I was sitting down with my undergraduate research assistants today to discuss current data we needed to analyze and it became amazing that there were some very interesting trend emerging. We didn’t get the entire analysis complete, but we got a nice start to it. Luckily I didn’t have to sigh after they left and wonder when I will next get to working on that project…I already know: Thursday at 9am at our Encouraging Writing Group.
Since I’m busy with my CATL Director role, teaching classes, and the community service work I do, sometimes my scholarship, especially data analysis and writing, takes a back seat to more pressing matters. After all, you can submit to a journal anytime, there are typically no deadlines. However, there are deadlines as CATL Director (i.e., have this event ready at this time), in teaching (i.e., get the exam to the copier by this date and have that lecture ready to go by then), and in much of my community service work (i.e., get that needs assessment survey out and data collected by next meeting). Sounds familiar?
So, I really needed this semester to set aside time to analyze data and write. That’s all there is to it. I just don’t seem to fit it into my daily schedule otherwise. To facilitate that happening I, along with a few others, have set aside Thursday mornings to work on our scholarship. I am amazed at how just two hours each week lessens the space my scholarship seems to take up in my head! Instead of spending time thinking about when I’ll next get to data analysis and writing, I actually get to work on those projects! Another faculty member who participates told me that she loved coming to work on Monday, seeing her to-do list, and knowing that she can push off the scholarship to Thursday because there is already dedicated time in her schedule to work on it. I feel the same way.
So, Thursdays at 9am this semester I’ll be analyzing and writing away. It’s already on my calendar. And, hey, it’s not just a few of us that are involved in an encouraging writing group – even folks at the Chronicle think it’s a good idea: Writing 20 Minutes Every. Single. Day.
Director of CATL