Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Research and Development

For Sunday, October 9, 2011

In my K-12 years I was always a good student, but more importantly than that, from an early age, I loved learning. Each year I looked forward to preparing for our annual science fair when I would select a topic and go all out to win one of the top three prizes. It was always a big deal, the annual science fair, or at least it was to me. One year, I won a prize for my study and the creation of a clay dolphin that I painstakingly crafted complete with teeth made from an Elmer’s Glue formula. Another year I designed a winning project centered around my study of the rocks and minerals I had “mined” from Ruggles’ Mine in New Hampshire. In 7th grade I studied my new fascination with solar architecture and, once again, won a prize for my elaborate visuals and thorough display of understanding of how homes could be designed so as to use the sun for heat. I finished my science fair career in 8th grade with a first place win for my project on contact lenses. I’d worn them myself for two years by that time. That year’s win convinced my mom that I should become an optometrist. I would not go on to study science, but I did transfer my enthusiasm from science fairs to academic study of music, theater, literature, and education.

In high school and later in college, crafting research papers was an endeavor I always thoroughly, if strangely, enjoyed. Long before the internet made research nearly instantaneous, spending time in a library with a pile of books or microfiche reels was a thrill for me.

I got my Bachelor of Arts degree in English and my Masters of Science in Education degree four years later while starting a family and teaching full time. Every so often, I get the opportunity to be a student in the traditional sense of the word and to learn something new. I return to college to take courses for re-certification and a few years back, I completed a summer institute associated with the National Writing Project. I did training for the teaching of Advanced Placement English Language & Composition too and now I am training to implement International Baccalaureate of Language A--English. My continuing education has taken me to various college campuses and each time I step onto the grounds I want more. I want more time in a college setting, even if with research at the push of a button, I can routinely immerse myself in information. But in truth, I am lucky to be employed at a career where research is a daily part of my job. The research I do is implemented routinely in the classroom when I teach.

There are many sides to me, the side that adores research, the side that loves to read, and yes, even the side of me that sometimes needs to force myself to put down the books and laptop computer. I push myself to go outside instead and to live and learn experientially, but after nearly 44 years in various classrooms, there is no denying that I am still “in school” for a reason. I am thrilled when I unearth the knowledge of others and when I am challenged to present it in creative ways. I want my enthusiasm and my love for learning to be contagious in my roles as a mother and as a teacher. For research is fine on its own, but is of more value, I believe, when it is developed to serve others.

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought pursuing another college
    degree would be heaven.......gotta
    start buying lottery tickets.