Friday, September 18, 2009

On-target observations about grad school

Anne Sigismund Huff is the author of an interesting book, Designing Research for Publication, that was recommended through another title we use in Booklab, Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher. Check out this paragraph on page four of Chapter 1, "Finding the Right Conversation," and see if it doesn't remind you of grad school:

The powerful idea that scholarship is an interactive and collective activity was not salient in my doctoral education. I was certainly trying to make sense of my new profession as I listened to lectures, read, and interacted with others. The expectation of giving something back might have (or should have) influenced designing and writing my dissertation, but instead I began and ended with an individual agenda. In frustration, I thought that more successful people were part of a conversation that excluded me.

Reading this paragraph makes me ask why the roles for which we were preparing were not clearer in grad school. I was fortunate to have a wonderful director and dissertation committee all of whom aided in my professional development, but there was no institutional discussion of what the profession is and how we learn to contribute to it as scholars. At that level it was catch-as-catch-can. If you are a faculty member who wonders how everyone else got the clues and you missed out, books like this can be such a sane relief.

No comments: