Last night I stayed up late and finally finished up the pilot study. Really late. At 7:15 AM today I went to bed. Yep. That was about 45 minutes after Wife and Moose rose for the day. Wife woke me up about 90 minutes later to make sure I got to campus in time for my 10:00 AM meeting with DC (that's Dissertation Chair).
All went quite well with the meeting. I gave DC the completed pilot study so she'd have plenty of reading material (35 pages) for a trip she's taking this evening. She seemed pleased. I explained that writing this piece was a bit like assembling an orchestra for the first time. Each part had been well-rehearsed beforehand, but pulling the full rehearsal together for the first time was a little noisy. That made her laugh. "You and your wife with these musical jokes!" she said. The paper isn't publishable just yet, but it's a COMPLETED draft. My Incomplete from last semester should turn into some sort of passing grade sometime soon. Hopefully, DC will work with me on submitting this piece for publication somewhere, later on down the road.
An aside: During the writing session last night, I received an email informing me that my proposal to present the results of this study were accepted at a well-known higher education conference next March. Woohoo! That certainly gave me the motivation to get the thing done last night!
Back to my meeting this morning: We then had a great discussion about my dissertation, the method, the timeline, etc. It was good. I needed the feedback. I've been feeling too disconnected from the faculty this semester since I'm no longer in coursework and I really haven't started writing the dissertation proposal. I've been catching up on these lingering papers (no feedback from Program Advisor, unfortunately), learning about Moose's autism, dealing with flat-on-the-back allergies, eating bon-bons: you know, the usual. Today's feedback was well-timed. I admit I was getting grumpy during these past few days, but now I feel I have a better direction.
I'm extending the timeline on the dissertation, but that's not a huge surprise. The new anticipated complete date will be August of 2007. It makes sense: I can take my time writing a solid proposal this spring. Data collection will happen in the fall and spring of the 2006-2007 academic year, and I can write up the results next summer. I may look for a full-time position for next year during the data collection process. We shall see. It's taking me longer than I had hoped, but "life happens" (I'm quoting a supportive DC), and I'm just pleased finally to have a plan that I can actually see working.
OK, this is getting too long. I'm off to bed now, for the second time today.