I enjoy to watch British TV series and recently the Swedish television broadcasted Lark Rise and just like Miss Lane I have “my one weakness”. Without making too much of a fuss, I have chosen to focus this post on my biggest challenges with my academic studies and, that is my critical thinking and academic writing. Even though I’ve taken lots and lots of courses over the years, I still struggle with this. In this reflection I will use Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (1988).
Description – what happened?
On the last lecture of day 5, on the Quality Improvement course I take at the University in Leicester, we went through “Academic writing” and the different resources that the University have on their web pages.
Feelings – what was I thinking and feeling?
On a personal level, I have a feeling of being a poor academic and to be honest, I feel a little bit anxious. I guess that I should be quite good at this since I’m a lecturer and a PhD student. Unfortunately, I’m NOT! I compensate this weakness of mine with other strengths but it all comes to an end doesn’t it… and I think that I have to come clean with this. Being well educated, experienced and 48 year’s old, I know that I ought to be cycling without holding handlebars but sometimes it feels like I barely cope and manage to ride a tricycle…
Evaluation – what was good and bad about the experience?
The University have good guidelines and support. I also think that it is good that we have “Academic writing” as a lecture since it highlights it as an important thing for us as academics to achieve. The bad thing is maybe that I have this feelings of inferiority and embarrassment over my lack of skills.
Analysis – what sense can I make of the situation?
The last times that I have written reports I have used a strategy that I think works OK. Those times I’ve made a huge mind-map (planning) and I have had this as a support throughout the whole writing process.
Conclusion – what else could I have done?
I’m not sure if I could have done something different right now. What I actually need to do is to open my storage (underneath the staircase) and go pick up our foldable ping pong table – fold it out – wallpapering it – and start to do my mind-map.
Action plan – if it arise again, what will I do?
I wish that the writing and critical thinking came easy for me but I have to realize it doesn’t – and that just the way I am so, I believe that the only thing I can do is my best and practice again and again. and again. If my “mind-map/ping pong strategy” works that is what I shall hold on to, as a scaffolding to my academic writing and critical thinking.
Photo by Ryan McGuire, https://gratisography.com/photo/tricycle/