Summer 2011 Challenge

If you joined us last summer, and you are still not finished with your dissertation, you can join us again. This page is dedicated to all of you who will be spending the summer working on your dissertation.  Here in Maryland, we are gearing up for the Summer 2011 Dissertation House.  You don’t have to wait until the summer officially begins.  Start posting your goals for the summer here.  Are you working on your comprehensive exams? Don’t work alone, join us.  This is a collaborative effort. Set some intermediate deadlines.  How many questions do you have to answer? How many days to you have until you have to submit the exam? Pretend that each question has a deadline to it.

Do you want to complete your proposal?  How many interviews can you transcribe in one summer? How about completing that methods, results, discussion chapter, or literature review? Pick one.  At the end of the summer, what will you have accomplished on your dissertation?  Join us.

918 Responses to Summer 2011 Challenge

  1. Pingback: The Dissertation House’s Summer Online Challenge has been posted! | The Dissertation House

  2. Jeff says:

    Goal for Summer:
    Chapters 2 & 3
    8-3 daily reading/writing
    Weekly Writing Goals: 10 pages

    • renettatull says:

      Welcome Jeff! You posted on May 25 … it’s now June 11. What have you done so far? Have you written 20 pages yet? What is your topic? Are chapters 2 and 3 based on a lit review and methods? Tell us more; it will help us to guide you.

      Dr. Tull

      • Jeff says:

        Dr. Tull:
        I have written 15 pages and am behind my schedule. I am finishing my first term summer classes that I am teaching this week. My topic is Student Characteristics factors related to student satisfaction with online course. Chapter 2 – Lit Review and Chapter 3 Methods. My Chair is retiring at the end of the summer and to meet this challenge, I have planned to have the prospectus written by end of summer. Any and all advice welcomed.


        • Dear Jeff,

          It’s always hard to teach while writing … I’m sure that you put a lot of time and effort into your lectures, homework, office hours, etc. I always recommend something that a senior graduate student taught me while I was working on my doctorate … have separate days, some for teaching and some for research. This advice was a life-saver and I regularly share it with others. I’m making the assumption that you’re not teaching everyday. Consider making the days that you teach your “teaching days” and put as many teaching-related tasks into those days as possible so that you can free up other days for writing. In addition, if you can, consider requesting Tuesday/Thursday classes. This way you can have teach, correct papers, have office hours, etc. on Tuesdays and Thursday only. Let Wednesday be the spillover day, but use no more than 1/2 of a day for teaching tasks. Make sure that 1/2 of the day is spent writing the dissertation, planning what you’re going to write, meeting with your advisor, or reading. Use Friday THROUGH Monday for working on the dissertation (with some time for essential weekend activities.) Even on your “teaching days”, do at least one thing related to the dissertation. You can spare 15 minutes each day for this.

          Is your Chair going to continue to be the lead for your committee during retirement or will you have a new advisor? Plan to solidify as many logistics as possible on this front by the end of July.

          I hope this helps.

          Renetta Tull

  3. drwestmoreland says:

    Moving Moving Moving!

    Every-time we move to a new blog site I feel bittersweet. Ah! Packing up all my dissertation finishing thoughts and moving them over here. Welcoming summer with open arms!

    Thanks for the push Dr. Tull. My nephew is going to the 9th grade or 8th grade, I think. I was trying to get him into the NSBE SEEK Camp which actually runs for 3 weeks but they have currently only opened the registration for the elementary school camp and not the middle school camp yet. I will look into the other option that you sent me. I talked with my advisor again yesterday about my summer goals and DH was included for UMCP.

    I finally got my grades and I passed all my classes for Spring 2011 and that officially ENDS my course work! Woo Hoo!

    So I applied for my Master’s degree but I will not get it until the Fall because I don’t register in the summer. The plan is Master’s in the Fall 2011 and PhD by Spring 2011. My sights are set high!! Since I had insomnia I am still at home, but when I get back to the office I will report on my summer goals. My advisor and I broke them down by month. Lots and Lots of reading. 🙂

    Goooooooooooo Jeff and Welome!

    We are unofficially ‘TEAMGETITDONE’ 🙂

    Happy Wednesday!:) AND Happy and Productive Summer! 🙂


    PS: Farewell Oprah show at 4pm today. This will be a historic day. 🙂

    • Alexis Y Williams says:

      Oh yeah, let’s go TEAMGETITDONE!

      Hi Jeff and Dawn, good wishes for your goals this summer. You can do it, we can help! 🙂 Well, Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter especially can. And we’ll be each other’s sounding board.

      Nikki, YAY for no more coursework! I hope you get some good sleep soon, too.

      Ok, let’s get it!


  4. Dawn Sherman says:

    Count me in!

    I would like to finish my proposal by August 15th. I am taking one class during the first summer session but it will definitely help me move my proposal along.

    Good luck to everyone hoping to meet their PhD (or Masters thesis) goals!

    – Dawn

    • drwendycarter says:

      Dawn I hoped you will be joining us in the Dissertation House; the application is due June 10, 2011. See home page for information about the application process.

  5. Alexis Y Williams says:

    Ha! I guess I should wake up and read the instructions before posting.. 😉

    Here is my post from the announcement page:

    Hi DHouse!

    I’m on a bus to Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA to attend the 25th annual Gullah festival! I decided that in between naps (my friends call me Car Syndrome bc I fall asleep as soon as we start going), I will read stats and work on some chapter revisions.

    If i can finish an article or two and start addressing some of these critiques from my committee between the going down and coming back, I’ll feel really good! And like Dr. Tull said, if I make steady progress, I’ll be in good shape for CP Dissertation House. Oops, better submit that application or I might miss out…

    I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend!



  6. drwestmoreland says:

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone!

    I had a book on my desk to take home and read this weekend, but it’s missing???? I think it might be in my advisors office, when I find it I will be leaving to go ye home!


  7. drwestmoreland says:

    DH Application DONE! 🙂

    • drwendycarter says:

      Good for you Nikki

      Looking forward to seeing you in the DH! What is your current status? Proposal done? are you currently writing the dissertation?

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Hey Dr. Carter,

        Yes proposal is done and accepted! 🙂 I am currently making changes to the proposal so that it becomes a draft for the dissertation and also working on other things my advisor has me doing.

        Can’t wait for DH to get more and more done!


  8. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I am going to the library to:
    1. Start reading a book
    2. Read a paper my advisor gave me



  9. Alexis Y Williams says:

    Dear Teamgetitdone,

    How do unna do? Sooo the work didn’t all get done in the lowcountry. Still the same agenda of reading another stats section and completing another set of revisions with a new county application to add to that, which I received word of just before my trip. New week, new wisdom. Climb that mountain!

    Alexis (aka Lil Miss Sunburned)

  10. drwestmoreland says:


    Hey Gullah Gal! I know your lowcountry tan is cute. I read that 1 paper yesterday which lead me to find 4 more papers that I am going to attempt to read today. Reading all day is hard. I get these little headache’s if I stare at the papers too long and I can’t read on the computer because I like to write and makes notes and highlight and stuff.

    #Teamgetitdone (We need some shirts and buttons- support our cause)


  11. Alexis Y. Williams says:

    Hey Teamgetitdone (shirts and buttons, absolutely, but no headaches – boo),

    Nikki, the tan/burn is atrocious! And itchy. But I’ll push on through, and so will you, Superwoman, my inspiration for reading multiple articles in a single bound day!

    I stayed after work today and submitted another research application and (drum roll) my DHouse application! So now I have to go home and pack for hotel stay 2 of 3 for the Lilly DC teaching conference and try to do some more reading before I fall out.

    Yay, home! Bye, y’all!


    • drwendycarter says:

      Good for you Alexis

      How is the survey coming…have you gotten any participants? Update me.

      Dr. Carter

  12. drwestmoreland says:


    I have 3 days to get alot of work done and I am starting today with cramps… 😦
    Just got to the office and I feel exhausted like I been here all day. 😦

    So, I am going to take my book and my papers to the Grad student lounge upstairs where they have a couch and read until my eyes pop out. Then after lunch I will work on document editing.

    I have a plan!



  13. drwendycarter says:

    Hello Nikki

    Good for you for having a plan!!! I like seeing a woman with a plan; work that plan. I am here in NY at Stony Brook University at the Center for Communicating Science. Today is Day 3 but it seems as if we have been here longer. It’s 6:43 am and you all know how much of a morning person I am not.

    I like TeamGetItDone! Go Team. See you in July.

  14. drwestmoreland says:

    Rewards Time!! At DH last Summer Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter told us to set a goal and reward for when we achieve that goal. Initially I said when I pass my proposal I was going to buy a purse that I actually saw someone at DH with. **reality** That purse was probably 2 months paycheck so I decided that I was going to buy myself a Kindle when I passed the proposal. So in January I printed out a picture of the Kindle and a case that I liked and I taped it to the door of my closet and I looked at it everyday of the semester and knew as soon as I proposed I would get it. So finally I went to Target and got it yesterday!!! I was so excited. I had to order my case online so I probably won’t get that until next week. I would have gotten it sooner but I needed to work it out so that I didn’t pay for it at all, so I was waiting to get my stipend and it came through last Friday. So now I have to figure out what I am going to get myself when I defend my dissertation and I am sure there will be a few smaller goals that I achieve in the middle and maybe get some more rewards. Rewards are FUN! And better when there free. 🙂

    Yesterday I read 2 articles and summarized them. I also edited my *new journal* paper and decided what further changes I need to make. The paper that my advisor and I got rejected for our main conference this summer we have decided to re-vamp and submit to our main journal instead. We were going to meet today but she was having car trouble so we are going to meet tomorrow. So today I will read 2 more papers and summarize them and I will also read some of this book I have on my desk that I need to review and decide if it is relevant for my dissertation.

    If feels weird calling it my dissertation and not my proposal anymore but hey I think I can get used to that. 🙂

    Dissertation Reward…I gotta dream big! 🙂


    • drwendycarter says:

      Hello Nikki
      Congratulations on following through with the reward for your accomplishment. You can save the next big reward for your defense but you might also consider mini rewards when you complete each chapter as well.

      Dr. Carter

  15. Alexis Y Williams says:

    Hi TEAMGETITDONE! (I like how my autocorrect on my phone fills in this word before it’s even half typed now – I have our blog saved on my homescreen like an app)

    Dr. Carter, I’m getting ready to go back to Harford county in a week or so to get what will be the biggest chunk of my data. So far word of mouth has yielded only a few surveys, so I’ll keep pushing.

    Nikki, you always give me lots of ideas. I haven’t done the “visual carrotstick” in a while – hmm, what can I post up on my wall to motivate me besides this picture of the grad regalia with my head on top? 🙂 I have a meeting with my advisor next week, so I want something to use as a reward after that, bc I have a lot to do.

    In prep for the meeting, I want to have my first round of revisions done for my first few chapters of the dissertation (Nikki, you’re right, I even changed how I saved the document from “proposal” to “dissertation”!). I also want to be done with these stats articles and have done at least one tutorial. So, little bits of each every day and I’ll reassess over the weekend after I get back from this Preparing Future Faculty seminar.

    Ok GO!!


    • drwendycarter says:

      Alexis, I remember you had a set number of surveys you wanted to get done. Count them down i.e. 1 down only 299 more to go. To meet with your advisor you should look at the small number of surveys that you did get back to see if those teachers are actually answering the survey in a way that makes sense. Are there any changes that you might have to make to the instrument before you roll it out to the larger audience? Are you finished with the FAQs, did you run those by your advisor as well? Have you thought about why your response rate is so low? Are there any reminders that are not working? Do you need to have incentives for teachers to fill out the survey? This should be a learning process as well.

      Have a good conference.

      Dr. Carter

  16. renettatull says:

    I love the #TeamGetItDone Attitude! What a great mantra for summer! Nikki and Alexis, thank you for continuing to post regularly. Jeff and Dawn, welcome! We’ll see if others from the Winter Challenge join us here for the Summer version. We’ll have plenty of new people for the in-person Summer Dissertation Houses that are coming up at UMB in June, at UMBC after July 4, and at UMCP later in July. Good luck to everyone … summertime can be like “hyperspace” for writing and “getting it done!”

  17. drwendycarter says:

    Hello All

    We’re getting ready for the summer Dissertation Houses at Maryland!!!! I love meeting new students and can appreciate those of you who still need a helping hand. We are here for you and look forward to your pending participation and graduation as well. Last year we had 14 DH alumni who graduated in 20111. Who will be next? Can you see yourself in the cap and gown? Even if you cannot join us in person, join us online. We look forward to hearing from you.

  18. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I was going to meet with my advisor but she did not come in so I am rewarding myself with Chick-fil-a for lunch. LOL. 🙂 I am going to work on the journal paper and try to stay focused while I am doing it. It is very challenging to write about a small part of your dissertation work without giving all the details and explinations that you may feel are needed. I am going to meet with my advisor tomorrow and talk about how much information to include and what to throw out. Today I am putting everything in there that I think I want and we’ll see how this paper shapes up by the end of the week. My advisor wants to send it in by Friday.

    The comment box has changed, I like it. 🙂

    We ARE #Teamgetitdone! (bum ba dum dum dum)


  19. Hello Teamgetitdone

    Dr. Tull and I are finally back on campus today. We have both been away at our respective conferences. The campus is quiet and provides an opportunity for concentration and productivity.

    So team, What’s on tap for today? In other words, what will you accomplish today? It’s June 14, 2011. Will you be finished by June 14, 2012? Today is a day not to be wasted. What can you get done on your dissertation today. What 15 minute item do you have on your list that can be crossed off by the end of the day? No excuses.

    Tick tock, tick tock,….
    Dr. Carter

  20. drwestmoreland says:

    June 14, 2011

    Today I will work on my paper for my meeting with my advisor. I kind of feel like it’s not my dissertation work, but I guess it is. We are still talking in our meetings about what we can do to make the dissertation or the next paper better and it’s all the same research. That’s what I am doing today. I also hope to read 1 chapter in my book “Online and On Paper” because I have 4 books to read this summer and I am still on number 1.

    Here I Go.


    • Nikki

      Glad to see you checked in. You have 4 books to read but the reality is that at this stage you should not be reading it cover to cover like a novel. You should be a professional skimmer by now. You should know what you need to look for and move on. Use your research question to know what to look for in the text. Hang in there.

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Thanks Dr. Carter.

        I got the paper edited and I had a fight with Minitab that I won after 2 hours. So I didn’t get to the book but I am happy with the progress that I made today.

        I live to fight another day.


  21. drwestmoreland says:


    I am struggling. But I am still here. I am distracted. I will keep trying.


  22. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I am pressing forward with the paper. I am have a meeting with an undergraduate researcher to help her set some goals for her program this summer. I will meet with my advisor when she gets in, probably after lunch. This morning I have some reading (scanning) to do and also a few more edits to the paper before lunch.



  23. Dear Teamgetitdone,

    Today I followed up with a couple of contacts from the Howard PFF group, one of whom mentioned that she knows some high school teachers. I also sent off some survey invitations to teachers who have submitted consent forms. I am preparing for meetings with teachers at three or four schools next week, and the principals sent out the consent form in advance so that teachers can be all set by the time they talk to me. Some of them just went ahead and completed the survey, so now I am up to over 40 surveys done! So that’s the good news.

    I still have to finish preparing my stats – Dr. Carter, a professional skimmer I am NOT. However, I will stay strong and force through the information, and finish my edits for chapters 1-3 that should have been done last year. Dr. Tull, I am also next to finish. I can see me in that regalia.

    I am protecting my time better this week, still aiming for a 5am wake-up time because that way I can focus on my dissertation first thing, every day, no matter what else is on the calendar to interrupt me later. Which means a 9pm bed-time. My wake-up accountability partner hasn’t been responding to my texts consistently :), so I’m thinking I need another person who is dedicated to working on their dissertation to keep me in check for early rising. But regardless, this will be my routine for the next year. I don’t just want to finish, I want to upgrade my status with my advisor, finish a publication that we started years ago, and present and publish my dissertation work so I’ll be more competitive on the market. Oh, and get a job. My goals for 2011-2012.



    • Eyes on the prize Alexis! Eyes on the prize! You will upgrade your “status” with your advisor by working consistently and meeting agreed upon milestones. You’re doing that … just keep it up. Set a time for getting up and stick to it daily, even on weekends. One “trick” that works is that you get up at the same time every day and do “something” … work out, read a passage, answer an email, (blog!), THEN … if it’s a Saturday, you can go back to bed … after you’ve done something. This is part of training your body to get up at the same time daily. You may find that you’re quite productive. I recommend being realistic. Don’t set a goal for 5AM if you know that you’re going to be dead tired. Try something like 6:47 with no more than one 10 minute snooze. Plan to submit at least one blog post by 7:45 daily. Maybe that can help!

      Dr. Tull

      • Hi Dr. Tull!

        Thanks! This is actually what I’m doing, training my body to wake up and be ready to work at the same time every day. And 5am isn’t too bad (I can’t believe I’m typing this) – really I do see progress every day. And I want to keep first things first, so it’s gotta be a dissertation task that I start with after getting myself dressed and ready for the day. Well, FIRST it’s a prayer to get me to show up for the dissertation like I show up for work, no morning insomnia with a flood of thoughts piling on before I even get out of bed (that’s why I would go back to sleep). I know to be patient with myself in the process of building this habit, but I also finally understand how urgent this process has to be.

        Today I started the day similarly to others, preparing to send out survey links to teachers who signed up for my study in the past 24 hours. But then my internet wasn’t working despite my connection signal being perfectly fine. After an hour of automated prompts and waiting on hold to the same looped smooth jazz song, and a few call-backs from Lance at Verizon whose computer started freaking out when he tried to connect with me, I found out that there was a service outage in my area. I came to campus and found the internet to be working fine, but then SurveyMonkey was freaking out, too. Finally, though, I was able to get all my new emails sent. I read some more stats stuff and received a dissertation from my labmate who just Ph.inished our program. And here I am.

        I’m going to go to the gym and then home to keep working on stats. And tomorrow I’ll be up at 5am (with one potential snooze). 🙂

  24. Alexis Williams says:

    My internet is back up! Spent some time contacting some more folks for my study this morning, including a new county. Right now I have about 100 invites out for people who have already submitted consent forms, and it looks like about half have already completed the survey. I expect that I’ll get maybe a few more next week, but I think I need at least 200 for my stats to run.

    The weird thing about working every day is that I don’t realize that it’s not a work day for everyone. Is it bad to send professional emails on weekends?

    The saga continues.

    • Hi Alexis,

      I’m glad that things are working well today! Sending Saturday emails to close colleagues, your advisor, or professor can be ok. But I since you are dealing with schools, you may consider early Monday morning emails that will show up in their inboxes between 7:30 and 9:00 AM. You can write them now, and then put them into your draft box so that you can hit the “send” button on Monday morning. Some people check their emails on the weekend, but they don’t necessarily want to “see’ anything that they have to do. Sometimes there is a tendency to read it, but ignore the requested task because it’s Saturday or Sunday and they’re away from their desks, or just looking at email on the fly in the car.

      Congratulations on being up EARLY on a Saturday morning and getting right to it! #TeamGetItDone is on the move!!

  25. drwestmoreland says:


    Yay Alexis for getting up early on Saturday!!!! I wish I would have seen the post before I would have gotten up with you. #TeamGetItDone is the real deal!!!

    Today was my 1 day of the month to serve as docent at the museum so I have had a loooong day. I didn’t get to my office until 3pm and I am still here. I pushed through (with a headache that is) and made more edits to the journal paper. I am going to meet with my advisor tomorrow and talk about the progress. Friday I located some docuemnts for us to review on the internet so we will probably talk about them as well.

    I am going on vacation next week so I am really pressing to not play any games and get my work done this week. I need to have a guilt free vacay!! 🙂

    I can be your part time accountability partner. At least on Tuesdays because I go to church for 630 am so I’m something like awake at a decent hour. Feel free to text me when you wake up in the morning sunshine!! I want to do some yoga in the am since I’ve been sore all weekend. (From running all the stairs at Cole Field House on Thursday I haven’t been able to walk right since, it was a good sweaty workout but I wasn’t ready…lol)

    I agree with Dr. Tull I like 6:30 or 6:47 am, it just sounds better but it does mean a consistent bed time. I strive for 11pm that garuntees I am in bed by 12 maybe not sleep but I’m there. No work allowed in bed on the bible and the kindle to wind me down.

    Today was good except the poor planning of my mode of transportation. I took the metro and now it’s late so I need a plan. I’ll work it out, I always do.

    Happy Dissertation Writing

    We are #TeamGetItDone

    Keep Going!


  26. Alexis Y Williams says:


    Speaking of the bed, I’m on mine right now. 🙂 Nikki, you definitely wouldn’t have wanted a wake up text today bc I was up at 4am for my visit to schools to collect teacher data. I got to visit four schools and the teachers and principals were awesome. Let’s talk more about wake up times, though.

    Dr. Tull, thank you for you good ideas about contacting folks I don’t know well – I know I don’t want to see work emails on a Saturday or Sunday! And Dr. Carter, the FAQs list was perfect for answering teachers’ questions up front. I have been incorporating it into the info I send out to counties/ principals/ etc.

    Tomorrow I’m sending some follow-up notes to the schools and maybe working on stats before my assistantship, then I’m going to see Sade and John Legend. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Going to bed so I can SHOW UP for my dissertation bright and early. Get ‘er done. 🙂


  27. drwestmoreland says:

    Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Oh Sade, I love her. I hope you have a great time or did have a great time if it was last night. Today is EQUATIONS DAY!!! This week I have been trying to create and explain some equations in my dissertation that has my head spinning. I am going to just jump right in and hope that I had some kind of revelation last night that will help me get through today.



  28. TeamGetItDone!

    Sade was indescribably amazing. I was dead tired today but I got up at 5 and went through the motions of productivity until I fell asleep at my desk this afternoon. I will sleep well tonight and get up early tomorrow for a good productive Friday. Nikki, good luck with the equations!

    • Well, well Ms. Alexis … Sade (and John Legend too?) That’s three extra days in the DH for you! I’m kidding of course. I’m glad that you had a good time, and as we all know, the DH is not a jail, it’s a great place to be productive. Good for you for getting up early anyway! I hope that you had a good Friday. And Nikki, congrats on your talk today!

