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Posts tagged ‘EDDE 802’

on the benefits of lurking and looking back…

January 26, 2015

lisa hammershaimb

This term in addition to my 804 course I am a “lurker” in the 802 course that is also running concurrently. I took 802 officially last year (as a refresher, it was the course where I was pretty sure would either lead me to thesis nirvana or make me drop out of the program because my brain would explode. Turns out, neither happened but I did finish up with way more confidence about the research process and way more humility about myself as an academic.)

Because 802 is run not in the closed LMS of Moodle but in the semi-open platform of The Landing (the Athabasca social network site…immortalized in such techno remixes as this one) once you’ve survived 802, you remain a member of the group permanently. This permanent membership means you can watch what’s going on (provided you weren’t so scarred from your own experience that you turned off all notifications) and even participate in the group again if you so choose. Though I’ve had neither the courage nor inclination to do the later, I’ve been very actively engaging in the former, watching a whole new crop of eager students tentatively define their epistemology and ontology as their first discussion assignment and generally begin wrestling with some pretty hefty content.

As I’m the youngest child by many years I don’t know if it’s quite the correct analogy but as I read responses from cohort 7 I can’t help but feel like an older sister to them all…charmed by their earnestness, a little worried for them regarding the “growing up” challenges I know they will face in the next few months, and overall so proud to see who they are becoming. I didn’t think it would be feasible to build cross-cohort relationships that had any meaning or depth but through the looking glass that The Landing has become, I’m beginning to become a believer that it might actually be possible. We all have shared experiences now and there’s no reason this open space can’t be the catalyst to connect us. Granted, cohort 7 will never be the somewhat blood-family that cohort 6 is to me but still…I love that we can all build community and enrich each other through this doctoral process. If we were all at a brick and mortar school for sure we’d be checking each other out and swapping resources and secretly envying/admiring/being inspired by each others work. In the absence of physical hallways and chance coffee shop encounters, The Landing seems to be a more than decent substitution.

In addition, as I’ve been watching their engagement it is taking me back to my own thoughts and ideas when I was in 802. I remember first being asked about my own ontology and my own epistemology and being pretty sure that defining those two things was equivalent to asking me to speak Chinese. But after some research, lots of trial and error, and a healthy dose of rye, I did manage to pin down my own views, namely that truth is contextual, dynamic and changes based on experience, narrative, and environment. Knowledge is personal and subjective assembled through connections and worked out through social interactions. In 802, I called myself an anti-positivist who embraced nominalism and pragmatism with a twist of critical theory for good measure…a year later, those definitions, with a few subtle nuances, still remain core pillars of who I am. As cohort 7 goes through each discussion and project, I’m eager to see how the lisa-of-last year compares to the lisa-of-today.

I am sure there have been articles written delving more into the research, reasons, cautions, and benefits of cohort cross pollination and as I am now beginning to have some good first person qualitative experience…I’m curious to explore.

But…all that scholarship can wait for another day. For now all I have to say is…you go cohort 7! Jump into discussions, wrestle with these gnarly brain-bending ideas, and truly give it your all knowing that you’re not alone in your struggles. In addition to fabulous supervisors and a rock star instructor, you’ve got eight cheerleaders from cohort 6 ready to shout encouragements if you ever appear to be slowing down. It sounds quite cliche but your learning really is all of our learning and your courage to do something so vulnerable in an open space helps us all be courageous and open too. Persist even when it gets overwhelming. This will test you in ways that feel like they are far beyond your breaking point but in the end…this experience will change you for so much the better…just as it did for us.

DAY 1: Assignment 4 Begins…

March 24, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

And, proposal writing is put on hold for a little bit while the final monster to conquer, Assignment 4, takes precedence. I’ll admit I wasn’t all that worried about Assignment 4 until after meeting with the cohort last night. I think the past month+ has been so challenging+stretching in so many professional/work/personal ways that all I could conceptualize was what I needed to do in the next day or two. The end of April felt like forever away and Assignment 4….yeah, pretty much a 6000-9000 word mirage because I was drowning in the dailies.

