Monday, October 20, 2014

Darolyn Jones: Hope Takes Practice

Because I am an eclectic sort, I am often reading about diverse topics for all sorts of reasons that would not make sense to anyone but myself.  Which is why I found myself reading an elder rights blog, which mentioned a new Caregifted award that was being instituted for bloggers who are also caregivers, which led me to Darolyn Jones and her blog:  Hope TakesPractice.  
Darolyn Jones, is the mother of a special needs child and advocate for families with special needs children, but what really caught my attention was that she is a qualitative researcher who studies this topic.  

Her blog was riveting, and I found myself reading with no thought to the time and how I would feel the next morning.  Assistant professor in the English Department at Ball State University, Director of the Memoir Project at the Indiana Writers Center, she is as passionate about writing as she is about the experiences of parenting a child with special needs.  She has been involved in many community writing ventures that have reached out to help the silenced find voice.  

The blog provided me with clues to her methodological interests—autoethnography, narrative study, case study.  All well and good, but over and above the methodological strands what will capture your attention is the way she tells personal stories, exploring experience to bring the reader deep into the feelings of a parent with a special child—the tiredness and fears, the joys and jubilations.  

While I will now look forward to reading professional articles or books by this woman, I am very happy to have found such a great blog by a qualitative researcher.  Blog on, Darolyn Jones!  Just by blogging, your contribution to qualitative research is significant.  Qualitative research needs voices like this, shouting authentic experience from the digital rooftops. 

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