Proto – Adjective – from the Greek proto- meaning the earliest form of whatever it is attached to.
Scholar – Noun – from the Latin scholaris- meaning a learned person; someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines
So what does that mean?
I see myself as a proto-scholar. I am currently finishing up classwork on a PhD in Education Policy, a horrifically cross-disciplinary field if there ever was one. I came to this path rather oddly however, having worked for almost 20 years in information technology and gotten an MBA on the way.
I am used to thinking like an engineer; see a problem, fix problem, move on to next problem. But that isn’t the life of a scholar. A scholar looks deeply, thinks about the “big questions” and may work on the same problem for the rest of their life. “Long study” as the definition above says.
I am not adapting as well as I could, and I doubt that I am alone. Even without the prior career, the transition from student to scholar that occurs during graduate school is a large one, involving a change in the way we look at the world, how we deal with it and what we do with our time. More thinking and reading and writing, less doing as I have defined it in my previous life.
This blog will be to wrestle with the process of becoming a scholar. Sometimes it may be tips on how to better manage time or questions about struggles I am having. Other times it may be deep thoughts about my topic or the process of thinking deep in general. (I’ll try to keep the citations to a minimum.) Yet others it may be something that made me laugh or annoyed me, although I’ll try to focus on how my emerging scholarly identity shapes my perceptions of those things. I hope that someone somewhere finds some value in this rambling.