I thought the biggest challenge at HGSE was going to be the work. Would I be able to keep up with a Harvard curriculum? Turns out I had nothing to fear. What I should have feared was the big question each HGSE student must answer: How do I choose from the superabundance of opportunities at HGSE and throughout Harvard? Or how much sleep do I really need?
Because I like sleep, I’ve tried to answer that question using one important tool: Gap Analysis.
Over the summer, the Career Services Office encouraged us to fill out a gap analysis worksheet to identify career gaps we have in skills, knowledge, and qualifications. I was skeptical that such a straightforward task could be helpful, but I had nothing better to do this summer, so I completed the worksheet. And I’m so glad I did! In addition to my gaps, I included the country in which my husband and I would like to live, Israel.
Now I use the following list of areas to explore/develop as a way to help me make all of my scheduling decisions:
Formal learning about children with special needs
This Monday, for example, my day lasted from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., not including family time with my husband and dinner. In between working on my Educational Neuroscience class assignment and readings, I attended a talk by Yael Tamir, former Education Minister of Israel; had a Jewish Student Association leaders meeting about scheduling a klezmer and pub night; attended a small group session for the Field Experience Program; and went to my Developmental Disabilities class.
In one day alone, I covered all of my gaps. And there was still time to sleep!
Now for the next big HGSE challenge: Boston weather.