This is another blog post about the inner life of a researcher pursuing a digital humanities project. Surprise, surprise, I am being introspective again. Today we all arrive in Michigan for year 2 of the Institute, and I’ve been working on my Day 1 presentation, reflecting on my progress. When speaking with other institute members, a common thread is feeling we could have done more somehow. It’s been a whole year, surely we should have it all figured out by now!
But for most of us, the rest of work-life has remained fairly similar to before we became NEH-supported digital scholars. Although we may have learned new tools and approaches to apply to our problems, most of us work within larger organizations that take a lot longer to adopt those new tools. It isn’t so surprising, then, that it feels like we are not making much progress. If most everything about our work is the same but we think differently about it, that is actually a big step.
If you doubt that you have grown, first ask yourself how many times have you explained a digital skill you learned at MSUDAI to someone else? Have you helped other people with their digital challenges?
Although my project may need a lot of TLC this week to reach a soft launch, I am trying to remember all the questions I’ve answered, support I’ve gotten, and people I’ve helped through this past year. We can do this. We can do anything with enough spirit and comforting beverages. Let’s go!