When I first walked into that classroom, I had no idea what to expect. Interdisciplinary studies… Interdisciplinary studies..? I heard from a friend that this class requires you to do a lot online and that you only met like every other week, but besides that not much. To be honest, I never really thought about what I was gonna learn about in this course… Rather I saw it as an obstacle in my way, between me and graduating with the major that I fantasized about. Looking back, and trying to be unbiased, I probably would’ve guessed that this course was primarily about making your major, and secondly about teaching us how to properly explain to people during the holidays what an interdisciplinary major actually is. On a serious note, I truly had no idea. I kind of had the mindset to let the class explain itself during syllabus week.
The word “Interdisciplinary” itself was just a word that I associated making your own major with. I thought it was a made up word that academic institutions used to sum up majors that students created. Even went as far to assume that it was for those “other” majors, that weren’t nearly as main stream. If I were to define it now, I would first pick it apart. Inter means to integrate or something of the sort, and disciplinary describes what is being integrated– disciplines. So basically, in a traditional definition, interdisciplinary is integrating two or more disciplines. Simple as that.
My understanding of Interdisciplinary studies has overdone change, and my perception goes along with my journey of defining “interdisciplinary”. At first I didn’t really put in the effort to define something that I am yet to engage with. -Rather, didn’t bother to ponder about the philosophy or content with these abstract terms, especially before I was to pursue concrete lessons pertaining to exactly what I was suggested to define. But if I were to define it now, in a traditional definition, and using knowledge that I have learned over the course of the course, interdisciplinary studies means to learn parts of multiple disciplines, in the attempt to be better prepared for a field with variable concentrations, or, in a way, create your own discipline utilizing two that are popular and recognized.
Interdisciplinary relates to my interdisciplinary major by it being interdisciplinary. What I mean is, the interdisciplinary nature of me integrating disciplines together to make my interdisciplinary studies major is very relevant to the introduction to interdisciplinary studies course that is required within my studies. Kidding aside, I feel like the root concept of making a discipline out of acknowledged popular ones is something I experienced and have succeeded at doing. The fact that my plans for my major is interdisciplinary relates to the core purpose of this class. Another concept that relates to my own IDS program or plans is the thought of sharing my own work beyond the classroom. All the way back to one of this classes first readings, from week two, Matthew Cheney describes a relevant issue in his article “Public? Why Public?”. The thought of sharing their work outside the classroom, and have it being meaningful to the student is something I struggle with within my major. Sometimes within my classes I do feel like my work is just work, and I don’t have the passion to inspire the thought to post it publicly or outside the classroom. This goes along with the thought of if I own my domain, or work, if someone grades it– another concept describing the perception of your work not being yours anymore after it is graded. A lot of the time I think that I can’t wait to graduate, because only then will I be able to start making work that will matter towards my career. This is false, I have the opportunity to start that now, and in fact, I am already doing so. I am creating work that I am allowed to use on things like blogs and music libraries, but am not from some underlying psychological misconception.
Interdisciplinary studies matters to universities as it is the “other” category for studies. The point of studying is to further one’s education and prepare them for a career. All the majors that are offered at universities are but the popular ones that people have very developed fields, and usually a wide range of career paths. For example, Music Technology was not a major you could take one hundred year ago. But from that field advancing and becoming more integrated within society, from years of it being popularized, it is now an up and coming major offered at a number of universities. This matters as education shouldn’t be restricting. Just because there are many businesses out there, doesn’t mean that Music Technology should be disregarded. If universities only offered the top handful of popular majors, there wouldn’t be any diversity pushing forward. This matters to the world, as adaption and innovation is what exceeds what has been done. To advance as a society, and as a race, you can’t just all do the same educational and professional path. No. You need to combine different disciplines. You need to do what hasn’t been done much, and add on to it so that you can further our understanding and progress on that matter. Inspire the rest of the world with your unprecedented work. Take the path less traveled.
I hope that I can do just that in the future. Produce music, run my own business, and succeed in a way that the majority doesn’t do. Succeed in the way that most wouldn’t think of. Make people second guess what I’m doing. Inspire others that are willing to take a similar path. I know this is hopeful talk, very broad for actually completing a goal, but the principals of the matter are what will stand true, no matter if I branch off a bit. For IDS, I hope to complete it, and take away the parts from it that will help me in the future. For PSU, I hope to set a precedent for building a major for people in Music Technology. Dr. Pfenninger said that he hasn’t been an advisor for anyone incorporating music technology heavily, so that means I am the first to do so. Business goes along nicely with music technology, so by me doing this it shows that there are more then one path to getting a degree and becoming a digital musician to produce music here at PSU.
When I first walked into that classroom, I had no idea what to expect. Interdisciplinary studies… Interdisciplinary studies..? I heard from a friend that this class requires you to do a lot online and that you only met like every other week, but besides that not much. To be honest, I never really thought about what I was gonna learn about in this course… But I have learned a lot. I learned how to add URLs casually. I learned how to build my own website, and post on it. I learned how to market myself via social media, and use a PLN to learn further. The list goes on. And on. And on.