Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Today I've made only a little bit of progress: only about a page or so. I feel like I'm muddling through slush. I am starting one of the toughest sections of the paper, though, so at least I'm not running away and hiding from the task at hand. But now I have a ton of other work-related projects on my mind, so I need to clear some of those off my plate before I can focus back on the diss. Perhaps I'll write more later tonight. If not, then I'll be back on it tomorrow AM.



This is the first time in my thirteen-year career that I've had an office in which I can actually control the heating and cooling, reliably.

I just may never leave.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A new work schema

Last week, I tried an experiment. I purposely attempted to avoid scheduling too many appointments, and I set aside each morning to work on my dissertation. I mentioned last Wednesday I had written six pages. By the end of the week I wrote nine or ten, depending on how you count things.

Needless to say, it was a productive week. I've learned something. While having an entire day off from work to work on the dissertation was very helpful during the data analysis process, the writing process itself is VERY different. It's actually sort of tedious. I enjoy it, but it does not require the big, lofty part of my brain. Instead, it's actually pretty technical, so I just need to set aside time to work on it each day. If I can write about two pages per day, or 8-10 pages per week, I actually have a chance in hell of finishing this puppy before the holidays. Besides, the prospect of writing two pages doesn't seem that difficult.

So I've set aside 8-10 AM four days per week (total of 8 hours) to write write write. Unfortunately my favorite library doesn't open till 9, so I won't be able to frequent it very often, except on the weekends. I post this photo of one of my favorite spots over there. I enjoy the view of downtown, and I'll miss it during the week. However, this switch just made my life a bit more simple. I'll arrive at my on-campus office on time each morning, write a few pages for the first hour or so, and then move on with the rest of the day. Not too shabby.

I even wrote another page this morning, so I think it's working well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mid-week Update

I wrote six pages this week. Not too shabby. Sure is better than zero. I'm getting on a roll, of sorts. I'm honestly bored out of my mind, but on a roll nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm blowing off my night to work out at the gym so I can work on my dissertation. Sorry Mom. Yes, I know how fat I am.

I am seriously considering making the rest of the month of August one all-nighter so I make sure I get this chapter done. Do I really need to sleep?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

No go today

I did not get anything done on my dissertation today. Oh right: I do not write about my job on this blog. I won't say another word.

August: The Big Sunday

A good friend of mine from college now works as a high school music teacher. She used to refer to the month of August as one long Sunday: the day of dread before the work week begins. Of course, these days schools are starting earlier and earlier, so the month-to-day ratio doesn't quite work. Still is a good metaphor, nonetheless.

And I'm feeling the crunch now that August is here. Must get the results chapter completed this month. Even if it sucks. We had a nice vacation last week, but now the summer is basically over and its back to work.

Today I'm working on the screened porch at Chesterley. After being gone last week, I find I miss just hanging out here at home. I don't have my usual need to get the heck out of the house. So, I'm taking advantage of the decent weather, the porch ceiling fan, and an empty house (except for Chester) to get some work done today from home. I still need to do a work project at some point before the end of the day (quelle surprise), but that's all part of the balance. Wish I didn't have that particular balance right now, but I certainly do value having a full-time job these days.

The good news is that prior to the vacation I shared a revised method chapter (ch. 3) and a new participants chapter (ch. 4) with DC. These were things I worked on during the "summer crunch" in June. I received feedback from her just last Monday after she returned from a trip:
Hey – read the two chapters on the plane – they look good. The only suggestion I have for you is to add a paragraph at the end of Chapter 3 that explains that the sample will be described, along with case studies of the participants, in chapter 4 and that chapters 5 and 6 will have in the findings and discussion. That way the reader will understand the format for the remainder of the dissertation.

There were a couple of grammatical things, but I assume you will catch those at some point.

Good job!

Fine by me. My sense is that she and the rest of my committee just want to see a final product. Not a perfect, publishable product, but a final product for this study. It's good to release the drive for perfection!