Summer 2012 Challenge

Welcome to the Dissertation House On-line.  If you joined us in the past, 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 look  forward the start of  Summer 2012 Dissertation House.  You don’t have to be graduate student of the University System of Maryland to participate.  Join the larger academic community of dissertation writers across the globe.  Start posting your goals for the summer here.

Are you working on your comprehensive exams?   For your exam,  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? Did you apply for IRB approval?  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? Keep in mind a good dissertation is a done dissertation. To finish you need to make daily forward progress.

This is a collaborative effort. Why work alone, when you have an online community to help you—join us.  Don’t be shy, you don’t even have to use your real name.  Focus on completing your degree.   Set some intermediate deadlines.  Remember to keep your goals manageable and measurable (in bite-size pieces). Simply put use this site to keep yourself accountable and to post your to-do lists.

876 Responses to Summer 2012 Challenge

  1. It’s official, Summer Dissertation House begins tomorrow. Hope to see all of you. Please migrate to this page for the rest of the summer. Whose the first person to post besides me? Surprise me.

    • Tsiom says:

      Hi! nice welcome!

    • jillybean1013 says:

      Hi, just finishing up day 2 of Dissertation House. Today I acquired enough of the multivariate statistics vernacular to finally produce a draft of the methods section of Ch 3. Yay! Tomorrow I will try to understand the difference between a variable and a measure; and what exactly “partitioning variance” means. Sleep well.

    • shanna says:

      1st day at DH and getting motivated. Moving forward with chapter 3 … it’s been a long process! Hope everybody meets their goal today!

  2. evesdawn says:

    WOOHOO!! First to post!! 😉
    I have 9 days remaining to my goal of FINISHING my dissertation, giving myself time to edit, prepare my slides, get ready for my interview (YIKES!), and see where I really need to study!! August 24 is just around the corner, but I need to finish my dissertation first!!!
    Good luck to all that are writing! I’m right there with ya!!!

    ❤ Margaret G.

  3. Marking my name on the road! Working on CITI training and edits to chapter 2. Second student post!

  4. Dr. S in Dec. says:

    I’ll go first (unless several of us are typing at the same time)….

    Still working on my data and methods chapter. I am a slow, edit-as-I-write perfectionist writer. Yes, that is not what I’m supposed to be doing, and while I am trying to break that habit, it’s a lifelong one and it’s stubborn.

    The second issue is that I’m trying to read my committee’s mind and anticipate questions that might come up and answer them in the text to save me work or a major surprise down the line. It’s not saving me time — it’s just making me second-guess myself and I’m probably making things more complicated than they need to be.

    To address the problem, I’m going to re-visit my to-do list and set my kitchen timer. I need to finish this chapter today, so I think really forcing myself to time limits for each section/concept is the best I can do. And remember that if anybody really expected me to know everything and be perfect, there would be no need to get a PhD–or learn anything, for that matter.

    Wishing everyone the best on making progress today and a successful Dissertation House!

  5. Hye-Sook says:

    Too bad… I could be the first. Good thing that Dr. Tull told me to come over. 🙂
    I am getting excited to join the summer DH tomorrow. 🙂
    Have a good evening and get some break!

  6. evesdawn says:

    I have some very bad news… my harddrive crashed tonight. I will be at the DH tomorrow morning, but will be leaving shortly after intros to go to the mac store to see if they can either fix it, or buy a new mac…
    this is the last thing I needed, but I have backed up most of my writing, so I should be ok… *SMH*
    I’m going to go sit, breathe, and try to relax… good luck to everyone else, and BACK UP YOUR STUFF NOW!!


    • Michelle says:

      Sorry to hear about your computer Margaret. I hope it works out for you.

    • Hye-Sook says:

      That’s right. I know some people in my program whose computer crashed while writing dissertations. Computers may not like PhDs… 😦
      But Here are good news for you if you buy a new Mac. (1) you can get a $100 gift card (2) you will get the new IOS 6 (3) if you buy a 15 inch, you can by the Retina screen: I am not a Mac sales person, but hope it makes you to feel easier…

  7. Michelle says:

    Good morning everyone,

    I’m up early in the morning transcribing. My goal is to finish this interview today.

    I’m feeling guilty and anxious about not dedicating the time that I need to accomplish my goals for the summer. Today is a new day to recommit. I need to recommit to my daily writing practice.

    So good to know that there are other people out there that I can connect with as I write. This can really be a lonely process.

  8. evesdawn says:

    Good morning, all,

    Blogging in from home this morning. Goals for today are short, sweet and simple:

    1. Attend DH in the morning.
    2. Head over to Apple store to either a) fix my computer, or b) buy a new one. I don’t have time to waste for this…
    3. Rewrite the intro/BG that I lost yesterday for Chapter 4 (shouldn’t be as bad since I know what I want to write now! The worst part will be getting all the references back…sigh…)

    Wish me luck, and happy (LAST) summer dissertation house (FOR ME)! 🙂


  9. Hi #TeamGetItDone!

    Margaret, I’m sorry that your computer has crashed! You seem to be taking it in stride and you were prepared with backups, so this won’t stop you.

    Michelle, you took the words out of my mouth. It’s a new day and there’s a difference between falling down and staying down.

    Excited to be able to post from my phone while the blog is short. Lol.

    KISS menu:
    8 – finish PH
    9 – finish ch 2
    12 – campus farmer’s market (tomatoes, eggplant, watermelon)
    1 – park downhill, pack up, & run errands, prep for later visit

    This day last year marks a special loss for a special family. Dr. Tull & the other CP DHouse participants from last year might remember I was upset the first day because a friend had recently committed suicide. After a lot of support, I became more dedicated to the truly meaningful goals in my life because I want to honor the beautiful people who surround me while I have them. So today I remind myself to work hard and Ph.inish this D.egree, and tonite I will spend time with the family of my friend, who also believed in hard work and being there for his loved ones. I hope this doesn’t depress you, but instead inspires you. The moment IS life.

    Let’s #GetItDone

  10. YA says:

    Hi Everyone:
    Happy Summer DH writing!
    Margaret, I am sorry to hear about your computer issues. You are not alone. My Mac crashed on, I know the day/time (forever burned in my memory) and I did not/had not backed up my most recent copy of my dissertation that I had spent the last couple of days working on. Needless to say, with my luck, I could not retrieve my information so that sent me spiraling into the DEEP!. Message, BACK UP, BACK UP and then BACK UP some more. Rewriting and reconfiguring is not a pretty experience! Been there, done that. . .
    Carlos, so sorry about your loss. I will blow cheerful thoughts in your direction today!
    Meanwhile, I am working on my dissertation presentation so my goals for today are to:
    Prepare the BG/Intro slides
    Method/Materials slides
    Remember, just keep swimming, even if it feels like swimming in Jello!

  11. Carlos says:

    At home right now..sick I can’t make it to DH live. I will be online.
    Having Issues with boss/mentor (the usual)
    Talk you later,

  12. Hye-Sook says:

    Good morning everyone!
    The summer DH at UMBC has been started. Yai! It’s great to see all and Dr. CV again.
    My goal during the DH is to find my track so that I can stay focused and work more productively for the last summer.
    Today, I start to write a new part, PD for teachers of ELs. The goal of today is to get outlined and include important citations.
    Have another productive day to all!

  13. Hello All
    Welcome to the first day of the Summer 2012 DH. What will you be working on today? Do you have at least 15 minutes to work on your dissertation? Can you finish your abstract, cover page, acknowledgement page, enter a citation, write a transition paragraph, create an outline? No more excuses. Can you do something today to move your dissertation forward? Keep in mind, progress not perfection!!!

  14. Kelley says:

    Here are my goals for the week:
    1. Put proposal document into dissertation template
    2. Reorganize proposal – revise language
    3. Setup new autism experiment
    a. using classification rules
    b. develop pilot experiment
    4. Refine financial experiments
    5. Write lit review on decision trees for journal article with mentor
    a. Review introduction changes.

    Next I need to prioritize this list and decide what to work on first! meeting with Dr. C-V in 10 minutes…..

  15. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Hello from Ohio – I have been following along on the Winter DH blog with everyone, just not posting. I finished collecting data last month and have been working on analyses as well as integrating updated literature into my review. Don’t have the full day every day this week to devote to DH since my kids are only in half-day camp this week (9-12) but am aiming for several hours of work every day. Thinking of you all in B’more as I am in my home office – have a great day!

  16. spencertime says:

    I have to do this because I am wearing my family out!

  17. evesdawn says:

    Hello, all!

    Carlos, I hope you feel better! Thanks for the support, Alexis, Michelle, Hye-Sook, YA, and Carlos!
    I’m posting a little ahead of the game for tomorrow, but I’m just very happy that I was able to get my computer up and running again!! YAY! My story and my goals for tomorrow are posted on my blog:

    Til then, and happy writing!


  18. eteacherumbc says:

    Did better that I expected. Thanks everyone for looking at your laptops so seriously and typing away furiously. It is a very conducive environment to write! I wrote about 12 pages: granted I was able to copy and paste some of it from an old paper, but what-the-heck! My goal for tomorrow is to get about 10 more pages and get 50% percent of my second comps question done. Good luck everyone. See you tomorrow Adios!


    • eteacherumbc says:

      Correction: *than (better than I expected…guess I’m tired from all the furious typing 😉

    • Hye-Sook says:

      You really crack me up. Since we look at our laptops so furious and seriously, they are often going crazy and crash down. Be careful and back up!

  19. spencertime says:

    I will be continuing coding (second wave of coding of this data) 9 interviews and will be done with at least half of the document (10 out of 21 questions).

  20. navid says:

    it was a great day for me. I have almost finished editing the first paper and will edit the second one tomorrow. Hopefully everyone has finished today’s task:)

  21. Nusrat Rahman says:

    Hi everyone! the first day was kind of slow… but still i could cover more than my best at home. tomorrow i will keep reading some more papers on my topic, the excel chart for quick summary of all the papers is pretty helpful. like it so far.

  22. Lisa says:

    I got a few tasks checked off today and plan to do a couple more at home tonight. The plan tomorrow is to update my proposal document, outline remaining chapters, and map out statistical analyses in preparation for my meeting with Dr. Carter-Veale in the afternoon.

  23. Hye-Sook says:

    Forgot about posting my progress. It’s was a productive day and I also did what I planned (guess). These are two things I need to do before tomorrow:
    1. Find the definition of PD from Guskey (1999, p. 16)
    2. names of 5 models from Sparks & Loucks-Horsley (1989)
    1) summarize the part “PD for teachers of ELs”
    2) copy my old paper on PLCs to extend it.

  24. Shams zaman says:

    Hello everyone,

    I am shams from UMBC. I am really glad to be here. I have spent one of the most productive mid day (avoiding nap) today here in dissertation house. Tomorrow, i ll start writing the ideas i have read today. Wish on spontaneity of your writing.


  25. rhh says:


    Finished encoding the TSP domain, so should be able to run it though the SVM and SVM+SBE algorithms tomorrow (no, you’re not supposed to know what that means). While the TSP stuff is running, I will starting prepping the K domain for the SC, SC+AL, and SSS algorithms.


