Friday, September 30, 2005

Progress, Friends, and Theories (that should be a song title or something)

Hurray to my friend Rob, who has just offered to put the thesis in "official" UNM Thesis Formatting Format.

Hurray hurray hurray!

My sister offered to help with editing and the Powerpoint (which by the end I'm sure I'll be too exhausted to do well by myself).

Hurray to friends! Hurray to family!

Hurray to progress!

Another momentum-gathering meeting with Committee Member this afternoon to block out the next section, the literature review. This will be the most theoretical chapter and one that I'm the most scared to write for a few reasons:
  1. I have to cover a LOT of ground. I'm talking about an issue that cuts across multiple disciplines and therefore multiple "discourses" -- oh boy! Identity politics, place, placemaking, culture, cultural capital, and community design. Whew! That's a lot to explore.
  2. I have a block about feeling like enough of an expert -- having enough authority -- to really write about what I haven't studied very deeply. Who am I to summarize whole schools of thought? How can I appropriate scholarship in the cause of my thesis that was originally developed for some other much-foreign-to-planning purpose?
  3. There's a significant tendency to fall into the trap of explaining too much detail/context for someone else's theory. It's a balance between explaining just enough of where they're coming from so that it can be understood and scrutinized for relevancy and possible critique for this application and getting mired down in explaining every little nuance and subtlety of their thinking. I'm not very good at seeing the forest from among these theoretical trees.
I'm hoping my partner in thought crimes will have a plan of attack to avoid the worst of these potential sidetrack tendencies. Ride the rail, baby. Ride the rail.

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