Sunday, January 29, 2017

Stoked to be back!


I have to say, it feels amazing to be back at Kean! These past few weeks in between semesters have been stressful and crazy, not relaxing like a break should be. What is more "relaxing" to me, is knowing I have my routine back! Knowing that every Monday I'll leave work right away to give myself enough time to grab Dunkin, get a parking spot, and settle into class. Knowing that when I come home from school I can pour a glass of wine, watch the Bachelor, read a YA novel, and do all of this from my bed, because Monday's I give myself a free pass and refuse to even open up my school bag to grade or plan once I get home! So it feels great!
On Monday we were asked to free write at the end of class, right before the power went out! We were asked to write about our research identity, which immediately freaked me out because truth be told I was nervous for this class. Research intimidates me. BUT after free writing and sharing out some of our ideas, those nerves dissipated. 

Here's why:

What is your current research identity?
If I had to put a name to or define my research identity, I do not know that I can. I listen to my friends and colleagues talk about the research they did in undergrad, or my one friend who’s researching her thesis now, and I think to myself, “UGH I don’t ever remember doing any of that!” I must I’m sure, but to what extent. I’m a very hard worker, and I think that I’d remember researching an assignment of a large magnitude, such as a thesis paper, but when push came to shove and I had to TEACH a thesis paper, Google become my best friend. I talked to it every day for hours on end. I exhausted its resources until it told me it was time to sleep, aka that little red battery life popped up telling me to also GO TO BED.
But I had no idea about any of it.
Sometimes I feel stupid, like I should know this. Sometimes I worry I can’t compete in this field. However, I know I can, just truly believe I haven’t been trained.
I don’t remember when I first learned to research. Was it when my parents first got a computer and I “Asked Jeeves” a question? Or did it predate that, looking up information in one of our many encyclopedias or dictionaries. Where did research begin and who decided that starting point? Could research also mean of life? I began researching the first time I asked my parents a question. They first time I asked, “Why?” instead of “okay”.
But I think research here means in the academic sense. In the traditional sense of being in a library and grabbing reference books and using databases and all the things that continue to overwhelm me today.
I want to gain confidence during this grad school class. I want to know where to look, who to ask, what to search, and how to annotate. I want to evaluate sources and exercise my brain, and step out of my comfort zone.
I think I still need to acquire where to look, along with recognizing names of sources as starting points. I’m afraid that when the time comes I will spend hours of unncessary searching for the “right” source or “correct” information instead of actually pulling the information.

So after reflecting on my thoughts, and specifically my fears, I feel confident that I can tackle this semester with the same zest as last semester!

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