  26. Kelley says:

    Hi to all those joining us virtually …. Kelly in Ohio – I too have kids in summer camp 1/2 days so I know how it is – a mad dash before the kid’s get home! Margaret – I have to say you have taken this hard drive crash well – thank goodness for backing up! You reminded me to back up everything today. Carlos – hope you are feeling better.

    Today was a productive day. I got my proposal into the dissertation template and started working on the lit review for the journal article in finance and AI.

    For tomorrow my goals are:

    1. Finish lit review that I started today and email to mentor
    2. Review mentor’s comments on financial experiments and propose next round of experiments
    3. Flesh out new autism experiments using classification rules – develop pilot experiment

    • Carlos says:

      Thanks Kelley, Keep Going!!
      I’m home with the kids….So the nanny (its name today was Super Mario Wii) kept them busy for 6 hours (they make turns every 30 minutes)…now they are out on a playdate. I’m trying not to be so close so I do not spread the infection around 🙂
      I have to review a paper now s it can be submitted.

      • Kelley says:

        Carlos – I love your nanny – LOL! My nanny (Wii) recently died so we have hired a new one called Ipad apps 🙂 Whatever it takes…

        • Carlos says:


          Sorry to here about your nanny 🙂

          Tomorrow….I’ll be home but working extremely hard. I got back today 6 chapters from my expert editor so tomorrow I will be working on those and hopefully the last two chapters
          ……..Maybe to much hope due to my present health condition but the goal is there ………………… ………………………………….. ……………….I still have my excellent mental health HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Time for my medication 🙂

        • Patti O PhD says:

          Hi Kelley and Carlos,

          You guys are amazing… Doing this while the kids are around is some incredible discipline!!! Way to go…

  27. Michelle says:

    Hi again everyone,

    Didn’t finished my transcription but that’s on the list of things to do tomorrow.

    I took one of Dr. CV’s advise to download the dissertation template from the graduate school website and insert my chapter 1-3 in the template. She also recommends that we change the tense of the document from future to past tense. So I downloaded the template and am in the process of changing the tense. In addition, I’m making notes in the document specifically related to suggestions that my committee members made at my proposal defense.

    Let me tell you, just this little action made me feel great! Now all I have to do is to fill in the gaps of the template.

    So for tomorrow:
    1. finish transcription #14
    2. Change the tense of my proposal from future to past tense
    3. I’m meeting with my advisors in August, so I need to draft up an agenda for that meeting.

  28. Good job everyone! Keep up the good work! Kelly (Ohio) and Alexis, I responded to your posts above. Margaret’s computer is working now! She was furiously working after 5 PM in the DH today. Keep up the momentum. Special thanks to Sartarupta, Hye-Sook, and Troy for taking some minutes out this afternoon to meet the new incoming student in your department. You embraced and welcomed her so warmly. You may not think that it was special, because it’s part of who you are and how you do things. But it was special, so thank you!

  29. College Park folks, many people have sacrificed to make this happen: Please spread the word like wild fire. DISSERTATION HOUSE AT COLLEGE PARK, JULY 2012!!

  30. Michelle says:

    Good morning,

    Up again to do my transcription. The goal for the next hour and a half is to finish # 13.

  31. Hye-Sook says:

    Good morning all!
    I guess everyone is late today… it’s close to 9:10 but not many are around?
    Anyways, my goals for today are
    1) copy my last paper of PLCs
    2) set up the outline
    3) extend the citation and include more

  32. eteacherumbc says:

    Fun exercise to start the day: just realized I’m not TV-ready yet to talk about my research! Goal for the day: get 12 more pages written of my comps. Will check back in EOD. ~ Satarupa

  33. evesdawn says:

    GOOD MORNING, DHers, on campus and off!
    Goal is to FINISH chapter 4 today!!


  34. Kelley says:

    Morning all!

    Ok – now that my blood is pumping after this morning’s exercise – it is time to work! Nothing wakes you up quite like 2 mins. of public speaking 😉

    I was able to get the lit review completed last night so here is my list to work on for today:

    1. Financial experiments – Respond to Rada’s comments
    2. Autism Research – Flesh out pilot experiments

  35. evesdawn says:

    OK I have an update for my goals – a little more concise!

    1) Finish BG/Intro to chapter 4:
    a. link between proliferation and TfR production
    b. ways to use TfR as a target
    c. Tf conjugation
    d. significance/purpose

    2) Read through Chapter 4 from start to finish, edit where need-be

    3) Send Chapter to editor for review!


  36. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Forgot to blog in today, sorry! Yesterday I spent a lot of my time purchasing and downloading an updated version of SPSS, plus I did some data recoding for alternative analyses. Today I am continuing the recoding, as well as working with my one survey to figure out how to improve the Cronbach’s alpha. I have some literature to read as well. Have a great one!

    • Kelly Schmidt says:

      And I wore my #TeamGetIt Done shirt yesterday in solidarity with you all 🙂

    • spencertime says:

      Kelly, I want to do the same (purchasing and downloading) with Nvivo. I need it. it is so darn expensive, however.

      • Kelly Schmidt says:

        I am not familiar with that program, is it available at the bookstore for purchase? I live in Ohio so the bookstore is not convenient for me, and SPSS is only available to download on computers on campus I believe. I used a website called On the Hub to purchase SPSS, they offer 6 month and 12 month “rentals” of programs which gives you a license to use it for that period of time. It was less than $100 for a 12 month license on the Grad Pack of SPSS. Good luck finding it!

    • spencertime says:

      Kelly, How do I get the google countdown on my homepage? Dr. Carter said you’d know. It won’t appear on my homepage for some reason:


  37. spencertime says:

    I would like to start tomorrow off using Nvivo to finish coding data in that program instead of by hand, which would create another layer of data entry. Slowly but surely. . .

  38. eteacherumbc says:

    Dear All,
    After the burst of work yesterday, today has been slower. I wrote two pages but I modified/edited what I wrote yesterday based on Dr. C-V’s comments. My session with Dr. C-V was very helpful. Her edits will propel me to write better and smarter and keep my audience in mind…not make them work too hard to get what I wrote but make it easier for them.

    My goal for tomorrow is to reach the goal for today: write 10 pages. I’m about 50% into my answer, by the end of the diss-house, I plan to have a final rough draft. Wish me luck!

  39. Shams zaman says:

    Good afternoon everyone,
    I was not productive today. I ll try make up tomorrow by writing the extensions, i need on my prelim document.

  40. Nusrat Rahman says:

    Hello! today did not seem like i worked much! but actually i found answer to one of my research questions, yaaaay! and sometime in the afternoon i was so exhausted (looking for the solution), i just wanted to leave! then i took some time, wrote down what i am feeling right now, tried to relate how i have dealt similar situations before, and kept working on it. within five minutes, i got what i was looking for. i take it as a reward for my endurance. 😀

    tomorrow, i will try to give a shape to my project proposal, and on the last day, will work on giving it a final touch. good luck you all!

  41. Michelle says:

    I finished transcribing my 14th interview. I have 6 left to go!! Yeah!!! For the rest of the evening and tomorrow, I plan to work on transcribing some more of the 15th interview.

  42. rhh says:


    Well, was supposed to have TSP ready for SVM and SVM+SBE approximation algorithms, but still ironing out some glitches stemming from trying to leverage the baseline data that I have that is in a different format. In theory we’re supposed to be being kicked out, but I’ll squat here for a bit and see if I can get this thing to run.

    Mañana – should have SVM and SVM+SBE data for the TSP domain. Hoping that getting the K domain ready for SC and SC+AL isn’t too painful and I’ll be able to get that data as well.


  43. Kelley says:

    Day 2 – DH: Overall, a productive day. I finished up the smaller items yesterday and early today and now have moved on to the big item – working on the autism experiments.
    As expected, took me longer than usual to get through some initial data prepping but I feel good about what I accomplished today. I wish I could work here everyday – I’d be done in no time!

    For tomorrow here are more goals:
    1. Update drug ontology with proper total numbers
    2. Prepare data file in Access from Child with ASD questionnaire – include all attributes – export to CSV.
    3. Need to determine type of attribute selection method to use: info gain, pca? Need to do a pros/cons for each as well as for others in Weka. Play around with each of these to see what the results look like – how much will it reduce the data? Will the transformed data be “interpretable”?
    4. Once data file is prepped – run classification algorithm in Weka to get starting classificiation results for experiments.

  44. evesdawn says:

    Was able to complete all of my goals!!! KEEP GOING EVERYONE!! You are closer than you think!! 😀


  45. Hello All Day 2 of the Summer 2012 DH concluded. We look forward to Day 3.
    We began the day with the Public Speaking exercise to get our soon to be PhD experts familiar with media interviews. Overall, the experienced proved to be an early eyeopener for some of our advanced PhD candidates. We good the google stopwatch to practice our 2 minute spiel about our respective research topics.

    While some of us were very enthusiastic and articulate early in the morning; we all still have areas for improvement. We are still a work in progress with respect to our “filler words” such as “ums, ahs and “so”. Thank goodness we didn’t have anyone attached to the word “like” when looking for a transition word. We discussed the difference between purposeful gestures and unconscious hand and body movements that distract from the expert’s message. We dealt with nervous ticks such as unconsciously playing with our hair, sucking out teeth and or slouching in the seat. More importantly, we worked on staying focused on whatever message (brand) the expert wants to convey despite the interviewer’s off beat questions, insertions, or even silence.

    Can you talk about your research in a intelligence coherent manner without any ums and ahs? Can you eliminate the jargon so that even your grandmother could understand what you are doing? Do you have a 2 min, 5 min, or even a 15 min version of this type of adhoc presentation? Remember, practice makes perfect. Or maybe I should say practice makes for less mistakes, less hesitations, less ums and ahs.

    Later in the afternoon we had a visit from Dr. Susan Han from the University Counseling Services Center (UCSC). She spoke for 20 minutes about stress and the effort to keep a balanced life during graduate school.

  46. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Continued with recoding and doing some data analysis today, trying to understand the GLM function on SPSS. Also talked with a colleague about some stats issues that I am having and scheduled a phone conference with my adviser for Fri. morning. Being 3 states away is a challenge, no doubt…

  47. Michelle says:

    Good morning,
    Back to it again. Transcribing.

  48. Good Morning All

    Michelle…good for you. You are almost done with the transcribing; aren’t you glad I twisted your arm to get it started …4 more to go!!!! the alternative would have been waiting until the end..

    Kelley from Ohio…thanks for joining us we have Kelley from PA…she thought she had traveled the furthest to come to DH.

    Who else is working with us this morning?

  49. evesdawn says:


    I’m ready to rock Chapter 3, even though I’m tired!! Good luck to everyone today!! #TeamGetItDone!!


  50. navid says:

    good morning all,
    Have a very good day…

  51. Kelley says:

    Good morning everyone…here’s to another productive day at DH!

  52. eteacherumbc says:

    Good morning, y’all!

    Plan to pick up my pace and finish 10 pages of my comps response so that I have about 65% of the answer done. Have fun, everyone!


  53. evesdawn says:

    CARLOS! Where are you!?

  54. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Finally checking in, stayed up late last night re-working data to achieve a good Cronbach’s alpha, it worked! Now to move ahead with more data analysis, creating tables, finishing up methods section. Goal is to have a draft ready for my adviser by the end of next week. Have a good one!

