Welcome 2022 CSP Scholars
The CareFull Scholars Model is designed to promote expansive impact in teaching, research, and writing for HBCU STEM faculty through a generative and collaborative process that prioritizes self and collective care as essential elements to scholarly productivity. For these reasons, The STEM-US Analytic Research Hub, a community of faculty scholars that produces artifacts about STEM Education, is delighted to welcome you to the Spring 2022 cohort of the CareFull Scholars Program for the STEM-US Tier-Two Faculty Fellows.
Our platform is the Open Science Framework, combined with shared Google files.
CSP Weekly Encouragement #5
Last week, we spoke briefly about structures for support for the scholar/writer. These are components of your physical, mental, and emotional spaces that are conducive to thinking and writing on a regular basis. We discussed physical structures of support that include a designated writing area. If that's not possible, then what is necessary for your physical environment to promote your deepest thinking and most profuse writing. I also mentioned on the call the need for order and organization of the technical space which can be where all three of these vectors converge.
Your technical writing space is physical because it will involve some use of writing technology, either a computer/tablet or a pad and pen/pencil. Your technical writing space is mental because, no matter how hard you try not to do it, docs and files, like a garden, need to be managed, and managing them requires some thought. Finally, the technical writing space is also emotional because when order and organization are missing, your thinking and writing will be impacted. It is frustrating to look for things you can’t find (see my last week’s post!) or even worse, to lose writing that you have already done.
There are a host of problems that can be averted if your computer files, notes, and resources are organized in a way that makes sense to you. That means no more drawer for the "miscellaneous." Every document has a home in a file and/or folder. While it is difficult to point out anyone system that would work for everyone, I have found that a table of contents (TOC) is helpful. What if you had a list of all your writing and it included a little note or comment or link to where it could be found.
You have that list. It is called your Curriculum Vitae but did you know there are two types of CV’s. For your writing there is your LCV or Long Curriculum Vitae. I like to refer to it as a LIVING Curriculum Vitae. The difference between a regular CV and a LCV is that one is a snapshot and the other is a movie. The regular CV should have a small date in the header indicating that you took a snapshot of what you have done to date. Your LCV doesn’t stop growing but continues as long as you are writing. Having an updated LCV allows you to quickly locate the citation to your most recent work. You are also able to see how your thinking is building from your previous work or pivoting away from it.
My LCV is not something that I would ever send to anyone but I do try to keep it current by adding every single professional activity to it, especially writing. However, the most enchanting thing about the LCV is when it works alongside the Mother Lode document. The LCV announces the birth or hatching; when some piece of writing comes out of the seclusion of the Mother Lode document and into public spaces.
Wherever text gets published (meaning seen by someone in the public), this information can be documented in the LCV. For me, the next location for developing an emerging idea is either OSF or the Understanding Interventions Journal. These two publication sites are also the destinations of your writing efforts in the next few months as Tier Two Faculty Fellows… but more about that the next time we talk.
CSP Weekly Encouragement #4
Happy Monday! At our last session, we were discussing ways to encourage writing every day and I mentioned “structures for support.” Allow me to elaborate here.
Just like a building needs a foundation, structures of support are all of the things that promote your writing. They also mitigate those things that hinder your writing. You are the one who decides what your writing edifice most needs and just like with buildings, there are some elemental components that are essential to any structure. In our program we consider the Pomodoro method foundational because it is meant to do two important things:
Counter the argument: “I don’t have enough time to write.” - Reality- You do have 15 minutes, you can devote to writing!
Change the emotional experience around writing: “I can’t consider anything I write a success until it is finished and published/submitted.” Reality- It’s your writing and you can do what you want with it! No one is grading, judging or reviewing what you do in your 15 minutes. So why not love it for what it is....progress!
Continuing our building metaphor, the foundation is not the finished building. Building a building and scholarly writing are both done in stages. The CareFull Scholars program posits that every finished work of scholarship starts from seed ideas and with steady work will become more and more “finished” over time. This is our hypothesis, and you are invited to test it on yourself.
On Wednesday we will discuss your accountability data. We’d like for you to begin to collect data on your own writing progress. We know that collecting data on your own behavior and then sharing it might be confronting. However, please hear us out.
We believe that you have significant and important scholarly products that will contribute to your field. We believe that by focusing on the antecedents to the outcome, this pilot intervention can provide a new method that will contribute to your productivity for years to come. We believe in your success because it is our success.
Hope that makes you feel a little better about it.
CSP Weekly Encouragement #3
So, you’ve been at this for a couple of weeks. Writing for 15 minutes and then pushing yourself away from the desk. Allowing your brain to go from focused to diffuse thinking. Expanding your capacity for intense focus. Giving your mind space for insight and inspiration.
So, now there’s a product. There is text on the page or words in the doc. But something is not quite.........
CSP Weekly Encouragement #2
Last week I suggested that you try to listen to that whispering writing project. Enough of that, for now. For most of us, the shouting projects are too loud to hear anything else. This is where the Pomodoro method will help. We are reframing the writing process to be a marathon and not a sprint. For long distance running, you build endurance with time and practice. Likewise, writing with intense focus will take time and practice. So, place yourself in a mental space and physical place where you can practice Intense concentration on only one thing- your loud, need to get this done, writing project. (NOTE: You may have to schedule this as an appointment).
Here's a link to a free Pomodoro app but the timer on your phone works just as well. How about 15 +5 +15 this week. That's 15 minutes of focus +5 minutes of actually getting up from the desk and walking away. and then 15 more minutes of focus; 35 minutes total! Experiment and see what happens.
CSP Weekly Encouragement #1
In our first call, one of our colleagues said that the motivation behind his writing was being "forced" to write. We all understood what that meant. This is the writing that has a deadline, usually set by someone else, requiring immediate attention. This writing is shouting at you. To attend to it, you will have to put some things aside, the other less urgent matters that are simply calling out at you. But what about the thing that is in your heart to write. That thing that gets continually pushed aside but just won't go away. That is the writing that is whispering to you. Give that whispering some time during your 15 minutes. See what it is saying. You may be pleasantly surprised by your heart's reminder of what YOU are being called to write.