Due to my New Year's resolution to "do less", I'm changing how The Research Project operates. I still want to learn and research stuff, but I don't want the monthly "must do" eating away at my brain - heck, I need that space for learning!

So instead, every once and a while, I'll pick something, learn about it, and post about it. Simple as that. No deadlines, no implied level of achievement, nothing. Just sharing stuff I've learned.

It's this whole thing I've got going on about reducing the constant to do list floating around the back of my brain, to free up space to do the things I truly love and love me back! (That sounded less appropriate than intended.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Introduction

I miss being in school.  People who are in school often tell me that no, I don't actually miss being in school, I just think I do.  They say that because they think I'm reminiscing about sleeping in way too late, going for afternoon beers, and other such items that go along with the traditional "student lifestyle".

To these people, I say "NIET!  It is not laziness and partying that I miss!  It is learning!"

This is where I reveal my total nerdiness: I love learning.  Really and truly.  Being in school meant being in an environment where learning was constant.  Whether I was actually in a class, doing homework, or just meeting a person and finding out about what they were studying, I was always learning something new.

Since leaving school I still learn: I read books, I look things up online, I talk to people about their work.  But it's not the same.  I'm not saturated in learning, and that's what I want to be.  One thing I always really loved (get ready to groan) is the research project.  Delving deep into a subject and writing a paper about it.  Really getting a rich knowledge of a subject matter and then sharing it.  Sure, the only person who would read it was my professor, but still!  That's sharing!  Especially if they would write detailed notes and responses to things I wrote about and then it was like we were having a conversation, but without me having to actually talk to them in person because I was definitely more intimidated by them than I should have been.

So now I am resurrecting the research project in the form of a blog (because everyone starts a blog to launch a new project these days, right?)  Here's what this will be:

  • Every month I will pick a new topic to research.
  • At the end of the month I will post a "report" of sorts.  Sometimes it will be an actual formal paper, sometimes just a compilation or how-to, depending on what my topic is.
  • In between the beginning and end of the month I will share little snippets of my research, things I'm learning, and basically use the blog to assemble and compile my research notes.
There is only one rule: the topic I research must be outside of my typical areas of expertise, also known as my Jeopardy categories.  These would be:
  • Dance practice and theory
  • Theatre history and theories
  • Publicity for theatre
  • Most other things to do with history (basically except for finances and technical things)
  • Undergrad-level psychology
  • Very select areas of 90's pop culture, centered around "family friendly" or Christian stuff (I was pretty sheltered in the pop culture arena as a child)
And that's it!  I will announce my first topic on Tuesday, November 1, 2011!