  55. Carlos says:

    Plan for this week is to finish Chapter 1 through 6 and send it to Mentor. I sent 1 through 5 this morning. Now working on Chapter 6 here at DH.

  56. spencertime says:

    Vlog (Vent Log)
    Frustrated. I wanna “holla.” Spent too much time trying to figure out how to download Nvivo (UMBC tech department, etc.). Then, I thought it would be $99; then, I found out it was $147. But, can’t purchase Nvivo without Microsoft Windows! No way around that. The tech guy told Dr. Carter-Veal and I that it was $100. But, he was mistaken. It is exactly $199 (The upgrade is $119.) Then, they want me to use some type of Windows Live email account. So, I had to set that up. Then, when I purchase and sign in, using this new account, they have no record of my purchase. I call the help desk. Is that mysterious pass word letter a 1 or an l or an I (if you didn’t catch it, the second one was a lowercase L and the third one an uppercase i.” After we got that squared away, she told me I shouldn’t be using this Microsoft Live email address but the one that I used when I purchased the product. So, why were they so pressed about this Microsoft Live I.D.? So, now, it is downloading. I have to download 3 files. I am on my second one, and it says, “2 hours left.” It is 3:58. No victory today. I want to eat a huge bowl of Cold Stone Ice Cream. I’m not even going to look at that 52 Proven Stress Reducers hand-out because ice cream “aint” on it!

    The plan . . . to go home and finish downloading this interminable operating system. Then, get a 30-day trial version of Nvivo (put off the $147). I’m telling you . . . there’d better be no hiccups with Nvivo tonight.

    Code for an hour now. . .
    Cold Stone later . . .
    In tomorrow with a smile . . .

    • evesdawn says:

      Deep breaths! Sometimes, a good night’s sleep is what you need to clear your mind, at least a little bit, and come back to it fresh! Everyone has hiccups in their dissertation road – hopefully, this is the worst that you will encounter on yours! Good luck and relax!! 😀

    • Kelley says:

      Today was another productive day – but I am definitely more tired. I was making stupid mistakes with some data prepping was doing this morning. Got my brain working right after lunch with a jolt of caffeine. Was able to work through some of the data issues with the autism experiments. Tomorrow will continue to look at the pilot experiments…Night all!

  57. evesdawn says:

    I am so totally on a roll now! Getting it done and rocking it out! DONE with Chapter 3 Intro/BG! Tomorrow, I’m tackling Chapter 1!! Remember, a GOOD dissertation is a DONE dissertation! #TeamGetItGOODandDONE!

    I hope everyone had a decent day today as well! Tomorrow is the last day of DH – make it count!!! Find that PURPOSE and PASSION, and then PREPARE and PERSIST and have PERSPECTIVE!! Til tomorrow all!


  58. Hye-Sook says:

    I came late to DH today due to an appointment in the morning. So I am slightly late for my original plan unless I catch up tonight. 😦
    I am working on outlining my last part of LR – went through about 2/3 of literature and readings…
    Hope I can work home so that I can write this part and can finish LR by the end of this weekend.
    Have a good one all!

  59. eteacherumbc says:

    Sorry to hear about the trouble with Nvivo, Spencertime. Hope it gets all sorted out and you also get your ice cream!

    Today was a bit of a downer for me. I came in with a bit of a headache this morning. No, I wasn’t out partying but working on my assistantship, which has taken a backseat because of DH. I had to make changes to a couple of Blackboard courses and open them and also respond to participants’ (they are adult students from all over the world) emails that had been piling up in my inbox. So, I slept late and woke up early and had a headache since morning.

    I still wrote about 5 pages in the morning and read about 6 articles (skimmed relevant parts) that I will use in the section that I’m writing right now. I’m planning to continue working now on finishing this section that I have taken a nap and feeling better.

    Goal for tomorrow: 10 more pages to 75% of the answer.

    Good luck, everyone!


  60. Lisa says:

    End of DH Day 3 and I got a few things done even though I felt pretty crappy today (new antibiotics should take care of that – fingers crossed!).
    – Cleaned up data and reconciled missing data. I made notes of a couple places I need to find data to fill in.
    – Mapped out my organized approach to the statistical analysis and sent it to my advisor.
    – Put my document into the official dissertation template.
    I think having the running list of tasks on the wall is really helping me – that’s one thing I can take with me to do by my desk at home to keep me going after DH!

  61. Carlos says:

    Ok..Keep working!!
    In UMBC library study room 455 with Kelley.

  62. Nusrat Rahman says:

    today i was much more focused than yesterday. however, working so long at a stretch can never run without struggle. today was supposed to be a perfect day, i know what to work on, concentration is perfect, but i started having allergy attack, head ache.. all these minor irritations that won’t affect your health much, but will take a toll on your mind. my mind started telling me, let’s not work today, you are not feeling well, you better take some rest, this is not the day.

    my mind lost its focus, and i could sense that all the physical strains are going to make it worse. so, before dealing with my health, i had to take care of my mind. i did 6 min meditation (in case anyone’s interested, that helped me calm down. during that time, i was telling myself, ‘you are in so much peace… everything is fine…’ so it worked, my childish mind did listen to me in the end.

    and the rest was very easy, did some stretching, drank lot of water… and the health took care of itself. then i got back to my work!

    Dr. Carter-Veale was asking me whether i learned anything from the workshop. yes, i learned a lot! i learned a lot about myself!

  63. spencertime says:

    4 Hours messing around with Windows including 3 hours with tech support. They finally figured it out.
    17 minutes installing Nvivo.
    Day 4 in DH is Nvivo Day!
    Now I lay me down to sleep. . .

  64. Michelle says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    I don’t know what to say but, I lost the majority of document that I transcribed yesterday. I’m feeling mad with myself because it seems that I forgot to save and back up my document. Anyway, can’t change that now. I have to learn and move on.

    More transcription for today.

  65. rhh says:

    Last day… Finished running all the TSP stuff. Not liking the results, but there is some indication of bugs. Either way, will eventually have to track down what’s going on.

    Finished experiment prep for K, so should be able to get some results and put some graphs together.

    Bien suerte a todos para el ultimo dia!


  66. evesdawn says:

    Rough morning… need to calm down, breathe, and focus. Good luck to everyone! Make the last day of DH COUNT!


  67. eteacherumbc says:

    Good morning, everyone!
    Feeling better after a good night’s sleep. No more headache 🙂
    Great mini lecture, Dr. Carter-Veale. Have experienced writers’ block and I wish I had these tips before.
    Goal for the day: 10 pages more to complete 75% of the answer. Outline the rest of the 25% of the paper and finish it over the weekend (really?!)
    Happy working, all!

  68. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Good morning, all. Getting ready for a 10 AM call with my adviser to go over issues with my data analyses. Meantime, my husband is at the dr. being evaluated for a possible concussion sustained @ karate last night. Sheer craziness around here some days! But I press on…
    Have a great day!

  69. Kelley says:

    Good morning fellow Dh’ers….last day of DH

    Here is what I hope to accomplish today:
    1. Review latest round of financial paper and get comments back to mentor
    2. Type up results from feature selection mini-experiment last night (to put in progress report)
    3. Type up “issues” list for autism pilot (i.e., need all data from start, cont and stop forms, need all treatments – not just medications, deal with “no change” problem in cont. forms, stratified sampling/3-fold cross validation – do I have enough data to incorporate this?)
    4. Develop work hours for next week

    • Kelley says:

      Ok got everything done on my list except #4. Trying to determine the best way to do this. do I schedule specific times? I am trying to do that in Google calendar and it is not looking good because my calendar is so overloaded with events. Plus I don’t have consistent childcare right now so I play that by ear. I am thinking developing weekly goals will be better at this point – so here it goes:

      1. Re-export the Treatment Start data from the Access database (include all treatments not just medications)
      2. Redo prep to get Treatment Stop data
      3. Treatment continuation data will require some thought – how to deal with “no change”? Programmatically in Access?
      4. Once I have all data, combine into one Excel file
      5. Choose a “good” classification rule to start with and calculate the accuracy “manually” using queries in Access. Think about how to automate this using either Access or Excel VBA.

      I will definitely be getting a whiteboard to go up in the family room. I will put my countdown to graduation and goals for the week on the board. That way my family can give me heck if they don’t see items being crossed off the board and new ones put up. They may not understand my research but they will know if I am getting work done or not!

      My hubby and daughter are coming to Baltimore today to spend the night with me. I see a steak and a glass of wine in my future tonight! Tomorrow we off to either Baltimore Zoo or Aquarium (weather-dependent). Then it is back to RL (real life) tomorrow….

  70. Hye-Sook says:

    The last day of DH!
    I couldn’t study at home last night after the DH. 😦
    So I am still a little bit late in my plan for about a half day but that’s okay I guess.
    Today, I will complete my outline and start to write the last part of my LR.
    I also copied and pasted my scattered papers on the dissertation template and printed all out, which actually made it visible what I need to do next. Thanks, Dr. CV!
    Let’s have another productive day all!

  71. Hi All,

    Margaret, a friend of mine lost her dog when someone set off fireworks. She called animal control (well, 911 who put her through to animal control), and a police officer found her dog and also called animal control, hence reconnecting them. Have you tried that, too, for your cat?

    I’m sorry also that some of you are sick or losing other things like data! I hope that you are able to recover in more ways than one, and that you keep going no matter what. Saying a prayer.

    I’m finishing chapter 2 today. I gave myself until 12 for the final content and then I will work on edits after that. Got good news from my committee member that she isn’t asking for anymore changes on chapters 4 and 5. Very very good news. New energy.

    Oh and I posted a note on a bunch of lists about the DHouse at CP, so hopefully more applications come in.

    Happy Friday all,

  72. Lisa says:

    Good morning!

    Inspired by Dr. C-V’s talk this morning I just develop an organizing model for my dissertation! Everything seemed to just fall in place and I finally feel like maybe I can do this.

    Here’s a good thought that shower up in my email this morning:

  73. Hello everyone, I didn’t have a chance to finish everything that I wanted to discuss during my short talk in the DH this morning … it was 10:00, so I had to let people go back to work. However, you may be interested in some of my thoughts about finishing. I wrote about it on my personal blog. The theme is: “You can’t put ‘Almost PhD’ behind your name.”

  74. Nohemi Voglozin says:

    Hello Everybody!
    Better late than never! Today is my second day of DH, TA duties oblige. Just had my meeting with Dr Carter, and I feel very hopeful and ready to take on the rest of my work and finish it. My goals for today: – work on the Methods section of the Ethnography chapter, – enter the relevant references pertaining to the chapter in my EndNote Library.

  75. I think some jealousy set in, possessiveness…You’ll have Dr. CV and I don’t get my 30 minutes today! urg! I should have driven up the road. 😦 not happy right now.

  76. Sorry for going over time a bit, I didn’t realize I had so much to share! 😉

    *GOOD LUCK to ALL of you- you CAN do it!*
    Contact info:

    -Margaret D.

  77. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Phone conference completed, got some new ideas for analyses. Read a journal article and that is about all I accomplished today since I ended up taking my husband for a CT scan – turns out all is OK but it was pretty scary there for a while. Packing up to head out to our last night of Vacation Bible School at church, then I plan on working most of the day tomorrow and Sun. afternoon. My adviser wants a draft of my intro. and methods section by next Wed. Time to buckle down! Have a great weekend everyone.

