Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Roses grown in concrete

A couple of weeks' ago I was at the American Educational Research Association's Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. I've not had a chance to say much about that yet, and I do have things to say. On the whole there were some inspiring, if not relevant to my research, talks that I went to, and I had a positive experience at the whole thing. The last talk I went to was Jeff Duncan-Andrade talking about hope through the metaphor of roses grown in concrete, taken from a Tupac song. It was very powerful and a great note to end the conference on - made me want to go more into social justice work. I found it on YouTube too - a longer version of the talk from a previous conference. Highly worth watching. Here it is.

PhD stalemate

I'm having this big problem in thinking lately that I'm not doing anything new or different with my research. It may have partly come from having droppped the reading and writing schedule in order to get on with data collection/production, and just now I picked up an article to read for the seminars I'm taking tomorrow (first teaching! Woo!) and it got me all worried that I'm repeating others' work - I certainly don't just want to repeat my supervisor's work. A quick lookn at the abstracts of many writers in the field (any field?) and you see that their own work is often similar, and they share many methods, theories and so on with lots of other writers around the world. But I think I need something different in order to get a PhD and I'm not doing that I fear. I also struggle with a rationale and the aim - that is, where I'm coming from, what I'm building on, the questions that are unanswered, and what I plan to do about them.

Maybe it's not as bad as I think but looking at my research questions and objectives they don't inspire me that much because they don't seem new, or they don't seem to be quite what I'm trying to put my finger on.

Or perhaps I should stop trying to read journal articles at 11pm. Because i can't articulate the thoughts I'm having that are coming out of the reading, about rationalising my own work...