This summer has been long anticipated. I am very excited to have the time to just fully focus on my field research and on my Mellon Public Scholarship project. This allows me to have a ‘free’ and open schedule to participate in various events and meet with different people.

At the same time, I am also feeling a bit nervous and overwhelmed. Three months is not a lot of time to do this. I feel rushed to develop the MPS project. I am also starting to feel the responsibility of co-creating something for the first time, and above all carefully building trust and respect in my relationships with my partner. Although we had a full quarter to think about the project and get it started, it takes time to develop. I believe in slow scholarship, in engaging in practices that are meaningful, careful, and make time to reflect and develop relationships. Again, I have been reminded that you can’t rush certain things such as people’s own time. For instance, there can be weeks in between a communication exchange. Furthermore, I have felt pressured to come up with some ‘thing’, to deliver a material outcome. Julie Sze, my faculty mentor, reminded me that the project is also about the process.

I have realized that I have so much to learn and prepare before my next meeting with my partners. I had expected the technical aspects of this project to only be a matter of learning the how-to-dos, but I didn’t expect how many ethical conundrums each would bring. I also feel much of the responsibility to resolve some of these issues that are more about format or structure, than content.

I am happy to have a support network that includes my faculty mentor, my peers, and the MPS staff to ask questions, share my process, and receive guidance.