One of many posts on my Readiness Assessment. As a reminder of the ground rules, this is a solo assessment, so while I’m allowed to think out loud on my blog, I can’t ask for or get (intellectual) help. Cookies and emotional support are, however, welcome.

Shit. Several hours of methods readings later, my primary thought is: geez, that was useless. Interesting? Sure. But in terms of how to do the methods section of my paper, I don't actually feel any closer than I was. And so I froze! And I went away from the RAT for a little while! Which wasn't a bad thing, necessarily (I ate lunch) but running away from a solo task won't make it magically complete itself in my absence.

So let's see. What can and should I do, given that I'm going to be backstage in about 15 minutes? Gameplan, Mel. Gameplan.

Well, I can type up the notes from my methods readings. I mean, they weren't all useless. In fact, there was a lot of useful stuff in there -- it's just that I don't have that overarching mental picture of Where Things Will Fit Into yet. Once I do, I'm pretty sure all that material I've gathered will come to life -- so I shouldn't throw it away, I should really type it up, blog it up. Okay, I'll do that. Maybe I can't do that backstage, but I'll take my computer and my books with me so I'll have the option.

What would help me get that broad map-picture I'm looking for? Well... I can think of two things. One is to look at epistemologies, something I've known I needed for a while but haven't actually cracked open yet. Another would be to look at studies from researchers I admire -- in particular, Gabriella Coleman's stuff, Lilia Efimova's stuff, maybe Jodi's stuff, Mako's stuff... empirical studies, look at the epistemological and methodological stance they've taken, how they do it. Aha. Found some stuff.

I think I should do it in that order. My brain's a little fuzzy about epistemologies and paradigms now, so reminding myself of what they are will be helpful before looking at examples. Okay. And if I get stuck, I can mechanically type up notes on methods, 'cause I've got them. Okay.

Also, this is a nifty little video on open research. Not in-depth or anything, but a nice teaser trailer. Made me smile. Packing research books in my bag, watching them pile up beside my dancing shoes -- this makes me smile too.

I'd like my next RAT post to be a dataspew or synthesis rather than a metaprocess post -- we'll see what happens, though. Off we go, dancing!