Reflecting on Research, or Why I Miss Reflecting through Research

I’ve been thinking about my time at the jail a lot recently. I don’t know if it’s because I’m working with a new group of students – more of who are young, black men, a population overrepresented in our jails and prisons – or if it’s because I’m flashing back to that space from some tweets I’ve seen about mental illness in prison. Either way, I’m wondering what to do with that research I poured my heart into last year. I can’t believe it’s been almost an entire year since I wracked my brain day in and day out to revise, edit, write, synthesize, apply, and repeat.

Perhaps I’m reflecting on research because I miss it. I miss how it forced me to perceive my actions from a different perspective. I miss how it challenged me to act. I miss how it made me feel uncomfortable, but in a way that I considered productive.

As an observant educator who has a capacity to overthink, I believe I do this to a certain extent everyday, but not in the thorough, ritualized way that ethnography compelled me to do.

Random research thoughts brought to you by an exhausted adult educator on a Friday night.

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