Tomorrow’s meeting of RDG 608 marks my last class of the first year of my Ph.D. I think about the things that I have learned in the past school year, and realize that I’m going to be sorting through them for a long time, but also that the information I learned this year is going to inform my practice. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me.
I think one of the most important things I learned this year was about process. And I only learned it here in the last few weeks. I now have a better understanding of myself as a writer and understand how I need to approach writing to be an effective writing. This is a huge realization as now I can own my writing process. What I learned? I don’t write from top to bottom. I write from the middle out sideways and sometimes around the back as well. I write from a place when I had to understand that sometimes I have to let the research guide me, even if that’s at 7:30 last night when my paper was due at 11:59. This revelation was huge in terms of time management, which is a skill I fully realize I need to hone.
It’s been an amazing semester. An amazing year, really, even when I wanted to quit grad school and just teach. That’s not me, though. I’m not in a place, yet, where I can be just a teacher. There is so much about the teaching of literacy that I don’t know, don’t understand, and if I want to teach pre-service educators to do with their students what I do now, I’m going to need to know more.
I’m excited for the reading I have to do this summer. A balance of YA and learning/literacy theorists. Rosenblatt, Gee, I don’t know who else yet, but be sure I’ll be deconstructing them here. Dr. Chavez says we should be working 40 hours a week on our own research, our own readings this summer. There’s no down time in the doctoral program. He says working over the summer is the difference between students who successfully complete the program and those who don’t.
Summer reading, here I come.
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