Friday, February 13, 2009

A Socratic Guide

At one point in my life, which I like to call my "mid-college crisis", I became unclear about what I wanted to study and what I wanted to pursue for a career. My guidance counselor at the time was also a sociology professor and had a Socratic method of teaching and counseling. He wanted his students to make the decisions and, as his job description implies, he was only the guide. His method included, most often, a series of questions which would eventually lead an insightful decision, something that Socrates was known to do in ancient Greece.

As I pummeled my guidance counselor with my insecurities, he impored the Socratic method and asked me, "What subject can you talk about for hours at a time and not get bored?" The answer was so incredibly clear: psychology. Now, I believe that I can add running to that mix, although at any given time in my life, I have always had psychology and nothing more. This added topic of running (and really a lot of exercise physiology in general) is incredibly freeing. Although some may think that I complicate running and exercise by the amount of time that I put into thinking about, scheduling, recording, etc., I really feel that it simplifies it. Having a plan and having an outlet for my OCD is helpful to my psyche.

Running has influenced my life like not much else has. Psychology has already influenced my life and it is going to have a more profound impact, as I near the completion of my psychology degree. Although I am still not sure exactly what I would like to do within the field, I do know that, as much as I want to make an impact on the field, the field will also impact me. The people that I will come in contact with will change my understanding of human behavioral trends and emotions. At the same time, I pledge to continue my education, whether formal or not, to understand how I can better help those with psychological issues and disorders. I want to be what so many have been for me in the past: a guide in understanding and stepping firmly into the future.

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