CEROW or ZERO: principled research

I started thinking ’bout this stuff, YEARS ago. When I was a student, watching from the side of an overly crowded classroom. Insecure not because I didn’t know

or understand the flow

of things

as I saw them

but because I was one

of only a few

introverted extroverts

who wore wears a mask

that grins and well…you know the rest.

Thank you Mr. Dunbar.

In the sciences I have studied, the students’ work is often commandeered by the advisor. Ok. It did not matter much when all I knew to do was follow a protocol and directions…

But now…

When asked by my students “why do we need _______”, I tell them this:

Me: you need middle school to learn how to recognize directions.

Me: you need high school to learn how to follow directions.

Me: You need college to learn to teach others how to follow directions.

Me: You need your master’s to learn how to write directions based on other people’s visions.

Me: You need a Ph.D. to design the protocols that will teach others how to write directions for the clients who will pay you–never what you are really worth–to give directions.

It still remains an important habit and discipline of


knowledge construction, and


Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and so I present (for the first time in public)

A golden rule of research:


There are two sides to this coin key principle. Be careful to see the markings.

  1. Confirm, Extend, and Refine other’s (lower case O) works or else you have nothing! Know the literature and do quality work. Don’t just cite yourself or the first source in your first search; pay attention to other people on and in the field. Earn respect (and be respectable) by respecting that there really is nothing too new under the sun. Be humble…get down. Thank you Mr. Lamar.
  2. Cite, Evaluate, Represent Others’ (capital O this time) works: be intentional about including a diversity of perspectives in your research and respect the cultural norms of the observed and their overstudied and often invisible communities.

What does it mean on the tail-side of this coin? On the B-side of this record. What are you really trying to say?

antique bills business cash
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

To cite is to celebrate. It is like saying “amen” to the preachers in a crowded church; it is an encouragement to them and an affirmation that you are in the write game, on the write field, on the write day.

(Yes…I take a liberty of interchanging write with right which is alright all right by me!)

To evaluate is to be critical without being judgmental; note the difference between this and assess. Don’t use oppression or colonizing, condescending language to read their or speak your truth. If you really disagree, don’t throw shade, check and use another source…for real. The arrogance of critique is not necessary when all this $#@% (shit) is f#&*ery (fuckery) too most.

The privilege of arguing about “scholarly” things, is for sure a first-world problem in the face of hunger, poverty, neglect and abuse…hold your “peers” accountable though…’cause that’s the WRITE (I mean right) thing to do.

To represent is to honestly spend time with the subject. Re- present information so that people who missed “it” as they hurried past its nuanced beauties and coincidental tragedies in the hustle of their own lives can see it anew, for the first time, or simply again.

On this side of the coin principle, the OTHERS’ are the group of very specific others who are usually invisible in the mainstream…

  • Others from non-dominant cultural groups
  • Others from lesser-abled cultural enclaves
  • Others whose power is only discerned in our classrooms, where they shine with us as suns because we center them and listen (or bask in the rays of their light)

I was admonished today to write/right every day…I agree.

Looking forward to tomorrow…


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