  29. Alexis Williams says:


    Ha! Don’t worry, Dr. Tull. After my struggles with waking up last week and yesterday, I am learning how important it is to get to bed on time. So while Sade was worth the sleep deprivation, I definitely couldn’t maintain that kind of sleep schedule long-term. I got some good positive reinforcement and perspective for completing this work yesterday. So now, head down, back on the grind.

    Today I got up and didn’t hit snooze. I actually made it through some stats reading, took some notes, and emailed an assistant superintendent before 7am! I’ll go help with a grad panel this morning and then I’ll work some more on my stats and chapter revisions. Then I’ll go to the gym.

    I hope everyone has a great day. 🙂 The light is green, yet again!


  30. Alexis Williams says:


    The book “How to Write a Lot” by Paul J. Silvia is changing my life. It’s reinforcing all the things I’ve been trying to do and showing me better ways to do them. I’ve heard it mentioned before but then someone else told me directly to go get it. It fits in my purse and is actually fun and inspiring to read, besides the fact that, did I mention?, it’s changing my life.

    Today I was able to look over my committee’s list of changes that need to be made to my dissertation chapters, number the items in terms of difficulty, and create a more detailed list of specifics that can be checked off. I’ll use that list to make my daily to do’s.

    Now time to get ready for work.

  31. Alexis Williams says:

    Hello again, TEAMGETITDONE,
    How are you? I’m feeling pretty good. I am building the habit of getting up and working, and the book I mentioned is helping with that goal (Silvia’s “How to Write a Lot”). First the commitment has to be there, and then the positive habits can build on that. As the author says repeatedly, the only way to write a lot is to build it into your routine – every. single. day. Probably the hardest thing for me has been saying no. I have to say no to something at least once a day, sometimes several times a day. I guess mostly I’m thinking about things that others invite me to, but I also have to say no to myself! 🙂 The commitment and urgency come in more than ever now, because I am budging less and less on things that I didn’t already have in my plans.

    This morning I glanced over one of my colleagues’ dissertation and actually started writing up my data collection process for the dissertation document. I also looked again at my committee members’ comments, so maybe the next step is to make a hierarchy or order for addressing each part. When I get done with my assistantship, I will attend a going-away gathering in my department and then either keep working on the writing or read more stats. Then I will go to football practice for my workout.

    Have a great day and get ‘er done!!

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Okay, so I can say no pretty well now. Kinda just rolls off the tougue, but then I “make” up other stuff to do. I might try the plan out your entire day method-breaks, lunch, workouts, e-mail. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.

      • Alexis Y. Williams says:

        That’s a great idea to “re-try.” And definitely get that book! You can be part of my “agraphia group”…

  32. Alexis Williams says:

    Happy Friday!

    Ugh, it might be hard to stay awake today. I spent my pre-assistantship time reading stats, brushing up on my factor analysis background since it has been several years since I actually took the class. I need to go pull out my notes from the course. Made a note of that in my to-do list.

    I’m going to get ready for (paid) work now. It will be a long day and I want to get back in bed, but I’ve done a dissertation task already so I feel good! I’ll try to get to the gym after work and maybe get to see a friend who has been out of town before she leaves again…

    Green light! Go!


  33. Dr. Carter says:

    Hello Everyone

    Tick tock, tick tock,….it’s 2 days until Dissertation House at UMBC! I am looking forward to meeting new students and looking forward to hearing from others online as well. Is this you last summer working on your dissertation or it is your first? For some it will be both, for others it might be their 3rd or 4th. Either way you have to make a decision about how you will spend your time and how productive you will be. June is over and July is here. You can’t look back and wished that you had worked harder; you have an opportunity to start again everyday. Is today your day? What will you accomplish on your dissertation today. Today I will send out 2 emails and write an revise an introduction to a paper that I am trying to write. I wish I could say I will write the methods section and create a figure but that would be a bonus. I am setting realistic goals and so should you.
    Get ready, Tuesday will be here before you know it.

  34. Susan Mitchell says:

    I’m back! In a little bit of a rut — my data source may not come through! Everything was “all go” two weeks ago, but … So, I’ll be crying on Dr. Carter’s shoulder today. But I have plenty of writing to do while I wait to hear something from the organization. Have a good, productive day!

    — Susan

    • Hi Susan,
      Your situation sounds all too familiar! It reminds me of the time that I needed to get unpublished data from TI and some algorithms from Motorola. I’m sure that you’re developing a back-up plan! Talk with your colleagues in corporate soon to discuss some alternate scenarios.

    • drwendycarter says:


      I say keep working and don’t panic until it’s time to panic. It’s not that time yet.

  35. Patti Ordonez says:

    Today, I am working on Chapter 2. I want to read two articles to help me create the outline for Chapter 2.

    • drwendycarter says:


      I believe that reading is not enough. Always write a summary for every journal article you read. Find the research question, the methodology, the results along with the future recommendations in the article. Looking for the common things in each article helps you to have a basis of comparison.

  36. ASB says:

    Hello! For the week, I will be working on writing my proposal outline, summarizing questions and proposal methods, reading 4 journal articles and summarizing them. For today, I will start outlining my proposal.

  37. Jordan Hadfield says:

    I’m starting my first day with The Dissertation House at UMBC on the 3rd floor of The Commons. I’m excited to get going and get writing.

    My goals for the week are:
    -Rework the Statement & Methodology
    -Create Table of Contents
    -Read Mentor comments on the latest draft
    -Identify 10 individuals for each city I am case studying (40 total)
    -Create a realistic timeline for completion of proposal and dissertation
    – Identify and print 20 articles relating to topic, organized in binder
    -Write 2 paragraph snapshots of each case study city (4 cities, 8 paragraphs total)
    -Create list of 10 strengths and weaknesses of vacant residential housing policy in the USA

    • drwendycarter says:

      Welcome to the DH. I generally recommend that student writing the proposal work on their Statement of the Problem. This one page summary provides the foundation of the proposal and the literature review.

  38. Patrick Doyle says:

    Well, I am here again…

    I am dragging this morning for various reasons. So while it may take more effort than usual to accomplish my tasks, I will do my best to make a dent in the ‘to-do’ list I just wrote out with the dissertation house group.

    Wish me luck.


    • drwendycarter says:

      Hello Patrick

      I am glad that you dragged yourself in here this morning. I hope everyone takes note that you don’t have to feel like working on your dissertation to actually work on your dissertation. I always say stop waiting for the stars to align in order to work on your dissertation. Dance even if you don’t hear the music. Good for you.

  39. Jodian says:

    So I have started the DH at UMBC. After talking about the road to my candidacy exam and what I want to get done this week, I feel overwhelmed.

    I’m ready to get started on expected outcome section.

    • drwendycarter says:

      Hello Jodian

      Welcome to the DH, in the morning, I am looking forward to reviewing the rationale for your 3 stated aims.

  40. Good morning, bloggers!

    I’m currently in the Dissertation House on the first day with Dr. Wendy Carter and Dr. Renetta Tull. I’m very excited to be here and get some writing DONE! Today, my goal is to look up and read, at minimum, 3 papers for my BG and Introduction. From there, I should have enough to hit those sections and start writing! See you on the flip side!


  41. Amy Pucino says:

    Hi there– I’m here for my first day of Dissertation House working on two theoretical questions related to refugee education. For this week, I plan to build two outlines as well as get through several important reports on refugees. It’s certainly nice to have others working on like writing projects.

  42. Alimatou says:

    This is Alimatou. I am attending the 2011 summer dissertation house at UMBC.
    My goals for this week are 1) to update my proposed research questions and objectives, 2) update my litterature review, 3) start the dissertation writing and 4) write results section of the monocacy watershed model test case.
    Today I am identifying recent (2011) papers on ParFlow. I will read two of them and write summaries of the papers.


  43. Patrick Doyle says:

    End of Day 1! I completed one of my proposed ‘to-dos’ and started another. I completed the writing and formatting of my entire outline and table of contents and I started to fix the tense of my dissertation. Tomorrow I am going to hit the ground running by continuing to work on fixing the language usage in my dissertation.

  44. PHEW well that was a productive day! Intro = DONE (well, the very rough draft is done…) and the papers I intended to read = DONE!! After speaking with Dr. Carter, I will change course just a little from my weekly goals and instead of working on the background, I will work on the Research Design and Methods for at least 2 hours tomorrow, writing down what I know and without references, just to get something down in that area. Depending upon how well that goes, I will either work on the background like I had intended to before during the afternoon or continue to work on the Research Design and Methods section. See you tomorrow!


  45. Susan Mitchell says:

    I made really good progress on integrating the description of my pilot study into the Methodology section. I need to print a copy tonight so that I can go over it again from top to bottom because I know that there are a few things left to do. So, tomorrow I think that I’ll have the draft of this section fully in place. I’ll then begin adding the information on the KFF role that needs to be explained.

    Looks like my data source is coming through! Dr. Carter told me to have faith! I’ll still be on a tight schedule, but it’s better than no schedule! See you guys tomorrow.

    — Susan

  46. drwestmoreland says:

    Hello Summer Dissertation House! Welcome to the blog and good luck this week. PUSH! I will post some goals in the morning. This day after the holiday has been spent trying to remember where I left before the holiday. Cleaning my desk now and making a todo list before I leave for in the morning. No excuses.



  47. drwendycarter says:

    Hello everyone

    Before you take a break from you dissertation you should take 5-10 minutes to note where you have left off and what you will work on next. This will help you to begin again without wasting time trying familiarize yourself with your work again.

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Hi Dr. Carter,

      I remember this advice from last DH and I can say it helps me many many days.


  48. Patti Ordonez says:

    I plan on finishing my reading and writing the outline for chapter 2 this morning. This afternoon I aim to write a few pages of chapter 2.

  49. Good morning, all!

    It’s an early morning, and I’m hurting just a little bit.. I think the 3 hour time change from PST to EST is catching up with me finally. I’m still going to crank out some of the RD&M section today and I’m hoping to finish another half page (single spaced) of my IP.


  50. Jordan Hadfield says:

    Second day here at Dissertation House!
    Today I will be focusing on revising and completing my problem statement, reworking my methodology, reviewing my research questions with Dr. Carter, and creating a table of contents for my proposal.

    Glad to be here!

  51. Jodian says:

    I am ready and more determined to complete today’s tasks.

  52. Susan Mitchell says:

    Good morning! A little more tired this morning, but ready to work. I’m going to first read through the piece of my Methodology that I edited yesterday to see what else I need to do. But I hope to be done with the entire section today. Hopefully, I’ll start on my second task then.

    — Susan

  53. Alimatou says:

    Hi there!
    Today I am finishing writing up the summary of Ferguson and Maxwell, 2011. Then I am reading DehotI and Braud, 2008. Then I will work on the Monocacy study results.

  54. ASB says:

    Hello second day of DH. Got my heart pumping this morning sprinting here from checking on my undergrad, and now ready to go! Will be finishing reading and summarizing 2 exciting journal articles and then will continue working on my outline.

  55. Patrick Doyle says:

    Good morning to all!!

    Day 2 of Dissertation House and it is time to continue where I left off yesterday…reading through and changing the tense of my proposal. It has been nice to get reacquainted with my proposal and make sure that I am still on the path I originally proposed.

  56. Amy Pucino says:

    Good morning! Second day at Dissertation House and ready to apply lessons learned on overcoming writers’ block in order to write a section on framing.

  57. Jordan Hadfield says:

    This morning, I have already reviewed and edited my problem statement, strengthened my research questions and created a realistic timeline for completion of my proposal.

  58. drwestmoreland says:

    Morning! Today I am meeting with my advisor on a paper that’s coming from my dissertation. I am also hoping to skim a book for my dissertation. Work Work Work.

    Let’s do it!


  59. Alexis Y. Williams says:

    Wow, I’ve been away too long! 🙂 These posts remind me of how to deal with a challenge I’ve been thinking about for setting realistic self-imposed deadlines for the rest of the summer. I can set weekly deadlines first rather than monthly ones (in addition to my daily goals), and I’m more likely to meet those. Then I can project and update monthly deadlines continuously.

    Today I made more progress with stats reading and I’m at work now. After work I’ll go to the gym and plan out tomorrow’s work goals.

    Go UMBC DHouse!

  60. ASB says:

    I made progress today with reading/summarizing articles and working on my proposal outline and questions. Tomorrow I will work on improving my problem statement and read the section on problem statements from the proposal cookbook. Then I will read another 1-2 journal articles + summarize them.

  61. Susan Mitchell says:

    Well, I went a little backwards for most of the day today. I had the sections of my Methodology kind of mixed up. So, I had to spend time fixing it. I’ll print out a new copy tonight and hopefully truly finish it up tomorrow. I don’t want to commit to finishing another task tomorrow just in case. But I’ll choose one if things go smoothly.

    I haven’t gotten the final “go ahead” from my case study company yet. Hopefully, tomorrow.

    — Susan

  62. The first 2 hours today were great! I ended up writing about a full page of my RD&M section! So I decided to head back and knock out some of the background. Although I didn’t get as much writing as I wanted to get done in that section, I did end up getting a LOT of papers to help me along the way! I’m going to print them out later tonight so I will have them for tomorrow.

    Speaking of tomorrow, I’d like to knock out the majority of the dry, boring background, and go back to the RD&M for a bit so I can finalize a few things with that.


  63. Jordan Hadfield says:

    Wooo! Another day down. Today, I reworked my problem statement and went through another round of working with Dr. Carter to strengthen it. I’m confident it will be in its final form tomorrow. On top of that, I created a realistic timeline of goals for the completion of my proposal and created headings for the proposal itself. While Dr. Carter was reviewing my statement, I took the time to identify 20 individuals to contact in the Housing Development Departments in two of the major cities I am using for my case studies.

    Tomorrow morning, my day will begin with:
    1. Fixing my problem statement for another review with Dr. Carter
    2. Begin working on my background statement for the proposal
    3. Identify 20 other contacts for my case studies

    Had a very productive day today!


  64. Patrick Doyle says:

    Who would have thought that changing the tense of my dissertation proposal would be taking me so long?! I thought it would be a matter of quickly going through and changing the ‘will be’ statements but it has been far more work than that…

    Tomorrow I am going to continuing this process. I hope that with a little evening effort to help this task along I can finish this by the end of Thursday…

    See ya’ll tomorrow!


  65. Patti Ordonez says:

    Today I started my outline and finished reading my two articles. I forgot to write on my to-do list, emailing the doctors to prompt them to meet my I did that. During the morning session since I had heard it before I managed to figure out how to add the pages to Appendix A and B since this is tedious work but I have a lot of latex errors that I can’t figure out. I will meet with a lab mate tomorrow to see if he can help me figure it out. My goal for tomorrow is to finish the outline for Chapter 2 and write most of the rough draft. I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow so that today I also worked on the formula I think may improve my algorithm.

  66. Alexis Williams says:

    Wow, everyone seems to be making good progress. Even, or especially, working through the feeling of going backwards is still creating an improved end product and saving yourself a lot of time later.

    This morning I am reading through stats examples and attempting to understand how to run them. Later this afternoon I will copy out the rest of my notes from this article and work on chapter revisions until football practice. I will try to get through two or three of my revision check boxes on my to-do list and see how my timing works out.

    Last night I successfully “parked downhill” – wrote out my to-dos for today, making a note of where I left off. I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me to do this every evening so I can build up the habit gradually. I think it’s starting to kick in!

    Have a great day, DHouse! You inspire me. 😉


    • Goooo Alexis!! I’m glad you’re inspired! Good luck to you today and have a productive, great day! 🙂


      “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”
      William Arthur Ward

  67. Jordan Hadfield says:

    Today, I am ready to go!

    Today, I will:
    1. Fix my problem statement for another review with Dr. Carter
    2. Begin working on my background statement for the proposal
    3. Identify 20 other contacts for my case studies
    4. Identify 5 new pieces of literature for my research

  68. Good morning!

    Even though I didn’t get as much sleep last night as the night before, I’m feeling pretty good (it could be the fact that I went to my dance class last night 😉 )! SO, here we go!

    Dry, boring BG at some point today, as well as solidifying some of my specific aims and RD&M! I’m pumped and ready to go!

    Margaret 🙂

  69. Susan Mitchell says:

    Back to my Methodology section today. First, re-read it. Then fill-in any blanks. I seem to get more tired every day!

    — Susan

  70. Jodian says:

    Yesterday was very productive: revised the rationale for my abstract and rationale for my first aim. Also started to revise my second aim. Today, I plan to read an article, change direction of first aim based on PI’s request.. If possible want to start revising introduction. I am very determined to complete today’s tasks.

  71. ASB says:

    Good morning DH! Will work on problem statement further and read more.

  72. Alimatou says:

    Hello all!
    I have modified my goals a bit after meeting with Dr Carter yesterday.
    These are my tasks today
    – continue reading my proposal.
    – change the tense
    – Update my research questions


  73. Patti Ordonez says:

    Today I will do my outline for Chapter 2 and begin writing the draft for Chapter 2.

  74. Amy Pucino says:

    Good morning! Day three of Dissertation House, and all is well. Ready to start the day with a review of reports on refugees and begin an outline on refugee education.

  75. Jordan Hadfield says:

    I am ready to print out my next revision of my problem statement for Dr. Carter, then onto more literature research!

    • Wendy Carter,PhD says:

      It’s nice to get immediate feedback….that’s what this DH is about. Just imagine if you were writing at home alone without any feedback until the entire first draft was done?

  76. drwestmoreland says:

    Today I am working on these darn equations again. They will not get the best of me. I have come a long way but still need to make some more ground. Pressing on.


  77. Alexis Y Williams says:

    I have hit the afternoon slump. Coffee has been recommended. I will obtain some and keep on pushing.

    Thanks, Margaret, for your encouragement. I believe and I will achieve (fully caffeinated, if necessary).

    Go DHouse!


    • Wendy Carter,PhD says:

      Hello Alexis

      Get that coffee and come back. Looking forward to seeing you and your progress soon.

      • Alexis Y. Williams says:

        Hi Dr. Carter!

        I got some coffee that my friend had made in the office. It was so strong that it gave me jitters later, but I did get some more work done on my stats. I’m not finished yet, but I have made a lot more progress recently and I’m working to continue increasing my productivity each day on each of my tasks.

  78. Patrick Doyle says:

    Well I forgot to blog this morning so this entry will have to serve as both. I made some good progress today and also had a great meeting with Dr. Carter. The tense changing continues to progress (although slowly), I have completed a good draft of my physical design section of my Chapter 5, and I have created the shell of the table that I need finish for my mentor.

    Tomorrow I will begin by giving Dr. Carter a printed out draft of my physical design section so she can review it and while she looks at that I will continue to work on changing the tense of my dissertation. Tomorrow is the last day so I have to get the most out of it! Leaving an hour early today (for dissertation related things) but will make up at least that missing hour this evening. See y’all tomorrow!


    • Wendy Carter,PhD says:

      Hello Patrick

      I would prefer that you work on the introductions for each of the results chapter and change the tenses during the commercials instead. In other words, writing the introductions would show more forward progress than tense changes which can be done in a series of 15 minute tasks. Write paragraphs when you mind is clear and do the little things when you mind is not as focused.

  79. Alimatou says:

    I have finished reading and changing the tense in my proposal. It is an interesting process. I kept smiling to myself every time I would change a tense and realize that I exactly did what I had planned to do almost almost 2 years ago (20 months exactly). I actually have not diverted from my research questions as much as I thought. I also have a better idea what really remains to be done. There are also things that need to be “toughen” up (or doctored up) in my methods and some concepts that I need to dig.
    I used the UMBC graduate school dissertation template and filled it with material from my proposal. I have now my first draft of my dissertation (!). Bad news is that most chapters are in pretty bad shape or in no shape at all.
    I will now start working on updating my research questions and writing up this section (or sections, I might have to reorganize the document).

  80. Jodian says:

    I am proud of me: my rationale for my first aim has gotten the approval from Dr Carter and I got about half way through an intense article.

    For tomorrow plan to complete insertion of all my reference, revise my second aim based on Dr Carter’s suggestions, and if possible start revise my introduction.

  81. Susan Mitchell says:

    I made terrific progress today with my Methodology section. No, I didn’t finish, but I felt it only fair that I be able to check off three-quarters of my Methodology task box! Not only have I finished almost all of the revisions to the section, but I’ve really strengthened it. So, I’ll print it out one more time tonight and try to finish it tomorrow. If that’s the only box I check off this week, that’s OK — I’m really happy with the way the section is turning out. I’ll take on my other tasks on Sunday (picnic on Saturday!).

    — Susan

  82. WOO!

    3 out of 4 days done, and I’ve gone from 2 single-spaced pages to almost 5 (meaning I’m almost halfway there!)! I’ve also done quite a bit of research and received and read many papers! I’m feeling pretty good about this – my idea is coming together very nicely. The BG is almost complete!

    Tomorrow, I want to wrap up the BG and then (finally) solidify my hypothesis, specific aims and significance (since I will have all the BG written!).

    See ya tomorrow, DH!


  83. Jordan Hadfield says:

    Tomorrow morning I will focus on working on my background statement for the proposal, and identify 20 other contacts for my case studies.
    I had a wonderful day today and feel like I am “moving forward”.


  84. ASB says:

    Tomorrow I will finish reading the last article for the week and writing 3 more article summaries. I now have a very basic outline of my proposal, questions and methods, although I am still wrestling with the methods which will require a bunch more reading. I am also trying to figure out how to make my problem statement stronger.

  85. Jodian says:

    Today my goal is to revise the rationale for my first aim and to revise my introduction and I also want to work on my presentation as well. I am ready to begin.

  86. ASB says:

    Good morning final day of DH! I am planning to get a bunch done before I go out of town later today, including tightening up and filling in my outline and problem statement. Also I will finish reading the 4th journal article for the week and write up the summaries.

  87. So, I’ve decided. I am very much NOT a morning person! But here I am, ready to work again! (Caffeine = a must today).

    The rest of the BG with finalizing the hypothesis, specific aims and significance. Let’s goooooooooo!


