Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I've created a playlist of songs on my iPod that is basically songs that drone. These are sort of repetitive songs with a steady bass line, easy rhythms, just enough to block out extraneous noise and let me think. Hearing the same songs each time I work seems to help me focus. Guess it's sort of training my brain to focus when I hear these songs. Interesting.

Back to the drone...

Friday, September 25, 2009


This is the first week in a while where I actually spent more than just one day on the dissertation. I was glad to be back at a cafe I've found nearby on recommendation of a couple of friends.

I've written at a conceptual level on the results chapter for while now, and that's been an extremely helpful process. I now have a good picture of the theory itself as it starts to take form. However, more recently I realized that I was struggling to remember the details of the interviews. Also, I am starting to mix up which participant said what quote. Last March, I took a pretty big shortcut by using NVivo to code only interview summaries (to save me time) and not the interviews themselves. It was a good decision at the time, because it allowed me more time to start writing. However, now I need more detail. I'm now using a concise list of my most relevant codes and am going through the interviews, adding codes where needed. I think it's the only way I can keep all of the details straight in my head. Yes, it's time away from writing, but I'm at a real block now and I need to do this to get through. This morning it took me only an hour to code one of the longer interviews. I'll get better at coding with my short list as I go along, so I figure I can get that one-hour time down to perhaps 30-45 minutes. Hopefully I can fly through the recoding process during the next week and be set to finish up the results chapter in October.

However, as my wife always says, "Want to see God laugh? Tell him your plans!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Oh yes, that's right. I keep a blog.

There has been a ton going on, and none of it is related to the dissertation.

First: we had a stellar moment for our son at our falling-off-the-left-edge-of liberal church last weekend. It was the Sunday for a children's sabbath program. Typically, we have Moose sit out on these things. Frankly, that always makes me and the wife shed a tear or five. Seeing the stupid typical kids up there singing their little hearts out off pitch is pretty hard on the ears when we know Moose can out sing the entire group. That statement is from my unbiased perspective as a musician, and not as a proud parent. OK, this is slightly tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely. Moose is a really good musician, but no one would know this since he cannot share his talents in these typical environments.

While we had no major musical breakthroughs, we did have one cool moment: he was able to participate in the children's processional with the rest of the kiddos for the first time. Many tears were shed, and there was great rejoicing. Maybe he'll be directing the children's choir in a few years. haha.

Second: we are probably pulling Moose out of his school. There is an excessively-long story to go along with this, and the last two weeks have been a bit rough. I won't share it all here, so if you'd like more information, contact me directly. Fortunately it's very likely we'll be able to get the same training for Moose in spite of all of this, but it's been rocky nonetheless. I am SOOO glad we don't live in SCT anymore. There is no way we would have any other options for Moose's education if we had stayed there.

So, I'm back in a cafe continuing to plug away on the dissertation that I easily forgot about the past couple of weeks. I pretty much have no chance of defending the entire piece prior to Thanksgiving as I had hoped. However, I'm going to attempt to pretend that Thanksgiving s my deadline nonetheless. I will be lucky to have a shitty draft by Christmas, but if that actually happens, then at least I'll be finished with TFD by graduation in 2010. It's only four years after I had planned, but fortunately two years prior to the real seven-year drop-dead deadline.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Wife and child went to a birthday party in SCT today. As much as I would have enjoyed catching up with our old friends, I stayed back here at Chesterley to work on TFD (the fucking dissertation). I do look forward actually to attend weekend trips, parties and the like. Missing out on these things got old two years ago.

Moving on...

The last couple of weeks I've been catching up from what turned out to be a really hellish summer at work. Generally speaking, I've learned I don't acknowledge difficult times till they are over. Reflecting on the summer, while I am grateful for the time away from work I was able to take to make progress on TFD and for vacation, the summer itself was horribly busy, and far busier than I expected. In fact, I'm still catching up on a couple of summer projects, and fall semester classes started over a week ago. The time away probably contributed to the busy summer schedule at work, but it should never be said that life at a university is 'dead' over the summer. Au contraire, mon frere.

Moving on again, to today...

Since I've not made much progress during the work week on TFD due to said busy summer schedule, I felt somewhat justified in my choice to stay home from today's birthday party. And I'm glad I did. I think I actually have the basic structure lined up for My Theory on My Topic, which is, of course, the entire point of conducting a grounded theory study in the first place.


Now I just have to get all the pieces lined up, find quotes to support these hair-brained ideas, and finish up this piece. I think I'm almost done. At least, I'm almost done with the draft of the results chapter.

Yeah, no big whoop. The thought of writing this up has only been on my mind for two years.