Friday, June 15, 2012

Introduction - Joshua Jordan

Hello everyone! My name is Joshua Jordan and I am originally from Altoona, Iowa (minutes East of Des Moines), but I am currently residing in Earlham, Iowa (approx. 30 min. West of Des Moines) to look after my mother-in-law who just underwent two major back surgeries while the rest of the family is away in Alaska, on a fishing boat somewhere at the mouth of the Cook Inlet (south of Anchorage) pulling the last bit of Halibut their quotas will allow.  

I am currently a third-year graduate student in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies.  The sub-disciplines supporting my Master's degree that I selected include Anthropology, English, and Philosophy.  And, aside from the official disciplines that my program has required me to declare and, consequently, diligently follow, I have also spent a great amount of time cultivating an education that is truly interdisciplinary.  With that being said, I have spent a large amount of time, in addition to my program's core, studying graduate-level Psychology, particularly Counseling Psychology, as well as other graduate related disciplines such as Art History, Religious Studies, and Sociology.  Despite the fact that I would prefer to stay at Iowa State University and continue engaging in different and interesting subjects, my wallet compels me otherwise; therefore, I will be graduating in the fall of 2012.

I attribute much of my interest in crossing the boundaries erected by academic disciplines primarily to my undergraduate studies.  In 2009 and from Iowa State University, I was awarded a BA in Philosophy and a BA in Religious Studies - two degrees that emphasize from the beginning a deference for the crossing and exploring of academic boundaries.  Also in 2009, I finished two degrees at Des Moines Area Community College that I had started much earlier in my life - an AA in Criminal Justice and an AA in Liberal Arts - and, to top it off, I simultaneously managed to earn a Certificate of Emergency Medical Technician - Basic in the process.  Although I managed to stuff a lot of academic work into 2009, as I reflect back on the year, I believe it was probably the most pathetic year of my social life thus far; and, to anyone considering an attempt to get a lot accomplished academically in a very short period of time, please find a personally legitimate and honest answer to the question:  "What's the damn hurry?"

My specific motivation for taking this class is that it fits perfectly with my core studies and primary interests and just happens to be offered as a distance learning course.  I have strong interests in the philosophy of science and technology; epistemology; linguistics, language, and communication; the role of culture in a globalized world; and the dynamics of social change, particularly in those areas resistant to change.  I take great influence from many of the great modern Continental philosophers - e.g., Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Sartre, Camus, Zizek, etc. - and I am fascinated by the work of futurists like Ray Kurzweil and his academic progeny.  Given my interests and knowing the circumstances I was facing, while choosing Summer courses this last Spring I found myself inextricably drawn to Communication Technology and Social Change.

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