E-flections of an Educator

Archive for the ‘Dissertation’ Category

I received my diploma yesterday. Ten weeks to the day after commencement. Is it corny to say I felt a little emotional when I opened it?

Btw…this is a test post using the wp app from my i2 device.

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One of the things I love about being on a school-year calendar is you get 2 “new” years to celebrate. There is just something about the promise of a new year: setting (or re-setting) goals, organizing, new stuff, new routines…

Since I (finally!) defended my dissertation just before break, for the first time in the last few years, I really focused on resting and recharging. The only goal I set was to finish all the dissertation edits prior to returning to work. I decided I was not going to set any other goals, because I did not want to get to Sunday afternoon before going back to work and be all stressed out about what didn’t get accomplished. What a great feeling! One thing I did was to pull out my pretty red briefcase. I haven’t used it for a couple of years, so it feels new. 🙂

I had a very productive day at work today, and I’m really looking forward to the challenges that await. What do you like about the new year?

I did it! I am now Dr. Clinton! I successfully defended my dissertation on Monday, December 13, 2010. After a little downtime to rest & recharge, I spent time over break tackling the necessary edits so the format can be approved for printing. In the beginning of 2010 I set a goal to finally finish my dissertation, so it seems appropriate that I finished the last of the edits at 11:59 PM on 12/31/2010!

I really, really, really hope that with this project finally behind me, I’ll be able to do more blogging. I’m also trying the 365 Project this year. I wanted to add a page to this blog, but I also thought I might have some storage issues, and I’m not ready to upgrade just yet. 😉 So, I’ll post the link here, and those who are interested can click through.

My photo for 1/1/11 is in honor of my accomplishment.

My dissertation defense is scheduled for 2:00 PM Eastern Time on Monday, December 13, 2010. Any suggestions or tips are greatly appreciated!


Photo by jayneandd

Last week I wrote about my dilemma as to how to best present my results.  I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but not a lot of writing got done this week. Some of it is anxiety about wanting to do it right, but a big reason is just being too dang tired after a day at work.

This morning I had a crisis of confidence, so I reached out to my Twitter network, where I’m connected with many folks who are either working on their dissertation, have completed a dissertation, or know someone who has. Within minutes, I got 4 responses (sorry the avatars didn’t come through. One of these days I’ll figure out how to post a twitter stream!):

tee62 @Linda704 ALL MY GOOD THOUGHTS AND ENERGY COMING YOUR WAY THROUGH TWITTER!

kchichester @Linda704 Go Linda! You can do it! Rah! Rah!

stardiverr @Linda704 Positive thoughts and energy to you. You are strong, brilliant, beautiful, and will be moreso when this is over.

peoplegogy @Linda704 you are the best ever. your doctorate will make you a household name. you are to education what cake is to joy.

Later in the evening I received this:

mtechman @Linda704 sending you virtual flowers and a cool breeze, packed in calm assurance that you will do really well

Theresa survived her husband’s dissertation. Karen is a good friend who is also a writer, Lee is currently finishing her dissertation, and Will is currently in a doctoral program. Melissa and I share a love of flowers and have “exchanged” pictures via twitpic. Last week Lee posted an exasperated tweet and I was able to give her some encouragement, so her reply is especially meaningful right now. 🙂

I decided to just let everything go, as I had a meeting with my chair scheduled for the afternoon; I always leave those meetings feeling better than when I got there. I packed up everything (4 binders of data plus my laptop) in a box-on-wheels and headed out. I showed her everything I had done since we last met, and talked about my ideas for presentation and organization. As usual, she helped me to focus and organize my thinking so that I feel much better about the whole thing.

The really big news is that we set out a timetable so that I can finish and defend this semester! My defense will be around December 9, which means the dissertation needs to be in the Dean’s office just before Thanksgiving, and to my committee early in November–about 6 weeks from now.

Consequently, I really need to buckle-down, stay focused, and write my brains out. Which also means I need to limit my on-line time. But it will be worth it in the end. I will periodically check my @Mentions on Twitter, and scan the updates on Facebook, but I won’t be engaging in much conversation, or “liking” many posts, comments, or pictures. I may even try a digital sabbatical. Maybe.

Keep me in your thoughts–send good writing karma, positive energy, vibes, prayers–any and all are appreciated. I’ll try  to post progress updates.

My dissertation is a case study consisting of nine participants. (For more details about my study you can go here.) I am presently working on chapter 4, data analysis. I am in somewhat of a quandary as to how to present my findings. For each participant, I have 10 separate weekly reflections, pre-, mid-, and posttest each for SoCQ and TSES, as well as pre- and post-questionnaires.

I have completed the scoring of the SoCQ as well as the TSES. Weekly reflections will be coded and analyzed using NVivo. I’m considering a couple of options in presenting these findings.

Option One: present the results by datatype. For example, present the analysis of the SoCQ. for each participant then the results of the TSES for each participant, the qualitative analysis of the reflections of each participant, etc.

Option Two: present all of the results for each participant. As I am writing this, I think I’m leaning toward this option.  This way, I can make the connections (triangulate) between the different types of data for each participant.

Might there be other options? I’m interested in knowing what others think. Please share your thinking in the comments below. Thank you!

P.S. I dictated this post using Dragon Naturally Speaking software. I’m still rather new with it, so it’s  still a little quirky. However, the more I use it, the easier it gets. (The Nuance website shows the latest version 11. I’m using version 10.)


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