  88. Jordan Hadfield says:

    Good morning! It’s the last day of DH and I am determined to keep the momentum moving forward from here. I’ve been struggling with my problem statement, after pretty much not touching my dissertation work for a year, and I am finally getting to a place where I feel confident and comfortable about what I need to accomplish in the next 6 months.
    Thanks Dr. Carter for being patient with me and for nudging me to write more and to put down on paper what I have in my head.

  89. Susan Mitchell says:

    Good morning — it’s our last day, so we need to work hard! Back to the Methodology section for me. And maybe on to the KFF section. And I heard from my company — I’ll be able to start setting up interviews very soon!

    — Susan

  90. Patrick Doyle says:

    Good morning everyone!

    Today is the final day and I am ready to get everything in need done by the end of the day! I have handed Dr. Carter the rough draft of my ‘Physical Design’ section and as she suggested, while I wait for comments I am going to work on my chapter introductions this morning…


  91. Amy Pucino says:

    Last day of Dissertation House and ready to go! I’m working on my outline and lit review today on refugee education.

  92. Alexis Y. Williams says:


    I didn’t finish everything I wanted to yesterday, and this morning I woke up late. 😦 I got to a new section in my stats and spent some time reviewing what I had read before to interpret the new section. So this weekend I have to catch up with my notes on these stats and revisions of my chapters. I’m at my assistantship all day today, but I’m going to work some more afterward.

    I did make motivational progress yesterday by stopping in the parking lot of the grocery store and planning out my next to-dos for today before shopping, since I knew when I got home that I would get distracted and forget. 🙂 I’m feeling myself looking forward to getting to work and gradually losing some of the stress associated with it. It’s not where I want to be, but it’s further than I was. 🙂

    Have a great, productive Friday, DHouse.


  93. Jordan Hadfield says:

    Last day at the DH, I had an amazing time and feel more focused than ever before. I’m ready to spend my 15 minutes a day on my dissertation proposal and I’m going to continue to connect with my DH group and this blog.

    Thanks UMBC for having this!

  94. Susan Mitchell says:

    OK, I’m fried. I’m really happy with my progress this week. I’ve just counted the days until I have to turn my dissertation in to my committee: exactly 100! I’m taking tomorrow off (OK, I’ll do 15 minutes), then I’ll keep trudging along. It was great meeting all of the new people and seeing all of the returnees.

    — Susan

  95. End of Day 4 of the Dissertation House. And every. single. goal. COMPLETED!!! 😀 😀 😀

    I’m very very happy with my progress and I can’t wait to keep up with my progress 🙂 Thank you, Dr. Carter and Dr. Tull, for all of your hard work, dedication and patience with us and helping us graduate! Can’t wait to see you again!


  96. Patrick Doyle says:

    Well all…it has been grand! Good job! I really have enjoyed spending the week with everyone. I wish you all the best of luck and please if anyone would like to talk just get in touch with me…


  97. Alimatou says:

    OK. End of the dissertation house. I completed only 3 of my 5 initially planned tasks and am half way done with the two remaining. I completed one other task that I added on the way. I feel have reached my goals for coming to the dissertation house and I am glad I attended it. Thank you everyone.
    My next tasks are :

    – update my methods section
    – continue writing the monocacy study results
    – identify all missing items in the document and prioritize tasks.


  98. Jodian says:

    It was great meeting everyone at the UMBC DH this week. Since, I my thesis proposal is scheduled for August 9, I want to keep this momentum going every day for the next month. I must do something every day to push be closer to being prepared for that exam!!!

    Today, It was hard getting out of bed: I was tired/lethargic and had lots of thoughts swirling about my duties as a wife and as the woman of the house. I decide some of those duties will have to wait.

    My goal for today is to finish reading a paper, work on revision of the rationale of my 2nd aim. go grocery shopping and some down time with the hubster.

    I am ready…

    • Dr. Carter says:

      Great Jodian

      See you can blog and we are here to respond. August 9th will be here before you know it. Glad to remember to do something every day.

  99. Jodian says:

    I completed one paper, and read an important segment in another paper. Read my mentor’s comments on one of my aims.

    I did not get to revise my second aim, but that will be one of tomorrow’s tasks.

  100. Jodian says:

    Today, I completed reading a method section of a pertinent paper, worked on revision of both the rationales for both of my aims, and the method section of aim A.

    Now I am going to prepare for my TA responsibilities starting this week.

  101. evesdawn says:

    Good morning, DH!
    It’s MONDAY! And yesterday, I created my own blogspot to keep myself accountable 🙂 Feel free to leave comments or questions – I’m looking forward to making some progress!

    Good luck to all of you!!!


    “It takes time to be a success, but time is all it takes.”
    ― Anonymous

  102. drwestmoreland says:

    Hello All,

    Today I am halfway in and halfway out but still here and even if I only work on my dissertation for 12 minutes, I am going to do something. I was trying to meet with my advisor but I am not sure that she is in today. I looked forward to any progress I make today! 🙂


    We can do it!


  103. drwendycarter says:

    Team Get Something Done!!!

    12 minutes you make me so proud!!! Forward progress that’s what matters.

  104. Jodian says:

    I haven’t blogged since Sunday, so I will provide an update. On Monday, I had to TA so I did everything TA-related and spent about 1.5hrs working on my proposal, which revised both aims A & B. Yesterday was a great day: I had my TA meeting, but I finalized the rationale for my first A, revised the methods for both aims, worked on introduction and inserted any missing references. I was also able to read an article.

    Today my goals are: 1) finalize introduction, 2) review entire proposal, 3) email proposal to mentor and selected peers and 4) I got to TA today.

    Off I go!

  105. Dr. Wendy Carter says:

    Hi ho hi ho off to work you go. See and you thought you couldn’t blog. Great to see that you could do your TA work and still work on your proposal at the same time. Keep up the good work; wear your cape and tights proudly!!!!!

  106. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I am going to work on my Fall 2011 Study Guidelines. I am going to TA the class where I want to also have the students participating in my study so I need to prepare to meet with the professor to work out a plan to implement the journals.

    I will also revamp my CV today, yesterday I met with my department chair to discuss upcoming job opportunities in my field and so I need to get my “job packet” together. It’s 75% complete but I want it at 100% before the fall so every month when job announcements come I can just send out my packet like Dr. Carter said. I already have my folder, I will add my CV, teaching statement, and research statement and when jobs come up I will only have to edit my cover letter and keep it moving.

    Happy Wednesday!


  107. Jodian says:

    So Yesterday, I completed the second draft of my proposal and emailed it to my mentor. I asked for feedback on content and clarity and surprisingly, he thinks it’s quite good and only had minor revisions/comments.

    I am waiting for the weekend when I get all my other edits from my different readers to finalize the proposal.

    Today, the goal is to: i) continue working on the background section of the presentation, ii) do some preparatory reading for the impending exam and iiI) grade reports for the lab I TA.

    Everyone be encouraged……just a few minutes a day working on your thesis/dissertation will keep pushing you forward!

    • Congratulations Jodian! Keep it going! Next week, I want you to plan some time to meet with your peers to discuss your upcoming proposal process. Formalize the meetings. Invite a group of them to lunch, talk with the department and ask if you can reserve their conference room for an hour or two. You might invite people to bring their lunches and then you can supply cookies. This can also happen in a reserved classroom. Make sure that there is a board. As you talk to your peers, I would recommend that you stand and talk though items that you plan to present. Discuss weaknesses or areas where you would like to request their help for clarity. Be sure that you are standing when you do this … you can write on the board, but this is not an exercise for sitting and taking notes. You may request that another peer take notes on paper, while you record some important points on the board. You can have a notebook next to you, but no sitting. You want to get used to standing in a room of people. This group should be different from the Meyerhoff group. Please plan this activity and add it to your schedule.

      Good luck!

      Renetta Tull

  108. drwestmoreland says:


    I did get sidetracked this morning from posting. This morning I had a 2 hours phone meeting with my advisor. We are still working on the equations and we talked about job opportunities for me and also worked out some things on my CV. Then I went to the library and worked for 4 hours. I read (skimmed) 2 books and now have a few vabuable sentences to add to my dissertation. I am done for now but I will update my CV when I get home for a little while.

    Happy Dissertations!


  109. Jodian says:

    Good Morning All!

    So Yesterday, I worked on my proposal presentation and did some study reading. I also completed all my TA grading for this week. I also finalized a practice talk that I will be doing next week Friday. The group is made up of diverse graduate students: 2 are from the labs of two of my committee members, 1 is from a Molecular Biology discipline, which I need to know for my exam, 1 is a member of my lab and a Chemistry student, another student is well-verse in the biological system that is a part of my proposal, and the final student is in a Biophysical program outside of the Univ. of Maryland system. In addition, these are all students that have passed candidacy, literature review, thesis proposals or independent proposals, making them qualified to provide insights into preparing for the exam. I have told most of them that I want them to “tear me down to point of crying”, so that I will be ready for almost anything in my exam. I have also requested research summaries/recent papers from students who are in the labs of some of my committee members.

    Today, the goals are to finalize arrangements for another practice talk with members of my fellowship program, continue reading and making notes and complete another TA responsibility.

    • Good plan Jodian! Also consider talking about your research … out loud for a few days before you meet with your group on Friday. It helps when you hear yourself “speak the language of the discipline” in your own voice, often. I’m sure that your husband won’t mind!

  110. drwestmoreland says:


    Yesterday I had a great session at the library with my books. Today I will meet with my advisor and also I will (for at least 12 minutes) add to my dissertation from the books I read yesterday where they apply. I am going to a funding seminar at 11 and then I am going to meet with my advisor at 12:30 to talk about these equations again.

    Happy Friday!! 🙂


    • Good job Nikki! Please let me know if you will consider the AGEP postdoc that I mentioned above as a response to one of your earlier posts about preparing for the job market. We can also talk more about this topic on Tuesday.

  111. Alexis Y. Williams says:

    You guys are on fire. I am encouraged to keep trying even on days like this when things are tough, tough tough tough. Tough. I will get through the day with God’s help. I will do what I can today.

    • You can do it Alexis! Since you’re online, push through and put in 30 minutes of work. One thing that you can do is to plan your goals for next week now! That way, when you get to the DH, you will already be on a roll! Start there … what do you plan to do? Then, what part of that can you do today, tomorrow, and Monday?

      • Alexis Y Williams says:

        Thank you Dr. Tull. I’m building my way back on track and will use this week to get this train moving again. I have my plan and am at the library today until 6, reading stats and taking notes like my life depends on it. This week will be a victorious one.

  112. drwendycarter says:

    Hello All

    The Dissertation House at UMCP begins in the AM. If you will not be joining us in person, I hope you will join us on line at 9am sharp! No more excuses. If you were looking for a sign that you should get started again on your dissertation and you need some encouragement, then this is your sign and your invitation to work on your dissertation. Ready….Set…See you in the morning.

  113. drwestmoreland says:

    DH UMCP! 🙂

    Today I plan to write my draft of my teaching statement.

    I also plan to finish skimming 1 book.


  114. Alexis Williams says:

    Good Morning, TEAMGETITDONE,

    Today I am starting the first day of the official UMCP Dissertation House! I got off to a rough start but I am feeling ready for a productive and enlightening week.

    My goals for this week are to: 1) Summarize my Clark et al stats article that I finished reading finally, 2) Draft my revisions for chapters 1-3 (at least 3 of my committee’s suggestions), and 3) Pull suggestions from two other completed dissertations in my department that used similar statistics, making notes of how to apply the statistical discussion to my work.

    Taking a breath. The light is green. Here I go.


    • Alexis Williams says:

      I need to remember to bring big fuzzy socks to work in…

      • drwestmoreland says:

        LOL. I need a fuzzy hat to work in…Thanks for the e-mail. I am working on my teaching statement now. The first one I wrote sounded like I was teaching 2nd graders.

      • Alexis Williams says:

        Wrapping up. For tomorrow:
        – Complete my Ta-Da schedule countdown
        – Finish up my FMM notes with questions (what don’t I still understand?)
        – Complete one chapter revision
        – Compose principal email
        – Email brief hello to new contact
        – Get my two sample dissertations into a central location so I can start comparing them for applications to my work

        See, I promised I’d be myself by the end of the day. Feeling much better. Thanks, DHouse!


  115. Mari says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    I am looking forward to another productive dissertation house with a wonderful group of peers and friends! I will begin by reading and summarizing an article recommended by my advisor lat our last meeting. Then I will review a transcript to create my student profile for the week.
    Best of luck everyone!

  116. Tommy says:

    Greetings and Salutations,

    This is my first Dissertation House! I was late this morning driving from Delaware but I’m still excited about getting much work accomplished today and during this week.

    My goals for the week are to : 1) revise Chapter 1, 2) Complete revisions for my Communities of Practice framework, 3) Revise literature review of mathematics tasks, 4) revise my draft case study methodology section, 5) read and summarize 5 articles, and 6) Obtain 3 articles from the library.

    Let’s do this!!!!


  117. Lenisa N. Joseph, Ph.D. says:

    In Summer 2011 Dissertation house! Lenisa N. Joseph, Ph. D.

  118. Margaret says:

    Hello this is Margaret in College Park UMD.
    I hope you are all well. Today is my first day at dissertation house and I am excited to be here and make significant progress in my work. I will be working on my data analysis for article 2 and 3. I should be able to complete the first paper by Thursday so that I can concentrate on the introduction, methodology and descripitive analysis of the last one. Wish you all success in your work!

  119. Hi Everyone,

    For this week, I will be working on 5 things:
    -Redraft the outline for my proposal
    -Create a spreadsheet with different definitions of activism
    -Summarize 2 book chapters
    -Redraft Theory Section
    -Revise Introduction

    For today I will do work on two things on my list
    -Summarize 2 book chapters
    -Create a spreadsheet with different definitions of activism


  120. Hello Everyone

    We are getting ready for lunch at 12:00. I hope you have been able to accomplish something this morning between 9-12. We started by posting our goals for the week on the wall for everyone to see. Some of the students have posted their goals here as well. I have managed to meet with two students thus far. Three more minutes to go before we head to lunch. When we return, I will be discussing “How to Manage Your Advisor and Committee members”.

    It’s important to not only manage your time but also manage your supporters as well. Advisors are trying to get you to become an independent researcher who will sometime in the future have to manage your own time, reasearch projects and staff. You cannot become an independent researcher if you are always waiting for someone to tell you what to do next. Remember, your dissertation is your research project. You have to make some decisions about what to do next. You can always run your ideas by your advisor. Nonetheless you should not be stalled because you are afraid to make a decision about your project. Remember it’s a learning process; you can’t learn if you are afraid of taking a risk or making a decision.

  121. Lenisa N. Joseph, Ph.D. says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Dr. Westmoreland!

  122. drwestmoreland says:

    Wednesday I plan to work on:

    1. Draft of my research statement
    2. Draft of updates needed on my dissertation from my proposal
    3. Skim 1 book (halfway done already) and add to my dissertation

    Today I finished:

    1. Teaching Statement draft
    2. Sent my advisor some information she requested

    Let’s get it DONE!


  123. Tommy says:

    Greetings and Salutations<

    Today was productive. I was able to check out one of the resources from the library and I requested 3 others. I was able to revise part of Chapter 1 (i.e. NCTM Equity Principle and Curriculum Standards). Tomorrow I will finalize these two sections, revise the section on the causes of mathematics achievement gap, and revise the traditionally pedagogy section.

  124. Hi All,

    Here is a quick set of handouts for working on your teaching philosophy. Some handouts are instructional and some can be used as thinking tools for deciding which schools of thought you match in your teaching. I can talk through any of this with you one on one!

    Click to access Teaching%20Philosophy%20Resources.pdf

  125. Tommy says:

    Greetings and Salutations,

    Thanks for the handouts Alexis.

  126. Mari says:

    Good morning Everyone!
    Looking forward to another productive day! Best of luck to all! Thank you Alexis for resources.

  127. Good Morning everyone,

    Today I’m working on the following:
    – re-framing my problem statement. I have already done a rough draft of this but will revise it again
    – continuing my excel worksheet of literature which focus on activism at different levels of society


  128. Alexis Williams says:

    Good Morning, TEAMGETITDONE!

    This day is starting off so much better than yesterday, and yesterday wasn’t too bad all things considered. Keep it moving!

    By my TA-DA estimates I should be writing a page a day. My goal today is to wrap up one part of my stats notes (all final notes from Clark et al.) and finish a page of my committee revisions this afternoon.

    The light is green. Here we go.


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Good Evening,

      Today I did NOT get through the whole stats article because I ended up emailing back and forth with a principal to plan a data collection. So I DID finish sending out my emails to new contacts and principals, and one principal has already agreed to send out a note to his teachers for my study! I also wrote a page of my revisions for my chapters and have my sample dissertations in a central location to use for comparison later.

      Tomorrow I will finish my stats notes and complete another chapter revision – either my discussion of why I am excluding one of my efficacy subscales, or how high teacher efficacy and incremental theories are thought to be connected (or should be).

      Building the productivity habit, one sentence at a time!


  129. drwestmoreland says:


    I am sleepy and I have a headache. 😦 I was driving in this morning thinking I don’t want to work on my dissertation. I’d rather sleep. But, this is when I need to focus, the days I don’t want to be here.

    I want to be at DH, but my body is still at home. I am getting there. 🙂

    Today I will write a list of revisions for my dissertation from my proposal, draft my research statement, and finish skimming a book.

    Last night I posted my graduation deadlines on the wall near my headboard. My prayer everynight will now include asking God to help me meet those specific 4 dates to turn in my dissertation documents and graduate. AMEN!

    Let’s goooooo! 😉


  130. Elizabeth says:

    Good morning Everyone,

    Today I’m working on my problem statement and summarizing my references on systems thinking. This topic was brought up by my advisor on our last meeting this Monday before he went on vacation.

    Have a great and productive day,

  131. Tommy says:

    Greetings & Salutations,

    Today I am finalizing the summary of the NCTM Equity Principle and Curriculum Standards. I am revising the mathematics achievement gap summary and the traditionally pedagogy section from yesterday. Based on my meeting with Dr. Carter who cracked the whip, I will check to make sure that my problem statement, purpose, and assumptions address the questions found in the “Proposal Cookbook.” I have a set timeline that I must adhere to complete all of my revisions by the end of September. I see the light more than ever now!

    Have a great day!


  132. Dr. Carter says:

    Hello all

    We are here in the DH again Day 2. Dr. Noah Collins from the Counseling Services Center is here talking about having balance when writing your dissertation. He gave a humorous presentation on his approach to writing his dissertation. He said that he is a morning person. He says if I have to work in the evening the rewards have to go WAY UP if I am going to work at night. His discussion presented the two sides of self that argue with each other about the way to write your dissertation. One side is the drill-sergeant who wants to focus mainly on working on the dissertation, the other fanciful person who does not really want to work on the dissertation. He said one does not have to win at the expense of the other. When fanciful side wins the drill-Sargent calls you lazy, wasteful, slacker, etc. When the drill-sergeant side win, the fanciful side loses and feels depressed and sad. He suggests that when the fanciful side does not want to work, you should negotiate otherwise the fanciful side will go on strike by shutting down, by playing solitaire, or by depression.

  133. Alexis Williams says:

    Follow-up to Noah Collins’ presentation from the Counseling Center today:
    Call him for more information on counseling services, the dissertation support group, or other information
    301.314.7661 or

  134. drwestmoreland says:

    Today I:

    1. Formatted my dissertation into the required UMD format. This took longer than I thought but it excited me because I have a dissertation. 🙂 It’s 95 pages!!
    2. I reviewed my proposal and the comments from my committee and I made a list of target changes that need to be made and I sent that to my advisor. I also cleaned out my dissertation binder which had some strange copies of things in it that I didn’t need anymore.
    3. I ordered 2 books from I ordered “How to Write Alot” and “Writing About Numbers”. I am a book worm and although I have a kindle for academic books I need them in hand. I have been struggling with some equations all summer and this numbers book seems to be what I need. My books will be on my porch Friday afternoon.
    4. I read “The Academic Job Search” book and got lots of nuggets that I need for where I am right now in my academic job search. This will prepare me for my first activity tomorrow.

    Tomorrow I will:

    1. Draft my research statement

    This is my “hard” thing for the week so I am going to only plan 1 thing tomorow and push myself to get it done.

    If I have extra time I will go on to the next item I have on my chart.

    Happy Wednesday!

    We are #TeamGetItDone 🙂

    On to VBS.



  135. drwestmoreland says:

    I have question: Does anyone know the best way to sync endnote libraries? I am having endnote issues when I switch from my desktop to my laptop and my library isn’t synced. I would like to have the flexibility to work on both without issues. Any help?

  136. drwestmoreland says:

    Here is the UMD Dissertation format.

    Use the above link and scroll down to Templates.

    I used the long version today and it worked pretty well. I just filled in the information that I had, some sections I left blank to fill in later. It also already has a table of contents that works well and you can just fill it in your section titles in the document and the TOC will update with your titles.

    Happy Dissertation is a Done Dissertation!

    No jealous jump off’s! 🙂


  137. drwestmoreland says:

    I have to comment that I agree with Dr. Collins, enjoying your personal time is more enjoyable when you did what you said you were going to do on your dissertation for that day. 🙂

  138. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I will:

    1. Meet with Dr. Carter
    2. Draft my research statement



  139. Alexis Williams says:

    Good Morning, TEAMGETITDONE,

    Today I will complete another chapter revision having to do with my efficacy variable explanation, and try again to complete these notes for my stats.

    This morning I looked over my lab mate’s statistical discussion in her dissertation and got a little intimidated. But I reminded myself that she wrote one sentence at a time, so that is what I will do. 🙂

    Green light, time to go.


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Whew, today was rough! I have to overhaul my lit review as part of my chapter revisions, and this was affirmed when I did my “Good Morning, Dissertation House” shpiel today. After a tough meeting with Dr. Carter(-Veale – gotta start using that), I know to take a firmer direction with my discussion of teachers’ emotions and implicit theories, and reduce my rather aimless chatter about attributions to a few well-constructed paragraphs (with topic sentences and transitions!).

      Tomorrow, our last day, I will work on the literature reconstruction in my new and improved dissertation template. I will not get a headache.

      K, bye.


  140. Tommy says:

    Greetings and Salutations,

    I was not in the mood to do any work this morning. I also did not want to be bother. However, Dr. Carter invited me to speak about my research on the Mood Morning America Show! WOW! This was an awesome experience. I have learned so much. Dr. Carter, you are the best!

