Saturday, August 30, 2008

Moose and Headaches

First things first, Moose is making great improvements lately in several different ways, one of which is pretty major. He's finally beginning to tell us when he needs to use the bathroom. And he's finally beginning to do everything in the actual toilet. That's amazing. He's 7, so that means 7 years of diapers. Wife and I change diapers better than most anyone else I know. What a skill! Now in my opinion, we're a year behind on toilet training due to TFD (the fuckin' diet) that failed for Moose and thus earned its esteemed TFD title. The failure of TFD manifested itself in about a year's worth of diarrhea (I've mentioned this before, and I'm still not joking), which is tough to control and thus makes it almost impossible to teach potty training techniques. So anyhow, I'm glad we're back on track with potty stuff, and I'm hopeful he'll keep making progress in this area this fall. I'm really proud of him! 

I've also written here about allergies in the past. Now I'm just frustrated. In SCT, my allergies were worst in the springtime and I learned I was allergic to molds and dust. Things must be different here in LSC. There isn't any mold in the air this time of year, but they're flaring up again big time. My head feels stuffed, my ears feel clogged and I'm constantly draining crap down the back of my throat all the time. Sorry if that's gross, but it's my blog and I'll do what I want. Fortunately the meds I'm usually on the spring are coming in handy, and I'm pretty much keeping things at bay. At least my face doesn't hurt how it has in the past. None of this is stopping me from living my life, but it's sort of nagging at me nonetheless. 

What? Can't hear you: ears are too clogged. 

I may do some more coding this afternoon before some friends join us for an early-evening cookout. Or I may just take a nap to relieve the pressure on my head...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Library Day 2

Am back in the library today, one week later. Things are going well. I was able to do some more coding over the weekend, and a lot more this morning. Am really on a roll now, and it's about time. 

What's even better is that I'm getting better at analyzing these interviews as time goes by. They're going more quickly, and truly using the "constant comparative" analysis techniques I wrote about in my methods chapter. I guess it's not all bullshit after all! No, I mean I realized it's not bullshit when I wrote about it, but it's nice that the stuff really works after all. 

This morning I completed coding the second of my two most difficult interviews in the study. I wasn't looking forward to those two, though in the end they weren't as bad as I had remembered. After coding several other interviews where I could easily see how the students were learning about their identity development, I was better able to understand why these two problem children, if you will, are just a bit behind their peers. All is not lost for these two, but for various reasons they are off track. I wish them well. I wish them good therapy. MAJOR therapy. One in particular is dealing with a LOT, and is doing remarkably well given her lot in life. She'll eventually be OK. The other... well I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe she's even aware there's a problem. In some ways I worry more for her than the other with the tough lot, and I don't even know what the issue is. 

It's funny how highly-tuned my ability to read seems to be today. Words just seem to leap off the page, and I'm making all sorts of connections left and right. An hour has passed since I'd had lunch and I'm not falling asleep. Yet. Watch me crash with my head on the table in the next minute after I finish this post...ZZZZZZZZ....

Today actually feels like a day where I can say with some confidence that I am going to finish up this beast by next spring. Kind of a nice place to be. Still have a LONG way to go, but there is definitely a light on at the end of the tunnel, I can see it, and it's getting a little brighter today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Really getting somewhere

This is a nice blog. Perhaps I'll make a comment here...

Oh YEAH, this is MY blog! 

Hi. Remember me? 

June and July were fast-moving months, and then August has been, well, uh, August has been a blur and it feels like it's not a day past August 6. What? It's August 20th? What? Are you fuckin' kidding me? 

Summer...over. Buh bye. My boss suggested I take a lot of time off in June and July because it's "quiet" and I would have no problem setting aside the time. Hmm. We both seemed to have forgotten two divisional retreats, both of which involved the sharing of data. Seeing that I'm Data Boy for the division, I WAS A LITTLE BUSY!!! 

Quiet, my assets.

I still LOOOVVEEEE my job, don't get me wrong, but boy was the summer a reality check. Wow. I basically lost the time between blog posts here, dissertation-wise. I've had a very productive time at work, but the dissertation didn't move very far, till yesterday. 

I decided that Wednesdays will be a better Dissertation Day for me this fall semester. I figure I'll still mentally nimble at that point in the week, and if I have to work from home I have the place to myself all day long. I used to take Fridays, but Moose and Wife are usually home Friday afternoons, so that wasn't working out well. 

Yesterday I camped out in the newly-renovated library downtown (well, it was completed about a year ago). That place rocks. It's a true 21st century library, allowing for pleasant work stations, food options (yes, I said FOOD) allowed to be consumed all over the place, and a great view of the downtown skyline. I could focus on the dissertation and yet still feel like I was a part of 'something'. Can't stand working alone in a box. 

There were all sorts of people, of all sorts of ages, colors, levels of knowledge, etc., since it's located in the middle of downtown. I guess I find that diverse atmosphere comforting and inspiring. I will pretty much plan on camping out each Wednesday of the semester and try to get as much done on those days as I can. 

The outcome was that I'm finally able to start having preliminary conversations about what I'm finding in the data. Yes, most of the conversation at this point are with myself. Haha. However, one of my trusted colleagues from SCT came up to LSC and joined me for the work session in the library. Every once in a while we'd interrupt our focus to bounce ideas off each other. It was a very good collaborative work environment, and both of us were making good connections for our respective dissertations. For me, it was my first time sharing these ideas with someone else, and I think things actually went OK. 

It was the first really good work day for me in quite a while. Perhaps I will actually finish this study... someday.