April 17 (Th), 2015 - Mini Vernacular Sociology Series - Why, a research paper?
"Why do we have to write a research paper?" - students (sociology transfer track) asked during week 4 of the semester.
" Well, we, all, shall overcome..." - Crystal answered.
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- Renee Smith and Lydia Smuts Ojibway like this.
昶昶: They have become little rebels once in a while throughout the semester, for I used my dissertation (the whole kit and caboodle as grading rubrics. Ha, I have no clues why I have been so cruel to my dear students (all traditional) ! ) by using it as a "prototype" for being one of their "major" research examples.
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昶昶: You know what - now, week 14, we are close to " We, overcome".
I told them we were in the same boat (yes, I was going through the last stage of the culminated pains for the paper writing too) - not a smart way to convince them though! I told them that I needed to conform all the APA straitjacketed rules and regulations (Stay tuned! I will write more abouth this later regarding migrating among MLA, APA, Chicago... and the rest)!!! You guys - haha, share my suffering- no exception!
Here is a reason ( a part of the research paper format - called "Dedication") why I wrote my research paper. But no one was convinced, except myself?? :) - I think. Here it goes - share!
If “illiteracy” has any useful function at all, I would say that it served as a motivation for me to complete a terminal degree. The connection between illiteracy and the pursuit of knowledge in my life is my mother - Yu-bay Tsai-Huang. Like the women among her contemporaries and generations and generations before her, she never got a chance to go to school for even a day.
My mother was a typical woman of her generation, part of a gender lifting half of the sky when Taiwan endured waves of geo-political imperialism and socio-economic impoverishments induced first by Japanese colonialism, and then by the chaos and tragedies prompted by the civil war between the Nationalists and Communists in China. Due to socio-economic deprivation, my mother – a beautiful, noble, and wise woman, struggled to keep her 10 children alive and meet their basic survival needs.
A couple of episodes illustrate how her life served as a motivation for me. I vividly remember that one day, when I was a teen, my mother asked me to write a letter to one of my brothers, who was far away, but I was busy with my own activities and did not pay attention to write the address carefully, and the letter was returned. She had been so anxious to know about my brother’s conditions, yet I had not gotten the job done properly. Sobbing and in a wrathful tone, she told me, “If I knew how to read and write, why would I need to bother you? If I could read the sign at the bus station for directions, why would I have to walk miles and miles to deliver food for folk every day?” Those words weighed heavily in my guilty and apologetic heart.
Later, like my other brothers and sisters, I also showed interests in studying and grew into an adult with a career in the military, politics, and journalism. I had no clue what triggered my mother’s mood when one day, she jokingly said to me, “How wonderful if I could have a daughter who has a doctorate”. I was shocked to hear that statement from an old lady who knew nothing about academic affairs, or the intellectual life, and lightheartedly answered her, “Oh, well, I might be able to get one for you!” And then, through winning a national competition for a 2-year scholarship to study in the United States, I got an opportunity to make those words a reality.
So during this long journey of academic pursuit and more than a decade of engaging in teaching at a couple of universities and a 2-year college, I have always reminded myself that my search for knowledge with a passion for being an educator was motivated by a lady who could not read nor write, who wanted me to be good enough to serve humanity.
I therefore dedicate this research project to my mother, who passed away in 2005, and hope she does see me growing into a better person day by day.
昶昶 Thanks to Renee Smith and Lydia Smuts Ojibway's likes.
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昶昶 昶昶 Yes, I am part of the Liberal Arts Cohort Teaching Team (collaborating with the other 2 faculty members, Tammy and Jennifer of Communications and American Government with an interdisciplinary theme - Civil Rights, including recent hot-button issues). Good to change different models of andragogy.
They will present research results to the Student Research Consortium (May 1, Friday).