STUDENTS OF THEATRE RESEARCH METHODS HAVE SOME WORDS OF WISDOM TO PASS ALONG TO FUTURE THEATRE GRAD STUDENTS
Now that they have survived their first semester of graduate school, the students of the Theatre Research Methods 6701 class were asked to pass along some “words of wisdom” to those who might come after. Here’s what they had to say:
To you, future graduate student, I would like to pass down a few words of wisdom that I have learned during my first semester at OSU:
1st – Don’t give up. Never give up on yourself or your project or your research. The knowledge is out there somewhere and you can find it if you look hard enough.
2nd – Talk to your professors. They are fountains of knowledge and if they don’t know the answer, chances are, they know someone who does. Seriously, they have awesome connections.
3rd – Have your files in at least three different places. I recommend Google Drive/Dropbox be one of them.
Finally, ask questions. Ask as many questions as you can; you can never ask too many questions.
For me, what matters most in one’s first semester at a new university is the issue of expectation. In other words, how one’s ideal university materializes. Here at OSU, not only did my expectations turn out to be fulfilled, but exceeded them and sparked my interests even more. It doesn’t matter how difficult it may seem for an international student, you will survive the first semester when there are friends and caring staff present to help you.
In researching, remember to take breaks. Particularly with visual research. Fresh eyes are extremely helpful when finding research images or even when you think you will never figure out which production your research item is from. [The students were given an item to discover for which they were to try and discover the provenance.] On that note – be persistent with your research. There is never a stopping point because you never know how your writing or designs will benefit and grow from continuous research.
The one thing I cannot stress enough is time management. There are times in the semester when everything might be due at the same time. Try not to get bogged down with all the work. Maybe work out a schedule of when you are going to work on which assignment so you aren’t finishing everything right before it’s due. Time management is your friend!
These are the most important things I’ve learned, discovered, and realized in my first semester at OSU:
1. Ask questions! If you don’t know, someone else will, and will be willing to provide an answer.
2. When researching, it’s o.k. to look at outside sources! Other universities and their libraries can be really helpful too.
3. Save your work in more than one place! Nothing’s worse than losing all your research three weeks before a paper’s due.
4. Let other people read your work! They might see things you didn’t or be able to clarify your argument.
5. Take some time for yourself! Make sure to take a break from reading/writing/researching every once in a while.
From the instructor:
I’d like to thank the students of 6701 for their willingness to share these insights. I hope you learned some useful things in our class. I certainly learned a great deal from you!
- Dr. Beth Kattelman, Theatre Research Methods