Wednesday, November 20, 2019

STIP Student Abhinav Mishra Investigates the Life of Thomas Mason

Numerous historical figures exist whose stories have been told, whose lives have been investigated, figures who no longer possess an air of mystery with them. But the research I embarked on was not about a well-known figure because books were not written about him, scores of interpretations about his life or legacy did not exist about him, therefore, I would be one of the first historians who would be narrating an aspect about this person’s lives previously not known before. Recognizing this reality pushed to research this relatively unknown figure called Thomson Mason. As I progressed throughout my research during the summer parts, there were certain parts where I struggled, felt lost, or was completely at a standstill. But that is the price one pays for being one of the first, and I was happy to experience these moments of struggle, which I eventually overcame. The research experience taught me a few lessons, which I will carry over as I move forward with my life. If at first you don’t succeed, try again and again until you strike gold. I have lost count recalling the number of times, where I had trouble finding a certain document or failed attempting to answer a particular question about my research because the historical document was inadequate in providing the answer I sought. In such cases, I kept looking and inquiring in order to unearth the document I hoped to find. Perseverance was my greatest tool, which pushed me at times, when I felt I was failing. Once I find the documents I desired, the difficult came in transcription and analysis. The difficulties of this stage were easier to overcome because my mentor aided me on how to view and interpret the document, so that I could my answer research question.

The crucial lesson of this research was seeking guidance can be an immensely helpful tool in one’s arsenal. Lastly, synthesizing my historical findings into a concise, visually based research poster taught me how to let write the essentials while leaving the superfluous out, a skill that I will continue to hone as I moved forward in time.