  78. evesdawn says:

    Hello all! Happy last DH EVER!
    Good luck to all of you as you continue in your endeavors! and feel free to follow my blog! 🙂

    Post for today, complete with quote of the day:


  79. Nusrat Rahman says:

    I am so glad, i got done with what i wanted to get done. i will have to think of a good reward for myself 😀

    today was easy, i was focused the entire time, had no issue, no struggle, no distraction.. i guess i need 3-4 days to pass the barrier, and get on the wheel.

    overall, the workshop was good, had many take home messages, i just need to keep reminding myself to follow those.

    good luck everyone! i know your struggle is different than mine, but, that’s what collective effort is for! helping each other to know oneself better!

  80. eteacherumbc says:

    It’s that time of the day when your eyes are swimming over the letters on your screen, you keep checking your Gmail inbox for new email every few minutes, and you’re now working on the references, as that is pretty much all you have energy for at the end of this grueling week!

    Thanks, Dr. Carter-Veale and Dr. Tull and the Promise staff for making this DH house enjoyable and informative. I plan to continue the momentum gained this week and get it done, first my comps and then the rest of the dissertation. Thanks, everyone for being such inspiration!

    I’m happy to report that I’m 70% done with my comps answer #2 (my goal was 75%). Plan to finish it over the weekend and next week and then for the final revisions before I turn them in. I plan to check back in on this website and blog often and keep updated with everyone’s progress. This has been a great learning experience and the plan is to continue the learning process till they call me Dr. Joardar!

    Good luck to everyone 🙂

    ~ Satarupa

  81. Yasaman says:

    It has been a great days for me here at the dissertation house. I made progress on my dissertation and now I have a date for my defense! Although, I still need to write some other sections of my document, and apply my advisor’s feedback. I’m on the right track! just 39 days to go to defend! Next week, I will have to apply a lot of feedback, proofreading and making the document ready for submitting to the readers!

    Thanks to the dissertation house organizers!
    Cheers and good luck to all of you guys!

  82. Shams zaman says:

    Today it was our last day at DH. I was getting a sense of working as a team at DH and was being inspired by the peers. I wish i could carry on this practice of working together. I could not finish what i intend to finish in last 4 days. But i have got to learn valuable suggestions and methodologies from coaches and peers. If i can implement couple of them in my life, it will transform my life positively. Thank you all.

  83. Dr. CV and I will be leading webinars next week on preparing the proposal and the final dissertation defense: Feel free to join! Sign up by Sunday!

  84. Carlos says:

    Good Morning!!!!

    Ready to start the day. I did not finish chapter 6 yesterday. I got home after DH and slept 5 hours then ate and then another 5 hours.

    KISS menu:

    0545h – 0645h: Chapter 6 results then blog!!

    Keep Going!!!!

    • Carlos says:

      :(…. Need to put more time on results. Captions for tables and figures, and well..I did fall and took a 30 minute nap … I will get a shower and coffee.

      Wake up Carlos!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. Michelle says:

    Hey Carlos!

    I’m coming by at 9am. From now between then I will transcribe. My goal is to finish #15.

  86. Carlos says:

    Yes, it’s Ok

  87. spencertime says:

    Way to go Carlos and Michelle.
    I have my spot carved out in Panera in Bowie. Goals:
    1. Create 90-day plan
    2. Search for some type of Checklist Manager on Web ( I would like something that will make a big deal about me checking off my tasks).
    3. Search for Checklist manager for an AP
    4. Search for Countdown AP (I have one for my desktop, but. . .)
    5. Figure out Nvivo auto coding (the video I tried to watch yesterday was very complicated)
    6. Format all my interviews for auto-coding (autocoding allows me to look at, for instance, all Question 1 Interview question responses all on one page. Without it, will will code based on terms and nodes, etc, but not based on interview question).

    To be continued. . .

  88. Michelle says:

    I finished transcribing my 15th interview. Yeah, 4 to go!

    • spencertime says:

      How long are the interviews, Michelle?

    • Good for you 4 more to go..almost there.

      • jillybean1013 says:

        Thanks for the welcome! This is my first day with Dissertation House and already I am experiencing its value. Dr. Carter-Veale helped me learn in 2 hours what I expected to learn over the course of 4 days. I found the relevant resources (textbooks, information about graduation deadlines, style guides,) and found support from the rest of my D.H. colleagues. This is a true treasure. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. The only goal I have left now is to finish. Get my chapters done and move on….That’s how it should be you know? I’m very happy Dr. C-V took me there (on day 1). And I am truly honored to be a part of something that I didn’t help build (you know, blood, sweat and tears), and to benefit from someone else’s process, someone else’s wisdom, someone else’s work, someone else’s sleepless nights, someone else’s labor.. am I making my point? All this is done for me? All I can say is “yes, I will work my behind off”. And that’s love for you. I’m sure I’ll say this many times over the course of the summer, but thank YOU already Dr. C-V.

  89. evesdawn says:

    Here at Carlos’s with Michelle, Robert and Hye-Sook, ready to work on Chapter 1! Found our kitty last night, so we all slept in a little since we were ALL so tired!
    There are 8 parts to Chapter 1, and I have 4 days to finish! That means 2 parts (or more if possible) to finish each day!
    Goals for today: Intro to Cancer, Intro to Pancreatic Cancer.
    Good luck to everyone working today!

  90. Hye-Sook says:

    Joined in the small DH at Carolos’ house with Michelle, Margaret, Robert, and Carlos’ family. 🙂
    Today’s to do list;
    1) open my Ph.D. completion blog – did. 🙂
    2) Make a plan for the whole dissertation process
    3) Revise my summer plan to complete my proposal
    4) Back to writing:
    – discuss characteristics of PLCs and discuss: DuFour, 2003, 2004; Hord,1997; Kruse, Louis, & Bryk, 1995; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2001
    – Various forms and contexts of PLCs: developmental stages, teacher relationship, type of instructional practices, negotiating conflicts: Grossman, Wineburg, & Woolworth, 2001; Liberman & Miller, 2011; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2001

  91. Carlos says:

    Ok…The sun goes down…

    We finished today’s battle. Thanks to Margaret, Michelle,Hye-Sook and Robert for coming.

    I’m glad you came

  92. spencertime says:

    4 out of 6 things checked off! A victory for a Saturday with family around!
    The Check List Ap is called Errands. It’s free!
    The Countdown Ap is called T-Zero. It’s free!
    Sunday, I have to work on a separate project.
    I’ll connect with all you inspiring souls on Monday.

    • Hey what happened to the link you were sending me for the app for the diet?
      Good to see you taking care of business even on a Saturday and with the family around.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for the apps! I just downloaded both of them. Congrats on getting things done on the weekend, especially while being around family!

  93. Lisa says:

    I’ve been working with my department chair and Dr. Deluty to nail down my committee. The good news is that the Grad School will recognize my advisor (who left the university a year ago) as a department member so I have met the requirement for department members on my committee. Yay! The catch is that I have to defend by Spring 2013 – now that’s motivation!

  94. Lisa says:

    I mentioned in DH that it really helped my focus to have my goals on the wall. I looked into those post-it pads, though, and they’re expensive! I was looking for a lower cost option and remembered that I had some contact chalk board paper left over from a house project so I used it to cover the inside doors of my computer armoire. Then I wrote up my next 5 goals. Now when I’m working those goals are literally inches from my face. I think it’s really going to help!

    • evesdawn says:

      WOOHOO! Go Lisa GO! Another option is getting a small whiteboard to post your options! Back-to-school items are already in stores, so they should be pretty easy to find 🙂 That’s what I used to do, and I would have it at my desk in the corner where my gaze would wander so that I was always constantly reminded of something I could be doing!

      Good luck and keep moving!! 😀

    • Kelley says:

      I’m going to Wal-mart today to buy a whiteboard. I plan on having my goals up so my family and can see them and give me grief if they stay up there too long! Glad to hear your committee issues worked out!

  95. Congrats to all of you who continued to work the weekend AFTER the DH! You all are serious! EXCELLENT! That’s the way we like it! I love that there is another actual “Dissertation House” of DHers. The first one was in the home of former DHer F. Carter in Public Policy at UMBC, with roommates who were DHers in Sociology and Biology. Post DH, her house “birthed” three degrees!

    Congrats to everyone … in your house, in the library, in Panera … you are #TEAMgetitDONE!

  96. spencertime says:

    Monday, Monday. . .
    1. Coding Questions 4,5 & 6
    2. Meeting LLC Colleague Ian Brown (who is supposed to be really good with Nvivo) on campus
    3. Format Interviews for Autocoding

    • spencertime says:

      Got’er done yesterday. It may have been too low of a goal because I finished through question 8 (I will demand more of myself today). Met Ian and Inte’a on campus who helped me with Nvivo! A colleague, Laura Strickling, who is now Dr. Strickling, offered to read my work!
      1. Coding Questions 9-15
      2. Spend a learning hour on Nvivo, just learning more about it.
      3. Read advisor’s recommended reading on phenomenology.

  97. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Checking in…Sat. turned out to not be productive at all, I was just too tired from the busyness of the week. Worked on data transformations yesterday – skewed data is a real pain. Continue working on methods section today with Wed. deadline.

  98. Georgette says:

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I am finally over on the Summer blog page. 🙂 I am glad that DH was very helpful to those that were able to attend. I have still been at work in my home office in the evenings, even though I was not able to attend DH last week. I have actually been involved in curriculum writing and educator workshops/trainings for our school system last week and again this week in preparation for the upcoming school year (a teacher’s work is hardly ever done). but like I said I would go home and work on my dissertation items in the evenings. I was able to refine my research questions, work out some of the statistical tests I want to run, and work on elements of my chapter two. This week I look to do more of the same as I move myself closer to my goal of getting my proposal defense ready. Dr. Tull, I saw the post about the Webinar, but I will already be in a workshop at that time. Is there anyway to see the finished Webinar later? Please let me know. Keep up the good work everyone!!


  99. evesdawn says:

    Good morning, all! I’m ambitious today, and going to attempt to write THREE sections instead of the originally planned two! Good luck!!


    (PS – 2 days remaining!! AGHHHHH!!!!)

    • witzleben21 says:

      Good luck for you, Margaret!
      You can be very ambitious and productive and will feel soooo good after your defense. 🙂

    • spencertime says:

      I am right behind you, so don’t let up!

    • Lisa says:

      You’re almost there!!! What’s your reward when you finish in 2 days?

      • evesdawn says:

        AUGHHH I have no idea what my reward will be… a new hard drive for my computer? Oh wait… already got that!

        To be honest, my main “reward” was actually more of a goal: I have my interview/seminar scheduled for next Wednesday, and need to send my slides into the interviewer by Monday. Someone suggested that I stop writing to prepare my slides and THEN go back to writing, but I decided to keep writing, get it out of the way, and only after I’m done with writing am I “allowed” to make up my presentation. YIKES! Talk about pressure! But it’s getting me through the writing process at least!

        After I’m done DONE done with the writing (edits, etc.) and submitted to the readers, I might *splurge* and go out shopping for a purple dress or top for my defense 🙂 Why purple? Because purple is the color for pancreatic cancer awareness 🙂 That’s the plan at least!! We shall see how it works!

    • Kelley says:

      Go Margaret – Go Margaret – Go Margaret!

