Doing things, seeing results

September 7 was Rails Girls DH, a day-long intro for women to programming in the humanities through Ruby on Rails. Jeri and I will be writing a piece together that reflects on the process and workshop soon, but I just wanted to say a quick word about my thoughts on grad student projects more broadly. Basically, do them. I want to encourage more grad students to pursue collaborative, community-oriented projects. Humanities scholars aren’t trained (very well if at all) to collaborate with others or taught how to be a good peer. Doctoral research is too often a bizarre hybrid of cooperative research with archivists and librarians followed by lonely writing. With Rails Girls, I had the opportunity to plan and execute an event with Jeri, and then work with a great group of coaches and participants during the day. This project challenged me as an organizer, teacher, learner, and scholar. It’s easy to get bogged down by the onslaught of comps/quals, conferences, publications, teaching, writing, and life. For me, planning this (and future) workshops is something I can do to break up the isolation and sometimes mind-numbing grind of grad school. And I encourage you to find your thing, whatever shape it may take.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *