Being Professional

Progress

I’ve mentioned the research I’ve worked on for the last year and a half with my former advisor. Now it looks like we do have something concrete to show for it.

I wasn’t able to make it, but today my professor and our co-author presented a paper at the Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association annual meeting. It’s my first post-graduation success.

In August I will be traveling to Philadelphia to present another paper we’ve co-written together at the annual meeting of the Society for Study of Social Problems. I will also be presiding over a session.

These feel like victories to me. It means I’m still moving forward after graduation. That the research I’ve been working on and assisting with has produced something. That even though I was a non-traditional student, I was still able to participate in opportunities similar to those that present themselves to more traditional students.

At this moment in time, I am happy with where I am. I am working in research like I had always hoped. I feel like I am making use of my education. I am still involved in the academic aspect of sociology, and working on writing and research even after graduation.

I hope things keep moving in a positive direction, that I am able to keep learning and growing as a researcher and sociologist.

Being Professional

The Next Step

For the past year and a half, I’ve been working closely with a former professor of mine with some of her research. She’s been very busy continuing her work from her doctoral dissertation, and it’s really turned into quite a thing with several projects sort of spiraling out of the original data collection.

On top of that, at any given time, she tends to have one or two side projects with other professors and academics.

I started while I was still in grad school for some credit and experience, but stayed on because the experience was valuable. I was learning a lot about conducting research, particularly qualitative research.

Finally, though, on my end, it looks like we’ll have something concrete to show for our work. If all goes well, then fingers crossed we’ll be presenting our findings at a conference over the summer – and I’ll be listed as the lead author. Which is exciting for me, because that will be a first for me.

So, I dare to dream that this the year we see something concrete from all of our labors.

And that I do a good job, and don’t let anyone down.

About

We all start somewhere

In some way or another, I’ve spent the last 23 years of my life in school.

And now I’m done.

I have a Master’s degree and I’m happy about that. I have a job in my field – research. Happy about that too. Might get a Ph.D. That’s nice.

I find myself not feeling quite content, though. I have always loved learning and writing and trying to answer the questions that would pop into my head about why the world is the way it is. I’m not sure I want to stop now just because I’ve graduated. So maybe I won’t.

I’ll ease myself into it – I’ve saved every paper I’ve ever written. See which are suitable for polishing and expanding on and start there. Maybe laugh at how terrible or full of myself I was at 19. Maybe then I’ll start to get brave and venture off the path a bit. Pursue the things I’ve been interested in the past few years.

Maybe work on being published on my own.

I haven’t really done this sooner because I would do what a lot of people do. I tell myself that I’m a terrible writer. That my opinions don’t matter. That no one cares about what I have to say. All that could very well be true, but I’m getting to a point in my life where I don’t care. It’d be nice to have that approval from others. A “Wow, you’re great at this!”, but it’d also be great to just be doing what I like and having fun. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about the internet – it really allows for a sense of freedom you don’t get anywhere else.

If nothing else, I want to keep myself current. I don’t want to get rusty or dull or lazy.

oahu