In short, it is me.
Synonyms of ‘wayward’ include defiant, obdurate, contrary, headstrong, capricious, whimsical, wild, and rebellious. And while in some ways I do love academia and research and I am willing to put my head down and do what needs to be done, in many other ways, I look at the greater structures of this industry and the stated and unstated rules, and I cannot really stand to quietly exist within them. So I have a small tendency to throw the rules out of the window, and draw from the various other identities I’ve had outside of academia to inform how my life moves forward and in what directions.
I’ve worn many hats and studied across various disciplines. All of my work in experiential education, leadership training and at summer camp, and jobs in retail, publishing, and journalism have fed into my research, in some way. Academia is enriched by the richer our experiences are, and how widely we live our lives. I don’t think that my identity as a scholar is anything but bolstered by other experiences. I hope to continue wider growth, and work to bring that which is silo’d outside of the ivory tower, within it.
I came up with the idea of being a ‘wayward academic’ after a conference experience when I was between graduate programs, and there were certain attitudes towards being unaffiliated present. I figured, well, if I don’t quite fit, better to claim my asymmetry. This space is one for me to work out my own thoughts and musings, archive pieces published elsewhere on the internet, and explore my irregularity. If anything, I’ll at least learn my own mind better, and find new paths forward that I might not have thought of exploring previously.