For those of you who are new here, the hidden curriculum includes a set of things we’re expected to know how to do, from attending a conference for the first time to applying for funding to going on the job market, without actually being taught them. This month’s installment is all about research trips since I’m on my own trip right now!
Embarking on your very first research trip can feel overwhelming. It’s a long, tedious process with a lot of moving parts – no wonder I’ve gotten so many questions about it! In this post, I’m going to help you get started on that process.
In particular, I’ll show you exactly how to start applying for study permits and contacting the museums you want to visit.
The worst advice I’ve ever been given to beat writer’s block can be summed up in two words: just start. Let me tell you why that advice sucks.
First, there is nothing more terrifying than a blinking cursor on a blank page combined with high expectations.
Do you have a million ideas and no idea which one to choose?
Do you have a quickly approaching deadline?
Are you a perfectionist?
Whatever form your high expectations take, being told to just start is a recipe for disaster. Staring at a blank page is the surest way for me to do just about anything else instead.
Second, when someone tells you to just start, they rarely if ever tell you where to start. Put another way, they never tell you what to start with. It’s like giving you a box of furniture parts and some tools, but no instruction manual.
There are two ways to approach this situation.
You might abandon the task entirely, which is entirely fair. They put you in an impossible situation!
Alternatively, you might break down and choose a place to start that looks straightforward enough. But it would be a lot easier if you had a piece of paper that enumerated each of the steps for you.
For most of us, the stakes are too high to go with the first option, so we figure out where to start eventually.