Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Schizophrenic Scholar

Student: How can I prepare to be successful in graduate school?

Me: I gave the student a list of things to try, including: Write daily. A blog is a great way to systematically capture your thinking.

Student: I started the blog, but I wouldn't recommend reading it yet as it doesn't seem too professional.

Me: Do NOT (I repeat, DO NOT) worry about trying to make it look or sound professional. That is about the fastest way I know to give yourself writer's block (and to ruin most of the perfectly good thoughts you would be likely to have). Instead, think of it as an informal journal--a place where you jot down your ponderings, your musings, your half-formed thoughts about the things you are reading and experiencing. The rawness of the thoughts is part of what will make it powerful and valuable to you as a source of inspiration for your scholarly work in the future.

Meta-me: I really ought to take my own advice.

Meta-me 2: But my raw thoughts are often random! But aesthetics and design matter! But I'm just a teacher, not a scholar! But now that I have a Ph.D., people will expect more of me! But I'm a perfectionist!

Meta-me: So THAT'S why you don't post more than about once a month!

Meta-me 2: But it won't matter anyway!

Meta-me: And what if it does? You'll never know as long as you leave the rest Unwritten.


I am SO irritated with SONY for disabling embedding of their videos!

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