Its not all about skivving off

I’m extended across the rack of hermeneutics, drowning in a literature review and wondering about the tight-rope walk between the action part and the research part of action research. Clearly academic life is going to have its challenges.

And I do need to admit that I looked up hermeneutics. Usefully the definition mentions the term is interchangeable with exegesis.   As you probably know, it means interpretation.  I’m not sure why the tried and trusty word interpretation isn’t enough.  But I’m liking the mouth feel of the new word and wrapping it into every possible context.  I have the potential to become a crusty bore, word dropping those weightier than three syllables into casual conversation. Dreadfully annoying but possibly quite satisfying in an obnoxious kind of way. Gaining both language skills and self-knowledge.  But no progress on interpretation.

Whilst I’m admitting my inadequacies as a student, I probably should add that my literature review is not progressing very smoothly.  I understand the concept.  Read everything.  Critically analyse.  Preferably use heuristics.  Or exegesis.  Come up with your view of the world.  All incredibly important of course.  If only I could work out how the library on-line system operates. I’m giving the evil eye to those in my class that are sailing blithely through swathes of documents.  Swots. Clearly technically gifted.  Who would have thought that writing a thesis would produce well-rounded individuals with language, personal and even technical skills.  They should go for a run.

I’m quite partial to the action research idea.  It sounds attractively like a short-cut to wisdom.  Do. reflect.  Be great. I’m searching eagerly for an organisation to try out my thesis ideas on.  I’m thinking I’ll fling any of my various concepts into their organisation and watch what happens.  But I may have picked the wrong topic.  Systems-change and action research?  No single organisation can ‘catch’ that. It would require grand-scale co-operation and definitely take more than my budgeted three months. I may have to give up this particular short-cut and get back into the literature review.

It has become clear to me that students have a bad rap.  it is not their inherent laziness and lack of routine that drives them to, well, not be driven.  It is big words, impossible IT systems and complex research methodologies that forces them in desperation to sleep late, go to the park and, of course, spend quality time in the pub.  Which is where I’m off to now.  I’m sure the best inspiration on systems change is to be found there on a Friday afternoon.


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