“Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of my all-time favorite quotes. It takes on new meaning as I go out and test my abilities as a developing researcher to go along with my teaching experience. Research theories have been explained to me since 2011 and I have had various opportunities to apply them in classroom and conference presentations.
I am a big believer that if you want to know something really well, teach it to someone else. So I take on this research skills course not with trepidation but, instead, a seething curiosity. I would like to think that curiosity is embedded in the DNA of any quality researcher. Like any inventor, a researcher has to draw upon his/her curiosity to create something new.
As I perform “this hour’s duties” it comes down to this for me: can I teach what I’ve learned about research to someone else during the semester and say I know it really well afterwards? Also, how can I take this experience and create something new (not sure what that is)? Cast out any doubt and prepare yourself for what follows is what Mr. Emerson would probably tell me.