I tell my students about the best piece of advice I ever got when my wife and I were running our chimney sweeping business. I tell them it made us a lot of money. I tell them we paid for our farm and home with this piece of advice. Now they’re attending. And what was that advice?
The owner of Copperfield Chimney Supply, Bob Daniels (Sooty Bob to everybody in the business) shared this piece of advice in a six-cassette pack of tapes which I wore out completely over the years. His advice was very simple:
So I repeat this to them ad nauseum as they work their way through the process of asking and answering a “burning question” in their lives.
One of the tasks I ask of them is to create weekly research plans and then progress reports on the plans. I do everything along with them, solidarity in learning dontcha know. Below is the assignment and my research plan for this week.
DEADLINE FOR RESEARCH PLAN: September 29, 2017
I want you to come up with a research plan for answering your I-Search question. This might be a list of items you want to get done. Or it might be in paragraphs. Make sure you prioritize. In other words, I want you to say what you will do first, second, third, etc. If you can’t do the first item, move on to the second and so on. Don’t let your priorities stop you from constantly moving forward. Imagine you are a shark after your prey, the answer. You never stop moving forward. We will discuss your plan and how you progressed through it at your conference.
Here is my research plan for the week. I will let you know how it went on Blackboard. You will have an opportunity to do so as well:
Get copy of MIchael Mosley’s book: Michael Mosley, The Clever Gut Diet.
Read Mosley’s book and mark it up looking for ways to combine it with my DayTwo data.
Prepare an email to my doctor on the kinds of bloodtests I want to include in my appointment next week.
Write my introduction where I tell my readers why I am pursuing the question.
Do a journalling exercise called feedforwarding where I imagine the results of my question as clearly as I can from 10,000 feet.
Clean up my I-Search outlines in Diigo.
Follow up on the forums I have visited and get more involved there: quantified self forum and gut smart forum.
When they come for their conferences, we will chat about their plans and the progress they have made. We will do this until their first draft is due in about three weeks–planning their work, working their plan, rinse, repeat.