I went to school last week to attend a program-wide reflection on the first year of Creighton’s new Energy Technology Program.** What does this have to do with my participation in Google Summer of Code with OpenMRS?
To put it simply from a student perspective, we are passionate about what we’re doing. We are motivated by real world problems. We’re genuinely interested in learning from and helping each other. We regularly stay up until 2 am to work on projects or homework – not because we are worried about grades or making money – because what we’re learning is important to us and we’re excited by it. These are commonly reflected upon experiences of Creighton’s Energy Technology students. I feel exactly the same way with my project this summer. Based on blogs and facebook updates, presentations, and conversations with fellow OpenMRS GSoC students, I think they could relate too.
My OpenMRS GSoC mentors have different backgrounds just like the Energy Program has faculty from eight or nine different departments that I can think of off the top of my head. What I hear them all saying is, “Let’s challenge and teach you. Let’s try something new. Doubt what you’re told. Ask more questions. Think. Learn from your mistakes. Build community in the process. This is your project. Go for it. I’m available and flexible.” There have been moments this summer I thought this project was doomed, just like I thought I was going to fail Intro to Thermodynamics. In both cases, my mentors of sorts re-evaluated, met me where I was at, and we adjusted.
How do you thank someone or a whole community for being so supportive? Finish your project. Maybe write a blog about it. Do the same for someone else when you get the opportunity. 🙂
As a computer science major involved in the Energy Program, I’ve been given incredible support and encouragement from both sides of campus. The Energy Program is able to be especially intentional about pedagogy and open communication between students and faculty, and Creighton is better because of it. Google Summer of Code accepted “a total of 1,122 students… with 180 different open source projects.” (OpenMRS post). I don’t know much about the other 179 open source projects, but I definitely feel that OpenMRS has a special place in GSoC too.
** “This major prepares students for cutting-edge fields, but is based on Creighton’s roots in Ignatian pedagogy. In this Ignatian model, drawn from the Spiritual Exercises, teachers accompany learners in the pursuit of competence, conscience, and compassionate commitment. This model stresses personalized programs, active engagement of the student, and reflection on the experience.” (energy.creighton.edu)