At the advice of one of my (ahem) elders in the online TCR program, this entry is reflective, dedicated to two end-of-one-and-beginning-of-next-semester themes: What I’ve Learned & Where I’m Going. I’ve been mulling it over for a while, but am mostly just trying to dash it off sometime before the TTU semester starts.
What I’ve Learned:
5363 (Research Methods in TC & Comp) was big, as it ought to have been; both in workload and significance. Lesson One: I feel, much more so than before, confident I know how to really “do” research that goes beyond scholarly inquiry, and how empiricism can serve and deepen scholarly inquiry (this is not to pooh-pooh scholarly/critical inquiry). I also feel much more able to self-start on a number of my research interests; I’ve often somehow felt at a loss for what to do with myself without some “assignment”; at this point, I feel like I really know how to self-assign, and am looking forward to doing so over the next year. Statistics is no longer a dirty word.
I’ve learned that yes, writing a lot is still hard (as if there were ever any doubt). But instead of the one or two big projects that my “writing a lot” usually is, last semester involved a wealth of shorter writing projects. This was really good for creating a writing routine, in that it forced me to do small chunks, rather than my usual marathon writing sessions. This semester was really good for me in terms of helping me to become more disciplined in terms of my workload. Unfortunately, blogging fell far back on the list of “important things to do” last semester. I don’t think that’s a good thing even if it was in the face of what felt like a staggering amount of methods work. In retrospect and despite my complaining at the time, it was work well worth it, but work that demanded quite a bit more reflection and theorizing than I gave to it. And I don’t think I can blame it completely on my five preps last semester.
Where I’m Going:
At a couple of points in the semester, we were asked to think about “Who Am I As A Researcher?” That’s a harder question than I thought, one I’m going to draft on a while longer before posting it here. I will say that I’m simultaneously excited by and a little scared of the siren call of grounded theory. Mostly, though I’ve been thinking about goals for the coming semester. Here are a few of them:
- write something serious every day. blog at least once per week. don’t let all my writing be nattering and nabobing here.
- reflect productively more often, preferably in writing.
- read some fiction almost every day. don’t just read for class.
- communicate w/professors and mentors more often.
- finally: fewer parenthetical asides. (but not none.)
Next post: teaching reflection and goals.