OK-So it is the first day of classes and even though I am a second year student I am feeling just as overwhelmed as I did at this time last year. On the positive side, it has been great to re-connect with many of the colleagues from last year and to meet the new cohort. One funny thing is how much everyone's area of interest is becoming more refined.
In class today we had an interesting discussion of the public versus private environments. I am conflicted to some degree between the benefits of an open and accessible environment and a closed, secure one. On the one hand, why am I paying such high fees if all the technology I am using in the program is open source and free to the university as well as, in many cases, open to the public. Yes, I realise I will get credit for participation while the general public who have interest in the area won't.
I also do not fear the loss of my 'intellectual property' but rather I wonder if people will be more likely to take chances and put ideas out there if they are operating in a secure, supportive environment. Maybe it is a confidence issue? Perhaps one becomes more of an authority and have a discipline-specific rubric/standard by which to evaluate our musings better we may be more likely to embrace a completely open environment.
I am not 100% sure of how the next two weeks will evolve but I am confident that all things will fall into place.