I've thought about it a lot for scripture study. You know, the difference between reading the scriptures and studying the scriptures. But I'm not exactly sure how I want to approach that. So I never really do it. I just passively read.
I've been learning a lot lately about the female body and all the beautiful things it does and is capable of doing. I've been a little more active in this lately. Not by much. But I have been actively finding blogs and books to read that are pertinent.
On the same note, I just stumbled upon an amazing blog called Women in the Scriptures. I read the first post and couldn't stop. Soon it was added to my Google Reader and shared with my sister. I love to learn about women. Call me sexist if you want, but I prefer to think that I am learning more about myself by learning more about other women. How can I expect to teach my daughters about gender roles and to love being female if I don't truly understand it myself?
I've been wanting to cook better. I want to be healthier. I want to know what ingredients do what. What are the chemical reactions? When can I substitute different ingredients and when are certain ingredients vital? What can I substitute with? This is actually the idea that got me thinking about research papers. I could learn about different ingredients by picking one, then researching it. This is also the idea that made me realize that I have no idea how to research anymore.
I no longer have the BYU library within walking distance. I do have the Internet, of course, but how do I know what is legit and what is not? Are there specific websites to go to for my questions?
I used to write papers by getting a topic, going to the library, finding a handful of books, skimming until I found the information I wanted, then writing a paper. I could write some pretty good papers that way. And I did even learn things. But now that I think back on it, my goal was to get a good grade on a paper. It was never to actually learn what I was writing about. I think that was a huge problem in my schooling. I never did find a major that was so exciting to me that I went to class to specifically learn. I learned a lot in my many (ahem, 12) majors, don't get me wrong. But I went because that's what was expected of me, because I wanted good grades, because I wanted to graduate. I never was so excited to go to class because it gave me the opportunity to learn. That's one way BJ and I differ. He loves to learn. Ok… getting off topic. This is another post, I think.
So now that I want to learn, now that my perspective has changed, I'm completely befuddled about how I should go about researching. The world of resources just seems so vast. I don't even know what all of my resources are!
Today I listened to several conference talks that made me realize that I need to study the scriptures more. Actually study. I need to pick a topic and study it. I think I'll probably write a talk or a research paper or something. Somehow take the stuff I learn and put it down in an organized fashion. Perhaps you'll see some of it on this blog… we'll see.
But as I stop and think about it, I'm alarmed at how much I don't know. How many resources are out there that I don't know anything about. I'll start with the scriptures first, of course. I mean, what good does it do to study a topic without reading what the scriptures say? But I want to really research. I want to read books on those topics. I want to read what prophets have said about it.
I suppose I'll just have to start. Hopefully the art of research will come back to me. But hopefully this time with a different outlook.