  100. spencertime says:

    Is it bad to love the fact that your loved ones are not around?!
    I am crankin’ today. Me and the ants (how do they get in here?!).

  101. Lisa says:

    I got most of my committee issues resolved this weekend (thanks to Dr. Deluty!) and this morning I have been working on my keystroke analysis code. That was one of my goals last week but I wasn’t able to complete it because the computer I need is my desktop at home and I was too sick to work in the evenings. I finished it this morning, though, so my top goal for the day was crossed off already at 11am! For the rest of today:

    1. Run data through (newly fixed!) analysis.
    2. Combine keystroke and linguistics data.
    3. Fill in any missing data.
    4. Normalize data.

    I decided I want to be done with writing by Thanksgiving – so it is now 128 days to go.

  102. Hi Everyone! There is great energy in this group. Go #TeamGetItDone!

    I need that energy because last week’s progress and life perspective crashed and burned by the end. I had some good “revivings” yesterday with church and spending time with friends – I even heard a pastor’s sermon on time management using the exact method – 7 Habits – that I had been neglecting for days, figured it was a direct message to me. Today with some encouragement from my friend, my schedule is done for the week and I am on it. Not much left for today but I’ll post it for consistency.

    KISS menu (I’m on my lunch break now so I’m checking in):
    4 – Finish answering my last chapter 2 questions/ fill in document
    5 – Bills and update documents, park downhill
    6:45 – Trans
    7 – cardioboxing
    8+ – Practice guitar, journal, bed on time

    Keep pushing, esp. Margaret (almost there!), and everyone who is getting “it” done. I like the reward suggestion. I will have a reward this weekend so I have something to look forward to after all my hard work.


  103. spencertime says:

    the a.m. is so peaceful. . .

  104. Lisa says:

    I got a lot done yesterday and I’m not about to stop now! For today:

    1. Calculate input rates and add them to dataset.
    2. Look at Python and SNLP to extract the last 3 variables I need.
    3. Regenerate data from 2 participants.


  105. Hye-Sook says:

    I haven’t much done yesterday and have a busy schedule today and tomorrow… sigh…
    Yet these are my goals until Wednesday and I take a break for Boston. 🙂
    1. Revise the research question section – separate main Qs and subQs
    2. Make a draft of survey questionnaire

  106. evesdawn says:

    Good morning, all!

    Wasn’t able to get all three sections completed yesterday (see my blog for details..), but I have faith I can get EVERYTHING done today!! *fingers crossed!*


    Good luck to everyone with their writing today! Keep up the good work 🙂


  107. You guys are like a cup of coffee for me. So much energy. 🙂
    I started tweeting and got myself off schedule, but I’m in the office and just saw a note from Angel so I might try to get over to meet her. Here’s my KISSoldier! Menu (Maybe I should change that last S to Smackdown… Either way, it’s a reminder that I’m stronger than I think and I can push a little harder!):

    10:30 – Fill in chapter 2 edits from yesterday
    12 – Food/Tech/Break
    1 – Continue to fill in chapter 2
    4 – Work on vita/resume/job search
    5:30 – Trans
    6 – Zumba (I’ve been neglecting Zumba for BodyPump)
    8 – Food, write letters, journal

    Happy Tuesday! – Dr. Smackdown

    • Carlos says:


      • Still working! KISSing. 🙂
        Updated Menu:
        2 – lunch & pay bills (didn’t do that yesterday, oops!)
        2:30 – continue Chapter 2 edits (making good progress so far in the Knight impromptu DHouse with Angel & co!)
        4 – Vita/resume/jobs, park downhill
        5:30 – Trans
        6 – Zumba
        8 – Food, write letters, journal

        So of course we got into a discussion of time management failures that we’ve all suffered. I shared a form I’ve been filling out based on the “7 Habits” method by Steve Covey who passed away yesterday. Here is the link to the Google Doc I saved.

        If this kind of thing might work for you, at the beginning of the week just print it and fill in your various roles, then specific actions that help you reach the goals, and then assign specific days/times to the tasks. My problem for a while was not going all the way through to days/times, but it really does help you get things done when you plan all the way through. Feels like a waste but it’s worth it to plan. If you don’t believe me, ask Ben Franklin.

      • spencertime says:

        Okay, I gotta ask. . . What does KISS mean? In public speaking circles, it means Keep It Simple Stupid or Keep It Short Stupid. Are you all saying the same thing or is it a different acronym?

        • You got it! I started saying this after Carlos reminded us to keep to the simple tasks in order to accomplish our goals. We just changed the last S because calling yourself Stupid is a tad counterproductive. I like “Soldier” or “Smackdown” so I can remind myself to put on my thick skin and push through. So my “KISS menu” is my day’s worth of simple tasks that I will focus on and push through.

          • spencertime says:

            Thank you so much, Alexis. I will say that the thing that helped the most from DH is that concept of bite-sized goals. Before that, I was wasting so much time trying to put in “hours.” Thanks again. . .

  108. Michelle says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Working on transcription #16. At the Journalism building with the College Park crew!

  109. Michelle says:

    One less!! Just finished my 16th one! Three more to go!

  110. Made progress today with the College Park crew. I need to still edit two sections but I’m almost there. Tomorrow morning I will kick those sections out and email my advisor after reading over the edited sections.

    I didn’t make my changes to my vita. But I talked to one of my committee members and she gave me another place to look into for career ideas.

    I’m closer to staying on schedule. Progress, not perfection. 🙂

  111. spencertime says:

    Okay, yesterday was good, not great. Nothing on the Nvivo training, but I did all my coding!
    Today. . .
    1. Finish coding my Interviews.
    2. Minimum one-hour on Nvivo (getting the hang of it).
    3. A fat-burning walk to celebrate the Victory.

    Let’s roll!

    • All of your coding? Wow I guess coming to the DH paid off…what’s next to get ready for your advisor meeting in 5 days? Always give your advisor more than she expects that would be impressive. Keep moving forward and remember to be supportive of the people at home making the sacrifice for you 🙂

      • spencertime says:

        All of the coding–by hand! I know, I should be using Nvivo. That is my plan from now until Monday, when I meet with my advisor. I hope to not only put my data in Nvivo, but to learn a lot about Nvivo at the same time. I’ve been trying to get coached on it (beyond creating nodes, etc.), and I have found that it is a bit challenging for many. If you have skills on the pre-ordering/auto-coding end, perhaps I need to set up time with you on Friday.

        And, DH was such a motivation to me. The paradigm shift was bite-sized objectives to reach my goal because there is SO MUCH. I am having daily victories now, not feeling guilty as I watch my counter tick down. I could do a PSA, “Thank you Dr. Carter-Veale, and Thank you Dissertation House!”

  112. Lisa says:

    I got everything done that I planned to yesterday. I started trying to outsource the extraction of the last pesky variables because it requires learning a new tool. However, the people over in computational linguistics stonewalled me. I’ll be taking a break from that problem for now while I think about how else to tackle it.


    1- Rerun part of my analysis to adjust pause threshold
    2- Invite Dr. Lewis to be new member of my committee (cross your fingers for me!).
    3- Normalize data for 20 more participants (this is so tedious…).
    4- Take a knitting break to reward myself for doing the mind-numbing normalization!


  113. Kelley says:

    Ok Yesterday was frustrating…Despite my best planning I was not able to get the work I had wanted done. It all started with dropping my daughter off at summer camp and hearing her whine …”Mommy today is water day and I don’t have my towel and swimsuit.” Ok so back to the house get those items and take them to her. Now I don’t have time to work out before my dentist appt … so I go to a coffee shop and work for abouty 30 minutes…then dentist…then work out but now I lost most of my afternoon hours …etc. etc. I think you get the idea. In spite of all that, I did get some work done in the afternoon and evening and was able to get a progress report on the financial experiments off to my mentor.

    For today, I want to finish up my second progress report (on the autism pilot experiments):
    1. Need to describe problem with knowledge-guided mutation for treatments for feedback from mentor.
    2. Work on culminating treatment data (have 2/3 of it done already) and create one data file.

    Here’s to a productive day!

    307 days to graduation!

    • Here’s a little song for you:
      Sometimes life gets you down but don’t you give up the fight.
      Cause it doesn’t have to be all right for everything to be alright!
      Just come back around and keep your goals in sight.
      Cause it doesn’t have to be all right for everything to be alright!
      No it doesn’t have to be all right for everything to be alright!

      Add a tune, sing to yourself, and just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing writing writing. What do we do? We write!

      • Kelley says:

        Lol Alexis! I keep hearing the “Just keep writing” song to the tune of “Just keep swimming ” sung by Dorrie in Nemo. That tune is going to stay in my head – a good reminder to stay focused! Thanks 🙂

    • spencertime says:

      So, how did your Wednesday go? I totally get it with the children’s schedules. My two boys have itineraries that dwarf Obama’s.

      • Kelley says:

        I work on Wednesdays (teaching) so I don’t get as much time. But I disappeared in the evening to my office and cranked out a progress report on the autism pilot experiments which was my deadline. For reaching that goal, I treated myself to a scented bath with candles to wind down.
        This AM, I had a quick phone meeting with mentor and now I need to revise my work schedule a little bit (or at least add some more items to it):
        1. Find a “valid” drug taxonomy either at MESH, SNOW-MED or other source (email contact at Kennedy Krieger if necessary)
        2. Investigate adding other forms of domain knowledge to the experiments based on the data in the “Child with ASD Form.”

  114. evesdawn says:

    Good morning, all!

    I got finished with Chapter 1 yesterday and sent it off to my personal editor! 🙂 YAY!

    No day off for me today – I have to work on my presentation for my interview next week – YIKES!! It never stops!!

    Future goals are to get back Chapter 2 from Twinny, make edits, give to advisor, and repeat for Chapters 1, 3, 4 and 5!

    First order of business today: Find the powerpoint background that I want to use for my presentation, and go from there! 🙂

    Good luck to everyone!! 7 Days until my interview!!!


  115. So I went to boot camp this morning. I survived. I hardly got up the stairs to the grad office, but I survived.
    KISS Menu:
    10:30 – Finish LAST edits and re-read chapter, email advisor
    12:30 – Food/Tech
    1:15 – Check in with coordinator, committee (emails)
    1:45 – Template fill-in
    5 – Vita/Resume/Park downhill
    6 – Trans
    6:30 – Cardioboxing (I PROMISED I would go not planning to do boot camp. Will go through the motions. Hopefully I can walk tomorrow)
    8+ – Food with friend, Journal

    • evesdawn says:

      YOU’VE GOT THIS, ALEXIS!! Deep breaths and focus!! 🙂 At the DH last week, a woman from counseling services came and spoke with us – she had a great point about stress: On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least stressed), a stress level of 5 is when the most work gets done – at 1, you’re apathetic, and at 10, you’re so overwhelmed that you shut down, but at a 5, you have enough motivation to keep moving, but not so much that rends you immobile! Keep it at a 5, and you’ll be great!! 😀 Good luck!!

  116. Georgette says:

    Keep Going Alexis, I’m proud of you.


