of my advisor. I told him no with a smile and added that I believed religion was not a factor in the choice of a mentor.
The main difficulty for me that I have come to realize over the past three years is the culture I have lived by, based on my environment and activities in recent years. I grew used to doing what everyone was doing and my questioning abilities were stagnant. There was a lack of accountability, service and scheduling that affected my output. My advice for anyone is to remain accountable for their time and schedule activities that will promote growth. My advisor always has a lot of post-it notes to remind him of his various tasks and after forgetting a few things in my early days, I set reminders on my phone for all activities to avoid missing any event.
Logic enables us to question things around us. Why, why and why are things the way they are, do things work how they do, have we chosen A instead of B? There are a lot of questions to be asked. Education is the foundation for important questions to fill in the gaps of knowledge. Service, fearlessness, connections and principles emerge when we are ready to ask questions to improve things we know. The image shows how a person can evolve from being disconnected to being a centered and focused individual that allows the parts work together for a whole experience of a fulfilled life.
Patricia Kio is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Architecture