But after meeting with the cohort, hearing them ask questions I didn’t even fully comprehend, and looking at the calendar and realizing the sobering fact that April begins like…next week I realized the monster is actually way closer than it appears in the mirror.

So, I know you’re probably wondering…just what is Assignment 4? Glad you asked! Basically it’s called “Planning Research Strategies” and is meant to mimic the “methods” section of my real dissertation. (AHHH!!! real dissertation!!!….sorry, just needed a textual freak out moment because honestly I felt way closer to a real dissertation about a year ago before I knew all I didn’t know…if you know what I mean.)

But anyways, the idea is that we’ve already got brilliance in the research questions, paradigms, inquiries, etc. and now it’s just time to hammer out the research methods, then examine the prospective data collection and analysis strategies (of course, keeping consistent with preciously established theoretical/philosophical orientations and practical research methods). Cake, right? Hahaa….if only.

 

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DAY 2: exhale.

March 11, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

truth

It. Is. All. Over.

Jury duty, Assignment 3 conceptual framework, Assignment 2 presentation, and probably all of the chemicals my adrenal glands had stored up for the past month. Today was a cacophony of experiences that in many ways are completely out of body. I thought I’d have a ton of words to process it all, but it turns out…not so much. All I really want is whiskey and sleep and to feel my own permanently tense back muscles revert back to their flesh and blood state as opposed to the rock solid masses they’ve become.

That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that this path, however hard or confusing or stressful it may feel at times, is precisely where I should be at this moment…these battles are exactly what I should be fighting and this dread-mixed-with-ecstasy is changing me for good and refining me for whatever future is in store. and in that, even in the midst of so much chaos there’s a weird tranquility that legit I have no idea how to explain.

So, enough for now and enough words for one day. Here’s a link to my Assignment 3 if anyone in the wider world wants to see it and my hand prints (which like the design nerd I am, I’ll totally admit still make me so happy to see.)

Good night world. See you tomorrow.

DAY 0: tissue paper typography…

March 9, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

ABR

picasso

I’m not going to lie. My favorite part of prepping for this presentation was creating these opener slides and type throughout the presentation. After the insane trajectory of this week and the looming monster of next week, I’ve lost all my verve and passion around arts-based research and presenting and all the other stuff that goes with being an academic and I just want to cut out shapes with tissue paper and drink Saint Germaine martinis and listen to Sigur Ros and be an artist. Not an artist-educator, not an artist-educator-researcher, not an artist-educator-researcher-Senior Associate Dean-out to save the world and fight the injustices of the world by her own cleverness, and creativity…just someone who’s work is totally her own, whose vision only impacts the very narrow boundaries of her own life.

I might be a little burned out.

Which is why Sunday is such a good idea. And days off are so vital. So today I’m okay with being just lisa. (And yet being just lisa who is also blogging a bit because she’s kind of ashamed of the fact that last week had a total of one post. Oops…good news is that Assignment 3 is finished and out of my hands, the slides for Assign 2 are killer, and there will no doubt be words galore this week as pretty much everything will happen. But not today. Today none of that even exists…

DAY 1: my academic life, in 500 words

January 12, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

The second class of my doctoral-student career begins this Tuesday. It is 802: Advanced Research in Education and I feel pretty equal parts thrilled and terrified. Last year at this time being accepted into the program felt right about as probable as speaking at a conference or running an ultra marathon or performing piano in front of many many people. Oh wait…I did all those things too last year! Indeed a lot can happen in a year’s time and this past year has once more proven that…but back to the present. 802 begins the “serious stuff” of the EdD program–study turns from program orientation to the nuts and bolts of research, framework, paradigms, and methods and by early summer the hope is that we will no longer be wayward researchers, searching for our Nirvana but will have dissertation Mecca set in our sights and begin mapping out the course we will take to arrive. (Sorry…terrible religious cross pollination. In trying to make metaphors I think I may have only succeeded in being a bit offensive. Oops.)

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