    Today I am revising parts of Chapter 1! I have 9 days to complete this task. No time to waste!!!

    Let’s do this!

  141. drwestmoreland says:

    Thursday!!! 🙂

    It’s been a good week.

    Today I:
    1. Met with Dr. Carter and she edited my Teaching Statement for me. She also helped me with the tense in my dissertation, I like to use them all.
    2. The list of revisions that I wrote yesterday for my dissertation I ranked them easy, medium, and hard and then color coded them with my highlighter.
    3. I updated my CV from some comments that my Dean gave me when I met with him on Tuesday afternoon.
    4. I DRAFTED MY RESEARCH STATEMENT! 🙂 It’s crappy and it sounds pretty outlandish but I have a draft!! Woo Hoo! That was my only goal for the day. I kept writing and erasing sentences all the while knowing that I have to write a crappy version and then the better version will emerge from that one, that’s just how I write. 😛
    5. Read a paper related to the status of my research and what the future of design research looks like from this authors perspective. (This was helpful for my research statement)

    I spent 3 hours in the afternoon on the internet doing research about (1) my field and (2) at schools I might want to work at. It felt like I was just reading and reading. But I did pick out some great nuggets from departmental website. I fell in LOVE with a few departments…like Stanford who doesn’t even have any job openings at this time. I was doing a broad search of what it going on in my field all the while trying to figure out what I want to research and where I will fit in.

    I want to build knowledge in mechanical engineering using design research! I know that much, now I have something. 🙂


    Friday I will:

    1. Draft a new version of the Design Journal Guidelines for Fall 2011 Study
    2. Skim 4 books and summarize (I Hope…lol)




  142. Mari says:

    Good afternoon!
    Today is another day, and I have managed to transcribe yet another interview. I really do appreciate the time to have the space and place to sit and work… moving on to another interview– which I will hopefully finish tonight after my treat for the day, aqua zumba! 🙂
    See you all on line tomorrow!!

  143. Good morning everyone! It’s wonderful to see that you are sharing resources and getting things done! I hope that those who were planning to go to Aqua Zumba had a great time … it was so hot today! I’m sure that the fun provided you with renewal and refreshment. I’ll come over to check in with you later in the morning. I hope to see you around 9:30 and I plan to be there for the rest of the day. I’m cheering you on!

  144. Lenisa says:

    Last day of dissertation house….I am pleased with the progress I made and excited to continue with this momentum.

  145. Alexis Williams says:

    Good morning, TEAMGETITDONE!

    I finally finished this stats article this morning! Today I will continue to overhaul my chapter 2 and revise the sections my committee has recommended.

    Happy Friday!


  146. drwestmoreland says:


    I need to start praying right now that next week will be as good a work week as this one!

    Today I will skim 4 books and make notes.

    If I have time I will work on the draft for the Design Guidelines for my Fall 2011 Study.



  147. Tommy says:

    Greetings and Salutations,

    Yesterday was a challenge getting started. Revisions sometimes are not as easy as you think. At times I wanted to throw away what I had written. However, I continued to do what I could. I was able to sit with Dr. Carter and go over paragraphs leading up to my statement of the problem. Things are looking good. Dr. Carter helped me with transition words and making connections between statements.

    Today I will work on revising more of Chapter 1.

    a. Add citations to the problem statement
    b. Work on revising the background section
    b. Pick up the 2 articles that I requested from the library on Tuesday

    Moving Forward!!!!

  148. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I:

    1. Created a ‘Research Proposal’ for my Fall 2011 Study
    2. I skimmed and summarized 2 books
    3. I contact my advisor and we talked about the Fall study and set a meeting for Monday
    4. I wrote!! I now have some ideas for my 2012 publication season. I will refine them next week and save them for when my advisor asks for them I will pull them out.

    I met all my DH Goals but 1, really just part of 1. I wanted to skim 4 books but I only did 3. I added a few things so I’m not beating myself up because that means I actually ended up doing more than I planned because some things came up that needed to be taken care of. As long as it’s part of my dissertation I gave it some attention.

    It’s all about me.

    I had to send a ‘no’ e-mail today. 😦 It’s all about me.

    Saturday I will read the 4th book and summarize it.

    I already wrote out my goals for next week in my notebook so I will post those Monday morning.

    Time to go!

    Yay for #TeamGetItDone!!


  149. Alexis Williams says:


    We’re close to the end of DHouse, but this is just the beginning. I am still working on reorganizing my literature review and statistical discussion, but I have made a lot of progress and am looking forward to the next steps because I know what direction I am going in. I have my new outline in my dissertation document and I am taking the pieces that I’ve already written and working them in, making the ideas more coherent. transitioning between ideas better, etc. Soon I will have a new draft that has addressed my committee’s concerns.

    We talked a lot about what’s next so that we keep the momentum from this week. Here are some things I typed up during our discussion:
    – Need to be finished March 3rd if want to graduate May 21, 2012 (or whatever that day is).
    – Have a schedule, keep it tight hour to hour and day to day
    – Commit to it and work everything else around it. Like exercise, to be effective you can’t cancel it every time an interruption comes along
    – Change how to organize the information, table the basics, tell the story
    – Time – I have 21 days to a chapter, I have a page to write a day, NO, I can’t do that thing you’re asking me to do. Make what I have to do very specific to today, to what I can do in this moment
    – Get up, get dressed, pack up, get out, sit down and work.
    – New behaviors – when you’ve told someone you won’t be available at certain times, you respect your own time and become UNAVAILABLE at those times and do what you said you would be doing.
    – Get others to sign on when you need something from them, or when you need to get them to stop doing something
    – Keep your board of directors and your working community active and engaged
    – Be urgent about it. This is life or death.
    – Schedule your visits for the same time every week with different people so that you don’t miss seeing your loved ones – Fridays at 5pm or Sundays between 2 and 5

    That formatting is probably all funky, but you get the point. Goodbye for now, but hello again soon!!


  150. Lenisa says:

    Good morning everyone,
    I realize I have not given my task master a treat for sticking to my schedule. The cake on the week end is for sticking with it in the week. It has been about two months so I am going to the movies (WInnie the Pooh)
    I have 11 hrs for courting with my dissertation today. The goal is to read the abstracts for at least 50 articles and build my spreadsheet so I can see what the generation before me have done in relation to my question.

    11 and 1pm my goal is to get 10 done.
    1pm -1:45 Break for lunch and a quick errand at
    2pm-5pm the goal is to read 15.

    5-8:45 break (Dinner, Winne The Pooh, talk with my cheer leader)
    9-2 the goal to do the other 25
    I will check in on my progress at 5…

    I am about finishing the business…

  151. Lenisa says:

    Hi I did 50 abstracts….so the goal tonight is to do the same amount. I finished kinda early and worked on my personal blog…Coolness.

    I am about finishing the business…

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Lenisa, that is awesome progress, and you had time for fun, too! I love it. You give me energy!

  152. Alexis Williams says:

    Oh my goodness, almost too tired to post.

    Today I finished labeling the sections of my chapter 2 according to the codes that I’m using for the restructuring. I started dumping the sections into a new document. Tomorrow will want to finish dumping and start making the sections coherent, concise. With topic sentences! 🙂

  153. Mari says:

    6 down… only 50 more to go!!!! 😉

  154. Alexis Williams says:

    I had to fight myself today but I finished my restructuring without editing! I will work tomorrow on editing the sections without adding any new information – if that works well I will apply the strategy to the entire chapter. If not, I will have to use a different strategy to continue the chapter 2 overhaul. Either way, each section will have topic sentences. 🙂

    Motivational notes: It helped to give myself consequences, things I wouldn’t want to do, but would have to if I didn’t get to work each day of the weekend. I was definitely encouraged to sit down and get started, and then I used positive self-talk and bribes to keep myself there. By any means necessary. I was also much better today about getting my quality time with my mom after church and then making myself walk out when it was time. I can do this!



  155. lenisaj says:

    Productive weekend.
    *read all the abstracts and built my spreadsheet so I can see how previous research relations to my question. I can now ask my adviser to look at my studies and make recommendations on research that I should be reading or research that can be omitted.
    *read my chapter one with a highlighter noting my topic sentence being sure contents of the paragraph related directly to the topic sentence. Some edits were needed!
    *created a personal blog so my family and friends could be kept abreast of my progress.
    *reached out and asked for help in areas where I needed support. Asking for help makes me feel vulnerable I really don’t like to ask.

    I started to go see Winne the Pooh but I began with a smallish nap or two….Have I shared that I love my bed and honey.

    Tomorrow (later)
    1) I go to my adviser to a) ask her to look at my studies b) get her in the loop about some other stuff
    2) Start reading the articles and building a picture.

    Good Night

    • Alexis Williams says:

      This is awesome. Love the bed & honey, too!! How do you know what to ask for? I am still thinking about what to ask people to help me with (I don’t like feeling vulnerable either but I got reminded by a friend this morning that I am being prideful when I refuse needed help and I need to let that go if I am going to finish this degree).

      • lenisaj says:

        Winne the Pooh often strats things with a smallish nap or two! lol

        Pride is my biggest challenge and being prideful has not allowed me to make progress. I HATE people pitying me so I keep my stuff to myself. At SSI 2006 I remember Dr. Knickerson asking us to identify what our biggest challenge was …he suggested that people’s challenge was FEAR, I knew/know mine is Pride. He said to crumple it up throw it out and get on with getting the Ph.D. So 5 years later I am summoning I am hearing the message. Dr. Carter-Veale also talked about keeping people in the loop about what is going on with you-Addressing that as well. And today Dr. Parham was reminding me to do the same since there are somethings I need to share to my chair. Pride paralyzes me it is one of my greatest sins. God is obviously trying to address this with me.

        I thought of things I do which take up time, that I don’t necessarily like to do but need to get done. While I love to eat I can’t say I have a passion for cooking. So I asked someone whose home I eat at often if I can do so a little more regularly. I was teary eyed when I asked and I felt like he was dismissing my need for asking. He said: Lenisa what are you asking could I refuse anyone food. He is like a brother so it was like asking my brother if I could eat when I come to his home hence the response. My ego was bruised cause it was difficult to ask in the first place but I now have a food back up.

        My granny is in the NY at my aunties house with one of my cousins he goes back to Trinidad the end of August and she will be staying on until May of next year. I plan to ask her to come stay with me for at least a month. That way she can take care of her first grandchild for a bit (yeah I plan to use that card!).

        My dissertation will help me break free of the shackles of pride.

  156. drwestmoreland says:


    I decided I need to name my two sides. I’m gonna call my task master side Billy Blanks and I’m gonna call my ride off into the sunset side Home Sweet Home. So this weekend I spent some time with HSH, but it was good. I enjoyed my HSHS time because of all the work that I did at Dissertation House last week. I usually feel pressure about social activities. Because so many ppl want me to do different things and I’m not always sure if I really want to. Anyways this weekend I did what I wanted to do with my HSH time. It was good.

    Today I will:

    1. Write for 1 hour
    2. Make tense changes to my dissertation
    3. Meet with my advisor at 11:30
    4. Lunch after my advisor meeting for 1 hour
    5. Make Draft #2 of my Teaching Statement
    6. Work on paper edits from my advisors meeting
    7. Skim final book for my dissertation
    8. Edit my 1 hour writing after lunch

    I know it seems like a lot, but I have it all planned out.

    Since I am the ultimate planner, now it’s time to work! Raw writing starts at 9am!! 🙂



  157. Alexis Williams says:

    Coffee? Check. Bootie in seat at library? Check. Instrumental thinking music? Check. DHouse Blog open instead of FB? Check! Let’s get it!

    Monday: 1) Editing one section of the re-organized dissertation and then assessing how long it took and whether it helps get the committee revisions accomplished effectively. Yes? Continue with the remainder. No? Decide what can be done differently or faster to finish all revisions so that the research questions are answered with the discussion of the literature. 2) Checking in with assistant principal in one school. 3) Possible mentor meeting 4) Possible search committee meeting in my department for restructuring. 5) Gym.


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Ok, the first edited section didn’t take too long considering that I had a couple of important meetings today. I got to see my advisor and my mentor in one day! So I will continue with more revisions and chopping in each section and then decide what needs to be added, including my topic sentences (the first section has them now!). I also emailed that assistant principal.

      My mentor told me to make a list of all of my accomplishments in the past year and meditate on it when I’m stuck to remind myself of how far I’ve come and how much farther I can go. I’m at the 21st mile! She also told me to set a median milestone that I can celebrate when I’m about halfway there, since the endpoint might seem far away if it’s months. So maybe – where will I be by next month? The end of September? I will celebrate those milestones, too. Please remind me. 🙂

      Another hour and then the gym.

  158. Tommy says:

    Greetings and Salutations,

    The has been challenging. My laptop is not working. Ugh! I am having issues with my powercord. I will have to go the Apple store later this evening for a replacement. I decided to use the computer in my office. It’s moving slow but it’s working. It will have to do for now.

    This past weekend I took time to make my weekly writing schedule from now up until I start work on August 22. It ‘s tight but I need it to make things happen. This weekend I also spoke with a couple of friends to discuss my schedule and mentioned I would not be available to talk from 9-5. They said they would just send a text or leave a message on my phone to check to make sure I am ok. I said sure and that I would respond only during my lunch break or at the end of the day.

    Sunday, I decided to spend the day with my church since it was Family and Friends Day. It was well worth it.

    I am back on schedule today.

    My goal today is to do the following:
    1. Email my advisor with my writing timeline
    2. Email committee members to give them an update.
    3. Revise the background section.

    Let’s do this!


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Saying a prayer for your laptop’s healing! Keep up the commitment. By any means – or computers – necessary! 🙂

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Awe Tommy! 😦 I hope your computer gets fixed. My desktop is slow as mollasses but I use it when I forget my laptop and sometimes both if I need to multitask. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • lenisaj says:

      I hope it is really just the power cord! PLEASE BACK OUR WORK ONTO ANOTHER DEVICE. Speak over that baby and command it to operate well.

  159. Jodian says:

    It’s been a few weeks since the DH at UMBC. I was doing great crossing things off my list until last week and today.

    So far: I have sent in the proposal to my committee. I came up with the first draft of the powerpoint and presented it to an array of grad students.

    I need to revise the presentation and study (read literature and review course notes), however, my TA responsibilities are really making it difficult.

    Nonetheless, I plan to persevere this week. Have lots and lots of TA grading, however, I plan to have the second PPT draft by this week’s end and complete reading a chapter on atomistic models and force fields.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Hi Jodian,

      We talked last week in UMCP’s DHouse about how TAing can take up your time. Do you have a plan in place for when you only focus on grading and when you absolutely do not grade or answer emails? That’s one of Dr. Tull’s suggestions that might help if you aren’t already doing it. Sorry for unsolicited advice!

      • Jodian says:

        Hello Alexis!

        I certainly appreciate your advice. I have been trying to have select days to do all TA-related matters, but it seems as if it is not enough.

        I have been trying to do all day Mondays and Wednesdays and then 2-3 hrs on Tuesdays for TA meeting and Office hours, and use Thursday evening from 5-9pm to finish up grading. I have a 1 week turn around for the grades, which gives me a small window since every Monday and Wednesday I am collecting new prelab, report and postlab assignments.

        But, may be I’m not sticking to it as close to it as possible. This week I will try my best to stick to the plan.

        Thanks Alexis! Also please free to comment and pass on advice that you have found useful of that you think may be useful in my particular case.

        • drwestmoreland says:

          I feel your pain Jodian. I am dreading the semester starting because of that very reason. I have been getting better at it, by my 4th semester I was pretty good but there are always things that come up. During the semester I have to keep e-mail hours. I usually only check it three times a day because so much random stuff pops up. In the summer I might get 1 e-mail a day on my umd account. I agree with Lex, get a schedule and stick to it as best you can. When you fall, and you will because we all do, just go right back without taking the time to have a pity party. Dr. Carter said if you have time for a pity party then your not busy enough. On to the next one.

          • Hi Jodian and Nikki,

            Jodian it sounds like you have a good plan. Maybe the more consistently you do it, same time every week and getting right to work when it’s time, the faster the grading will go. You might not have to add more time in that case, and that will be lovely. And, yup, Nikki, I know to be patient with myself when I mess up, because if I’m mean to myself I DEFINITELY won’t want to come back and try again…

            • Jodian says:

              Hello Alexis and Nikki,

              Thanks a lot for the words of encouragement. It is certainly important to not get caught up in pity-parties!

              I am pleased to report that Tuesday was a better day. I tried very hard to stick to the schedule. I was also very strict with my TA office hours and recommend students emailing me if their questions are really short. Worked out nicely.

              Since, Monday I have been sticking to at least 15 minutes a day to work on something to progress one step further in my preparations. I must say once I get started I spend no less than 30 minutes!

              Today, I am off to a great start and hope to keep the momentum going. All the assignments that need to be returned today have been graded and entered into the grade book. I also have 40 minutes before my TA-related events begin for the day, where I am going to spend reading at least 1 section of an article.

              All the best everyone!

  160. drwestmoreland says:

    I am loosing steam, for a good reason. It’s almost quiting time. I finished ALMOST ALL my work for today except for #5 which was to draft my teaching statement, second draft. Billy Blanks kept me in check all day. I slipped up a few times but I didn’t swim around in my sin. I realized what I was doing and I switched gears. Funny thing is my phone doesn’t even work in my office that well so sprint obviously wants me to finish my dissertation. Pandora helped me make it through the day without falling asleep. I made friends with my dissertation today. He’s not mad at me anymore.

    #TEAMGETITDONE did good today.

    I will go home in almost 1 hour and spend some time with Home Sweet Home, she’s not that mad at me because she likes being accomplished and deep down she knows what it takes!! 🙂

    Let’s GOOO!


  161. lenisaj says:

    Happy Monday!
    Seems like computers decided to have an mini protest today! I got mine back from OIT today (it has been more than a month) and for a few minutes it would not boot! We got that sorted out thank God. I email was not going to the new exchange server got that addressed as well.
    Things Accomplished today
    1) Attended to home stuff
    2) Had planning meeting with person I am co teaching with in Fall
    3) Submitted draft of chapter 1 to coadvisors
    4) spoke with advisor about look at my literature an commenting on relevance. I was not able to get he in the loop cause she was on her way out but I will.
    5) Spoke with Dr. Parham who reminded me that I have to do with I need to do to get what I need to get.

    Things to do this evening
    Start reading and filling out references sheet from TADA notebook. Goal is to do at least 10 this evening. I don’t have office duties in the AM so I am going to push it.

    I agree with Nikki
    #TEAMGETITDONE did good today.


    • Awesome awesome awesome! Great pushing, Lenisa – you are definitely for the business. I think I am going to print out your pride response up there. I need to read that over and over again. *sigh* I almost got a little teary eyed, because I understand. But it’s a beautiful thing, this growing we’re all challenging ourselves to do. We will be stronger for it, so bring on the growing pains. 🙂

  162. Tommy says:

    Thanks everyone. I tried to get another cord from our computer center but they did not have one. However, I was not defeated. I was able to send emails to my committee members of my timeline from the computer in my office. It took forever to send them. I have heard from one member. It was very positive. I read some literature to help clarify some statements in my background section. I should complete this tomorrow. My computer is going to work tomorrow!!!!

    Great job in completing your tasks today Alexis, Lenisa, and Nikki.


  163. Keep up the good work everyone! It’s inspiring to see that you are continuing to work so vigorously. You’re on a roll … keep up the momentum … press on! Kudos to #TEAMGETITDONE


    Thanks, Dr. Tull. We are fired up! And even when I don’t feel fired up, I’m learning how to fake it til I make it. Usually at some point during the day, the pushing does pay off, so I just have to wait it out and keep my stride.

    I was asking myself this morning if I can work through my revision chopping this week – get all of it done without adding any new citations. Even yesterday I snuck in a new citation, but I DID make myself write “(citation)” in another place so I wouldn’t waste more time. So today I will 1) work more on the chopping/revising, 2) sneak in some stats review, 3) have two brief meetings, and 4) go to Zumba.

    Oh, and this morning I got an idea! I’ve been trying to figure out how to be the most productive on the days that I have to work (Wed – Fri). I will try to arrange to use an empty office at my job and keep my computer there on those days, so when it’s time to show up for my assistantship, all I have to do is walk across the hallway. When it’s time to get off work, I have to get up from my desk and walk back across the hallway and plan or squeeze in any last work before gym time. That way if I’m working late, it’s on the dissertation. I’ll test that out this week.

    The light is green. Let’s go!!

    P.S. Lenisa, isn’t Dr. Parham awesome, too??

  165. Good morning everyone,

    I forgot to sign in yesterday. For today I will be working on my problem statement. Dr. Carter looked it over yesterday and provided feedback. Today I’ll make the changes she suggested. I will also read and summarize two articles on micro- level politics from the social psychology perspective.

    Oh, I’m working on the UMBC campus since I find it difficult to work from home. Compared to UMCP, UMBC is closer to where I live.

  166. drwestmoreland says:


    I almost got sucked into the black hole that is my apartment this morning, but I busted out before my head hit the pillow again. I’ve been up since 5:30 but I have church on Tuesday mornings so I always get a late start. Since last week was my birthday I had leftovers from my celebration this morning that I needed to drop at my house. Then I had to change my shoes. Then something was wrong with my pants. Then I needed to take the trash. Then that Glamour magazine was calling my name. Then I needed to pack my lunch. Then I heard a voice….it was Billy….he said get out!

    So I did. Here I am.

    Today I will:

    1. Make more edits to my journal paper
    2. Call my advisor at home to talk about the paper
    3. Each lunch for 1 hour
    4. Go to therapy for 1 hour
    5. 1 Hour of writing
    6. More paper edits from phone meeting with my advisor
    7. Workout at Cole Field House
    8. Draft #2 of Teaching Statement
    9. Edit 1 hour writing

    Go Home! 🙂

    Haha! 🙂


  167. Alexis Williams says:

    Way to go Michelle, with working at UMBC and getting out of the house. Nikki, too – I know how tempting it is to try to stay home.

