One of the constant dilemmas I have experienced as a novice researcher is the question of whether or not something I’m interesting in writing about has been done before. “Just do it better!” you say, but that’s not my point. You can search the internet and various databases all you want, but there’s always a nagging feeling that your idea has popped into someone’s head before.

Yet as I run search after search for different variations on my central questions about using perceived altruism as a shield against perceptions of white supremacy, it really doesn’t seem it’s all been connected in this specific way before, or at least not published as such.

This could mean one of two things. It could mean no one’s tried to say it because it’s a stupid idea.

Or it could mean I’m onto something creative and interesting.

My brain wants to convince me it’s the former. And will always convince me of this as long as my anxious thoughts exist. But I’m starting to believe that I can come up with something valuable. And I expect that’s an important part of this educational experience, that sense of self found through academic work.

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