The research Q&A with Dr. George Veletsianos was incredibly informative and practical, helping me to understand just a little more about the world of research. I say “just a little more” not because it wasn’t helpful, but because it served as a reminder that research is not something that I can hope to grasp through a single course and a Q&A. Rather, it is deep and complex, requiring nothing less than experience to properly understand its intricacies, and that passion and interest may be a huge asset in gaining that experience.

As Dr. Veletsianos answered questions about things like approaching the planning of data collection based on research method or how to begin the process knowing even what you are going to research, it occurred to me that mistakes will definitely be made as I embark on any research. This is not something that I can avoid, and it is something I need to embrace due to my tendency to, at times, hold myself to unreasonable standard. But without experience, how can I expect to get this right the first time? Even in a field where I have quite a bit of experience, I know I can make mistakes and forget certain aspects of the craft. How then can I expect to not fail to do enough research before selecting a research direction? Or select a research method that best suits the needs of the research? Or even understand enough about research to write an effective proposal? As in all fields, mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned, and experience will be gained. There is always the hope that a mentor can help mitigate the impacts of those errors, but true understanding in this field (or almost any field) cannot be had without accepting that learning through trial and error will be necessary.

Despite the weight that comes from knowing that I must accept my fallibility (I’m not fallible! You’re fallible!), the session showed that passion and interest in your research can carry me through those rough patches. In Dr. Veletsianos’ answer to a question regarding writing proposals he mentioned conveying your interest in the research, along with why you would be the best person to do it. This was encouraging to me; a reminder that I can bring my personality and interests into research in order to make it even better. I do not necessarily have to become a different type of person to do this, rather I should look to research areas that fit my interests in strengths. Even as I read through my research article for assignment 3, I came to see that there are areas of research that I hadn’t considered before that may be a great fit for my overly organized brain. Maybe I can help construct systems, structures, classifications, etc. that help improve the way others approach research, their jobs, or many other areas. As was mentioned in the Q&A, perhaps a notebook to jot down areas that seem to need research that fit my interests would be a good way to The directions that research can go are almost endless, and with experience I hope I can understand how my interests and strengths can best be used in the world of research.