  117. Carlos says:

    Chapter 1. Under Mentor’s Revision (Since 7/02/2012)
    Chapter 2. Under Mentor’s Revision (Since 7/12/2012)
    Chapter 3. Under Mentor’s Revision (Since 7/12/2012)
    Chapter 4. Under Mentor’s Revision (Since 7/12/2012)
    Chapter 5. Under Mentor’s Revision (Since 7/12/2012)
    Chapter 6. Under 1st Revision (Since 7/18/2012)
    Chapter 7. 50%
    Chapter 8. 25%

    Ph.D. Chapter 7 intro 1d 08h 37m
    Ph.D. Chapter 7 methods 2d 08h 37m
    Ph.D. Chapter 7 results 5d 08h 37m
    Ph.D. Chapter 7 discussion 6d 08h 37m
    Ph.D. Chapter 8 9d 08h 37m

    KISS plan for the next hour:

    – E-mail to Set provisional Defense date for September 7
    – Get Brain Images- Back Up behavioral
    – Get more subjects
    – Schedule scan for this week
    – e-mail data manager / recruiter
    – Schedule meeting for Friday

  118. spencertime says:

    Yesterday, checked ’em off and burned 1000 calories as a gift!
    Curve Balls (after I did my work)–My wife’s grandmother died; the AC unit (which was fixed on Monday) broke again. It’s hot in her’.
    Buy a mouse for my laptop.
    Input (node) questions 1-7 (out of 19) into Nvivo.
    Learn Nvivo (while doing it).

  119. Lisa says:

    I normalized 38 participants yesterday instead of my goal of 20! I have to normalize a subset in a slightly different way, but the first pass at normalizing all my participants’ data is done! Today I’m going to face down some of the tasks that are a little scarier for me:
    1- Look at natural language processing software. I’ve been avoiding this because I’m afraid of having to learn a difficult tool. I’m inspired by Troy’s learning Nvivo, though!
    2- Readjust pause threshold to 1/2 second. This should be really quick but I’ve been avoiding it for some reason…
    3- Do the second pass at normalization. Ugh…
    4- Organize datasets for each hypothesis. This is scary because it seems like a ton of work, but now that I think about it it shouldn’t be too bad.
    Reward – I get to go to Michael’s and buy some yarn to work on a knitting project during my vacation next week.
    Vacation goal – Work at least 1 hour each day. Just because I’m on a family vacation doesn’t mean I have to lose my momentum!

    • Lisa
      Good to see that note…on a family vacation doesn’t mean losing your momentum!!!

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks! My parents will be more than happy to take the baby so I have no excuses! I also won’t have internet access (going to a lake cabin in Maine) so I’m planning on cranking through stats analyses. And I’ve already crosses #2 and #3 off my list today. I’m about to start #4.

  120. Carlos says:

    OK….Time to stop working. Already put 40 hours this week. Now Focus on the Ph.D.

    KISS menu:
    1200h – 1500h: Lunch & Outline for Chapter 7 then blog

  121. Hello All
    Today provides another opportunity to get it right or almost right. Georgette how is that proposal and proposal defense date coming. Sorry about the webinar; the cancellation was out of our control. I have written a newsletter on this
    Also keep in mind that the proposal defense is somewhat different from a dissertation defense. The proposal defense should be easier and a bit more collegial in that the committees’ purpose is there to help you make the research better. Unlike the dissertation defense, you are not expected to be the expert at that defense. Be sure to create a preliminary dissertation Table of Contents and a Schedule of Activities (Timeline) for how you plan on getting the dissertation done.
    Hey Maya…what’s the status of your dissertation; where have you been?
    Michelle what’s the count on the transcription is #17 of 19 done? Say hello to Tonya and ask her to post an update here.
    Kelley see you tomorrow.
    Alexis July is almost over…
    Angel what’s the status, can we get an update?
    Margaret…Glad to see that editing schedule.
    All the best,

    Dr. CV

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Dr. CV,
      I’m still working on #17. This is a long one, but I have to confess, I’ve been a bit unfocused lately.
      Thanks to Angel and Alexis for their support. If it wasn’t for you ladies I would still be in bed. I was having a down day today, but when Alexis emailed to ask where I was I said okay I can get up and do at least 2 hours. So I’m out of the house and now in the journalism building with College Park with the crew.

      • Aww, I didn’t even know. I’m so glad you came because you just told us to get back to work. 🙂 🙂 I think I saw somewhere in one of Lenisa’s emails that we are each other’s blessings. Something like that.

  122. I love this place because I get called out when I slip, which helps me meet my goal of coming back after falling off. Yesterday I didn’t just fall off, I crashed and burned when I did it. I had hit a really strong flow and then got interrupted and never recovered. I might as well have left the office at 3pm and gone swimming or something – it would have been more productive motivationally than what happened. Instead I sat at my desk trying to force myself to work again and didn’t get enough sleep, felt awful about myself again, whole nine.

    SO! Back to taking care of the basics and then the rest always falls into place. Schedule, essentials (good food/exercise/sufficient sleep), forgiving/realistically optimistic tasks toward my goal. I didn’t give into my friend’s pressure to stay in the grad office, which is where I fell off yesterday. Came straight over to Knight to work with Angel and Rebecca, who are being quietly productive. Today I will sparkle.

    KISS Menu:
    1:15 – Start with finishing that sentence that I got interrupted in the middle of. Finish the rest of chapter and proofread
    2:15 – Make revision notes and send chapter
    2:45 – break/tech/move around a little
    3:45 – Check in with committee/coordinator
    4 – Template
    5 – Guitar class
    7 – Errands/food/journal

    Thanks everyone for your encouragement and for calling me out. Just keep writing, writing, writing!
    Chasing down August..

  123. Kelley says:

    I was able to look up all the medications in my drug taxonomy in MESH today to “validate” the taxonomy. Will need to make some minor, semantic changes to the taxonomy listings to match MESH.
    My expanded to-do list is as follows:
    1. Organize listing of medications with corresponding information from MESH and/or NIH.
    2. Find references for some of the medications that were not listed as used for in the IAN database (i.e., Tenex used for ADHD not high blood pressure as listed in MESH)
    3. Update drug taxonomy
    4. Develop more detailed drug taxonomy to send to committee member at Kennedy Krieger for feedback.
    5. Look at Child with ASD Questionnaire to see if there is more ways to use domain knowledge for that form. Group questions together? Send this to committee member at Kennedy Krieger for feedback.

  124. Kelley, I couldn’t help but notice what you wrote about Tenex…I think I am speaking as the on-site pharmacist (LOL) but it can actually be used for BOTH indications: high BP and ADHD. (see: I don’t know what the nature of your research is, and I hope this doesn’t make things more difficult for you, but I couldn’t help commenting! -Margaret D

    • Kelley Engle says:

      Perfect. I just need to have validation for this -the NIH website is a great (and valid) reference. I know personally that it is used for both (my autistic daughter is on it) but my mentor was wanting me to have some external confirmation for these kinds of medications. Thanks, Margaret!

    • I love it!!! The on-site pharmacist checked in and provided some additional information! Kudos to Dr. Dabek. Thanks for continuing to share your time and expertise!

  125. You all are on a roll! Keep it going! This morning, I’ll be writing with you. One of my papers was accepted for publication after extensive revisions. Now, I’m working with the journal’s editor to get the final edits completed. The edits were extensive too! No more red pen … we get “tracked changes” … whoo … those blue strike out lines on your original document can be piercing! But, we learn a lot from our dissertation process … have thick skin, and when it comes down to the wire, just give them what they want. They want the document done a certain way according to their standards, and I want my paper published. Win-win! Along the way, I learn something new and grow! Lessons learned through writing a dissertation … they stay with you throughout your career.

  126. spencertime says:

    Okay, I wanted to cry yesterday. After 3 hours of data input in Nvivo. Nothing went in–although I hit save after every data piece. I saved the data the way they show you in the video and the way the guy in the webinar did it, but, not yesterday! So, for some reason, I have to do a two-step process when coding multiple codes. First time in my life I wanted to play Gloria Gaynor!
    Back on the stick today. . .
    Aim to report a victory.
    Goal: instead of inputting questions from all my interviews (i.e., questions 1-7), I will work on interviews, so I aim to complete 1-2 whole interviews (out of 9).

    • I am inspired by the posts from the degree-holders and -seekers. T (I think that’s Spencertime’s name), you kept going right away when you could have called it a week and sulked until Monday. You will be successful as long as you keep rolling with the punches and jumping through the hoops like Dr. Tull mentioned. Give them what they want and live your dreams, Nvivo be darned.

      KISS menu:
      10:20 – seriously last edits. Like seriously. Proofread. Press send. Check committee member’s schedule.
      12 – Food/tech/planning
      1 – Vita/resume/print new schedule planner
      2 – Trans/gym
      4 – Trans/PH/pack
      5 – Trans/Meet friends

      Ok, I’m at Knight with my College Park crew…. wait, where IS my CP crew..? Got an hour? Come work with me!!!

    • Believe me crying would have been an appropriate response. Good for your for not seeing it as an opportunity to give up. Good for you for bouncing back.

      • spencertime says:

        Wow. What is great about this forum is that you all can read my mind and actions. Before DH, I would have totally done some other stuff. But, with the force of my DH peeps, no way. . .

  127. evesdawn says:

    OK everyone, I didn’t post yesterday, but I DID do work! (see my blog for what happened…)

    Goals – FINISH PRESENTATION!! Practice with Me, Myself and I. have 5 minute panic attack. Practice in front of Advisor. Have 10 minute panic attack. Play softball.

    Good luck on your work, everyone!! ❤


  128. Lisa says:

    I’m taking it a little easier today because I’m getting ready for our vacation, but I’m still working!

    For today:
    1- Normalize the 6 rating variables and add them to the data sets.
    2- Run some descriptive statistics and ANOVAs to see what’s going on in there!

    That should be very doable in between laundry and packing. I’ll check back in when I come back from Maine. Here’s to a great 10 days for everyone! Work and play!

  129. Ok, chapter 2 is sent and the email to the committee member (of whom I’m deathly afraid now – wait, when HAVEN’T I been afraid of my committee members??) is sent. *Takes deep breath* I think the most stressful part of today was simply writing and sending those emails. I don’t know why I put so much power on other people when it should be reserved for me. I own this experience – their job is to help me finish, so why do I avoid asking for their help? But I’m learning…
    Since I finished behind, I didn’t work on my job applications. I need to work on the dissertation template and organize my job application documents next, among other things. But now I’m going to the gym.
    Happy Friday.

    • spencertime says:

      You DO own this experience.
      Words from Lil’ Wayne:
      “Life is such a #*& roller coaster then it drops
      But what should I scream for this is my theme park” ~ Forever

      This is your theme park, Alexis!

    • Alexis, I have been trying to reach you all day. Please call me early in the morning; I left my number in a message on your facebook page. If you don’t get this message before 9am it can wait until later. Thank you. Dr. CV

  130. spencertime says:

    At Panera. In my spot.
    Yesterday, completed an entire interview, inputted everything! Relative VIctory. Nvivo is becoming my friend. I did not want to stop, but the boys needed to be picked up from camp. I was flowin’. . . It’s like another chance to catch themes, etc. I learn while putting the codes in Nvivo. My advisor is going to be so pumped, but I have to finish 8 more by Wednesday, when we meet. (also had BG&E at the house working on the AC–finally fixed)
    ~Input Professor Rick Meyer’s Interview into Nvivo
    ~Attempt to Transfer Professor Jesse Turner’s interview into Nvivo.

