4 Characteristics of a Scholar # 4– Am I spunky? 學者的四個特質之四:我是否有膽有識?

At some point, an academic writer should ask a fundamental question: Am I a scholar? Pursuit of an academic career will be in vain if a person is ill-suited for academia. Even students who are just passing through the realm are wise to examine if they are a good fit for academic scholarship. If not, the academic writing will forever be fitful and the writer frustrated. Hereafter are ways to examine thyself.

Characteristic # 4: Am I spunky?

There might be a word with more gravitas than "spunky" to describe this characteristic of an excellent scholar, but perhaps not. After all, "spunky" is defined as "full of spirit, courage, and determination." That well-describes the character of a top-flight scholar. The spirit of a scholar is evident in his love of intellectual inquiry and the energy he brings to his search for additional or re-discovered knowledge. It is zestful without being frivolous, urgent but unhurried. In short, a spunky scholar steadfastly enjoys his work.

A true scholar’s courage is monumental. It is demonstrated in willingness to defy convention in pursuit of truth. For all the tributes the academic community pays independent thought, a body of belief can grow up around a discipline until it chokes alternative beliefs. A scholar who takes on this hegemony risks being ostracized by peers. So devotion to ideas and intellectual examination of the status quo is not always a collegial experience. It sometimes is a lonely task undertaken by a brave man or woman.

Determination is the glue that keeps a scholarly quest on course. One can love an idea and boldly express it, but only a determined person will delve into it until it yields whatever fruit grows there. A researcher with conviction learns how to tirelessly navigate material without being either sidetracked into a dead end or misled to a faulty conclusion. His determination is to get to the bottom of the matter, rather than to prove a preconception. Guided by integrity, a determined scholar almost cannot be denied.


Posted at 2014-10-20 13:01:14

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