As sociologists, we know that there are some things that influence us even if they are not clear to the "naked eye" (so to speak). Names are often one of the first things others known about you--and a name can really shape people's perspectives even if that is all they know about someone.
On the suggestion of a friend (who has completed her PhD) I have decided to journal my journey though PhD school. I am not so ambitious to think I will actually write anything handwritten other than notes for class or that I will do this as much as I would like, but I am using my blog as a medium to chronicle this journey. So I have changed the title of the blog (for now--still subject to change in the future) to "Verstehen."
Verstehen--The German word for "understanding" or "insight"; used by Max Weber to stress the need for sociologists to take into account people's emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes (http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072435569/student_view0/glossary.html). (Max Weber is one of the "big 3" classical sociologists, by the way.)
Here's to hoping I can find verstehen into/of myself, others, and my discipline while keeping my sanity along this journey. Let's enjoy the ride...