Monday, February 01, 2010

Am I back (finding the questions)?

This is my third blog post of the day, and the tenth of the last two weeks -- that's after posting only once in the previous two months!

        So, am I back? Am I back to regular blog posting, again? And, what kept me away for so long!?

        The last question is not much of a mystery. The first few months of this academic year were incredibly exhausting. I was starting a doctoral program in New York, still working and teaching in Reading, PA and undergoing a huge amount of preparation -- written and otherwise -- to go up for my certification as a Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor (I made it!). The Jewish holidays made it even busier. It was a wonderful and exciting (and successful!) time, but I've been doing a lot of catching my breath ever since.

        The question of "am I back?" is a more complicated one. But I know I want to be back. In one of my NYU classes, our teacher urged us to keep a journal. She said it's important for doctoral students in their early stages to keep track of their intellectual journeys. That's because, she said, that, even if you know what your research area is, it can take you a long time to really know what your research question is.

        I was thinking of that this weekend when I was reading Carol Gilligan's Meeting at the crossroads for another class. In that book, Gilligan said that she and her fellow researchers thought they had their research question and design all mapped out. But years into their work, they realized they weren't doing it the way they wanted to at all. So, they changed everything, which led to the creation of Gilligan's influential "Listening Guide" (which she describes in that book).

        Anyway, I've never been much good at keeping journals in a conventional sense. But blogging has worked for me. So, if you do see me blogging much here in the future, I will not be doing it just for you, dear reader (whoever you may be!). I'll be doing it for myself as well -- trying to help myself figure out where exactly my path is heading (in terms of my research and my work!).

1 comment:

Minna said...

I definitely believe in "writing my way in" to all kinds of projects/missions. One resource that was very helpful for me was a book called Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, by Jean Bolker. I might still have it on my shelves somewhere....