If I Could Do It All Over?
Honestly, my biggest regret for this semester is I waited too long to admit that my first idea was failing. It's hard to tell, when you feel at least a little like all your projects are failing when you're in Grad School! With things like inadequacy in discussion in class, you stick with it. If you keep saying words to the best of your ability, and you listen to the observations others make and attempt to be like then, you improve over the semester for all your struggling. With my project too, I thought the scholarly discomfort I experienced while having trouble coming up with good resources on syllabi, or reconciling the lack of international composition perfective I had was all just my own inexperience. I thought that, with time, I would finish the trial by fire stronger for having endured it.
Boy, was I wrong.
Still, a lesson is a lesson, and this methodology class has been one of the lessons best taught so far in my grad career. The pacing, the constant accountability, everything was a well crafted live-in research experience. That includes the suffering and the failure! I have gained a huge appreciation for work done "in process" and how even when you think you've finished, you haven't /really/ finished. Next time (although I hope for my sake, there is not a next time) I will let a dying project go peacefully into that goodnight. I don't know if I've come to terms enough to wish it well, but I will certainly at least let it go.
Thanks to beginning all over again at the last second, I actually managed to re-do one of my other big regrets: annotated bibliography entries. These are hard for me, as I often am unsure where to stop at "useful" details, and when a little is a little too much. This left me writing vague summaries a lot of the time, which /later/ left me having to re-read the articles all over again because my notes didn't have any useful information. In doing the mass posting of the ABs I was due on my new subject, I made a much better attempt at putting the right stuff in. There was only one entry I was less than perfectly satisfied with, and considering I posted 11, that is a much better ratio than before. I hope that I will continue to be diligent and keep the habit of synopsis-ing everything I read from now on, but that still feels like a definite "maybe". I'm not sure- ABs are very time consuming on the front end, even if they save you time later!
So far, this is my favorite class I've taken in grad school. It was the only one where I really felt like ti was okay to be overwhelmed, and that I felt like the professor was actively instructing me on what I was expected to do, rather than telling me what I was supposed to end up with and letting me figure those small middle bits out for myself. I guess that's how a process-based class is supposed to be, but either way, I'm very thankful. Thank you, Shelley. My only regret is that I won't get to spend more time with you until you ascend to heaven like that one hobo cat in the Broadway musical Cats. Ah well. Memory, right?