Research and Futures
Research papers? Ew. You can’t be serious. Literally no one likes writing research papers, because the entire process is remarkably laborious, from finding sources to finding credible sources, to actually acquiring the sources, to finding books in the stacks of the library, to physically writing the paper (which is always so long), to finding the correct way to use citations, to editing the paper, and then finally, to walking into class and submitting it. My god, what a process. And it takes so stinkin’ long.
The next two weeks of my life here at Clark will be centered completely around finishing four research papers, one for every class. Two are due Friday, and two the next Friday, and then I’m free to run back into the loving arms of my home, the beautiful Last Frontier. As you can imagine, the last two weeks of my life have been centered around sitting in the library, drinking Diet Coke, and pretending to be working on my papers while I fool around on the internet. The absolutely fantastic news is that I’m 9 3/4 pages deep in a paper for my Intro to Comparative Politics class, which isn’t due until Friday. The not-so-fantastic news is that I haven’t started any of my other papers; one of them I have a skimpy outline for, the other one I don’t have even the slightest idea of an idea for, and I haven’t even thought about doing research for the last one (field research, yikes!). The spectacular thing, though,is that in two weeks’ time, I’ll have all of these papers done and submitted and I’ll be struggling to figure out how to get everything out of my dorm room and where to put it.
What’s been really exciting about writing this Comparative Politics paper is that I’m remarkably intrigued by what I’m writing about. This is definitely a first time experience, because usually, for me, writing research papers is a dreadful, grueling affair that involves a whole lot of kicking and screaming. I love this paper. I want to talk to everyone about my paper. I want to brag about it, and bring it up in every conversation I have, and call friends from home, and leave copies of it around the library so people read it. Unfortunately, not everyone is as intrigued by oil policy as I am, so it doesn’t always make the best dinner conversation topic, but it’s made me come to a really beautiful conclusion: I am now fully confident in my choice to move forward as an Environmental Science major.
Friends, this is big news. Not even a few months ago, I was at a complete loss as to what I wanted to study and as to what direction I want my life to head in. Now, I vaguely do. What a gorgeous phenomenon. It is so incredibly comforting to have some sort of vague hint of an idea as to where my life might end up. Hopefully, this won’t be the last research paper that I’m excited to write. I do know, though, that this paper is substantially more fun to write than the other three, shorter papers that I have to write. I’m going to miss working on this paper for sure.