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.

I've been quiet on the RAT front lately, in large part because the thoughts I'm having are only just now clawing themselves into words I'm willing to admit. If I've grown more and more silent over the past few days, it's because I've been spending more and more time trying to prove a particular statement wrong, and more and more time being increasingly worried because I can't.

The statement is something I've mentioned and posted snips of before: it's the thought that radical transparency is an epistemological perspective and that RTR is emerging as a new qualitative research paradigm. I put it in my outline partially in the hope that as I wrote the remainder of my Readiness, I would come across contradictions to that statement and figure out what class of thing RTR actually was.

Nope. I mean, it grows out of other research paradigms and draws on them, for sure. But it's kind of... different. And this sort of thing is increasingly turning into the center, the core, the thesis of the document I'm handing in. Hi, I'm in my third semester of graduate school, haven't written a single journal paper, don't have particular expertise on qualitative research... and I think I've got a novel paradigm for it. Seriously? This is what I want to base my quals on?

Yes, apparently.

It makes sense, but I don't want it to make sense; I'm starting to see myself as a fish who's starting to be able to explain "water" to land mammals. I'll take the statement and continue to run with this assumption and see where it goes until I hit a wall, because so far, it fits. I see other researchers using the paradigm and just not recognizing it or saying so -- one thing I want to do after this Readiness is to go back to every single dissertation I tagged as having aspects of RTR thinking and reading everything they have to say about paradigms -- and then contacting the authors with a better writeup of RTR and saying "okay, so... how well does this describe it?"

I'm going to be prefacing a lot of statements with "you're probably going to think I'm crazy, but..." in the next few weeks leading up to my defense. Awkwardness. AWKWARDNESS.

Keep writing, Mel.