    I’m struggling this afternoon. I did more editing and read more stats, but I really want to push through for a few more minutes before I have to leave. Ugh! Ok, a minute at a time, a sentence at a time…

    Tomorrow is a full assistantship day and there’s lots to do, but I’m going to take my editing over to my job and work beforehand so I can accomplish my daily goals! Tomorrow I want to work through all of section 2 (that’s three sub-sections, depending on how much I get done in the next 15 mins).


    • drwestmoreland says:

      I was struggling to this afternoon but I’m back at it. I had to take a Keith Olbermann and Scrabble break for about 30 minutes. My advisor called back 3 times so I got thrown all off. Pressing Forward. One task at a time. 🙂

  168. lenisaj says:

    Dissertations written one word at a time Alexis. Just keep going.

    • lenisaj says:

      I was not able to make progress with my dissertation this between noon and three as planned…I lost three hours trying to reach a Comcast tech to help me get my computer on to the wireless system at home. UGH!! shaking my fist!

      Got a call from Dr. Parham, to help me work through being able to get people in the loop. She is so smart. She gave me specific tips/examples of what to say and how to get the face time to share what I need too with my advisors. #Teamgetitdone has an awesome #Teamdoneit to guide us through.

      On campus now full of grace to push through lots to read. I need to get this done like I need to air!


      • drwestmoreland says:

        #Teamdoneit! I love it. I would like to induct Dr. Carter, Dr. Tull, Dr. Rutledge, Dr. Davis, and many more in #Teamdoneit.

        When we get through we will cross the burning sands from #Teamgetitdone to #Teamdoneit. I plan to cross May 2012, who’s gonna be my linesister/brother? 🙂

        Who wants a t-shirt??

  169. drwestmoreland says:

    It’s 6:30 I have 2 things left before I can go home…PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSHHHHHHHHHHH 🙂

    • lenisaj says:

      The primary purpose of your dissertation is to get you a Ph.D. In other words, the most important goal of a dissertation is for it to be approved. It’s not a test of your dignity, fortitude, man- or womanhood, or even of your intelligence. It’s a requirement for an advanced academic credential.
      Your dissertation is part of your education. It’s not just a goal of your education. You thesis is almost certainly the first project of its magnitude that you’ve attempted, and such things take practice. It takes a while to assimilate a large amount of material and the different perspectives it affords. Lots of foods take time to prepare regardless of the brilliance and/or tirelessness of the cook. So does a dissertation, no matter how energetic the writer.

  170. Mari says:

    Alrighty everyone, I am trying to earn my X for the day on my calendar so here is an update:
    8 interviews down which means I finished up the one from yesterday and got the one done for today.
    I also submitted my portion of coded interviews for a paper I am working on with another student…
    Wishing you all a good night and a productive day for tomorrow!

  171. Ok #TeamGetitDone … two questions for you:

    1) If we were able to get tee-shirts with the logo #teamgetitdone in time for SSI, would you want one, and what colors do you suggest? Would this really inspire you? We may consider investing in it if it will make a difference. If you’re interested, we might put #teamgetitdone on the front, and something else on the back like:

    Dissertation House – From A.B.D. to Ph.D.
    PROMISE logo

    2) If we were able to set up a conference room for you all to work on your dissertations on Friday afternoon and evening at the SSI at the Sheraton Columbia, would that work for you? You would have a hotel room for Friday night. We have “retreat” activities (indoor and outdoor), but if you’d rather work on your dissertations in lieu of participating in the Friday afternoon and evening activities, we can make that happen.

    Let me know about both questions. We’re calculating our costs and planning our SSI investments now. SSI will be held August 19-20.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Hi Dr. Tull,

      Thank you for your responsiveness to our shenanigans. 🙂
      1) Yes!
      2) Yes!!!! I will try to arrange to work late Thursday so I can get off mid-day on Friday, August 19. I wonder if there will be a very brief activity outdoor that we can use as a study break, or maybe we can just take a 15 minute or half hour break to go and look at what the rest of the participants are doing if they’re nearby..

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Hi Dr. Tull,

        1. YES!!! 🙂 (I might wash it and wear it every week…lol)
        2. YES!!! I was hoping that a *short* DH was going to happen that weekend anyways. I would so rather work on my dissertation with my linesisters. 🙂

        Thanks for thinking of us and helping us in different ways to get to the PhD.


        • lenisaj says:

          Dr. Tull
          1) Yes!! Like Nikki I will wear it every week!
          2) Yes!!! I was praying that that would happen!!

          Thank you…#teamgetitdone is working!!

          • Mari says:

            Dr. Tull,
            Aww that would be too cute!!!
            1) Yes!!
            2) I too was also hoping for this option!
            Dr. Tull you’re the best, even if it’s late to order the shirt, your willingness to do it means a lot 😉

  172. Alexis Williams says:


    I’m working on quick edits for my section 2 of revisions. Still tired – maybe it’s my allergy medicine – but pushing until it’s time for my job.

  173. I want to be on #TEAMGETITDONE! I like the idea of the t-shirt and the rooms at the Sheraton. Alexis, there is a trail behind the Sheraton if people want to take a study break on Friday or Saturday and walk around for fresh air (assuming that the weather and time permits walking :))

    Yesterday I successful worked on my problem statement and it’s closer to being finished! Yeah!!! Thanks Dr. Carter for your help on Monday and Tuesday. I will definitely be contacting you through google. Oh, I also read two articles yesterday on micro-politics and will take notes on them today.

    Plan for today:
    I left the house today at 7:30 am to work at UMBC. I have to get back home by 11 am so I have to be focused. I have workers coming in to fix our bathroom today and I wanted to make sure that I have some uninterrupted and quiet time to write. So for, today my goal is to continue to read and take notes on 3 articles micro-level politics. I want to finish the last section of my problem statement by Thursday and these articles will help me reach this goal.

    Happy writing everyone!!!

    • Alexis Y. Williams says:

      Way to plan ahead for the interruption! You’re definitely on #TEAMGETITDONE! 🙂

      I love the trail idea, too. I will be open to that at the institute.

      Keep it going!

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Happy Writing Michelle, how much did you get done?

  174. drwestmoreland says:


    I am late signing in. Yesterday I finished everything I planned to do. I didn’t finish until 10:45pm but I am on #TeamGetItDone and that’s what we do. Then I was walking to my car I got chased by a roach on the sidewalk, these Maryland roaches are aggressive! 🙂

    Today I will:

    1. Make minitab do what I want it to do, run a few ANOVA tests
    2. Write for 1 hour
    3. Edit my writing
    4. Meet with my advisor to talk about the paper
    5. Write about power statistics and sprinkle a blurb into my dissertation

    I am going to an event tonight so I have to get my work done so that I can enjoy myself, I have until around 5pm to get to it.


  175. Thanks for the encouragement Alexis and Nikki. While at UMBC this morning, I read one article. It was an overview piece on micro politics so it was quite long. Got some really good references from it!

    Today is a really nice day outside, so I’m sitting on my patio and working outside, that way the workers won’t interrupt me as much while I take notes.

    Now I’m going to free write some of the things that are lingering in my head, such as why I’m selecting my specific research site–making sure that it is relevant to my problem statement. Then I can focus better on taking notes.

    How are you both coming?

    Nikki, the event tonight sounds a good motivator to get things done. Let us know how that worked out.


  176. drwestmoreland says:

    Today is going well. I did my free writing and did my edits to the paper for my advisor. Funny thing, my advisor went ghost today. She said we were meeting after lunch and I haven’t seen or heard a peep out of her. I sent her the document and the ANOVA that I did in minitab but I really wanted to talk with her, especially about the ANOVA stuff. I guess we can do that tomorrow.

    I spent the last 20 minutes of my writing time outside sitting under a tree. It is a very nice day, the shade spaces are perfect for picnic. I read from “How to Write Alot” by Silvia. It’s really a good book with tips and motivatioal tools for working throught the writing process of anything.

    Since I will be leaving in 1 hour I will write about power statictics and sprinkle that into my dissertation and hopefully have enough time to edit my free writing. I can edit free writing after my event tonight but I don’t want to do it then.

    How goes it Lex? Mari? LJ? 🙂

  177. drwestmoreland says:

    Done! See ya’l Thursday! 🙂

  178. Alexis Williams says:

    Wow – way to go Jodian, Michelle, & Nikki – still laughing at the nickname conversation for Lenisa and we’ll probably hear from her, Mari, & Tommy soon. Who are we missing? 😉

    So, Jodian, I struggled and didn’t stick to my strict cutoff time to leave work today. By the time I got back in front of my computer for more editing, I couldn’t keep my eyes open! But they are open now so I’m going to push on with my second section of edits before I leave. I’m glad that things are starting to even out for the grading/teaching balance.

    We can do this! Goooo #TEAMGETITDONE! We are about finishing the business.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Ok, this section is longer than I thought, but I made decent progress. Continuing tomorrow morning. A thought for the road:

      Though no one can go back and make a brand new start my friend, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.
      — Carl Bard

      I love this page!
      Read more:

  179. lenisaj says:

    Good evening #Teamgetitdone.
    Last night I did not read as much as I wanted I got thrown a curve ball…it distracted me but did not derail me. I am about finishing the business.
    Last night
    – I managed to read 6 articles
    – I did some mind mapping as well as free writing about some types of research I can do for publication. I got some good ideas of topics I can collect data on quickly in populations to which I have ready access.
    – I also did a 20 minute free writing on a meditation for my blog.

    Today (when I woke up)
    – Attended the last 30 minutes of a farewell function for the Graduate Ombudsperson
    – Communicated with my co advisors on feedback from Chapter 1 waiting for Dr. McLaughlin to finish reading and then we will all meet. Looks like next week and that fits with my schedule!

    – I plan to get at least 15 articles read and onto research outlines. I have to quit about 2 cause I have to work tomorrow. Hoping for more but goal is 15.

    Alexis thank for that post!

    Goooo #TEAMGETITDONE! We are about finishing the business.

  180. lenisaj says:

    Good evening #Teamgetitdone.
    Last night I did not read as much as I wanted I got thrown a curve ball…it distracted me but did not derail me. I am about finishing the business.
    Last night
    – I managed to read 6 articles
    – I did some mind mapping as well as free writing about some types of research I can do for publication. I got some good ideas of topics I can collect data on quickly in populations to which I have ready access.
    – I also did a 20 minute free writing on a meditation for my blog.

    Today (when I woke up)
    – Attended the last 30 minutes of a farewell function for the Graduate Ombudsperson
    – Communicated with my co advisors on feedback from Chapter 1 waiting for Dr. McLaughlin to finish reading and then we will all meet. Looks like next week and that fits with my schedule!

    – I plan to get at least 15 articles read and onto research outlines. I have to quit about 2 cause I have to work tomorrow. Hoping for more but goal is 15.

    Alexis thank for that post!

    Goooo #TEAMGETITDONE! We are about finishing the business.

  181. lenisaj says:

    SORRY Not so sure why that happened but on to the next thing…my articles…..

  182. Mari says:

    Alright, well it’s 2:20 in the morning. Before I started reading this blog, I was getting ready to quit transcribing my interview for the day 4 minutes short because I was tired. But since this is all about finishing business.. I pushed it through…
    I must say that seeing Dr. Tull’s post and everyone else’s encouragement sure made a difference.
    I definitely have to go back– later today to check it, but I got through it.
    Thank you for helping me keep the momentum!
    Buenas noches!

  183. Alexis Williams says:

    Wow, ladies! Way to burn the midnight oil! I am encouraged to push because of you. Curve balls and exhaustion? Pshaww! You pick up and keep on truckin. 🙂 I’ve got my drink (coffee) and my two step. Let’s go!

    Picking up with section two in Chapter 2, once again. Let’s see if we can make it through the whole thing today.

    The light is green. 0 to 60. *poof, she’s gone*

  184. drwestmoreland says:


    Moving Forward.

    I have some things to do here at home that I have been neglecting all week. I plan to skype with my advisor around 12 so that means I have 2 hours to clean up my home life.

    After I meet with the advisor I will go to campus. We can get pretty loud during our meetings so its easier and I feel more respectful to my office mates for me to do it at home.

    I wrote out my goals for the week and I feel really good about where I am. I will be working on Saturday as well this week to get through!!!



  185. Alexis Williams says:

    Ugghhh, half an hour… Squeeeeeeeze!!!

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Ahh, well. Still more to do when I start again – so next: 8 more pages of edits in section 2 and then on to the next 3 sections. I can do this, and I noticed a few times today where I caught a work flow. It does get easier, apparently.

      Today’s quote from “You always pass failure on the way to success.” Mickey Rooney

  186. lenisaj says:

    Hi team,
    I am drained and that curve ball bouncing off the walls! Feeling a little battered but I will not defeated. I have quote for today as well
    The secret of success is constancy to purpose. -Benjamin Disraeli
    I will at least read 2 articles.
    Lenisa is about finishing the business.

  187. Mari says:

    10 down, only 46 to go!!
    I think I will call it a night soon, Nikki… hope you had a good meeting with your advisor, Alexis and LJ (LOL!) thanks for the quotes! Alexis, your energy reminds me I need to get some rest and go to the gym tomorrow… I really need that endorphin production!!!

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Maritza! I am still here, but I am pushing through! Mountain Dew is my friend right now. 🙂 Since I am still here and I have an appointment in the morning I may be in later again tomorrow. Momma needs to sleep!

  188. drwestmoreland says:


    I really like this book “How to Write Alot”, thanks for the suggestion. True to my form I will finish it tomorrow. Thanks. 🙂


  189. Good morning, #TEAMGETITDONE!

    Hmm, my computer isn’t loading my user profile correctly (tends to happen from time to time). That might be because it appears someone forgot to turn on the ac in Marie Mount; it is crazy hot and muggy… But I’ll keep trying to get the login to come up, and in the meanwhile I’m using an office computer. Speaking of which, working on my dissertation at my assistantship has gone well this week. I keep my dissertation stuff in a separate room and work before and after I get off. My commute is less than a minute long and don’t have to waste time.

    Maritza, great progress with the transcriptions! Nikki, I’m glad you like the book! Lenisa, keep dodging that curve ball and I hope it loses momentum soon as it bounces along the walls.

    Today is finish section 2 once and for all day. Well, at least these edits (Later I’ll have more edits of a different kind). Please God let one of these computers start working correctly so can keep making progress. Thank you.

    Happy Friday!


  190. Good morning!!!

    Sorry for MIA yesterday, I guess it was one of my 12 minutes days. The 12 minutes turned into about an hour. I have good news, I just got one other person on my committee. Yeah!!

    Plan for today, finish problem statement, update literature review excel spread sheet, revise outline.

    You’re almost there Maritza, keep working at it. Let’s finish the week with a bang everyone!!


  191. drwestmoreland says:


    I burned the midnight oil last night until 3am I was in my office. Then I went home and actually worked for 2 more hours. I had an event this morning at 7am, so needless to say I am running on zero. I came to campus at 12 to meet with my advisor and I am just now getting out of that meeting.

    Good thing is that she gave me to GO AHEAD to submit my paper to the journal!!!! 🙂 That green light gives me the right to edit as much as I see fit and submit. My goal sit to be walking to my car by 5pm.

    #TEAMGETITDONE will be here tomorrow because I still have work to do.

    Nikki 🙂

  192. Jodian says:

    This blog is such a great idea! I get a lot of inspiration from you all.

    Keep pushing through Alexis!

    I had my second practice talk today. My fellow grad students asked really great questions and provided great suggestions, however, now I feel overwhelmed and like I don’t know enough.

    For the weekend I plan to read 2-3 papers specific to my methodologies (MD, ITC, Docking) and grade the lab assignments due Monday.

    Happy weekend everyone!

  193. Mari says:

    Happy Friday everyone,
    Jodian, I’m glad I’m not the only one working on a friday night..I’m sure you know your stuff, you wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t! Nikki congrats on getting the green light for your paper submission, that’s awesome!!! Hope everyone else had a productive day. I should finish up another transcript before going to bed. I also just registered to attend summer success institute.
    I will work again tomorrow at stamp with other community of writer members. I will get another transcript done and will code three interviews for the paper I will be co-authoring.
    Buenas noches!

  194. lenisaj says:

    Hi Team, I am working tonight as well. I guess we are making sure to have someone working through out the day. Tonight I continue to go through my literature review spread sheet and research outline. Planning to go unitl 2:30.


  195. Mari says:

    11 Down!!

  196. lenisaj says:

    Calling it a night. After fixing my computer, I read 6 articles, completed corresponding topic research sheets, and applied for Summer Success Institute. Thanks for the reminder Mari. Maritza pretty soon you will only have 11more!!!

  197. Hello All

    I made it safely to North Carolina. Thank you for the cards; I appreciate the sentiments and the feedback. As you can see the internet is working in this small town. I had a video chat yesterday via gmail yesterday so that works too!. Teamgetitdone congrats on the work you’ve been doing and save me a T-Shirt if you get them made. Stay in touch via, phone, ichat, email, or even video chat.

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Glad you made it Dr. Carter! We miss you. 😦

      Can you send me your gmail?


    • Mari says:

      That’s great the you made it safely to North Carolina! I think I have seriously been in denial.. Will definitely be in touch… and see I’ve been blogging 😉

    • lenisaj says:

      Dr. Carter-Veale,
      Thank God you are there safely. Now you need to pack up the shed! Of course I will continue to see North Carolina as a place in Maryland I can drive to… just a little longer drive. I am going stay in denial. We miss you.

  198. drwestmoreland says:

    Saturday Morning!!

    I just sat down in the office. I have a few things to clean up from yesterday. Then I have 5 authors whom I have already read to sprinkle into my dissertation. I need to re-write/clean up my power statistics set.

    I submitted my paper to the journal yesterday! 🙂

    Before I leave I will set my goals for next week, writing them down so that on Monday I am ready to roll!!!


  199. Mari says:

    I just got done with one, so it’s 12 down!!! Moving on to 13… 😉

  200. lenisaj says:

    Saturday morning and #Teamgetitdone is focused on finishing the business!

    Today I got feedback from my co adivsors. I was really bummed advisor comment: “I still think this first chapter needs work.” She asked for all three of up to meet after a few emails back and forth we have decided to meet on Thursday. I did not want to open the document to even look at what she said but quickly ‘womanedup’ realizing that that attitude will not get me closer to finishing the business. As I looked at the feedback I realized it was not catastrophic…I can do this and my advisor is an authority in the field.

    Over the weekend today and tomorrow
    I am going to address edits on the first three pages of the document. a) Find citation, b) look for few citations that are more current, c) discuss or overview research or reports that point to countries having policy statements and implementation structures.

    Lenisa is about finishing the business.

    Goooo #teamgetitdone.

  201. lenisaj says:

    Saturday morning and #Teamgetitdone is focused on finishing the business!

    Today I got feedback from my co adivsors. I was really bummed advisor A: “I still think this first chapter needs work.” Advisor B: “this needs to be focused some more.” They both requested that we meet to discuss how I should proceed. After a few emails back and forth we have decided to meet on Thursday. I did not want to open the documents to even look at what was said on the draft, but quickly ‘womanedup’ realizing that attitude will not get me closer to finishing the business. As I looked at the feedback I realized it was not catastrophic…I can do this and my advisors are well know and authorities in the field.

    Over the weekend today and tomorrow
    I am going to address edits on the first three pages of the document. a) Find citation, b) look for few citations that are more current, c) discuss or overview research or reports that point to countries having policy statements and implementation structures.

    Lenisa is about finishing the business.

    Goooo #teamgetitdone.

  202. lenisaj says:

    At least this double posting does not happen every time.

  203. drwestmoreland says:


    So this weekend did not go as planned. I was not as strong as I thought. My body completely gave out on my Saturday afternoon. I did a few things but some things will be moved to this week. No time to wallow. Next.

    Today I will:

    1. Finish 1 book
    2. Write for 1 hour
    3. Edit my writing
    4. Add Jami Shah to my dissertation
    5. Draft #2 of my research statement

    Let’s gooooooo!!



  204. Ok, I am encouraged yet again reading about all of the things that you folks have been doing over the weekend. Great progress, getting oks for pubs, committee members – even feedback to make changes is still progress, lenisaj! Now you know what direction NOT to go in, so you won’t waste time that might have been wasted otherwise. I saw a sign – no, really – in front of a church this morning that reads, “Don’t give up. You’re closer than you think.” Awwwww, yeah.

    I’m also encouraged because I got even more confirmation that “No one is perfectly strong.” I was feeling weak this weekend after I let my computer issues/curve balls discourage me. But, Nikki and Lenisa (I think L also had computer issues), I know how you feel when you say things didn’t go exactly as you planned them. But I repeat after Nikki, “No time to wallow” because that’s just believing the lie that we can’t make more progress. Yes we can!

    Today: I’m reviewing my stats and editing my chapter. Part 2 will go down in the books as amazing (even though I have to retype part of it that I lost on Friday because my computer didn’t feel like saving it).

    There is so much potential in my now. I will go discover it.

    Dr. Smackdown

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Go Dr. Smackdown! I finished. I’m out. The #hailfail was funny. Hope your car is okay. I’m leaving before the sun goes down today so I won’t get chased down by these #umdroaches that come out at night. 🙂

  205. Alexis Williams says:

    I forgot to post this morning! I reviewed statistics this morning and I’m working on staying awake this afternoon. I want to finish up my sections during the first half of August, so I have to push like Nikki did yesterday! Time for tea and instrumental music to get me to 6pm!

    • drwendycarter says:

      It’s afternoon are you still awake??? Remember what Dr. Collins say if you going to work against your tendencies the rewards have to go Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up and the tasks have to be easy.

      • Alexis Williams says:

        Hi Dr. Carter-Veale! I got some tea (caffeinated!) and turned on some thinking music and still wasn’t making much progress on my writing. So I put it aside for a few minutes and finished “How to Write a Lot” – I was procrastinating on the last few pages. Here’s what it says at the end:
        “When I think of the good things still to be written I am glad,” wrote Williams Saroyan, “for there is no end to them, and I know I myself shall write some of them” (Saroyan, 1952, p. 2).

        …I can write a few more minutes… 🙂

  206. lenisaj says:

    Happy Tuesday evening!
    Alexis I love it…
    “When I think of the good things still to be written I am glad,” wrote Williams Saroyan, “for there is no end to them, and I know I myself shall write some of them” (Saroyan, 1952, p. 2).
    Going to print and paste someplace where I can see it often.