    Bagel, Walnut Cream Cheese, Ginger Peach tea. . .

    • spencertime says:

      Correction: For those interested, that is Honey Walnut Cream Cheese. I’m about to go in . . .

    • Ha ha ha! It sounds like things are turning around for you, T! Thanks for your encouragement – this is MY theme park! And Carlos I see you down there, too – that’s great news and a great feeling to lower your anxiety!
      Oh and I’ve seen at least one 42-year-old sulk. It’s not pretty but it can be done. 🙂 this academic life will do that to you.

      I’m supposed to be at a wine festival but I’m exhausted. I hope everyone has a productive day!

    • Michelle says:

      Keep going!!! I love the Walnut Cream Cheese

  131. Carlos says:

    I got comments back from advisor on chapters 1,2 and 3. What a relief!!! Anxiety levels went from 9 to 3.

  132. Rainy Saturday! You all are working! Good for you! I see progress … NVivo inputs, comments back from advisor, presentation preparation, new KISS menus, working from Maine … GOOD JOB! Press on!

  133. Michelle says:

    Finally #17 done!!! Two left to go!!!!

  134. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Draft of Methods section submitted to adviser on Wed., but no Introduction 😦 I have done so much reading and am having trouble integrating the new information into my existing draft, it was feeling so overwhelming. Had a pity party/panic attack, then put on my big girl pants and made a plan of attack. We are leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks so I have spent the day doing laundry, packing, cleaning, running errands, putting up 5 jars of pickles using vegetables from our garden and freezing some tomatoes – BUT I STILL WORKED ON MY DISSERTATION. And I plan to do some every day that we are gone.

  135. spencertime says:

    Sundays (until September 23rd) are off the calendar for a project I am working on. I miss my work, however. It’s weird.
    Today: Out-of-town funeral.
    I will be back on the stick tomorrow. I “promise.”
    Thursday, I meet with my advisor to impress her with how much work I’ve done. Did I say “I’ve”? Appropriately, it would be “We’ve” done, for I would still be reading books & writing nothing without DH!

  136. Hye-Sook says:

    Hi all!
    I came back from Boston and am trying to catch up the routine… -.-;
    Before the trip, I was making a draft of survey instrument that I will finish asap…already miss the sunny days…

  137. spencertime says:

    Looking for the worm. . .

  138. Shauna says:

    I haven’t been on in a while, but I just wanted to share some good news. I successfully defended my dissertation yesterday!!! I just wanted to thank Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter-Veale for all of their help and support over the years…I’ve been through several DHs and to many retreats. And wonderful thanks to the DH blog, the insanity weekends and Carlos, Patti, and Margaret D. for giving me the push that I need to get in to the zone.

    For everyone else out there…keep pushing..and one day it really will be over.

  139. evesdawn says:

    Today marks one month until my defense date (EEK!!), and tomorrow I have my first (and only so far) interview. Can we say PANIC? Deep breaths… that’s all I’ve got to keep reminding myself to do!

    Good luck to everyone writing! Keep going, and like Shauna said, “one day it really will be over.” 🙂


  140. Mari says:

    Good morning!
    I will begin coding parent interviews today. I plan to code 4 interviews, and refine or add codes as necessary. I also plan to revise my table of contents page.
    I’m off to a productive day. Best of luck everyone!

  141. Dissertation House CP, has started. My Goal for the next 4 days. Write and outline of Chapter 3 – Match Outline to completed sections
    – Write sections not completed
    -Review entire product
    -write edits
    -Send to my advisor
    -Do a table of Contents

  142. Hi All!
    I’m back in the DHouse once again. It’s surreal but I look forward to the productivity that always comes with participating in this amazing community.

    While I created my post-it list of to-dos for the week, I realized that there were some tasks that I had forgotten to include in my plan for the week. So I need to back up a little and assign times for the new tasks that are on my DH list. The writing’s on the wall:
    This week:
    – Final changes from advisor’s feedback
    – Collect all chapters into one document
    – Format template/TOC
    – Configure appendices (consent, permission, IRB)
    – Configure front matter
    – Final review and miscellaneous stuff I forgot
    – Committee Signatures (Wednesday)
    – Check in with counties/schools
    – Vita/Resume updates
    – Create and start organizing jobs spreadsheet

    KISS Menu:
    11 – Rework the plan for the week in my organizer, Keep it simple, soldier!
    11:30 – Send quick email to first county (of 2), make final changes to chapter 2 from advisor’s feedback
    12 – I guess we have to have lunch, huh?
    1 – probably mini lecture?
    2 – Work on Template – add major sections (chapters 1-5), start formatting
    4:45 – Park downhill, report
    5 – Miscellaneous/Tech/Break
    5:30 – Additional template stuff
    6:30 – Trans
    7 – Gym


    • Angel says:

      Hi Everyone! I haven’t logged onto the blog in a while, but I have been working hard! So glad to be joining so many brilliant and awesome people at the College Park Dissertation House! And I am so very grateful to everyone who wrote letters and fought hard to make sure that it would return! Below are my goals for the week, and what I am working on specifically for the day.

      This week I will:
      -Contact CRGE and check on status of audio submitted for transcription by professionals
      -Finish Transcribing last 20 minutes Interview 3 myself
      -Input final 8 questionnaire data into excel
      -Review, edit and revise data input to make sure it was done accurately
      -Start data analysis of questionnaire data and create first draft of demographic profiles of sample .
      -Apply these changes to methodology chapter and revise it.

      Today I will:

      11:00-12:00pm: Contact CRGE, then transcribe interview 3
      1:00-2:00pm: Attend Dr. Carter’s Lecture
      2:00-3:00pm: Finish Transcribing interview 3
      3:00-5:00pm: Input Questionnaire Data

      I may stay longer after 5:00pm. If I do, I will check in with you all to give you a work status update of what i completed today, and what I plan to continue to work on. I look forward to working well with you all this week and hope that we will continue this momentum in some capacity afterwords.
      Happy writing!

  143. Beth! says:

    Hi, so my plan is to draft the Advocate section today and the Activist section tomorrow. Thursday meet with Dr. Carter-Veale in the morning, and then read/edit Ch 4 for the rest of the day. Friday, I would LOVE to read/edit Ch. 3 and Ch. 4 together. And then maybe on Tues am I can send Ch 1-4 to my adviser. Ahhh! Go team!

  144. YA says:

    Congratulations Dr. Shauna! Way to go. ..

  145. movingonmovingon says:

    At my first dissertation house. Signing up and attending are necessary steps, but actually doing the work is still a decision that I must make. Only I can make the decision.

  146. evesdawn says:

    Welcome to the DH, College Park!! good luck in meeting your goals! Remember to make them reasonable and attainable so that, in the end, you will have accomplished SOMETHING and you will feel good about what you HAVE done!! 😀

  147. blessedone says:

    Hello everyone. Today I will be working on section II of my dissertation. It is definitely helping to get clear on my daily goals and how they align with my long term time based goals. I did the countdown today and nearly had a heart attack.

  148. Rebecca says:

    Great first day of dissertation house!!!! Very productive! Identified an institution that met study’s criteria, created a table of contents, and created a writing schedule for July-September. Feels great having not worked on my proposal since December.

  149. Mari says:

    I coded one parent interview and started on the second parent interview. I will continue working on the second parent interview tomorrow.

  150. movingonmovingon says:

    Today, I read over the notes from one of my committee members. I thought about how I might bring more clarity to my analysis/claims. I am glad I did something and that I was at least here. I hope to not only be present in the future, but to be productive as well.

  151. Vicky says:

    The first day of DH is great! It’s really nice to have a room of people all working towards finishing dissertation. I downloaded about 2/3 of the data for my final control variable. Hope to finish downloading and get the dataset organized tomorrow!

  152. Parking Downhill: Okay! I emailed my contact for my first county and will see if I hear back from him (it can take a while for school districts since they’re busy even during the summer). I made my last revision changes and created a single document which I have been formatting. Dr. CV reminded us to have a single saved hardcopy of the whole dissertation for worst-case situations, so I will print this document out and get the template ready for the Grad School.

    It’s been interesting trying to make sure that my margins are correct. I’m hoping I understand the ETD guidelines. There are a lot of them, but I will try to keep my energy up for tackling the hurdles all the way through.

    I left off looking at a website for portrait headers on landscape pages:

    Tomorrow I will continue formatting the template and work on appendices, front matter, and other things I’ve forgotten. I also have meetings with two committee members to get their signatures. I also want to work on my vita/resume tomorrow.


  153. Angel says:

    Hello Everyone!
    Well, I accomplished a lot today. Not as much as I would like, but still a lot. Here is my report:
    -Sent email inquiring about the status of the 24 interviews submitted for professional transcriptions.
    -Completed transcription #3 (Yay!!!)
    -Input 1 and 1/2 questionnaires into excel. I am going to finish at the second one so that I have 2 done today.
    -Finish data input of questionnaires and start revising the excel spread sheets.

    Wish me well!

  154. Pragati says:

    Productive First Day of DH! At least more than I would have done by myself. Where I left off: I finished the do files for constructing the 3 DVs (still need to specify the dataset for all)
    Goals for tomorrow:
    1. Appendix with Questionnaire items related to the variables
    2. Modify and clean 5 capability variables
    3. Conceptual Map

  155. Kelley says:

    The CP DHer’s are on a roll! Welcome everyone – it’s energizing to see everyone posting their progress. I was able to get the following done today:
    1. Validated drug taxonomy using NIH/MESH info and sent to committee member to review
    2. Brainstormed on how to incorporate more domain knowledge into experiments using the Child with ASD form.

    Next I need to continue data prepping:
    1. Deal with “no change” problem in treatment continuation form
    2. Combine all treatment data into one file
    3. Go over pilot experiments with mentor this week for finance work

  156. Hello Everyone,

    This is one of the first chances that I have had to check in to DH this week. For those of you that may not know me my name is Georgette Washington. I am an Ed.D student in Urban Educational Leadership at Morgan State University. With encouragement from Dr. Tull, I was able to participate in the DH at SSI last August as well as the SREB conference in Atlanta last year.

    Like many of you I am working my way through the ups and downs of being in a doctoral program while trying to balance life, family, career (I’m a high school Special Educator), and write a dissertation.

    Even though, most of the time we blog on this site about what we were able to accomplish or not accomplish in a day, along with words of comfort, commiseration, and support, I just wanted to post a note of encouragement today.

    Each and every one of us are very special, blessed, and gifted people. We each have a dream of becoming a doctor in our respective fields and have made and are making the necessary sacrifices to achieve a dream that lives deep inside us. Not everyone has chosen to walk this path, but we have, and WE WILL ALL FINISH AND GET IT DONE!!!!

    So, hang in there everybody and keep turning those stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.


    • spencertime says:

      Georgette, glad you are on here. I am also a high school teacher, married with two boys. So, we know that time is a valuable commodity.
      I look forward to seeing your daily goals!

      • Tsiom Ion says:

        Hey, Georgette, Great encouraging words!! I am still in the data collection phase but enjoy being part of this community, I live in Boston , but formerly a UMCP and UMBC

        Tsiom Ion Motkin

  157. adoration23 says:

    Goals for today
    Write DOH IRB and Abstract

    • adoration23 says:

      I submitted the DOH IRB for review and have revised my abstract. Tomorrow, I will complete the university IRB , Problem statement and organize my literature.

