Blocked Streams


Too many things in my mind compete to be written but the words are jostling, kicking, stuck in that narrow part of the funnel.  They elbow each other and shout expletives, wanting to be first and wouldn’t let anyone get out if it’s not them.

I start a letter to my sister in law and figured I’d tell her in person tomorrow in her office instead.  There’s another important good reason for our move to be explained.

I start a letter to Rick, my dissertation adviser who has encouraged me to do a journal article instead of pursuing a PhD.  He read my motives well and unearthed the fact that maybe it’s not a PhD I’m after and he’s correct.  I’m after the mentorship and the process of learning more than anything else.  The certificate is not necessary.

I want to write the proposal for the journal article and drew diagrams and a table for two ideas – one on Project Based Learning (PBL) and another on freedom of choice in learning.  But the diagrams and table remain without substantial explanation.  A tiny paragraph would suffice for now but needs to be expanded.

I want to write about my own experience about PBL when I tried it last semester in my English class and we held a big exhibit of the students’ works.  This semester, I adjusted and improved my methodology and am excited to see the results after three weeks.

I want to write about theses done in the past and how much I’ve enjoyed the ritual of getting obsessed over a topic, collecting all the materials one could possibly amass, talking to as many resource people one can get hold of and savoring the ride.

I want to rethink the book proposal in relation to the journal article.  How are the interviews for the book going to be different from the interviews for the journal article?  Rick assigned me two books to read; Learning From Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies and Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry: A Relational Approach.  Maybe I have to finish those before threshing out the journal articles and fine-tuning the book proposal.

I want to write letters to my shortlisted authors.  Their books and articles serve as models for me but first I have to fix the book proposal.  How can I fix the book proposal when I haven’t delved into the project purpose and interview goals deeply enough?

I want to write to my cousin updating her about how the PhD project has evolved into a journal article after consulting with two professors with accumulated degrees from Harvard, Yale and Stanford.  I want to tell her I don’t know where the flow is taking me but that’s what I came here for.

I want to write about our mountain climbing trip last weekend when it rained one whole day.  We lagged behind the main group and had to be rescued.  The whole adventure reminded me to hang on to God.  In great moments of despair, Our Lord’s Prayer and Hail Marys rush to bring calm to the emergency.

Why can’t I write all these at the same time and type out the words with ten pairs of hands on ten laptops?  Maybe if forced out before their time, they won’t make much sense and I’d have to keep re-thinking, re-mulling, regurgitating, re-channeling, reframing, re-conceptualizing, redoing, recycling, reforming . . . .

Okay, okay I get it.  I need a break.


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