Sunday, October 1, 2017

finding balance

In today's 5pm Skype discussion I asked about positivist vs. non-positivist in relation to writing, research, and comprehension. This lead to several people talking about how some academics do or may not think arts, specifically dance, are as advanced in knowledge and execution of facts relating to real world experience and how experience gained through teaching dance may not be as useful. Did I just say the same things in different ways? Possibly and probably. That occurred in our discussion.

My question relates to empirical statistics found in quantitative/positivist and how we might use that as we proceed with what may be considered qualitative/non-positivist writing, research, and translation of the skills learned through dance and teaching dance and how those skills translate to skills learned in fields of study considered more relevant in academics. While I use a very poor loosely misguided statement to over simplify what I feel I have heard over many Skype sessions I find it was a recurring theme again today.

Helen and Adesola mentioned the need for a framework to support non-positivist questioning in its many forms. So do we take this to mean empirical facts are always necessary? My thought is most likely. However, several people went directly to several more literal interpretations of framework meaning guidelines or set requirements to execute dance or writing or research? Not really a question but it is how I felt after listening to the discussion.

The more I learn about quantitative studies, framework, foundations, and guidelines the more I look forward to reflection or philosophical inquiry about free writing, free thought, varying interpretations, and improvisational methods of movement and study. If only my improv instructor had included some of this thought process into our class thirty two years ago.

Finding a balance is the challenge I am facing. I realize I do not need to go to far afield from the topic I hope to use for research but I feel further from my actual everyday professional work and how it translates into empirical facts when having been studied and put into numbers and thoughts by others.

I do not expect harmony. Improvisational thought makes my head hurt. Last week was the first time in many years I did not feel overwhelmed when my thoughts drifted from concept to concept.

I become easily aggravated when people speak or write just to hear their own voices but I am finding that is something I may be doing in my blogs. I hate journaling. I strongly dislike improvisation. However, I am appreciating the challenges provided by asking questions and finding new interpretations and translations to things I have experienced or practiced for decades.

Right vs. wrong. Good vs. evil. Black vs. white. Moral vs. immoral. How many more examples can I bring from everyday life? Fifty shades of something to redefine varying thoughts and expectations. So how do we discuss framework and foundation in enough detail so our students, colleagues, fellow students, and advisors know our starting point. Finding the end is the journey.

One answer I discovered today is that I am correct in how much translation and interpretation play a part in this study and in our careers. No other answers today but more questions.

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