Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unofficial milestone

I had one of those moments the other day which really made me feel
like a PhD student; I got feedback from my supervisor on an article
I'm writing. Somehow in the middle of going through his handwritten
notes and clarifying the odd illegible word, I felt like I know what I
know and now I really know it and I'm okay with what I don't know. Now
that I write it down it sounds far less significant. But there's
something about writing something down which makes it real in a
different way - just like I'm writing this blog now. I'm probably
biased because this is part of my topic, but written knowledge is
different from other types of knowledge. I've worked in a nursing home where if something isn't documented, it didn't happen, or can't happen. The written word says it is so, it was so and it shall be so. So just as the jazz students I studied attained different knowledge writing about music than when
they're playing it, so I reach different conclusions about their
writing when I write about it than when I talk or think about it, or
read it or present on it or analyse it. So now that I've written about what I know, I now know it more than I did before. Next milestone: getting it published and thereby getting other people to know it.
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1 comment:

  1. Good luck. I'll look forward to this moment. I suspect it won't be coming for another couple of years, as I'm trying to switch from Linguistics to evolutionary biology. Still - nice to see that personal growth isn't necessarily stifled by PhD research, it just changes.