October 27, 2004
How to find your "voice" aka area of passion/interest
I'm just curious what everyone thinks about last week's Process Seminar and the discussion of finding our own voice. It sure seems reasonable and logical to get started now. Life would certainly seem to be more predictable and we can be planful about setting things in order. HOWEVER, it seems counter to the whole concept of finding your voice if the process is prematurely forced to
start too soon. Rather than eliminate some of the myriad interests I currently am investigating, it would seem crucial to explore them with vigor! Carpe diem. Anyway, what are your thoughts?
Posted by gschache at October 27, 2004 9:16 AM | Finding your voice
I think Yvette mentioned something critical. Although "finding your voice" doesn't need to mean you pick one topic and leave the others behind I think it also doesn't mean developing a research track causually. The reality of the job market for those of us that want to teach is that we're expected to be active contributers to the knowledge base before we graduate. Like Yvette mentioned I think the best way to explore interests is to team with different faculty and get on different presentation groups etc. That way you're being productive and looking at different areas at the same time.
Of course there's another side to this discussion which is, like it or not, most major universities are in the busniess of hiring people that already have national reconigition in a certain topic area. The implication for us is that by the time we graduate we need to be "known" for something. The balance between taking the time to sort out our interests and leaving enough time to focus on a few to get our names out there is a tricky one.....
Posted by: Brian at November 29, 2004 12:11 PM
Please accept this humble comment from a non-cohort member who's been around the block a few times! :-D
I'm not sure what was said exactly in your prosem about "finding your voice" (hopefully it did not include that videotape of me gesturing wildly when I spoke in prosem last year), but I think you're right that finding your voice is not synonymous with prematurely cutting off avenues of interest.
But "starting soon" is something you must do. Anything that remotely interests you should be bookmarked on your computer, clipped and filed, written about in a "research journal" (or a blog!), explored in coursework.
I don't think this makes life more predictable--It may seem to make things more scattered. But over months (and years...) of collecting interesting tidbits, trying out interests as course paper topics, co-authoring presentations and papers w/faculty and other grad student colleagues you may see patterns emerging and PRESTO--you're on your way to finding you voice.
Posted by: Yvette at November 27, 2004 4:24 PM