This past week has been pretty stressful because I had the first draft of an 8-10 page research paper due for Paideia. For the past month in Paideia all of the first-year students have been researching and preparing to write this paper as a part of the Paideia research unit. Each Paideia section has a different topic; in my class our topic was the Wild West.
Going into the paper I knew that I could easily get it done because I had already written two similar papers in high school. I was confident that I could finish the paper. However, I was nervous about finding a topic that I was interested in. I was also nervous about finding enough sources to write a good paper. My professor helped me find a good topic and the research librarians in the library helped me find the sources that I needed to write the paper. Throughout the research process worksheets were assigned. Completing these worksheets helped guide me in finding my topic and working with sources. They made the research process less painful. It was hard for me to choose a topic because I was interested in a lot of aspects of the West. At one point I wanted to write about women in the West. As I was thinking about who to write about, I started thinking about when my elementary school had Colorado Day. On Colorado Day, each person in my class chose a historical figure to dress up as and write a biography about. I remembered the name Emily Griffith from Colorado Day and her belief that everyone has right to education. Since I am a Music Education major I thought writing about someone who fought so strongly for equal rights to education was beneficial for my future. As I did more research, I found that reading about the Opportunity School in Denver started by Emily Griffith and the history of education in general was really quite enjoyable and very much interesting to learn about. The more background reading I did, the more interested I became. With the help of the research librarians, library resources, and my professor, I was able to find enough sources to write what I thought to be a pretty good paper. I focused on what made the Opportunity School unique and how it gave everyone the opportunity, regardless of age, gender, race, or background, to further his or her education and seek a better life.
Throughout the research process I learned a lot about education and the different views people have on education. Reading about many different ideas on education helped me to develop my own views on education and to think about the kind of teacher that I hope to be one day.
After a stressful week I took some time to relax and have fun. My friends and I went swimming at the pool on campus. The pool was just built a couple of years ago. I had a great time swimming and it was a great way to celebrate turning in my research paper.