Archive for July, 2010

Shortly after writing the last entry, I narrowed things down a little, leaving me with two options: The Rhetoric of Misdirection in Discourse and The Rhetoric of Personal Identity Online. I was advised to go with the second, which actually makes me happy. The burning question of personal identity had already rekindled itself, and I’m glad to get to work on that again.

But those six words aren’t close enough. Personal Identity is a huge field. What part of it am I looking to talk about? What interests me about it? This is where I need to turn my sheers now. I need more focus. So I’m going to start lopping off limbs, rather than full branches.



Making a Bonsai

Posted: July 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
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It seems like every few months, I come back to this same issue. What do I want to study?

It’s getting to be a more and more important question. Right now, I need to make a decision of who I want to be. In a few years, I’m going to have a PhD (hopefully). When I do, I will be an expert in something. THE expert in something. So when people talk about me, what do I want them to say? They need to say I’m the guy who does … something. But what?

I was given some good advice the other day. Told that I’m at the point where I have to lop a few research limbs off my tree. I may be able to get back to them later, maybe when I have tenure. But in the meantime, I need to trim down until I can give a six word description of who I am as a scholar. Six words isn’t much; hence the term Bonsai. I need to trim down to a very small description, a tiny tree. (more…)