Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Brief Disclaimer

We had our first DeCal writing workshop Monday evening, where we all got a chance to critique a few compositions written by members of the class, and I noticed that perhaps it would be helpful to identify my purpose in maintaining this blog and my interests in writing.

The tagline really says it all: I’m a progressive-minded aspiring science teacher who strives for social justice. That’s me. True colors indeed.

My blog’s name is actually a neat little scientific concept that ties my interests together, as I wrote way back in July:

As for the fancy title: the term "catalytic triad" describes the mechanism in which a large protein, in our case an enzyme, can catalyze the cleavage of parts of other proteins, normally for digestion. The area of the enzyme that manages this, the active site, has 3 separate functional parts that are specifically arranged to interact and cut proteins along certain folds. Without these 3 parts perfectly arranged in proximity, the enzyme loses its function, and its purpose in a living organism.

The idea of 3 parts working in concert to promote change in the system is one that best describes my motivation to begin writing here: together, science, education, and progressive policy will most effectively promote the formation of a technologically-sound, socially-just, free-thinking society, one that isn't afraid to address questions of where we came from, nor one that acts myopically in its treatment of different cultures and norms. Just as with the enzyme, if any one of these ideas is absent from our collective thoughts, there can be no forward progress. To put it chemically: We need to catalyze the change we wish to see in the world.

Since I started writing here, I’ve assimilated styles of writing from blogs that I frequent and adore—a few are listed in the blogroll to the right. Post content and styles vary from personal to professional, from salient to silly, from responses to news articles to relishing Cal Football’s victories. As a blogger, I use my voice to catalyze change in the areas that I am passionate about. And yeah, from time to time I deviate from this path to have some fun, but for the most part I follow clear goals I set for myself.

It all comes down to this: I want to persuade you, the reader. I want you to leave this website with some information you hadn’t known or hadn’t thought of prior. I know that the Berkeley bubble is a blessed place for folks of my political persuasion, but I also see lots that could be changed even within the confines of this city, such as attention to aspects of diversity. And if you're not from around here, maybe you'll take more away from what I write. Who knows?

I’m also not exactly writing just for you. I’m writing for myself, to sort out my thoughts on these topics. I’m writing for my ideological opponents, who scoff at issues of diversity and education. I’m writing for the sake of writing. You are more than welcome to come along for the ride. Enjoy yourself. Write me comments. I appreciate the feedback and advice.

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