Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What I learned about being a good scholar in 2008

I originally wrote this just to post in my own house... but I figured that since it was useful to me, maybe it would be useful to you as well...

• Brilliance isn’t something that just happens, it is cultivated.
- Presentations and workshops stimulate your intellect, creative thought doesn’t just happen in an isolated vacuum. Make time and go!
- You must read and you must write notes about what you read. Read for papers, read for exams, read for classes and when you don’t have any of that to do, read what you know others in your field have read and are reading. You are more than capable of engaging those around you when you come to the table with the proper tools.

• There is a lot of value in being theoretically AND empirically strong. Don’t allow one to become stronger than the other. The scholars you admire most are able to study whatever they want, because they have the skills to do so.

• Your presence matters. Show up, speak up and engage your department.

• Living fearfully is not living.

• Your sanity, happiness and health are just as necessary for brilliant scholarship as your academic work. Never neglect yourself.

• Continue to build relationships. The people you meet now will be your colleagues for the rest of your life.

• A plan for the day/week/month/year/career are critical to achieving your goals. Everyday should be structured, everyday should be composed of a series of tasks so at the end of the day, you can feel that you’ve made some progress.

• Failure is an imposter. Things not going to plan just means there is an opportunity about to happen that you failed to anticipate.

• When you go to campus you are going to work, always dress the part!

• You are blessed to be where you are.

• Everyone doubts themselves sometimes, even those you admire the most.

• Sometimes you have to be able to respect the work, even if you don’t respect the person.

• Stay creative! Creative thought is what matters at the end of the day! ☺


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