Monday, February 1, 2010

Research Revelations

Ever heard of: "Research is work in progress"?

Well, that's how I would describe the status of my research at this very moment. In these four months, I've actually gone from very sure (of what I'm going to focus on) to not so sure anymore. You would have thought that the more you read the more you know about your topic but what happened was, the more I read, the more overwhelmed I got. My supervisor however, assured me that what I'm going through is 'healthy' for a novice researcher like me. She pointed out that the research process is akin to the hourglass. It starts with a broad area of interest, narrows down to a particular issue, and ends with a generalization (well, not all research can be generalized, but... get the drift?). So, I'm now at the stage where I am absorbing whatever information there is, as a grounding for my research context (bunyi macam bagus! huhuhu...)

Truth is, excerpts from R.D. Laing's (1972) Knots, below, aptly describe the situation that I am in now :)
"There is something I don't know
that I'm suppose to know.
I don't know what it is I don't know,
and yet am supposed to know,
and I feel I look stupid
if I seem both not to know it
and not know what it is I don't know.
Therefore I pretend I know it.
This is nerve-wrecking
since I don't know what I must pretend to know.
Therefore I pretend to know everything."

and to my supervisor...
"I feel you know what I am supposed to know
but you can't tell me what it is
because you don't know that I don't know what it is.
You may know what I don't know, but not
that I don't know it
and I can't tell you.
So you will have to tell me everything"


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