Alana Stein

At this point in the class, I feel that I have spent a considerable amount of time planning my summer project. However, it always seems as if more time could be spent. Between listening to the experiences of past Mellon Public Scholars and listening to other professionals discuss their dissertation projects in another class, I have realized that something will always happen that one is not prepared for. As I begin this summer, I am going to take these lessons with me. I will take these lessons and a plan that I know will probably not be carried out in full. The lessons have taught me that I should be open to new possibilities and that optimism is a well-suited tool to confront hurdles. Although I hope that my plans work smoothly this summer, I also hope to be prepared for the obstacles that may be in my path.

Beyond obstacles, I also hope to leave myself open for unexpected findings. I have spent much of this quarter trying to rid myself of preconceived ideas in order to open myself up to new ways of approaching the project. This is a process that I will need to continuously go through throughout the summer so that I can be reflexive in my scholarship. This is critical for me to best serve the public through my scholarship.

With many lessons learned, a plan that may change, and an open and reflexive mind I hope that I am beginning the summer prepared. However, I know that by the end of the summer I may think that I should have brought an entirely different suitcase of tools in order to complete my project.