Thursday, June 19, 2008


My advisor told me that my revisions would likely take about 6 hours, but I've already spent two precious work days just trying to figure out what the heck my committee wants me to do.

After an hour-long phone conference with my advisor, I think I have a pretty clear direction now. I just hope that the changed analyses don't change my results. (I really hope that!)

I have to have this thing revised, approved, and signed off on by my entire committee as well as the graduate dean (or something like that) before I start my new job, so that my hours count towards my licensure. Otherwise they're not much different than internship hours.

I have had ZERO time to work on any other of my research. I was hoping to do some of it now that client hours are slowing down somewhat, but we've been given a bunch of other work to do. This is surely why the median number of pubs after graduation is ZERO!

Monday, January 21, 2008


As of January 11th, 2008.

It was emotionally hard and I honestly expected to hear them say I'd have to redefend when I came back into the room. I was surprised, and a little nonplussed, to hear the congratulations. In fact, I didn't understand it at first. I really don't believe it's over (probably because I still have to do the edits.)

I've now heard from colleagues that it's quite common to get a) depressed and b) sick after defending one's dissertation. I'm not sick (so far), but I may have a touch of depression, based on what seem to be some negative self-assessments, tiredness, and somewhat of a sugar-craving.

Anyway, it's not too bad, and I'm too busy to really get depressed.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Almost There

My defense is set for January 11th, 2008!

I have the room reserved and my committee have had their copies of the manuscript for several weeks.

It has been really hard completing this work with baby in the picture. I don't know how I could have done it without my husband quitting his job to take care of him.

I have been away at my internship weekdays about 10-11 hours a day (counting from when I leave to when I return), and then on weekends we've done nothing but get my diss worked on. Meaning, I worked on it while husband took care of baby.

So we've both been doing about 70-hour weeks towards my degree. That's counting my internship and dissertation hours, and my husband's baby care hours (but not my baby care hours which start where his leave off.)

It has been a huge relief for both--no, all of us--to finally get it done. Now my husband has weekends off of baby care and can do work towards his career.

Now I just have to write and give the defense presentation. I think I'm making it harder than it has to be, of course. But it's only two weeks away now!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24, 2007

I have actually been making progress, though I haven't really had the chance to update here. What little work time I have is usually better spent actually doing the work. I can pretty much only work on weekends while my partner is taking care of the baby. And even that time has constant interruptions, so each hour is precious. It is really hard to try to do this with a baby, even with another caretaker present. There is no longer any such thing as an uninterrupted block of time--ever.

However, I find I am now at a spot where I need to stand back and get an overview of where I am so that I can know how to continue. I'm getting close to done, according to Dr. N. She thinks I can finish it by the end of this month, which would be ... today, I guess! I think the straggling ends of any project are often the hardest part to complete.

An undergrad assistant finished entering the texts of the short answers from the survey (the qualitative bit), so that's a good job done. I've encoded the texts and done some analyses on the coded responses.

I have one more variable that I think I will code as a categorical one. Other than that, I will treat the material as "therapy session" material as one committee member suggested: read it for patterns and common threads to pull out and discuss. I think there is some good material for my discussion section.

Many sections are basically done. The introduction section was mostly done already because it was pretty much my proposal. The method section is done, the results section, too. The additional findings section needs to be filled out, probably mostly with the qualitative material that I recently acquired. (Although I probably should add the qualitative methods into the method section itself, but the results into the additional findings section.)

I also need to just catch up with my dissertation committee, to let them know that I'm still here plugging away. One member doesn't seem to be very into email, so I should--what? Send a letter when I send emails to the other members? That would seem odd. But it's not someone I know well enough to casually call on the phone for a brief update, and I don't want a giant phone conversation. Well, I'll send the email and see what happens.

It might be easier to just copy part of my to-do list here; it's a bit scattered, but then so is this process these days.

_√?Rewrite paragraphs subsequent to hypotheses paragraphs in discussion section (easy!) (begin p.50 or so)

_√?Make figure-dense paragraphs into tables

_?_Integrate highlighted intro info into discussion section (ongoing)

_?_Systematically go through red notes and complete (ongoing)

_1_Enter some results of various operations into “additional findings” section

_1_Age findings

_1_Race findings

___Describe how qualitative data was treated and analyzed

___Add variable descriptives for qualitatives (important ones anyway)

___Write down impressions of qual data answers first of all w/out censoring

___Figure out where to put those impressions

___Code for influences (make a new variable with however-many conditions)

_2_Per Nina’s notes: for each lit review highlight, describe whether in accord with my findings

_2_ Per email to Nina: for each finding, discuss whether it is in accord with lit review findings (basically the same thing as above)

_3_Look over previous research notes to get ideas for discussion section

_4_Redo results figures with two groups for sex (only use for comparison of sexes sections)

_2_Additional sex findings

_4_ Find study re: depression/pathology and influence on perception (psychopath findings sect.)

