Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dissertation Week 2007 - Day 1 Report

Hi Blog. As I mentioned earlier, this is the week I'm taking "off" from work to work on the dissertation. No pressure, really. Whatever! I've just told everyone I know and work with that I'm doing this, so they'll all be asking for progress reports. Guess I better make some progress! LOL.

Actually, yesterday's Day 1 went really quite well. After a weekend-long snow storm (which has made everything wonderful and wintry here!), I needed to get out of the house yesterday. I went to Relatively-Nearby Trendy Neighborhood and hit the Starbucks there. Forgot I had to feed a parking meter, so I didn't stay very long. Perhaps it was the pressure of having the meter running, but I CRANKED on part of the data analysis process where I need to realize how my own life experiences may influence the manner in which I analyze my data. And I worked things out in only about 90 minutes. I was pretty excited about that.

I spent a long while a year or two ago pondering if I was going to be able to write on this particular topic because it's pretty close to my heart. That self doubt caused me to temporarily change my topic. I later changed it back because I really could have cared less about that other topic, so now I've been happily back at square one for a long while. HOWEVER, I hadn't really worked out how I could separate myself away from my participants enough to analyze the data and not project my own thoughts on their words. I think I finally worked it out. At some point I may share the details in this blog, but for now suffice it to say I made a good amount of progress during that short time yesterday morning.

I then spontaneously grabbed lunch with Wife, a benefit of working from home this week. Afterward I went to another cafe (free parking!) and did some reading from:

Charmaz, K. (2007). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

I've been skimming certain portions of this book when needed (I love her work). This week I'm trying to "really" read portions related to where I am in the data analysis process, and I'm finding it helpful. Since I've been out of coursework for a while, and am now working full-time, I must admit I've not been doing scholarly reading nearly as much as I used to. I miss it, so I'm grateful to have the time to do some reading. OK, I can't believe I just said that.

That's the report from Day 1. A good first day. Today I'm working in my home office/prison for a while, finishing up some reading this morning. I may head out to Free Parking Cafe this afternoon if I start to go bonkers here at home. More tomorrow.

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