Upon entering my second year of doctoral work, I feel the weight of how little I know when it comes to reading, note-taking, and writing! On the reading front, over the years, I have challenged myself to become what I would consider an avid reader. However, in better understanding the four levels of reading as taught by Mortimer Adler, my self-assessment is that I have primarily adopted an analytical reading approach with nearly all books I read. While this has been beneficial for some books and particular topics, for the purposes of my doctoral work and the need to be well-read, I see that I have much to learn concerning both inspectional and syntopical reading. Aside from the lengthy reading assignments each week, there are many books and articles that I would like to read in further exploration of my NPO. To do this, it is imperative I become better at inspectional reading to discern which books merit a more analytical read. Additionally, growing in my ability to become a more proficient syntopical reader, I hope to further my strengths to make connections among various thoughts, concepts, strategies, and ways of thinking, improving my understanding and application.
Regarding note-taking, before the orientation with Dr. Clark in the fall of 2020, I had a reasonably elementary understanding and practice of note-taking, though I had practiced it for years. Since learning more about systematized note-taking systems, and such platforms as Obsidian, I have improved my note-taking skills, but I still have a long way to go. I find the practice of taking notes daily quickly escapes me, and before I know it, days, even weeks, have gone by without scribing one note! I hope to further develop these skills this year, in addition to expanding my reading and further exploration of my NPO, as outside of a note-taking system, I cannot fathom meaningfully engaging my subject matter in a way that will indeed be beneficial to myself or others.
Finally, I am looking forward to furthering my writing ability this year now that I have one year of academic writing under my belt. For the previous twenty years, my writing had been primarily limited to blogs, newsletters, marketing pieces, and grants. Let’s just say that Turabian style was not needed! Last year was very foundational in re-learning how to engage academically; thus, I am looking forward to enhancing my writing abilities this year. Interestingly, I am finding that the more I understand how to properly read, the better I can formulate more explicit concepts in which to expound upon through my writing.