In college there were two teachers that sharpened me into finding my passion for research. First, Julie Collins-Dogrul was my advisor within my major, she herself was new to the school my first year. She was an adjunct professor whose passion for research was evident from the first class I ever took with her, Soc. 100. It was supposed to be an introduction to Sociology, but it was intense, we had to conduct interviews, create a research paper and analyze results. I didn’t do to well, but I enjoyed the class enough to know that I should at least attempt another shot at Sociology. I then tried Julie’s upper division class next; the class had five students in it, mostly juniors and seniors. The subject was ‘Gender In The Workplace’. It was an in-depth look in the theoretical and applicable practices of sociology and its importance in society. The class was invigorating, it changed the way I saw workplaces and the world. It opened my eyes to a new level of discrimination that pushed me to want to create change for those who deserved better. She eventually became my Research Methods instructor, explaining the roles of qualitative and quantitative research and its ability to validate theory. That Social Science has structure and focus within it and that there are particular ways of creating meaningful research. This experience helped me find confidence in my education, that these tools and strategies could indeed be used for something more than a term paper or multiple-choice test. It created relevance for me to have a teacher who knew the value of research and could provide me with opportunities to make a difference in the world. Julie assigned me to do a qualitative research project at a homeless shelter, she gave me ...
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... assignments that were more aligned with my own interests. There is another limitation though that creates a lot of problems for me on about a weekly basis. I struggle with anxiety when I know that I have big assignments that are due, or big trips that are coming up, or changes with unfamiliar outcomes. It creates physical illness at times, where my stomach begins to hurt and I start coughing uncontrollably. The ways I deal with my anxiety is by preparing more than probably necessary, by imagining possible outcomes and what the consequences might be, and meditation. I feel that knowing my own strengths and limitations will allow for me to better understand and consider the strengths and limitations for my students. Where I can develop strategies to help them manage things like anxiety, or help them channel their strengths to better prepare them for personal growth.
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