Some thoughts, nay “reflections,” on the past couple of months

So it's clearly been a while since my last post.  I'd like to remedy this by offering some quick reflections on the past couple of months. 

First, teaching the first "draft" of a course, so to speak, is hard.  I've talked to a lot of people about this recently and have gotten a lot of great advice in return.  Transitioning from being a TA to building and teaching your own course is definitely more time consuming than I had previously expected.  For example, I thought I knew how to take and structure notes.  I wasn't so far off base previously, but constructing notes in such a way as to make them easy and practical to consult during a lecture requires a fair amount of attention and thought. 

Second, I like the prospects of co-authoring.  I find it much easier to generate and hammer out new ideas when working with other individuals.  I think there's something to be said for this process.  We work in a profession (like many others) that is characterized by numerous opportunities for peers to review and offer suggestions, comments, or criticism of, our work.  Consequently, it seems logical that this process is brought down to the level at which the ideas are actually generated and processed.  Rather, as opposed to individuals periodically reporting to the broader professional community on results and obtaining feedback, it only seems natural that this collaborative process continue as scholars work together on the day-to-day developments of their work. 

I don't think this is anything earth-shaking, but merely constitute my personal observations as I come further along in my chosen profession and attempt to figure out how I work best.  I have a very strong suspicion that someone else has covered this topic before.  Nevertheless, perhaps it's an artifact of the way undergraduate studies are oriented, but I think there's a sense that if you're not doing something on your own then the work is somehow less worthy than a project developed and published by an individual.  I don't think this is accurate, but for me, it took a little while to begin to shake this perspective. 

In any event, I hope to keep up with the posts a bit more regularly.  That's all for now. 

Michael Flynn

About Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Binghamton University in 2013. His research focuses on the political and economic determinants of foreign economic and security policy, security issues, and state repression.

Leave a Reply