Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm back

I've been away from Active Dissertationland for a while. I suppose my visit to Passive Dissertationland was still within the country of Scholar Wannabe, but it's probably on a slower moving creek instead of a faster-flowing river toward Destination Completion...Ah, enough with the BS and colorful descriptions.

After spending some time working, and (frankly) spinning my wheels on, some of the other articles I still need to incorporate into my literature review, I have finally started recruiting participants again for my study. And it's going OK. A few of them were referred to me by a senior colleague who was not certain of their eligibility for the study. About half of them are not eligible, but the other three are. Two of those three have responded as "yes, I'd like to participate," so I'll interview one tomorrow and the other a week from tomorrow. All interviews will take place in SCT, so I need to make sure I have enough fuel in the Jetta tonight. When I'm done writing this post, I'll gather together more tapes, batteries, study information sheets, questionnaires, and interview protocols to get my ass in gear again. After I complete these next two interviews, then I only have about two more left. I still have a few more leads here & there to more participants, so hopefully (fingers crossed while knocking on wood) I'll finish up the data collecting, and trips to SCT, very soon.

Yesterday I spoke with a company that specializes in doing transcriptions of qualitative research interviews. I just may pay them to do some of these transcriptions for me. It'll cost some money, but oh the time that will be saved. We'll see. They're located in SCT, but I hear mail is delivered down there :-) , so perhaps I won't need to travel back and forth too much if I indeed employ their services.

I'm really, REALLY, looking forward to the data analysis of this research. For me, that's the best part about the entire process. It's been frustrating not having much control over when I can conduct the interviews. But once they are completed, then it'll all be about me getting the analysis done on my own. The balance between this work and "work" work will be tough, but the crunch time is temporary. I honestly don't know if I'm more excited about doing the data analysis or the prospect of finishing the dissertation. Perhaps I'm equally excited for both. Seems pretty healthy to me.

Oh yeah, I want to share a funny tidbit. I almost forgot to send an amendment to The Office of The Protection of Human Subjects. Because of our move to Large State Capital, I have to update my address and phone number on the Study Information Sheet and the standardized e-mails I use to recruit participants. Seems silly that I need to complete paperwork, get DC's signature, and send stuff to Human Subjects just to update these sheets that people will hardly read, but I am a rule follower with these things. Study # 07- 11947 will be compliant. Note the mandatory space between the hyphen and the 1. I wouldn't want something as major as a new address and phone number, or a missing space character, to have a negative effect on "the risk:benefit ratio for subjects." I'm not making this up, you know: I truly had to say whether or not the change to my address & phone number would impact this ratio.

Enough. Bottom line, I'm glad to be back to my scholarly journey. Now it's time, once again, to clean the office/prison and to get materials ready for tomorrow's interview.

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