Happy Holidays Everyone. So here we are. Our last blog posts. So, what do we talk
about today? Well, I wanted to say a few words about how this all developed. I hope
future residents can learn from our experiences.
So how did it all start? Well, with a conversation. I recall in our first video chat we just
took time talking about our backgrounds. That was important. I imagine she needed to
know where I was coming from and I needed to understand Jenn and her background
seeing it was so different from mine. I made it a point to listen because I never want to
devolve into a situation where I am “mansplaining” things to my team member. The
more I listened, the more I was taken by her perspectives of science, art, and education.
It turned out; we were aligned with many perspectives.
We both committed to helping underrepresented populations in the field of STEAM.
This opened a wonderful discussion on our backgrounds and how it led us to where we
are today respectively.
During our discussions, I mentioned my philosophy on physics, education, and
perceptions. Not only of the subject but also of one’s self-concept as participants in the
field of physics. This does not mean students had to have a desire of becoming
physicists. I was more talking about a student’s perception of themselves in a physics
class. Simply put, if a student does not think they are smart enough to solve physics
problems, they will more than likely facilitate their expectations. Through literature
review and personal experience, I have found that I must impact a students perception
of themselves in the physics classroom before I can help them learn how to solve physics
problems. Notice I did not say solve physics problems, but more so learn how to solve
physics problems. I how many times have I heard students say, you’re just smart. They
never considered that physics professors are engaging in a strategy to solve problems.
Let me fast forward to our artifact. As mentioned before, we will produce two lectures.
These lectures will focus on the pointillism theoretical construct. We will give
information that represents dots. Each piece of information might seemingly be
independent of another until you step back as see that all this information makes a total
picture. We will then break down how we did it in the two lectures.
This week was a flurry of activity, as Kent and I worked independently on our respective video sections. I’m excited to see how our project comes together. For me, the biggest issue was in determining the scope - since soils are so heterogeneous, it’s easy to go down some rabbit holes (no pun intended). I’m concentrating on a topic I explored during my master’s thesis, which involved studying soils at multiple scales to determine the role of small-scale processes in controlling field-scale behavior.
Meanwhile, I had some significant difficulties come up in my personal life. With that in mind, I put a lot into self-care to get my mind and body in a good place. Although I care very much about this residency, being part of academia has taught me that it’s too easy to sacrifice self for work, and it’s taken a while to find the tools to reverse that pattern.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the ways in which we publicly engage in science and creativity, spurred by a visit to Generator, a local makerspace in Burlington. More than a place where people put things together (while also exactly that), the space is fostering community around ideas and projects that involve close collaboration and skillsharing. Going forward, I’m interested in exploring how ideas evolve within a collaborative partnership, while remaining grounded in the fruition of those ideas.
I look forward to checking in at the official end of the residency to share more about our efforts, and the results of our collaboration.