Saturday, 8 August 2015

Trust the Process

Last week, while we were in our residency bubble, I sent a message to a colleague who had gone through the MAELM program a few years ago and had been in residency at RRU twice. I told her that as I was experiencing residency, I was thinking about her.  I also mentioned that I thought my brain might explode….  Her response was reassuring as she remarked on the intensity, but also on how amazing and awesome the experience was.  She wished me luck, encouraged me to “hang in there,” and left me with “trust the process.”

Trust the process...

I am grateful for her words, as I have thought about them often, since then.  There have been a number of new concepts that we have been exposed to that I have found difficult to comprehend. To add to the challenge, we usually had to apply the concepts to an assignment right away. How was I going to complete an assignment when I didn’t completely understand the idea behind what I was to do?

There are a few examples of this from the past few weeks.  One example was in Introduction to Learning Theories when we were asked to start the writing process for a paper, outlining our own epistemological assumptions.  At that point I was barely able to pronounce the word "EPISTEMOLOGY" and was only beginning to understand the meaning (after reading and writing and re-reading multiple definitions). I only had a slight grasp on the general idea, let alone what my own epistemology was. Through reflection and further readings, I gained some clarity and, through a windy road, found my way to be able to articulate my epistemology.

Trust the process…

Our last assignment while we were in residency was a team project that entailed summarizing scholarly communities of journal articles, including cultures of inquiry and theoretical frameworks. - Scholarly communities? - Theoretical frameworks?  Theoretical framework, in particular was difficult for me to comprehend.  In his you tube video Francois Desjardin defines theoretical framework as “a logically structured representation of the concepts, variables and relationships involved in a scientific study with the purpose of clearly identifying what will be explored, examined, measured or described.”  We discussed it in class and I continued to look for more information, but it still seemed abstract to me.   Regardless, I needed to do the readings and start working on the assignment.  As I looked for meaning and key words, I began to see some patterns and clues.  As I continued to research and we worked together as a team, it started to make sense and I remembered to trust the process. I feel like there is a lot left to understand about theoretical frameworks and scholarly communities, but then again, we are only 5 weeks into our program.

Trust the process…

I’m working on our last assignment for Introduction to Research.  It involves writing an annotated bibliography, an article summary and an article critique, all of which are new to me. I have some questions, I have found some answers and then there are some more questions. I will continue to work on it and, as with the other assignments, I will trust the process and by the time I am finished, the picture will be much more clear than when I began.   

Desjardins, F (2010). Theoretical Framework. Retrieved from


  1. I have really enjoyed reading your blogs Lori and this one in particular resonated with me. Incidently, prior to residency "resonate" would not have been part of my every day vocabulary but it has somehow become part of my repertoire when it comes to reflecting on my reading or new concepts and ideas. When you talk about trusting the process, I can identify many moments when I have not done so and yet, in the end the process works. We have been exposed to so many new words and concepts and questioned extensively on our own beliefs and ideas and I have countless moments of second guessing myself throughout. In the end, having to support our ideas and defend ourselves is what has brought me clarity on various topics. For me, trusting the process will be about recognizing the value in these moments of frustration and complete confusion because eventually, the pieces will fall into place and the dots will connect. While we worked on our scholarly communities assignment, I was very overwhelmed. But, in our team conversations, it was really interesting to see how we could identify themes and common assumptions that we hadn't been able to at first. I remember having our back and forth sharing of ideas and finally beginning to pull out words and pieces that pointed to various theoretical frameworks and cultures of inquiry. It was such a great "Ah ha!" (Grant, 2015) moment to finally gain some understanding of what we were even looking for. Working through that was a valuable lesson for me in being able to step back, put things into perspective and hopefully next time I will trust the process more along the way.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I feel the same way in regards to the fuzziness transitioning into ah ha! In our team assignment you were great at identifying the themes and pattern!. It has all been quite an experience, so far. I think once we finish up these 6 weeks we will continue to have moments where things fall into place as we look back.

  2. Hi Lori,
    I think that there are many of us who will be blogging about the residency and how we all had to come to trust the process. As was evident in the final day, when we reflected on our time by writing words on rocks, we relied heavily on each other help get us through. There is something very tacit (a new word in my vocabulary!) about the empathy we feel to others in a situation similar to ours and how we are comforted by knowing that others understand what we are going through. Like you, I also have a friend who has completed an RRU degree and did two residencies. She has told me more than once, as I lamented about the amount of work I needed to do while others were going to the beach/ lake/ pool and sipping wine/ beer/ margaritas, that it will be worth it in the end. This has been an immense help since the end seems a very long way off right now.
    There were many times when cracks of doubt began to appear and the 'imposter syndrome' crept into my psyche. I clearly remember sitting around the table on one of the first days and listening to the instructors speak about learning theories, theorists and assignments and expectations. The feeling in the pit of my stomach, that I was in a situation I had no business being in became almost unbearable. I felt like an imposter, someone who had no business being there and wondering when I would be found out. This led me to an article in Forbes magazine on just that subject. I felt much better after reading the following section:
    "Impostor Syndrome is the domain of the high achiever. Those who set the bar low are rarely it’s victim. So if you are relating to what I’m sharing, then pat yourself on the back because it’s a sure sign that you aren’t ready to settled into the ranks of mediocrity. Rather, you’re likely to be a person who aims high and is committed to giving your very best to whatever endeavour you set your sights upon. A noble aim to be sure." (retrieved from

    Yes! I reminded myself, I did start this because I wanted to better myself and achieve something that I knew was going to be hard and not always easy. I was able to pull myself out of the rut i was in and keep going, but I am not sure it would have been as easy if there had not been others around who were vocal about their similar feelings.
    This is not a case of schadenfreude, a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people, but one of empathy, the ability to experience the feelings of another person (
    We all need each other and I hope we continue to look to each other for help, support, laughter and funny youtube videos.
    Because not everyone understands what we are doing here. Like my friend who asked me if this program was to learn about using the SMART board in the classroom. Yes, I replied. Exactly.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Miriam. I must say that I am VERY glad that I chose to do the residency route. It is reassuring to know that we are in this together and is comforting to be able to turn to each other for advice and support. I find myself trying not to go into a lot of details with most people in my real world, about our studies, because it is not something easy for others to relate to. By the way, I’m not very good with the smart board.