___Use Multi draft as base from which to “pull out” and write other sections

_4_see if qual results such as “I’m not prejudiced” are related to engaging in “superficial social situation” (see p. 12, regarding T-S and F study)

_5_check verb tense agreement throughout

_5_look up all N = and change to n = throughout
___Add some material from the Racial Microaggressions article (discuss future directions, use for my findings?)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

August 10

(Entry cross-pollinated from my day-to-day journal blog).

Last night I finally completed the scoring and coding of the final survey, #333.

I still need to go back and complete some sections, which includes:

-score the BSIs of the first 80 or so I did when I still didn't have the BSI manual
-check certain commonly missed items on each GRISMS (#s 23, 24, 27, 31, and 38) to make sure they are correctly scored, and add any changes into each GRISMS score as necessary
-check the endorsed sexuality on the GRISMS for each participant and add this to the demographics (I think people are way underreporting being gay or bi, unless it's just that it's such a young group that a lot people haven't come out yet)
-check how I scored the final item on the indices for people who wrote in "O". I'm going to allow zeros to be included in the total score.
-acquire and check the surveys completed by my assistants, as well as score the BSIs on those
-enter the data of recently completed surveys into the database
-scan the handwritten portions of the most recent surveys into PDF format

...and finally, begin typing the handwritten portions into text format in the spreadsheet(s).

Then I need to send those to Dr. R. to get her input about the qualitative portion of the analyses, and set up some coding of qualitative data into quantitative data, as appropriate.

I also should email my committee about my progress so they know I am still actually alive and working!

After all that, I can start doing the analyses, which really shouldn't take more than a couple of days.

I'm not sure how any other research will fit into my summer at this point. The baby could realistically arrive anywhere from four to 8 weeks from now, and that's if it's full-term.

I also really must begin work on my new internship applications for this fall, as I will be awfully busy at the time. I wish I had had the time (and a working car, come to think of it) to drive into town when the most recent internship meeting was held, as I am wondering about proposed changes to the APPIC this year. I guess I will just need to look at it online and figure it out.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

June 1

Now I am trying to really get going on crunching my data. I had some false starts in the past couple of weeks (more "try" than "do") but seeing a colleague defend his dissertation has helped me to get some "doing" done.

I have over 300 surveys completed, although I only needed 210. This is great for the data (and for the eventual publishability, according to one committee member), but means a cartload of work. Especially the qualitative analyses. That may be the point where I contact former students and ask if they want some research experience. I know there is one student who is interested in helping over the summer, but I don't know what to do with her help yet. Sometimes setting up things for someone else to help takes longer than doing it yourself.

As it turns out, I don't have the scoring sheet for one of my instruments after all, but for a shorter version of it. Therefore I have applied to the publisher to be allowed to order it. That was a week ago; don't know how long it might take. A colleague also has it and is willing to lend me his, but he has recently moved and still has to unpack all his stuff. I also need to figure out where on the publisher's site I need to apply to use the instrument for research. Nevertheless, I can still score the other segments of the survey (for now, that one is almost an aside, anyway.)

I spent a couple of days getting re-started, and figuring out how I want to do the scoring. I began scoring the survey instruments, at which I feel a bit rusty. I had some conflicting information regarding my main instrument. The researcher who developed this instrument sent me a version that has items that were removed (or not counted) in the article he published validating the instrument. Therefore I have determined to omit these items, as upon reviewing my proposal, I used the figures from that article. (Also I want valid, defendable data!)

I discovered that there may be some surveys that are missing parts--that is, the very first one I did was missing the section of the indices that addressed structural aspects of experience, though it did include the section that addressed voluntary aspects of experience. I hope there are not many like that. This is something that may make having all those "extra" surveys advantageous. I'll still use that person's data, as the other parts are still there. There will just be some missing data for that section. Also found one person who did the entire survey, but didn't sign the consent form. Can't use that one, obviously. to install newer stats program and begin the spreadsheet.

Oh yeah--I noticed that while I do now have version 11.5 of the program (and felt happy to be updating from version 9!), a colleague who recently defended his diss was using version 13.0. I think that is another thing that definitely enhances publishability. However, I guess simply getting done is also an important goal here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Setbacks and Moving Forward

I now will have to go through internship applications yet again. I actually got a really good site this year, but have had to make an agreement with the site to withdraw, as I am now pregnant and will be giving birth the first month of internship. They really wanted to just give me a one-year deferral, but APPIC guidelines only allow for a "secret" (and frankly, unethical) way to do it. Therefore we decided to just withdraw me and I'll go through internship apps again next year.

The AWP conference (with all the organizing I was doing) is over, and the classes I'm teaching are nearly over for the year. After that all I'll have to do is to work on my dissertation (and possibly some of the other research projects). I am actually excited and looking forward to having time to work on that.

However, I am not looking forward to doing the 4-month process of internship apps yet again, third year in a row, and this time with a nursing babe-in-arms. Dang APPIC.