I really liked going to the inquiry conference yesterday. It was so good to hear about other students’ past experiences out in the field and I was lucky enough to know two of the speakers, Corrine and Andres. All the speakers had great presentations and the spoke really well about their respective projects. They calmed a lot of the fears that I had about taking on such a big project. They all went through the same preparation that I’m going through right now, and in the end, they learned so much more than they expected to.
The stress is adding up as the semester goes on and some days I feel like all I think about is the prep class, Guanajuato, possible interview questions, the problems I will encounter in the field, etc. I feel like it’s all I think about and there is always of things to do. Honestly, it was starting to get to me and I was beginning to worry about whether all this stress would pay off in the end. That is why I LOVED getting to hear about other field studies that were done in the past. They prepped the exact same way. I know that it’s hard but when I really think about it, everything we are assigned to do is so helpful and it’s easy to see that it’s not just busy work. And then to see how valuable of an experience it was to these past participants was just the push I needed. The work and stress they put into it yielded awesome results.
The three presentations had to do with education. Corrine’s centered on the importance of education, or “Illuminating the Mind” in order to create a more unified Ghana, and to ease tensions between tribes. Another presentation studied the effects of Participatory Evaluation as a research method. They found it to be very valuable in collecting information that would help make in-school programs better and that would make going to school more enjoyable for students. Andres studied the educational system in Ecuador and he found out some really interesting information regarding the differences between private and public schools. Every presentation was extremely interesting and made me realize that I am going to appreciate every minute of the experience in the end.
I think that my favorite part of the Inquiry Conference was at the end during the discussion panel. It was a time where we could ask questions about their methods and suggestions. Others would ask questions that they hadn’t considered. There is always something new to study, a new way to expand the research. It’s interesting how much there is to study out in the world and it’s amazing that we have resources available to us to go out and learn something new.