    I have been at it since 5 but forgot to post…
    I am working on those edits, preparing for my meeting on Thursday. Not feeling great but #teamgetitdone knows how to PUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH because we are about finishing the business. I”ll call time about 9:30 and headout. Happy working!

    We are missing a few cousins!

    • drwestmoreland says:

      When I read that quote in the book I had the biggest smile on my face! I loved that little book and it’s such a fast read. I recommend it for all.


  207. Mari says:

    Good evening ladies… I just pushed through 15… and I got to enjoy Zumba this evening (with Alexis;) — Zumba really helped! Tomorrow I will work a full day, code at least 1 interview and transcribe #16!!… Since I am done earlier than usual for the day, I will go to sleep, yay!!
    Buenas noches!

  208. Alexis Williams says:

    Yeah, Lenisa, where are our cousins? We’re missing part of our team – right now we’re #TEAMGETIT.

    Oops, I put an “S” at the end of William in that Saroyan quote (I guess I’m used to typing my last name…) 🙂 I’m glad you like that quote. It changes my focus to just writing something good and making a simple contribution rather than writing the most spectacular masterpiece out there.

    I am working on editing my Chapter 2 sections before my assistantship. I want to get a first run-through of the changes by Friday so I can get all of the final edits by Tuesday.

    PUUUUUSH!!! Ziff woff wiff woff, puuuush, puuuush! (start at 4:57 for now, reward with the whole video after a nice writing session later – it’s actually a great metaphor for the dissertation process, esp. the intellectual thing, ha ha ha).

  209. Stacey Brown says:

    My name is Stacey Brown and I am a doctoral candidate in the College Student Personnel Program. I work full time in the University Career Center, so I have been in my doctoral program for a while. Thank you to Alexis Williams and Janet Awokoya for encouraging me to join this group! My research topic for my dissertation is on factors that contribute to the college preparation process for high-achieving, middle-class African American students (still looking for a couple of more students, so let me know if you know of any students who may be interested). My goal for the summer is to complete data collection and to begin data analysis, and I am working diligently on that goal. I have completed and transcribed nine interviews and I have a focus group scheduled for this month. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for qualitative software to use to code data. I have used Nvivo in the past and others have recommended Atlas. Does anyone have a preference for these two programs? My goal by the end of August is to have all interviews and the focus group complete and transcribed, so that I can begin working intensely on Chapters 4 and 5.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Hi Stacey!

      I’m glad you made it over to the blog! Can you tell me what age group of students you’re looking for? Keep checking in even when it seems like no one else is posting – eventually someone will respond and ask about your progress, esp. the mentors/coaches. 🙂


      • drwestmoreland says:

        Hi Stacey,

        Welcome Welcome Welcome! Keep checking in and we will all get through this together.

        Let’s go! 🙂


    • drwendycarter says:

      Hello Stacey

      Welcome to The Dissertation House Blog Summer 2011. I am the Dissertation Coach on line . Sounds like you are using a convenience sample for your dissertation and working with qualitative data. Good to see that you have a plan for the summer. I see that you are also working full-time. Glad you were able to join us. We in the DH believe in doing something everyday no matter how small that moves your dissertation toward the finish line. I wish you all the best. Keep blogging because it lets you know you are not doing this alone. I have no answer for you about qualitative data; I am a quantitative methodologist.

      Dr. Carter-Veale

    • lenisaj says:

      Welcome Stacy! Keep checking in we will all get this done!

    • Mari says:

      Welcome Stacey! I have heard good things about both nvivo and atlas but have never really had any experience with either. If you were able to work with nvivo I think you should use that– did your advisor recommend either?

  210. Alexis Williams says:

    Well, today didn’t fly by at the assistantship, but it didn’t drag either.. I’m back to work on Chapter 2 for a bit before I go do upper body at the gym. I finished section 2 and am working on section 3 – chopping up/cutting down/spinning all around! Green light, go!


    • Mari says:

      glad you were getting your 30 min workout in! 😉

      • Alexis Williams says:

        Yeah! It was tough getting myself to walk into the gym, but I was dancing on my way out. It’s like that, isn’t it…. I will apply that to my dissertation – push through and dance my way out when I’m done!!

  211. drwestmoreland says:

    Hey All,

    I am collecting data in Southern Maryland. I am just finishing for the day. When I get back to the hotel from dinner I need to do my 1 hour writing and read part of a book. I am tired but this has been an exciting day.

    Dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then writing!



  212. Mari says:

    Hello everyone!
    16 interviews down and coded three interviews! I also learned about the official call for paper submissions for the CIES conference, so I need to include that in my things to do list. Tomorrow will be another very productive day, for now… to sleep.
    Buenas noches!

  213. Alexis Williams says:

    Hello my lovely #TEAMGETITDONE!
    Here’s to another green light kinda day! I’m trying to power buzz saw through this chopping by tomorrow. I have a deadline and I will meet it! So exciting.

    “Fortune sides with him who dares,” said Virgil. Let’s dare!
    Success is not a matter of having everything go your way. Success comes from choosing to find the value in whatever way things go.

    Read more:

  214. drwestmoreland says:

    I am back in my office. Exhausted. Just came to drop stuff off and then home. I will take a nap. When I wake up I will write and read for about 2 hours. See you all soon! PUSH!! I might stop at Rita’s…:)

    • Alexis Williams says:

      You know? I still haven’t been to Rita’s, but I know the line is usually out the door.. That will be a nice treat for your dissertation efforts!

  215. lenisaj says:

    I had my meeting with my advisor’s today. I’ve been at the library reading some research to fill holes.

    Dr. Carter, I am pleased to report that I “got them in the loop.” I will contact you shortly to share the plan and hear your thoughts.

    I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Sheri Parks, today at a function. She reminded me that getting a Ph.D. requires persistence and that I should not be afraid to “show who I is”. And lots more wisdom and inspiration.
    I am Lenisa and I am in this to finish the business!


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Wasn’t Dr. Parks awesome? And it was refreshing to hear Tamara’s advisor stories. 🙂 Way to go with YOUR advisors, Lenisa! I loved hearing your report of talking thru things with them and feeling good coming out of the meeting. We are going to finish the business!!

  216. Mari says:

    You know… reading your comments always brings a smile to my face! (saying this like I’ve been on this blog for so long! LOL) Anyway, I am down 17, I also took an hour to join a webinar on ELLs that Dora heard about, it was great. I got a few articles to read from it, retrieved them from the library and will be on my things to do for this weekend.
    Good night ladies!!!

  217. Alexis Williams says:

    “Live with intention and positive ambition, but not with obsession. Make achievement a joy rather than a job.”
    Read this!!:

    I was just thinking how I flopped a little this morning – I tried to get up *extra* early and ended up oversleeping! Lol. I’m trying to push toward this self-imposed deadline to have all of my chopping done so I can work on revisions over the weekend, Monday, and Tuesday. But it looks like I was trying to expect too much and my body rebelled. But eventually I remembered that “only the present has potential” and got up, got dressed, and got out – now I’m ready to pick up from where I am. “God dwells in me as me” – I don’t have to be anyone else, I can be myself, imperfections and all, and do good work in the present.


  218. drwendycarter says:

    Hello Teamgetitdone

    It’s Friday and another opportunity to work on your dissertation. Is today going to be a 15 minute day or 30, 45, or 1hour day? How much time will you spend working on your dissertation? What will you work on today; do you have a list? What can you cross off your list today?

    Alexis I work up early this morning as well. My husband’s family drove here from Boston to celebrate a family event. I really liked what you said about being in the present.
    Maritza any more interviews coded?
    Tommy what’s going on, is the vacation over?

    • Alexis Y. Williams says:

      Hi Dr. Carter-Veale, Hi family!
      I’m going to take some time to work after I get out of my assistantship and before I meet up with some friends during my designated friend time! This is actually a huge victory for me because I’ve been working hard all week, but even though I really wanted to hang out, I didn’t budge when my friends tried to get me to meet up with them during non-designated time yesterday. I just kept saying “I can’t do Thursday. I can do Friday between 5 and 7.” Eventually everyone ended up choosing …Friday between 5 and 7! And this is one of those “exceptional” cases because it’s a friend who’s never in town, yadda yadda (those exceptions seem to happen every weekend). SO exciting.

      I will update later with my weekend progress!

    • Mari says:

      Dr. Carter-Veale!
      Ofcourse you would catch me the day I didn’t post… well I haven’t posted all weekend… BUT I’m down with 20 transcripts… and 1 includes a parent interview in Spanish, which is definitely going to take me a little longer but… I’m working through one by one as planned.
      My best friend’s parents are out of town and they left me keys and security code to their place so I’m excited to have somewhere to work! (temporarily but very much needed and appreciated– it’s practically across the street and a clock away from my house!!). Ok, time for some sleep. Glad to see everyone is being productive!
      Hope you are settling well in NC Dr. Carter-Veale 😉

  219. drwestmoreland says:

    Hello All, 🙂

    Who’s out there working on their dissertation this glorious Saturday? 🙂

    I hope all is well in dissertation land and that the wheels of progress are constantly turning. This week I collected data from the US Navy down in Southern Maryland. I wanted to see what professional engineering documentation looks like and compare with the documentation that I get from my students. This was sort of a fishing expedition because my advisor and I didn’t know what we were going to be able to get. We came back with a good chunk of information and some files to start looking over.

    Next week I plan to start analyzing the documents which means I have to read them all first. I am excited because I want to know what I will find. 🙂

    I failed yesterday like your morning was Alexis. I did meet with my advisor on Friday but that was the only productive thing I did with my life. I went to see Planet of the Apes with my girlfriends last night when I should have been sleep. This morning I rode my bike through Rock Creek Park and it was great to clear my head, forgive myself, focus on my achievments, look ahead and press towards the mark of my dissertation.

    I have been doing well with the writing sessions that I schedule each week. I have not been doing them when I scheduled them but they have been getting done during the day. That is something from DH that I hope to keep with me.

    Today I did some writing already and I plan to do some reading before the day is done.



    🙂 Nikki 🙂

  220. Alexis Williams says:

    Yeah, Nikki, that bike ride sounds like it was right on time. And way to get out and spend quality time with your friends and then get back in stride. Work may not always happen when or the way we intend, but as long as we keep coming back, forgiving ourselves, and finding positive ways to renew our resolve and persistence (right Lenisa?), we will finish the business.

    Today I had football – practice and two games. We almost won both games and got into the playoffs, but now it’s pretty iffy. Even though my body is a little worse for the wear, I did make some good plays and get some good exercise with no major pain/injuries. Despite the fact that some guys like to run through women, but whatevs.

    I’m working on my chopping before bed. Good day. Tomorrow will be a good day, too.

    Work, work, work, Senora!

  221. Good morning everyone! I’m checking in with you before I go to church on this beautiful Sunday morning. It sounds like you are all working, getting in some friend time and getting in some fitness time. Since many of you have services or some rest time today, I’d like to suggest that you take some “leisure” time to reassess your goals today. Look at your long-term goals (getting things done for graduation), then structure your goals for the week, and finally, decide what you will do today. Whether it’s for a few hours after services and a nap, or whether you’re planning to put in several hours.

    Plan to get something concrete done today that will make you feel that you’ve made an accomplishment. Maritza, maybe it will be to finish 50% of one of your transcriptions … today. Nikki, perhaps you can completely organize your Navy data and scan through all of the documents as you make a schedule for reading and analyzing them that fits into this coming week’s dissertation writing schedule. Alexis and Lenisa, I’d like for you to outline a specific plan for what you want to accomplish this week, and post your plans here. Everyone, this week, be sure that your reassessment plans include more than just “Work on the dissertation.” I’d like to see the following statement from each of you: “By the end of the week, I will have finished ________ . ” I’m challenging you this week … you are “#TeamGetItDone!

    • Alexis Williams says:


      I am working briefly this morning before church (woohoo for me, not at all typical), and I’m glad I checked in. Dr. Tull, I think I was reluctant to post exactly my specific plan because it’s taking longer than I wanted. My plan is to finish chapter 2 revisions this week. I’m not sure if I will have everything done on it by Friday, though. I’ve been chopping, rearranging, and clarifying this past two weeks, but afterward I will need to go back and add in some missing discussion and references. One week seems like a lot to do all that, AND fit in some more statistical review.

      Just thinking this through and posing the challenge to myself. I will probably come up with a creative solution soon. This evening I will come back and work some more.

      • Hi Alexis! Chapter 2 revisions seems reasonable. I recommend adding the missing sections first, then chop, rearrange, and clarify. If you edit before adding, you’ll end up editing again based on the new information. Think of the chapter like a cake. You mix up all of the ingredients first, then you bake your cake layers. Then you ice them one at a time, then you put them on tiers and finally decorate the whole thing.

  222. Jodian says:

    So it’s about a day before the big day! My proposal/candidacy exam is on Tuesday.

    I have submitted the written document and have practiced the presentation in front of 4-5 different audiences. I have been trying to review pertinent information about my research methods and the biology of the biological system I’m using in my study. I’m also trying to review keep course concepts.

    Feel like there just isn’t enough time….

    Trying to stay calm and reminding myself that it is not expected that I know everything. I have to get all my studying done tonight, as I TA the entire day tomorrow and I want to turn in early so that I can be somewhat rested for the exam.

    I am ready to be done with this step of the process! My prayer is that all the hours of reading articles/books/internet, meeting with students who are experts in methods that I want to use, and preparing will pay off….

    I hope my nerves will not get the best of me….

    • Best wishes Jodian! I’m in the office today and would be happy to hear you go through your presentation again. If you can get a room and projector, just let me know where to go. I’m available between 11:30 and 1:30. (Do you have a lunch break between TA sessions?) If you can’t find a projector, I can just listen to you do it from your laptop. Perhaps we can go to the room where you will be presenting tomorrow. I’d like to go through some tips with you.

      • lenisaj says:

        EXCELLENT! Congratulations on submitting your proposal and getting ready for the presentation. Practice makes perfect and we believe that all we are doing pays off. Go see Dr. Tull, it is so great that she is available and able to listen and go through tips! Pray,commit everything to the Lord including those nerves and have a fabulous presentation. Success is yours.

        • Alexis Williams says:

          What Lenisa said. Jodian, your committee doesn’t expect you to know everything. You have done so much to prepare yourself and when they ask you to defend your decisions and goals, you will do so. Getting good rest will help that.

          Good luck, sending prayers and warm thoughts your way!


          • drwestmoreland says:

            I agree with everyone, my biggest angst was also the fact that I thought my committee would expect me to already be the expert. They don’t. They know your just a graduate student. Think on these things.

            God Bless!


  223. drwestmoreland says:

    Hello All,

    Thanks Dr. Tull for that push, I need to go back to being more specific. I was lingering over on the general side of things. My nap ended up being longer than I thought yesterday but I think it was because I really pushed it Saturday during my exercise.

    I rode my bike in this morning and I will ride home this afternoon so there is my exercise for the day and the air is fresh and crisp outside, just what I needed.

    I will outline (specifically) my goals for this week and repost back in a while.

    Happy Monday!

    Nikki 😉

  224. lenisaj says:

    Good Monday Morning everyone,
    Dr. Tull thank you for the challenge. I have 30 hours this week to work on finishing the business. By the end of the week, I will have finished the following

    a VERY detailed outline of Chapter one as per instructions from my co advisors
    read the World Bank report on disabilities international
    searched for international research on implementation of education policies and /or programmes
    Create time lines for completing and submitting proposals for CIES and AECI conferences
    Create time line for completing and submitting applications for three dissertation research grants

    As regards Chapter 1 that I am still working on….:( My co advisors recommended looking at more international literature to make a case for what I want to study. In addition, I need to include a few more sections that highlight the need for focusing on developing countries.

    Now I am scared because I told the world. But I am a line member in #TeamGetItDone so I will get it done.
    Very Committed to finishing this business.


  225. Alexis Williams says:

    Yes, thanks Dr. Tull for this push to put our goals out there, and everyone else for sharing your goals. It’s scary, right? 🙂

    So I am doing a mental interval workout today, trying to work through this chapter 2. By Tuesday evening I want to have finished all of the editing, and by Friday I want to have refined the sections with any additions/citations that were missing.

    Dr. Tull, the reason why I’m editing first is that most of what I need is already there – I just don’t remember which sections I’ve already covered and what still needs to be supplemented until I read and edit. The additions are small sections where I have been putting notes to “add citation” or “back up with more sources,” but I can’t add them without doing this rearranging/editing/topic sentencing first, since that is what’s helping me understand what additional material is still needed in the first place. I think that explains it better; if you still think I should do it a different way, please let me know because I’m not really good at this.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Ok, progress.. Ugh… Ok, gym, then some more editing before bed. I think I’ll try to do all my remaining topic sentences first, new strategy…

  226. drwestmoreland says:

    By the end of the week, I will have finished:
    1. Making changes to my dissertation that include journal paper updates
    2. NAVY Documents (download, convert to pds, review project 2 files, make a spreadsheet with cognitive terms
    3. Meet with my advisor
    4. Writing goals (3-1 hour sessions)
    5. Read cognition paper from university of michigan
    6. Read number book
    7. Answer 6 questions from my proposal comments and update my dissertation

    Let’s gooooooooooooo!

    All lights are green but now I’m hungry. 🙂 I need a snack.

    Back to work.


  227. lenisaj says:

    Good evening:
    My goals for today (8 to 11pm)

    draft a sketch of the story I want to tell in chapter 1 using topic sentences for paragraphs
    Highlight existing sentences in document and insert new topic sentences in appropriate positions as a holder
    Read first Chapter -20 pages- in the World Bank Disability Report

  228. Mari says:

    Dr. Tull, well, I had a wedding to attend on Sunday so I took the day off, but trasncribed two saturday to make up for it. By the end of the week, I will have finished 5 more transcriptions– hmmm, 3 spanish (parent), 2 English (teachers).

  229. Alexis Williams says:

    Go ladies! It seems easier to organize myself around life events nowadays, now that I’m forcing my days to be more consistent, saying no to interruptions. Well, slightly easier. 🙂

    I am at the library sitting in an open space. I’m ready to work. If I finish Chapter 2 this week, I made a deal with myself to go to one of the days of an upcoming bachata congress. I might be too exhausted to go, but I’ll be happy even if I sleep through it. 🙂

    Happy day!

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Ok, I got through my edits and needed to enter the written comments into my computer document. I struggled to get everything entered this afternoon, but after Zumba I talked to Maritza about how excited I would be to get to attend the bachata congress this weekend. She encouraged me to try to push through and do a little more work, so I turned my computer on when I moved my stuff over to my assistantship in prep for tomorrow morning.

      I got through all the written comments and made notes for where to start tomorrow! So exciting. I might get to this congress after all!

      Big push = big reward!!!

  230. Good Morning Ladies

    Giving a big shout out to Lenisa, Nikki, Alexis, Maritza and Jodian. it’s Tuesday, Teamgetitdone keep up the good work habits.

    Ladies, you can always video chat me using gmail and my umbc email address. We at UMBC have moved to gmail but our extension is the same

    Jodian go into your defense with confidence, make sure your body language says the same thing. Wear the outfit that you feel most intelligent in and be sure to breathe in between questions. Keep in mind that you know more than you think you know. Let us know how it goes.

    Dr. Carter-Veale

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Yay! Dr. Carter-Veale, I don’t have video on my computer, but I think I have a mic built in. Haven’t used it yet so will have to try it out one of these days.

      We’re working hard to work hard! 🙂

  231. lenisaj says:

    Tactical Tuesday!
    Thank you for the shout out Dr. Carter-Veale! :-). I accomplished my goals for last night!
    My goals for this evening 8pm -10pm if I can make it make be I will go till 11.
    1. Read the Education chapter of the World Report on Disabilities. (28 pages)
    2. Review the reference lists for Global Picture Chapter (read last night) and Education Chapter chapter and highlight studies on implementation of inclusion policy or programme.
    3. Review spreadsheet of references, cross checking for paper/reports or studies that are not included.

  232. Mari says:

    Well I’m 21 transcripts down…. I got through transcribing one of the shortest interviews in spanish today, definitely one of my most difficult interviews. It was like pulling teeth, but very important nonetheless. Tomorrow I’m heading to the Department of Ed for a public meeting on Assessments and ELLs and since I’ll be done earlier than I usually get out of work, I will push to transcribe one of the longer parent interviews.
    Have a good night ladies!

  233. drwestmoreland says:

    Twas The Night Before Wednesday

    So far I am doing well but I need to keep the momentum going. I read the first 8 out of 101 Great Ways To Improve Your Life. I would recommend reading this book for motivation throughout the day you can read a story in like 2 minutes, no really you can. Since we are all under lots and lots of pressure I thought this little story was on poin: “No matter how hard you squeeze a grapefuit, you can’t get apple juice. Squeeze a grapefruit with varying degrees of pressure and from a variety of angles, and you can only get out what is already in there; grapefruit juice. People are the same way: No matter how much pressure we are under, only what is already in us can come out of us.”

    So to that I say fill yourself with LOVE! Love yourself enough to make mistakes and “press on”. Love the people who are in your inner circle with an undeniable love. Fill yourself with sweetness and sweetness will come out no matter how much pressure you are under.

    Today I drove so I thought I was going to be able to run the stairs at Cole Field House but I got there too late and the building was already closed. Anyways I didn’t let that deter me, I know that I work best when I get some type of physical exercise daily and I prefer that it be done outside. So I hobbled on over to the track and ran/walked 2 miles. I got back to my office and felt refreshed and ready for round 2.

    I also went to the counseling center today for my weekly appointment. I would urge anyone having and issued or under any type of stress to go to the counseling center. Anyways that is always a great experience and I always leave feeling that “weight” is gone. Everythings gonna be alright.

    So far this week I have:
    1. Made changes to my dissertation that include the journal paper updates
    2. Uploaded and converted the Navy docs to pdfs and backed them up
    3. Read the cognition paper from University of michigan
    4. Had 2 writing sessions (1 hour each)

    I have a meeting scheduled with my advisor Thursday. Tomorrow I will be tempted to work from home because it is late now and I am still in my office and I need to do some grocery shopping in the morning which means I need to stop back by the house to drop the groceries off. I will carry my book that I need to finish home and I know I can always do a writing session at home. We’ll see, I will check in the morning with my progress.

