Do Real Work, Think Over Real Questions

image The application to the PhD Program may be regarded as the greatest failure on my individual plan for my future in the past years. While frankly, such efforts, though bring me no benefit on its proposed directions, show my a good lesson. That is, do what you can do, but never make attempts on those you are not familiar with. Doing something particular in a unsuitable environment, where you can hardly find reference, would directly bring you to the failure. Positioning is too essential for a reasonable decision-maker, without reasonable positioning, things can go terrible.

I was supposing the prize from the conference held at my birthday can bring me more courage, recovering myself back to the old days when I am fully prepared and encouraged to both the challenges and academic research. However, I found it didn’t work, I still remained what I was, no significant change at all.  My confidence on previous research, the pursuing of a PhD program overseas has been totally abandoned. Well, I am so lucky that I registered for the PhD admission exams of Sun Yat-sen University, where can bring me acceptable reward, if I am successfully admitted.

A first reason may be from the research itself, as I hereby conclude, after a deep consideration. Comparing to the majority of postgraduate students in China, I am a lucky dog. I have a good supervisor, helping me building up solid foundation on my research. However, for the empirical research, a contemporary research methodology adapted in China since 1992, we are both rookies. We select our topics from existing literature. That is right and reasonable, why? We are professor and student respectively, neither owns sufficient practical experience. To tell it frankly, we don’t have the first touch of the real world. What’s the consequence then? We don’t have our own story. How will it be then? We get topics from papers, not from the real world. My emotion on research may thus be greatly mitigated when such problem is aware of, but without any good solution.

The other reason may directly come from the selection of graduate school. Undoubtedly, it is a hard decision.  Given a high certainty on going overseas, I shall not have to fight for the top schools in China. It is a time-consuming and tiring job, without any pleasure at all. However, considering the limited reputation of our school outside China, and the limit on number of candidates going overseas for PhD, there is no reference. That is, I can hardly evaluate my own probability of admission to international graduate school. Under such situation, giving up top schools in China can be too risky. That’s why I finally made such decision. While,such decision can hardly mean peace, it reflects much more the selection itself.

I am writing this post for two aims, one is to express my depression, which has been done in previous paragraph. The other one is to identify my understanding on ethics of research. Do real work and think them over should be a key determinant to the future research. The interest of research can only come when you are doing a real question. In fact, I was firstly supposed to write a proposal on privatization of state-owned firms in China. After an attempt for 15 days, I gave that up. This abandon directly wastes my time of 15 days, but I get this lesson. And I am now starting to aware of why many scholars overseas are so interested in research. They are doing real research grounded on real world!

This is an article sharing my own feeling and understand on research. Your comments are welcome.

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