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.