    “Happy Dissertations To All, And To All a Good-Night”

    Nikki 🙂

    PS: This was a long post

    PSS: What is pss for?

    PSSS: We are gonna #getitdone 🙂

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Nikki, I loved your long post! I felt the love and your determination, and it was poetic and hilarious to beat all.

      I definitely agree with the counseling. Even some of the things that have popped up over the past couple weeks, though not necessarily life-changing, might still have been unbearable if I didn’t have that counseling appointment on my calendar each week…

      Keep on #gettingitdone!

    • Mari says:

      I missed this earlier… but thank you Nikki! I appreciate this post. Sending you a cyber hug 😉

  234. Pingback: Dissertation House 12 Hour Marathon Session Comes to PROMISE SSI | The Dissertation House

  235. It’s official, though not yet on the agenda:

    Attire for Friday: Casual. We’re ordering the tee-shirts and will plan to hand them out when you register on Friday morning. I’d be so pleased if you would wear them. To prepare for this, wear an outfit that is conducive to wearing a tee-shirt. Arrive by 8:00 AM on Friday, August 19, so that you can register, get your shirts and change.

    I’ll keep you posted.


    • lenisaj says:

      Ok it is 3 o’clock and I have to be in the office for 8:30 well maybe 9:00 ish. I met the objectives for the night but when packing up saw that I scheduled to have the very detailed out line completed August 10 (my deadline) yeah that’s today!!!!. The date to send it to them is Aug 15 (their request).
      So I worked on it will continue tomorrow wait this evening 7-10.
      Good Morning ALL!

    • lenisaj says:


      Everyone leaving from College Park we have transportation chartered. I will send an email for people to register soon. The bus will leave at 7:15 am.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      This. Sounds. So. Awesome. Thank you, Dr. Tull!

    • Mari says:

      Aww.. thank you Dr. Tull!!

    • Dr. Tull Please save me a T-Shirt. I am available on line if anyone wants to video chat with me during the Marathon on Friday 12-2

      Dr. Carter-Veale

  236. Alexis Williams says:

    Ok, topic sentences, here I come! Reassessing the organization for fit with my original plan, and adding in missing sources/citations afterward.

  237. lenisaj says:

    Very tired tonight so I just poured through references from that World Bank Document highlighting those relevant to my study. Searched and found 13 references did not count how many in total to be found. Wish I could sleep on them like a pillow and know what each said but that’s not the case so I start reading again tomorrow.
    Right now in my best Winnie the Pooh voice: I am going to head home for a nap or two

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Man, osmosis would be so nice for learning, wouldn’t it… I hope your nap (or two) was restful, Pooh!

  238. Mari says:

    I’m still working on interview #22!! ;( Have I mentioned people speak a lot faster in Spanish!!!!!!!!!!!! sheeeeeshhhh even with the slow speed function!!! I went through and typed as much as I could, but have to clean it up. I don’t think I will be able to finish it tonight but I will continue working on it tomorrow and to balance it out, get the shortest teacher interview.

    The event at the dept of ed was great!! have to add following up with two professors on the expert panel working on ELLs to my things to do list.

    Alrighty, I will try to work a little longer and call it a night.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Yay, Maritza! You are taking the time to do meaningful things. Yay for experts to keep in touch with. And even though you didn’t finish the whole interview, listen to the church billboard I pass on Riggs every day: “Hold on, it’s closer than you think.” 🙂

  239. Alexis Williams says:

    Still reorganizing! I printed out the document and I am making notes for where the portions that are misplaced should go. Then I will match up the electronic document and then read over the whole thing.
    Green light, go, #teamgetitdone!

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Reorganization notes done, next to put the pieces in the right place in the document and read over, making the last additions where they are missing.

  240. Jodian says:

    So it’s Thursday……

    and I am pleased to announce that I passed my candidacy exam!!!!!!!

    First, I apologize to Dr Tull for not being able to take up your offer, but on Monday I ended up with only a 30minute break at 12noon – 12:30pm and I spent it having lunch.

    Second, I just want to thank Drs Carter and Tull and all you fine ladies for the encouragement and support! I truly feel blessed for all the strong women who have been sharing their stories and offering up great advice to me.

    I hope that some day real soon I will be able to meet you fine ladies: Alexis, Lenisa and Nikki. It’s just been inspiring to hear about the reality of the grad school journey on daily basis and to know that I’m not the only one with problems……”misery do love company”!

    Have a truly fantastic day everyone!

    P. S. – On to the next stage: MORE WORK & WORKING EVEN HARDER! 🙂

    • Jodian,
      You Passed….Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your prayers and hard work have been rewarded!!!

      Now on to the dissertation. Remember a good dissertation is a done dissertation.

      On to the next stage.

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Go Jodian! Go Jodian! It’s cha birthday! Let’s Celebrate! 🙂 All the never-ending congratulations to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) The truth is I always knew you were going to pass, just waiting to hear the news! Grad school can be the loniest place on earth, unless you arrange your environment otherwise. That’s what PROMISE does for us and this blog lets us know that we are not alone. I now come in the morning looking forward to seeing what my ‘line sisters” have accomplished the day before and what they are pushing through to work on. I can pray specifically for the needs they have each and every day. I am very grateful and I know that the other ladies are s well.

        You Did It! 🙂



      • Jodian says:

        Thanks Dr Carter! You inspire me! 🙂

    • Alexis Y. Williams says:

      Soooo Soooo Sooo Soooo AWESOME!!!! Congratulations, Jodian!!!! Give yourself a big reward for this result of your efforts (that isn’t stopping writing, don’t lose the habit – lol)! You can do this!

      • Jodian says:

        Thanks a lot Alexis!

        I am focused on getting my TA work done. But, simultaneously I’m thinking about working in the suggestions my committee made regarding my research questions/goals.

        My goal is definitely to keep working.

        Keep pushing through! Have a great weekend!

    • lenisaj says:

      Congratulations Jodian!
      I have not meet out in the flesh (at least I think I haven’t) but I am so thrilled. Well I knew you would pass we ‘get it done!’ See you at SSI!

    • CONGRATULATIONS JODIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is wonderful news. I am so happy to hear it and congratulations to you for all of your preparation. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon to give you a congratulatory hug! Are you coming to SSI? We can introduce you to the rest of the group. Both you AND your husband should come! Here is the link with details and registration:

  241. drwestmoreland says:


    Today I hope to see my advisor after lunch. Right now I am going to start some document analysis and prepare a draft spreadsheet.


    • drwendycarter says:

      Start analyzing where here for you….

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Thankd Dr. Carter. My head just starting bobbing. Going to see my advisor at 1pm and before I crawl under my desk for a nap going to walk outside for a breath. Did lots of document analysis and have notes to go over with my advisor.

  242. Georgette Washington says:

    Good Morning Everyone,

    My name is Georgette and I was invited by Dr. Tull to attend the Promise SSI workshop next week. I am currently in the process of tying up some loose ends so that I can take my comps this fall. However I have already begun the process of writing my dissertation in cooperation with my committee chair. My chapter 1 is pretty much where I want it and I am working on my chapter 2 today. My short term goal is to submit my proposal this fall and begin my research. My long term goal is to finish everything so that I can graduate this may. This may be a tall order but it is what I am working towards. I am happy to join this group and any support that you can give will be greatly appreciated.


    • Welcome to the DH Georgette

      We wish you all the best in your comps and writing the dissertation.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Welcome, Georgette!
      Your chair is behind you so you have the support you need on the academic end, and we’ll give you social-emotional support here. Keep your vision and you can accomplish the tall orders!


  243. Alexis Williams says:

    Happy afternoon, #TEAMGETITDONE,
    I’ve got my coffee and am working again on my chapter 2 “pieces” and additions. Let’s go!

  244. drwestmoreland says:

    Hi All,
    I had a disturbance, but a good one. I met with my advisor until 3:30pm then I came to the office thinking I was going to work and….it was time for my new computer to arrive! 🙂 All smiles but it did just take a nice chunk of time to get everything set up. Now I have a ginourmous screen so I have no excuse for not doing work. I am going to run and then I’ll be back for round 2. I am like Lex I might need to swing by Starbucks after I run.

    Nikki 🙂

    PS: I LOVE my new computer!

  245. drwestmoreland says:


  246. drwestmoreland says:

    Oopps sorry about that, my new computer fooled me into thinking my post was not there. 🙂

  247. Georgette Washington says:

    Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome. I’m glad to be here. Still getting some work done which is a good thing. 🙂

    • lenisaj says:

      Welcome Georgette! Everything Nikki and Alexis said! We on #teamgetitdone are committed to having #finishedbusiness.

      • drwestmoreland says:

        LJ, I am so sorry I haven’t picke dup my methods folder. Can you bring it to SSI for me? I will probably ride the shuttle from UMD with you. 🙂 (pretty pleases with sugar and spices on top)

    • Welcome Georgette! I’m glad to see that you’ve already started to post. I was about to send you email. Please follow the application procedures that are outlined on the home page of the website. Or, you can click “apply” at the top of the page. Let me know if you have any additional questions. My email address is

  248. lenisaj says:

    Good evening everyone…we have new family members! YEAH!
    I am in my space and focused to getting my readings done so I can accomplish my goal! Started at 7:30 but forgot to check in…At 9:45 I will change locations because the library will be closed. The movement will do me good so I can continue reading. OK ….checked in…. I want to finish this business so bad..opted for a 5hour energy drink over coffee this evening. I don’t have office duties tomorrow so I can PUSH through the night.

    Goo #teamgetitdone.

    Happy for you and the new computer Nikki!
    Maritza you are AMAZING!
    Alexis we are moving moving moving…I see a bachata congress in your future!
    Jordian happy dance happy dance!

  249. drwestmoreland says:

    Twas The Night Before Friday…..

    I am pushing it but I have no doubt that I will finish what I set out this week for my dissertation goals. If I finish tomorrow I get to go to Hot YOGA! I’ve never been so this is my reward for a great week. I got news today that I am going up to Penn State next week to collect some data so I need to focus and move some things around in my schedule at the beginning of the week so I can drive up there to talk to some engineers and collect data from them. I am excited about the trip but a little anxious because I have OCD a little and like to plan plan plan. I see this as a door opening in the middle of my week that I need to walk through even if it wasn’t planned.

    I gotta go before I miss the last bus.

    TaTa Now.


    • lenisaj says:

      Tweet heart,
      I am on campus Friday (later) in McKeldin 9am – 6pm will you be on campus? I can meet you some where.
      OR OR OR
      Send me your campus address and I can put it in campus mail
      or or or
      I can give it to you on the bus next Friday (Gw).
      Options Options options.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Ha ha ha at Lenisa’s post! I love you ladies! And yay to our growing family! or #TEAM!
      Nikki, did I tell you the prayer that I got from the church-I-cheat-on-my-church-with? Kinda like the serenity prayer. Liketohearit?Hereitgo:
      “Here I am, your humble servant, reporting for duty. If there is a door you want me to go through, please open it and help me to walk through it. If there is a door you don’t want me to go through, please close it and help me to accept it. I am your servant.”
      I try to pray it every day, and it calms me down and gives me perspective.

      Oh and possibly change of plans for me, Lenisa. I won’t do the bachata congress tonight because I still have some finishing of chapter 2 business. I also have an additional interruption this weekend, because I will be trying to trade in my car. If that takes a while, perhaps the congress isn’t in my future, but I will do what I can to still go on Saturday.

      Hi Ho, Hi Ho,
      It’s off to work I go!
      To do: finish Mission: Reorganization and Elaboration.

  250. drwestmoreland says:


    Here (Check)
    Water (Check)
    Coffee (Check)
    Music (Check)
    Extremely Large Computer Screen (Check)
    Yoga Mat (Check)

    I’ve got work to do. Alexis I have a church-that-I-cheat-on-my-church-with too! I call it my jump off. I’m glad that I am not alone. Thanks for that prayer. I will post it somewhere and read it when my OCD pops up. LJ! I love love love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 I will try to meet you today if not I will just get it on the bus. The engineering building is on the back side of beyond and I don’t want anyone to have to walk over here. I am glad that we are growing too, like a big TREE! 🙂


    Here I go…


  251. Mari says:

    You all are funny! Well I didn’t get to post last night but guess what? I”m back on plan. I have 23 down.
    I will transcribe one more teacher tonight to meet the 3 parent, 2 teacher transcripts goal for the week. woo hooo…
    Lenisa- you funny…
    Nikki and Alexis you are great!
    Hope you’re having a productive day. I’ll get back to transcribing after work…

  252. drwestmoreland says:


    Who’s out there in #DissertationLand! I have 2 things to do today to complete my goals for this week. I also need to wash and pack for my trip so I am starting early so that I don’t end up in a bind later on today. I will start working in 30 minute increments and then bounce back and do packing and such.



    • Mari says:

      Hey ladies,
      I’ve been working but just logged in. Hope you reached your goal Niki!
      I stayed in the office to transcribe my interview due yesterday and got it done. So i met the goal for the week! 24!! Yay
      Today I transcribed another one for the day,25!! and started one for tomorrow but I’m taking it slow because I’ve had a headache all day. I will stop where I am at 9 and get some rest/sleep.
      Alexis– car or Andy Andy?!!! If you went to the bachata congress I want to hear about it and live vicariously. 😉
      Lenisa– CONGRATS!!!

  253. Hello everyone, we have treats in store! First, even though Dr. Carter-Veale will not be at the SSI DH in person, she will be available for video chats between 2 and 4 PM on Friday, Aug 19. Your laptop should have a camera. Second, we have ordered #TeamGetItDone tee-shirts! I hope that they arrive in time. I’ll let you know. But since Friday is our casual day, please come prepared to change into your shirts on Friday morning so that everyone will know about #TeamGetItDone. We’ve ordered enough for all DH alums and participants. I think that Patti Ordonez will be joining you. I’m not sure about Michelle and Robert, but they are possibilities since they are registered. I’ll check the list of registrants.

    Please remember to fill our your DH applications. It is the standard procedure. While we know that many of you will be participating, we still need the application to be send to as per the directions on the front of the website. Natasha and Violeta will be bringing the post-its and markers, so be prepared for goal-setting. You know the drill. You can acclimate Georgette. I’ll be there to get you started. You will be in the Caucus Room I of the Sheraton.

  254. Robert Holder says:

    Per SSI DH application instructions, posting my goals… unless I get on a roll and accomplish everything before Friday 🙂

    1) Document current set of results
    2) Streamline the current code base to facilitate experimentation on additional domains
    3) Review statistical sampling literature as inspiration for approximation algorithm improvements 4) Explore means of supporting high-dimension problem instances

  255. Georgette Washington says:

    Hello Everyone,

    My internet was down this weekend so I was not able to post. But I have been able to further refine my chapter one. My goals for this week are:

    1. Organize the sections of my chapter 2.
    2. Begin filling in the organized sections with the relevant content.
    3. Finally decide between an all qualitative or mixed methods approach for my research.

    I am finishing my DH application and should be able to submit by tomorrow. As one of the newest members of #TeamGetItDone, I look forward to meeting each of you this weekend.


  256. Alexis Williams says:

    Yay, I’m seeing good news in terms of progress and the DHouse plans!
    Maritza, my car transitioning took over this weekend. I am no longer driving Taye, my ’95 Civic with over 213,000 miles! Sniff. But it’s been a hassle trying to get the records straight in preparation for transferring it to whoever the new owner will be. So I’m behind on my goals and I didn’t get to see Andy Andy. 😦 But if I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that I can’t stop just because things didn’t go as planned. I’m picking myself up and getting back in the saddle …er, car.

    So, this week I’m sending off the latest recruitment call for participation for high school teachers in my new county, since they come back to school this week. And I will finish the work on my chapter 2 so that I can give it to my advisor. Today I am doing the last reorganization and adding sources/citations.

    K bye.

  257. Patti says:

    I am so glad that dissertation house is at SSI this year. I wanted to go without feeling guilty and now I can. My goals for the DH @ SSI is to write the rough draft of Chapter 4 and get it to the point where I can turn it into my advisor on Monday morning. If time permits, I would like to take my rough draft of Chapter 5 and convert into something for my advisor, but I recognize this is overambitious for 12 hours… but you never know.

  258. lenisaj says:

    Movements Monday! Hello All,
    I received feedback from both my advisors on the detailed draft. My goal for this week (today to Friday pm) is to
    a) reorder the paragraphs in the present document according to the approved draft.
    b) revise those that need revision
    c) write two new paragraphs under subheading early childhood
    d) ensure references are correct
    d) read and edit document and submit to advisors
    I plan to have this completed by Friday evening so that I can start outlining chapter 2 during SSI dissertation house on Saturday.
    I want to finish this business! Go #teamgetitdone.

  259. drwestmoreland says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am in State College, PA until Wednesday collecting data. I spent ALL DAY coding journals at Penn State. I am grateful to be here but I am busy busy busy. I tried to blog from my phone earlier but I couldn’t get the link up on my blackberry. If anyone knows how to use wordpress with a bb please let me know. I have a Curve.

    I am excited about DH and glad that everything is working out. I planned a 1 day trip to NY on Thursday to visit my sisters before I drive back to Maryland. I am just going to see how I feel and make a game time decision. I have been doing better about doing what’s best for me and my body to help me finish my dissertation. I now know that wearing myself out trying to be everyone’s all in all is not the way. I have lived and learned, I have to take care of me and my time.

    This week I am pretty much collecting data for 3 days and then travel for 1 day and then SSI for 2 days. That’s the week.

    I’ll be ready for my Hot Yoga next Friday! For sure!!! 🙂




    PS: It’s like 60 something degrees here, I have the heat on in my hotel room. Brrrrrrrr. 🙂

  260. Mari says:

    I have 27 down, and working through one more in Spanish that is definitely taking me a while.
    I submitted dissertation house application and will hopefully get out of work a little earlier tomorrow to work and join Michelle. It was nice having a transcribing//writing partner today.

  261. Latest news: Dr. Judith Kadarusman Pollack is back from Indonesia and will be assisting with facilitating the Dissertation House. More about Dr. Pollack: . Dr. Pollack is a product of the DH. Her picture (as a student) is on the front page of this website. She has worked with many students of PROMISE to prepare them for defenses and presentations. I’ve seen faculty members sing her praises at defenses. She has also helped PROMISE students win awards at conferences.

  262. Alexis Williams says:

    Quick post: survey invite sent to a principal in my new county who agreed to participate. I have some more emails to send out soon, too. Finished reorganizing chapter 2, so cleaning it up the rest of the week.
    K bye!

  263. drwendycarter says:

    Good Morning All

    It’s great that Dr. Judith Pollack will be at the SSI marathon Dissertation House. I will be available on-line to help out and consult on Friday from 12-4. I think we can do 30 minute video chats. Hope to see you all then.

    In the meantime, I see we have some new people joining us. Welcome Robert to online DH; I hope now that Michelle is working towards the finish line you are re-energized around your dissertation as well. Patti your plans for SSI does seem a bit ambitious but who needs sleep. Nikki in PA we look forward to your return; I presume you will be working on the analysis when you get back. Alexis what is the count in terms of participants thus far….how close are you to that magic number? Maritza did you attend Dora’s party, check in with me on Friday so we can video chat. What’s the count on your transcriptions? Lenisa you might consider using the “references” in Microsoft offices since you are at the proposal stage. It will generate a bibliography at the end of your document when you are done. Georgette how are those comps coming; I hope you are creating a research summary i.e. research template for all of those articles you are reading.
    All the best to you.
    Have a great day

    Dr. Carter-Veale

  264. Georgette Washington says:

    Hello Everyone,

    After some starts and stops, I’m finally able to get to work like I want. Chapter One has been revised. I’m just looking it over to make sure the flow of information is correct. I have begun categorizing my articles for Chapter Two so I can begin to show the gap in this field of research that I have found and am looking to fill. I was also able to get my DH application in last night as well. Thank you Dr. Carter-Veale for the shout-out and advice. I look forward to working with you as well. That’s it for now. Just wanted to check in. Now it’s back to work for me. 🙂

  265. Hi Everyone,

    Yes Dr. Carter-Veale, I’m working towards the finish line :). How is your new home?

    Signing up for my goals for #TeamGetItDone Dissertation House. I will be working on two sections of my Literature Review.

    My plan is to write about different perspectives within social movement literature regarding the significance of:
    1. Institutions (movements’ challenges to institutional practices, policies, laws, customs they consider unjust)
    2. Identities (the formation of collective identities and the tensions within social movements around which identities/groups are worthy of support)


  266. Forgot to mentions that we are having a small dissertation writing group in the Art-Sociology building. Maritza is transcribing while Danielle and I are writing. Tanya should be joining us soon. If you are on campus and would like to write with us let me know ( I’ll be here tomorrow and Thursday.

  267. Georgette Washington says:

    Ok. I’ve made my changes to Chapter One. and printed it out for review. Chapter Three has been organized and filled in with most of the necessary information. I decided to conduct a mixed-methods study using a well respected teacher efficacy questionnaire for the quantitative data collection. For qualitative data collection I want to use class observations coupled with some teacher interviews. Chapter three is also printed out for review. That’s it for now.


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Is that the OSTES?? I’m using the instructional strategies and classroom management subscales (I think that’s it.. off the top of my head). Good progress!

  268. tgeiger23 says:

    Hello All,
    My goals for this weekend are to narrow down topic, write Introduction,Statement of the Problem, Hypotheses and Research Questions.

    • Hi Tanya, welcome!
      There are 12 hours and you must be able to measure your goals. You will have 12 hours, minus a small period of discussion, dinner, and breaks as needed. How many hypotheses do you need to formulate? How many research questions (estimate?)

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Welcome, Tanya!

    • Hello Tanya

      Welcome to the DH online. Great goals; as the resident dissertation coach I suggest that you start with a smaller goal and build from there. Start with the Statement of the Problem, everything generally builds from there. It is the foundation for everything else.

      Dr. Carter-Veale

  269. lenisaj says:

    I don’t feel too well past two days, I feel like a truck ran me over and I see it backing up…so blogging quickly and then rolling into a comfortable space.
    My plans for dissertation house (12hrs)
    a) revise paragraphs as needed
    b) ensure references are correct
    c) read and edit document
    I plan to have this completed by Friday evening so that I can start outlining chapter 2 during SSI dissertation house on Saturday. If not I will have to work more than three hours on Sunday and – in my best three year old voice – “I don’t want too!” stomp! stomp! stomp!

