Time to check in…..
Hello readers, yes it’s a blue moon and time to take some time even though there is no time to post here. I see this as almost a more detailed journal that is public. It’s nice every once and a while to think about where I am in this career of mine and look back.
So where to start…when I last posted I was halfway finished with my coursework. I finished my last course in January 2017, had the Qualifying Exam in early May and after passing that settled into the dissertation proposal writing phase. I explain it so matter-of-factly as if it was a stroll in the park. I was not, to say the least.
Two things impacted me the most. One was not seeing my cohort buddies every week. I felt like I bonded with them, and I enjoyed the lectures, the discussions, the sharing. Then it was just over. In its wake was a gap in my life that was hard to fill.
The second was the Qualifying Exam. This was an open book test, where we had to write several essays and solve some statistical problems. I took a week over Golden Week to finish. I was writing and thinking at my computer the whole time. The closest I can compare this experience is a zen retreat. When you are in such a situation the schedule runs you, not the other way around. I’ve had my share of zen and believe me when you finish one of these retreats, you are done!
But you come out of that experience transformed. I think the intensity of the Temple program sharpens you up. You become like a tiger running in the jungle, shreading and ingesting journal articles with ease. Finding the strengths and weaknesses of a study, evaluating its methods and results. All those murky things about social science become plain to see.
Now the coursework is finished. It is time to stop being a student. I have to struggle with writing my proposal, working one on one with my advisors, and prepare my defense hopefully by next year, assuming life doesn’t get in the way. But it does and it will happen. It’s already happening to me now. But that is not going to stop me. No matter what….just keep going, tiger.
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A very telling article why Beall’s List has suddenly dropped from the Internet. It’s a shame that Beall didn’t get the support from his university on this.
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Long time no see,
I has been a while. Blogging is something I have neglected lately and it is not so easy to seemlessly integrate my work as a teacher trainer, my Ph.D coursework, and my personal life into the mix. If anyone has the ultimate formula for doing this please comment below.
Most of the time I have used this blog to document my presentations at conferences here in Japan, which is fine for now. The one major personal and professional paradigm shift for me is deciding to get a Ph.D at Temple University. Not an easy decision to make, but after almost two years of coursework I have come to apprecite the wealth of information and community that has come with it. But this is only the beginning, which means clarifying a research agenda, dissertaion proposal, writing, and the defence. How does one keep going? One piece of advice I got is passion. Without passion for something that genuinely interests you, there can be no moving forward. I couldn’t agree more with this.
I will keep you posted on how far passion has taken me.
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Today another TUJ Colloquium is behind us…
I want to say thank you for attending my talk this afternoon. I greatly appreciate your support, and the feedback I received afterward, reminding me of what Mischler (1990) said: research is a craft. The beauty of the colloquium is the supportive atmosphere it provides to hone our craft.
The talk I gave today is titled Think Aloud vs. Stimulus Recall: Obtaining Responses to Writing Feedback in which I discussed my use of two different protocols for interviewing my learners in my blended writing Continue reading..
It’s been a busy year for me and so please forgive me for being a stranger for this blogsite.
Anyway, I will be involved with two presentations at JALT this year. If you are in the neighborhood ( Shizuoka, Japan) be sure to check them out.
Teachers as Learners: Challenges for Training
Teacher Beliefs About Student Group and Pair Work