TWE 1/21/2014 Research

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on January 25, 2014 0 Comments

Research is not easy for me because I grew up in that age when there was no Internet. There were no computers. When you needed to do research you went to the library and waded through thousands of tomes, hoping you’d know how to find whatever it was for which you were searching (knowing the Dewey decimal system was a must).

It was also the age when if I asked my dad how to spell a word, he’d point toward the bookshelf and say, “There’s the dictionary, look it up.”

I’d stare. Look it up? I don’t know how to spell the silly thing, how can I look it up? I learned, quickly, that I shouldn’t verbalize such thoughts because dad would get a tad irritated with me and irritating dad was certainly something I never did on purpose! So I’d grab the dictionary and start leafing through it.

Hmm, does knowledgeable have an a in it or not? I could never remember, but I charged ahead with my research.

As I scanned down the page I noted a word I didn’t know, read the definition, and was off to another place in the dictionary to read the synonym of that first word. That occasionally led me to pull out the encyclopedia to track down some fact and I’d, invariably, spend two or three hours going back and forth between various volumes.

Ever since those early days I’ve done my research much the same. Whether it was pawing through an encyclopedia or surfing the Web, I’d be looking for something, note something else, and was off on some kind of weird tangent.

I’m (almost) ashamed to admit that I’m particularly bad about researching music and videos. Someone will include a link to some song or band that I recognize and want to hear one more time, or a band that I’ve never heard and wonder why there’s such a fuss about it. I’ll listen to the one link and then, invariably, be off to listen to five, fifteen, or thirty other songs.

I’m professional enough to copy down any information I find dealing with my original topic and then I’m just off in La-La Land for however many hours it takes to bring me back on track. The music or vidos, though? Nope, I’ll be listening to music or watching videos for hours and, at the end of that time I’ll wonder what I had originally been trying to find.

Research is not easy for me.

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