    I want to finish this business and be alive to celebrate it so I am off to get some rest.
    Go #teamgetitdone.

  270. Mari says:

    29 down….

  271. Alexis Williams says:

    You folks are amazing. And Lenisa you’re right to get rest when you feel like the truck that just ran you over is about to back up for seconds… Take care of your body and your mind.
    Dr. Carter-Veale, I have 135 surveys completed and I just sent out another wave of requests, so I hope to get my 200 out of 300 minimum…

    My goal for SSI is to finish this chapter!!!! It’s so simple but it’s just time-consuming. I’ve made SO much progress but sometimes I forget how far I’ve come.
    Ok, back to work.


    • Alexis
      Thanks for the update. I hope that you are not waiting until you get 200 or even 300 before you start exploring the data. You should know by now if you have to recode some variables, or if some variable need to be dropped all together. Do you know some of the initial tables that you will have to generate? Put some deadlines in place around the Literature Review otherwise you will be spinning your wheels. Hope to speak with you tomorrow.

  272. Hello everyone,
    Looks like you are working superhard on your dissertation this Summer! I was in your shoes just a few years ago, and I can tell you how much Dissertation House has helped me get Phinally Done. I am excited to join you tomorrow for the Dissertation House Marathon at SSI.
    Dr Carter-Veale, good of you to join us via video! Spare me a few minutes to say hi.

    To a successful (and done!) Dissertation!
    –Dr Judith Pollack

  273. Mari says:

    Goals for the day is a 90 min parent interview in Spanish, and a 34 min teacher interview in English. I’m hoping that working with my peers will help me get through these two (especially the one in Spanish that I’ve been avoiding!!)

  274. Patti says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Getting online was a bit of a challenge this morning. Thanks to Dr. T who realized I needed to buy some airline tickets for an interview and gave me a 24 hour connection to the internet. Anyway, that was one of my goals today. DONE! Today my goal is to convert a journal paper I am writing into the dissertation Latex format and then finish writing the evaluation section of the paper.

    Good to be at SSI!

  275. Dora says:

    Here we are, hour 2 into the 12 hour dissertation “house” at SSI. I have been working on revising my code book, since I realized about three of my concepts were unclear and I was getting tripped as I was trying to code my first transcript. My code book should be done within the hour and then I want to finish coding my first transcript. I’m going to try to remember to post my progress and musings half way through (8pm) and 1 am (although, to tell you the truth, I don’t think I can last that long – it’s waaay past my usual bedtime ).


  276. Angel says:

    Hello Everyone!
    Long time no see. It’s good to be back! Now, for the fun stuff, work…
    My goals for this 12 hour sprint are
    1. Revise contact list for recruited participants
    2. Develop questionnaire distribution schedule
    3. Create codebook and spreadsheet for questionnaire data entry.
    Wish me well!

  277. Welcome to SSI Dissertation House 12h Marathon!
    I am sitting in the Caucus room with 11 graduate students wearing #TeamGetItDone t-shirts. It took a while to sort out the Internet access and to settle down. But now everyone is getting in “the zone.” I am excited to be here and help you make progress with your dissertation.
    As I said earlier, my specialty is defense presentation preparation. Keep in mind that as much as you think that your research is “cool” you need to be able to tell other people about it. Only a handful of people will read your dissertation, but everyone at your defense presentation will see your presentation. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to craft your presentation. A GREAT Defense Presentation will convince your audience that you indeed deserve that PhD!
    To your successful dissertation defense!
    –Dr Judith Pollack

  278. drwestmoreland says:

    Hi Folks!

    I am posting here because I finally got the internet. Today I am going to:

    -Write 2 pages of observations from the data I collected at Penn State
    -Add some jobs to the job spreadsheet
    -Work on my research statement
    -Re-Code data from Penn State (as much as I can get through- I would guess 50 pages worth)
    -Finish “Writing About Numbers Book”

    Here I go. I got snacks so I feel better.


    • drwestmoreland says:

      Just finished my book. It is a really good guide to writing about numbers. I am going to write some observations now.

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Just finished writing 3 pages of observations from the data I collected at Penn State. I am going to give myself a small reward and keep moving.

  279. Georgette Washington says:

    I am enjoying my time at SSI today. This is my first time participating in both SSI and Dissertation House and it’s great. Nice to be able to interact with people who are moving in the same positive direction that you are. After talking with one of my fellow students I have more clarity on the concept I’m trying to convey in my study. Now it will be easier to write. Thanks, Alexis!!

  280. Alexis Williams says:

    Speaking of sharing, couldn’t resist this one:
    Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.
    — J. Willard Marriott
    Read more:

    Making good progress with cleaning up Chapter 2, making clear sentences throughout each paragraph for a more formal draft. I won’t finish the document tonight but I have a better grasp of how fast I can move through this portion. Afterward I will add a few citations and then I will be ready to print!

    Goooooo, #TEAMGETITDONE!!

  281. Dora says:

    Completed my goals (thank you fellow DHers for the applause). Can I leave now?


  282. Georgette Washington says:

    Ok, so I was able to get my Chapter three revised and tighten up my chapter one. My ideas and concepts a clear enough for me to now write my chapter two. DH was a very interesting and unique experience. It really helped me to focus even more on getting my proposal ready. I also know that once I collect my data, I have a network of support to get chapters four and five ready to defend. This has really been a very enriching time for me. I am looking forward to the rest of the SSI conference. It’s fun being part of #TeamGetItDone.

  283. drwestmoreland says:

    Just finished adding jobs to the jobs spreadsheet. One hour to go. First there were 11, now there are 3.

    I also started re-coding the data and got some pages done, I have a total of 150 or so pages to re-code so that will take a minutes but I will work on it for at least 12 minutes per day until I am done done done!

    I did everything on my list except my research statement, which I successfully avoided all day. I am still waiting on divine intervention to help me write it up. Well I actually already wrote it, but its long and it’s really 3 pages worth of bullet points. Ahhhhhhh….the joys of procrastination.

    It’s midnight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    We are #TeamDelirious


  284. drwestmoreland says:

    Were about to start the #PROMISEPROBATE show!!! Meet us in the front of the Sheraton in 20 minutes….hehehehe


  285. OK, I am really tired now. It’s funny Nikki is sitting right next to me and I saw her working so hard and now I find out she is burnt like me. Basically, Maritza is the only one who is still productive at this hour. But I am going to write this and do a raw draft of my evaluation.

    I accomplished all of my task plus one and minus one. The plus one is that I used my time here to get some coaching on my presentation for next week. It’s a big presentation so it was an unexpected plus. I actually practiced my talk to her! She gave me some wonderful advice on how to tailor it to my audience which will consist of some of the leading computer scientists in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as some of the medical doctors who are the leaders in biomedical informatics. She improved my presentation soooo much!!! I am going to rock! That’s important because I want to get post-doctoral offers from this presentation.

    By incorporating my journal paper into my dissertation, I have added 14 pages to my dissertation and I still haven’t added the figures!! I am at 135 pages now! Now the hard stuff. I have 40 minutes to write the rough draft of my evaluation results and I will be finished for the evening…

    We are #TeamDelirious

    Patti signing off….
    If you want to keep following me on my dissertation progress, you can visit my PhD Completion Blog at

    Maritza just finished!!! I am getting at least 20 minutes in!!! Congrats, Maritza!

  286. drwestmoreland says:


    The last 3 standing. I am glad we pushed both for Maritza and also for Patti because I was able to review my week’s work and write down my goals for next week starting on Monday. Its always good practice to clear your head and take a step back and see what did I accomplish this week, pat yourself on the back before moving on. Pressing on is important but it’s also important to nourish your spirit and take heed to the process that is leading you to your purpose!

    I would hate to miss something in this process and therefore have to repeat it. So I needed the re-grouping time.

    We were all pretending to be strong and working hard for the morale of the TEAM. That’s why we work well together. We have a common goal…GRADUATION! I can picture myself walking across the stage with that bright red gown on and these ladies and gents walking right behind me smiling and waving!!! We are #TEAMGETITDONE!!!!!


    We survived.

    All is well.

    Night. Night.


  287. Mari says:

    as nikki said… we are the champions….. 😉 you’ll missed a good probate…
    31 done… not 32 but that’s ok ;

  288. Congratulations to all of the DH participants! Huge SHOUT-OUT to the last 3 standing! Time for all to get some sleep. Good job everyone!

  289. Alexis Y Williams says:

    Good grief! I knew Nikki got back to the room late so seeing this is confirmation that she was #GETTINGITDONE!! congrats to the last three standing. I am SO impressed.

    I was just stopping thru to say thanks for an awesome, productive, uplifting weekend to my #TEAMGETITDONE family. And it’s not even over!! Ha!

  290. Thank you, Dr. Tull, for such a wonderful Summer Success Institute and for hosting a 12-hour marathon dissertation house! Here is the trio the morning after…

  291. drwestmoreland says:

    I am preparing for the week before classes start…i.e. the last week of summer!! SSI was GREAT!!!!!!!!! 🙂 It was everything I needed and more. Dr. Tull, I accidentally brought my evaluations home with me…Sorry. I can possible mail them to you at UMBC.



  292. Alexis Williams says:

    I was so tired after SSI – I think my brain was worn out. But I am rested and tackling a new day. I will try to get thru chapters 2 and 1 changes this week, which will be a lot considering I’ll also be tackling a fall orientation. But if I can push through, I’ll give myself a nice reward. I haven’t figured out what that is yet…

  293. Georgette Washington says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Well I am now back at work. Teachers had to report in this week. So another school year begins for me to do my balancing act of teaching and writing my dissertation. My goal for this week is to get 1/3 to 1/2 of my chapter two written. That should be fun with my new schedule :-).

    On another note, I really enjoyed SSI and Dissertation House this past weekend. Dr. Tull thank you so much for inviting me and thank you to all of #TeamGetItDone for welcoming me to your community.

  294. lenisaj says:

    Happy Monday,
    SSI was great! I so love catching up with old friends and hearing all the great news. Dissertation house was productive and I so like my T-shirt! Thank you Dr. Tull, DR. Carter-Veale and Dr. Pollark.
    This week is going to be interesting, Welcome Reception, Orientation, and a rounds of doctors visits…The rewards have to be way up right?! Why don’t I know what to reward myself with …besides cake!!!
    So my plan for this week. Complete and submit this chapter and create a draft outline of chapter 2.

    Today I will write two paragraphs.

    #Teamgetitdone lets go!!

  295. Alexis Williams says:

    Yesterday I realized I was expecting way too much. I know this because I completely shut down. I have a lot of stuff to do today (Lenisa, I feel your pain, maybe not the doctors’ visits – that reminds me to make an appointment – but definitely with all the orientation stuff). But if I’m realistic, I can fit in just enough that will get me closer to finishing chapter 2 this week (piling on chapter 1 is just ridiculous).
    So I will work on section 2 today and that’s it. I will do as much as I can without crumpling like I did yesterday. And I will let myself work out tonight. The thousand-mile journey begins with the first step.

  296. Good Morning Ladies of Teamgetitdone

    Writing a dissertation or the process itself will force you to learn some things about yourself. Can you work all night? Can you work all day? Can you work all night and day? The answer is probably no to all of the above questions. The trick is to take care of yourselves so that you can do your best or even your almost best. Alexis, I like how you revised that big goal into a measurable one that you can cross off.

    I was glad that the technology worked on Friday and I got a chance to chat with many of you. From the pictures of you in your T-shirts you looked wonderful.

    • drwestmoreland says:

      I can’t work all day but I can work all night especially if I am in my office and it’s quiet. I might have to schedule a couple of dissertation marathons between me, myself, and I without taking my body out in the process.

    • Alexis Williams says:

      Thank you, Dr. Carter! It was great to talk to you and to participate in the DHouse with our T-shirts!

      I was reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People before bed, and the questions came up: 1) What one thing that you’re not already doing would make you so much more effective in your personal life, and 2) What one thing would make you more effective in your professional/work life? I didn’t know right away, but after sleeping on it last night, I think it’s that I still expect myself to accomplish big things, but just not so much at a single time. Somehow that expectation creeps in repeatedly and shuts down the whole operation. But when I’m aware, I can remember that “inch by inch, it’s a cinch” like Barbara at Learning Assistance always says.

      I finally made some progress this morning, despite having a ton of stuff to do for work. I look forward to making more progress on section 2 and working through this “inch by inch” and I WILL #GETITDONE (Can’t stop won’t stop)!!

      • drwestmoreland says:

        Inch by Inch, It’s a Cinch! I like that!! Because I have limited OCD I like to start and finish completely, this doing a little bit at a time is killing my nerves. I am a finisher. I should be called ‘The Closer’. I wrap things/projects/deadlines/to do items up! 🙂 This dissertation is not a ‘closer’ type of project. It doesn’t allow for that. I have to just do little by little and know that one day it will be done when I join #TeamWeDidIt

  297. Mari says:

    Ok ladies! I’m back… let me just tell you that I was transcribing as the first earthquake hit….! I’m a little behind, still at 34 but I’m down 34. Another cousin agreed to help me with transcribing, unfortunately she too is going to start school. I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll be able to help– there was a reason why i hadn’t asked her before..
    I’m going to have a very busy few next couple of days!

  298. drwestmoreland says:

    Morning Ladies,

    What a week!!! The earthquake caught me off guard big time!! And I was sick yesterday so now I feel guilty bc I didn’t get any work done. I have 2 Dr.’s appointments today, one for me and one for my dead computer. LOL. I have to keep pressing on. I will check back in later. I have a conference next week so I will be working on the 12 minutes a day and know that I am doing the best I can. With the semester starting next week I feel like my life is all over the place. God is giving me peace. Amen.

    Have a Great WEDNESDAY!!

    No aftershocks please…I can’t take it.

    #TeamGetItDone Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.



  299. Good morning #TeamGetItDone!

    There is a picture of all of you on the front page of this website, . Serenella Linares from College Park (and Patti’s SSI Roommate) is also in the photo because although she wasn’t with the group, she was working on her dissertation in the back lobby of the hotel.

    I’m planning to see the College Park group at the reception tomorrow in Nyumburu, and UMBC folks can come to the Life/Work Balance lunch with Dr. Deluty on Friday: . Hopefully this means that I’ll have the pleasure of seeing nearly all of you again this week.

    You’ve done a lot of work over the last few days. Your advisor should be in the loop. Consider setting up a meeting with her/him to provide a summary of what you have completed, and your plan for completing immediate next steps. Don’t make her wonder about your progress. Don’t give him cause to doubt your dedication. Advisors consider their model students “apprentices” … yes, you should think for yourselves, but they are thinking about “mini-versions” of their productivity and accomplishment. It’s not a loss of identity on your part, it’s part of the training. You train under them, and do things their way, based on their expectations, and then you are released into the world to do things your way.

    Keep pushing forward. You already have a great start to the semester. Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop. You CAN do it, you WILL do it!

    Take care,
    Renetta Tull

    • drwestmoreland says:

      Hi Dr. Tull,

      My advisor is in Iowa but we talked over the phone at lunch and she confirmed what we talked about during our ‘power networking’ session that I am more and more taking over my dissertation and she is fading. She’s not leaving me but she knows that I can handle the work and make progress without talking or seeing her everyday. It feels good to be here because it means that she feels confident in the fact that I am ready for graduation.




  300. Mari says:

    35 down!!! and 36 on the way….

  301. Alexis Williams says:


    I’m so tired but I’m here and I worked this morning – completed several more paragraphs in my chapter and will try to get back to this later this evening. But if yesterday is any indication (including that 1am rumble this morning), it will be a hectic day in prep for the orientation tomorrow. I will do my best to stop by the networking session tonight, though – I really look forward to that if I can make it.

    So my goal is to finish up at 5pm and run over to the reception, try to squish in a workout at the gym, then head home and work for at least a few more minutes on this chapter before going to bed early.

    Here we go! Can’t Stop Won’t Stop!

  302. drwestmoreland says:

    Kendra posted this on fb and it’s worth reading. She is a grad student here at UMD, I’m not sure what he major is but she goes to my church. You will laugh and be inspired at the same time.



  303. drwestmoreland says:

    Kendra posted this on fb and it’s worth reading. She is a grad student here at UMD, I’m not sure what her major is but she goes to my church. You will laugh and be inspired at the same time.



  304. lenisaj says:

    Good evening all,
    Nikki, I had it in mind to share that link as well! I have been working slow this week it is a very hectic one but determined to get in at least 30 minutes each day. Piping this chapter out. Anyone interested in joining me for an online challenge on Saturday? I am thinking 9am to 7pm. Break for lunch included (I must eat). Anyone?

  305. drwestmoreland says:

    I am with you Lenisa, this has been that week. The last week of summer. Preparing for the half time TAship. A earthquake. A hurricaine coming. Dr.’s appointments. Computer died. MLK Memorial dedication now cancelled but I still have a volunteer session tomorrow for the prayer service. YET! I have been able to do at least 12 minutes a day on my dissertation. The TADA Methods Journal really helps to keep me focused!!! Thanks Dr. Carter!


  306. Mari says:

    Ladies I’m working with you… I need to crank out as many transcriptions *just in case* power goes out which i hope it doesn’t. I’m still working on 37.. yesterday I had an orientation — so I was able to get a part time internship at the library of congress as an education specialist. At the orientation I met someone from the White house initiative on educational Excellence for Hispanics– just where I want to work at next! SO…. gotta get working on transcription!
    Have a productive day ladies!!! Stay safe!

  307. Dora says:

    I had some very good intentions today. Work for an hour and take a break for 1/2 an hour. I was going to do that all day until nightfall – or until I started hearing seeing lightning (last Sunday one of our trees got hit by lightning and blew out several electrical “things” in the house). So far, I have worked for an hour, and taken an hour and a half nap. Then, I moved on to coding, which is difficult because I am trying to teach myself NVivo, and now I am being slowed down because it’s acting funky. Still, I am trying not to let my poor start throw off my groove. I will continue coding. That is all I will be doing for the foreseeable. My concrete goal for today (thanks to Dr. Carter) is to finish coding two transcripts.


    • Dora says:

      I finished coding two transcripts. Hurray! I also sent out a transcript to a student for their review. Now that the power is back on, I think I’ll take advantage of it and do some laundry. I hope you all had (and/or are having a productive day).


  308. lenisaj says:

    I love it I have company!

  309. Mari says:

    ok ladies… actually the above was a typo, 38 down working on 39 now

  310. lenisaj says:

    I am having difficulty focusing. Nap time.

  311. Dora says:

    Hi everyone. I hope that you all survived Irene with just minimal damage. I was lucky to only lose power twice, and only for a few hours. I’m writing because I was wondering if any of you are good (or at least proficient with) NVivo 9 and would be willing to get together with me for an hour or so (not sure how long it would take) to go over NVivo with me. I am trying to teach myself how to use it because the training seminars are $300-$500. So far, I’ve watched a few on-line tutorials, checked out youtube, uploaded my data and set up nodes. I’ve also coded three of my transcripts. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I’m supposed to be doing, but I wanted to make sure that I haven’t missed anything. I have this nagging feeling that there might be a better way to do things and there’s a few things I want to do that I haven’t been able to figure out. I’m not sure if I can’t figure it out or if what I want to do can’t be done. Would you be able to help me? If so, please let me know. I’ll come to you at your convenience. The best days for me are Thursdays-Sundays, but I could also do Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays after 4. Thanks.


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Hi Dora,

      I haven’t used NVivo, but Stacey Brown, who is also working on her dissertation and has posted here before, has mentioned that she used it. I am looking for her email address to see if I can contact her about this.


    • lenisaj says:

      Dora you may consider sending this as a message over the International Education Policy listserv I believe there are students who are using Nvivo.

  312. Alexis Williams says:

    I got confirmation that if I keep moving, things work themselves out in such unexpected ways. Last Thursday, I stopped by the networking session for the Grad School and heard Anna, the GSG president, speak about the programs and activities that students can participate in through GSG. It turned out the next day that Anna couldn’t make it to the CTE orientation during our scheduled time, but I was able to repeat pretty much everything she had said the night before on her behalf! We kept it moving and the program was a success, thanks to everyone’s hard work.

    Now I’m struggling to keep it moving this week with all the disturbances and interruptions – for me it doesn’t take much. I realized last night that I wasn’t getting my work done, so I let myself go dance FINALLY. It felt so good and I really cherished every moment, it was like a really indulgent dessert. Now I’m going to push myself to finish up my chapter so I can turn it in on Friday during my lab meeting. Pray for me please just to follow the pathway one step at a time and stop trying to jump ahead of the process.

  313. drwestmoreland says:


    My conference is this week until Wednesday but I am still committed to doing something for at least 12 minutes per day. I have been in sessions all day for the conference. I am taking a break now to work on some slides for a presentation I have on Thursday. This is kind of my main conference so I am hoping that I might be able to get a job lead or a post-doc position hence I am in ultra-networking mode. We survived Irene, now we need to survive our dissertations.

    Onward and Upward!


    • Alexis Williams says:

      Go and get it, Nikki! You are positioning yourself to finish the degree AND get a job. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So go get ’em!

  314. Mari says:

    hey ladies…
    It has been super Painful to get through one interview.. I have been sitting down for what feels like an entire weekend… and have about 20 minutes more worth of audio, in spanish.. with a lot of important responses… but I’m tired. I think I will go to sleep. Tomorrow will be a new day. So far I have 40 done, 2 sent to be transcribed, and 14 more to go 😦
    Good night….

    • Dora says:

      You should have listened to me and not done so many interviews! 😉 I know you have a lot to do, but make sure you are getting 7-8 hrs of sleep. Stay healthy! I’ll let you know when my sister’s done with my transcribing.

      • drwestmoreland says:

        You can do it MARITZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

      • drwendycarter says:

        Hello Dora

        More interviews once transcribed will give her an more in depth look at her research question and more information for future publications. While transcribing now could seem like a pain…the data will serve it’s purpose now and in the future. Hindsight is 20/20 and help is not suppose to hurt. I am sure she listened to her advisor who has the final say.