Everything Has Its Purpose

So this summer, I’ve been working for a local nonprofit that does community organizing*. I’m basically the admin assistant, so I don’t get to do any organizing, but I’ve learned a lot anyway. And fortunately, they also let me sit in on a training they just had! I didn’t get to keep a manual (none of the staff do), but I have handouts and memories, lol! I told the ED that I would buy the training manuals when I get funded for research. ^_^ As I’ve told my profs, I’ve gained a newfound interest in organizing. Except that it’s not really as much a “newfound” interest as a realization that the work I want to do is more closely tied than I previously realized.

BONUS: The ED agreed to let me interview her for my pre-dissertation research project! \o/

Anyhoo, I’m holding on to the manuals for a lil bit as I read through them for rough ideas around my dissertation research. I’ve fallen in love with this organization’s model of community action. Fortunately, I had the thought to conduct pre-dissertation research that will help me investigate organizing models and lead to justification of a model to apply in my dissertation. I have spent the past week feeling very smart and accomplished as a result. (Well that, and the outline I’ve been toying with based on my experience.) ^_^

*chuckles* Who’da thunk entering data, pushing papers, sending mail would help me design my research? Oh that’s right, I did! \o/

Oh! There’s more good news: I’ve accepted a research assistantship! Here’s all the awesomeness:

  • I get to help design the project from the beginning.
    • This includes writing & including questions *I* design that will help with my own research!
  • The prof gets someone who has experience in the same line of work as her research participants.
  • I get to try out this prof as a prospective faculty advisor (“supervisor” for y’all non-American folks)
    • Upon hearing my research interests, several people have suggested I work with her – WITH rave reviews.
  • The prof gets someone who understands the impact of administration, policy, and action on individual outcomes.
  • I can work extra hours for work-study pay!
    • This means no traipsing about the city to get to work AND I can keep my food stamps!
  • We both get to explore my interests around the multifaceted impact of organizing, admin, & policy.
And the prof is nice, but not too nice. We’ve already had a preliminary meeting and she gave me lots of things to think about regarding my interests. (Let’s not talk about how Apple apparently thought it was a good idea to disappear that note.) All I have left to do is come up with a code name for her. But that’ll come soon enough. 🙂

*For my new readers: see this post regarding why I don’t name where I work or go to school.

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