      • Tsiom Ion says:

        Hey, question has anybody had to renew the IRB training? I need to do this ASAP before seeking a continuation of the IRB..? thanks for feedback!! Tsiom

  158. spencertime says:

    Yesterday: Surmounted.
    Today: 4 interviews in Nvivo (mild analysis and coding along the way. . .)

  159. Beth! says:

    Goals today: rest of advocate section and maybe some (all?) of activist section.

  160. movingonmovingon says:

    Goals today:
    -Complete analysis for last participant

  161. movingonmovingon says:

    Does “knowing my limitations” mean if I need to eat multiple chocolate chip scones while writing I should go right ahead?

    • I talk about this all the time – how I need to eat/drink constantly to be productive. I read somewhere that if you eat what you want but simply add fruits and veggies to what you would be eating, you’ll be healthier and consume less of the stuff that’s not so good for you. What if you eat multiple (carrots/celery sticks/apples/grapefruit slices/cherries/etc.) while you work, and then have a chocolate chip scone for dessert? I’d have to hide the scone from myself until the other stuff was eaten, though…

      • I can not help but comment on this…

        I gained some weight during the dissertation writing process due to my hectic schedule which involved me working while I ate (hello, snack food) and just plain old stress made me want to chew constantly…LOL Also, even after my morning caffeine infusion, I had to use other forms of energy (sugar, etc) to get through the long days, because there’s only so much coffee that the body can tolerate everyday!

        Anyway, the morning AFTER my defense I assessed the damage and here is what I said to myself aloud:
        “You’s a fat doctor, but at least you’s a doctor!” 😉

        sometimes optimism goes a long way! (and the excitement around defense day itself can be quite the appetite suppressant too)

        hope this helps 🙂

    • If you can write clarity after eating them, sure zk’,; if you don’t mind being over weight.

  162. Angel says:

    Good Morning Everyone,
    Today I am going to finish data input of questionnaires. I didn’t work more after I got home yesterday like I planned. I have the migraine that I haven’t gotten rid of yet. I think it is stress related. As happy as I am to be here, just talking about all this dissertation stuff kind of stresses me out. I think it is because I am forcing myself to face my fears. I know that I will eventually feel better, but right now my head is killing me. Still, I need to learn to work despite how I feel, as Dr. Carter suggest. Today, I plan to finish inputting questionnaire data. I am also going to work on creating a timeline to complete my dissertation. I think it will help calm my anxiety if I can see that my goal to get this thing done by May is actually possible. I think what I fear most is trying my best to get this done, and not being able to do it. After all, I have been here this long and I haven’t graduated yet. What is so different about this year? Sheesh, my inner critic is the worst. Here’s hoping I can drown those thoughts out with my headphones and have a more positive report this evening. Wish me well.

    • movingonmovingon says:

      You can do it, angel! And I can, too. Let’s come in agreement that we will all silence the inner critic voice and get some work done!

    • I have this same tendency to think about my work in overwhelming time increments. Headphones help. It also helps to think in moments, not years, or I’ll shut down. If I have a few moments to make progress on this, what do I have the energy/mental space/resources to work on right now/this day/week?
      One of my several favorite cards was given to me by a friend who finished about a year before I did. It says: “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

    • blessedone says:

      You got this Angel!!!

    • Tsiom Ion says:

      Hi Angel, remember me, Tsiom? from UMCP a long time ago!! We started in UMCP I beliieve in 2003 or 2004.. Don’t worry about the time… I am pursuing my doctorate in Switzerland, I started in Oct. 2005, when I was still at UMCP, I think you were in Melissa Milke’s class with me briefly.. I was just auditing. I now live in Boston, and conducting interviews, inputting data, with a goal of ocmpleting the dissertation in 2014. I may need a little longer but hat is my goal. You can calm down now, I am taking longer than you and I am comfortable and feel ok!! I love this process and I intend to enjoy the immersion into the research and writing of a topic I love… I wish you the love of what you do, and to take the time you need. Tisom

  163. Hye-Sook says:

    Voila! After coming back from the three days trip, I have been working for my assistantship and time flied by. 😦 Yesterday, I could bug one of my advisors and she consulted me with the draft of my survey questions. But I also found that the questions may not completely answer the research questions. 😦 sigh, sigh, and sigh. Yet I am trying to move on and try to make a best-possible draft so that I can send it out to other people to look at.

  164. Good Morning….Second day of Dissertation House! Mini lecture: Know your strengths and limitations and Academic Job search

  165. I got another signature! I spent a lot of time telling myself that this day would not come. And then finally I made myself push through (or, really, God carried me through) and made it happen. I had to change my “What if I fail?”s into “What if all I need is a couple more hours of writing and that would be enough?”

    I have another meeting that I have to leave for around 11:30 (another signature). Before and after, I’m reviewing the guidelines for the Electronic Thesis and Dissertations requirements and filling in and formatting the template. So the day looks something like:
    KISS Menu:
    11 – read ETD style guide
    11:30 – leave to get signature at 11:45 (pick up measure pages)
    12 – lunch
    1 – mini lecture
    2 – Fill in template, appendices, front matter, TOC formatting, etc.
    4:30 – Look over vita/resume
    4:50 – park downhill, post for tomorrow
    5 – tech, pack up, back to Benjamin
    6 – Trans –> Dog park play date


  166. blessedone says:

    Hi everyone. Today, I revisited my Table of Contents and shifted some of the basic formatting into the UMDCP template. Today I will contact my advisor to make a conference date and type up the notes I wrote yesterday to launch me into writing.

  167. Pragati says:

    Aside from a minor, but seriously annoying and throw-offing kind of an incident, I am still trying to forge ahead on my goals for this morning. A little overwhelmed but I need to calm down and focus. Not much time to get stuff done. :/

  168. Mari says:

    Good morning,
    DH day 2: presentation (check);
    Reality check with Dr. CV and with Dr. McRae (check);
    back at my spot:
    I will change my goals for the rest of the week– I need to get away from the sand so that I can get more rocks in my cup. Translation– I have to code student interviews at school B.
    Today I will upload students from school B to atlas.ti.
    I will review, edit and code transcripts for student 1 at school B.

  169. Today I carefully matched the parts on my outline and and what I have written. Tomorrow I continue writing the Instrumentation section.

  170. movingonmovingon says:

    Today, I transcribed the final interview from participant #5. I analyzed two of participant 5’s writing samples and have have started creating poetic portrait. Tomorrow, I will finish poetic portrait and begin rearranging and revising results section.

  171. Mari says:

    I uploaded all my interviews at school B into Atlasti. I reviewed, edited and coded one student interview! I am working on my master list– separating the data that I will use later.
    I will continue coding tomorrow.

  172. Beth! says:

    Ok, so I guess tomorrow I try and finish my draft of Chapter 4. That means tonight I SLEEEEEEEP. Then I just have to work on adding the last details to each section and the transitions between sections. Ohhh, I need to finish this puppy (Chapter 4) by Saturday. WISH ME LUCK!

  173. TKDissertating says:

    I think I have almost mastered how to set MANAGEABLE and measurable goals. Checking things off of the list

  174. Pragati says:

    Progress! YEAH. Goals for tomorrow:
    1. Review the 10 capabilities
    2. Run files for dist level and individual level files
    3. Develop the codebook for DVs

  175. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks for the support Movingon! (Not sure your real name 🙂 So, I have a lot of work to do! After I met with Dr. Carter and Angela, I realized that I need to go back through the data I have already entered into excel and make some corrections. So, I have only entered data for two 1/2 questionnaires today. I spent the rest of the day revising the data I have already entered. There is a lot more trial and error in this process than I would like. I am going to stay and work on this process until at least 7pm tonight. Then I will be back to get started again tomorrow morning. Talk to you then!

    • Tsiom Ion says:

      Angel: I completed a 200 page 3rd MA thesis in December, 2011, and it required a lot of data collection and editing which you definitely want to do before undertaking any analysis.. Best wishes for patience.. Tsiom

  176. Congrats everyone for making progress today!!! Even those who were low on steam kept at it. I started getting sleepy but was motivated by everyone working around me so I gulped and munched til I woke up some more… (workout scheduled for tomorrow) 🙂

    Parking Downhill: I got my signatures today and the committee form has been turned in (Hallelujah, amen, rolling on the floor, hopping up and down, church music)! I am now a little more familiar with the ETD guidelines (1.5 inch left margins REALLY destroy all your previous attempts at formatting), and I have my chapters in one document. However, every few minutes I think of one more document that needs to be in my appendices, or that needs to be moved to a different section… Anyway, I need to continue to add and move things around, and download the full temporary version of Acrobat that allows me to edit PDFs. The style guide lists for where to obtain the trial version.

    Tomorrow, more formatting (front matter/TOC/ a couple more appendices – “just get it uploaded”), and hopefully also getting better at working simultaneously on jobs.

  177. spencertime says:

    Yesterday: Surmounted! (all data in Nvivo & coded)
    Today: With advisor at this very moment (well, she just stepped out of the room. I’m not that rude.). I am talking to her about all that I learned at DH. First thing: What is my purpose? Then, my time-line; then, the data that I’ve coded and analyzed that she mandated that I complete before this meeting.
    To be continued. . .

  178. Great reflections from Dr. CV on making good impressions and managing defenses in DH this morning! I still need to get better sleep. I’ll be on time tomorrow, especially after the first point in Dr. CV’s impressions talk was BE ON TIME (last chance).

    KISS Menu:
    10:15 – Continue template, appendices, front matter, TOC
    12 – Lunch
    1 – Mini lecture
    2 – Continue template, review text
    4 – Review vita/resume
    4:45 – Park downhill
    5 – Pack up, Guitar class

  179. TKDissertating says:

    Still working on my outline but having major epiphanies…
    I woke up early this morning from my sleep and immediately started journaling. I was able to journal some really interesting, critical and creative notes about how I was going to use some conceptually dense texts on gender formation for this chapter. The daily routine of transcribing the excerpts that I think are useful–even if I do not entirely understand them–during the day at dissertation house and then taking time off really helps. I realized that the down time in the afternoon/night that I use to exercise, spend with family, cook, touch base with friends and sleep is not passive time at all. That down time allows my mind, body, spirit–whole self–to deal with the material on multiple levels. I wake in the morning with a new level of understanding, inspiration and most importantly trust in my mind and body to take me through this process. Ahhh hahhh!!! Creating structured work time that I can break from also allows my whole self to process information, improvise, create and do its own thing. I’m sure many folks already know this, but it is wonderful to experience for myself….happy working

    P.S…I do not blog and have no online persona. So forgive the corny-ness

  180. Angel says:

    Good morning everyone,
    Ok, so I don’t think people understand how this is supposed to go. Did I miss something? Aren’t we supposed to log on in the morning, share our goals, and then log back in at the end of the day and share what we did? If that is the case, than a lot of people are missing this morning. Where are y’all at?!!! Let’s get this done!

    I did in fact stay until 7pm last night and I got more work done. Now I have 26 questionnaires entered and I need to enter 4 more and I will be done with data entry! I do need to go back though and revise some so that will take time but at the very least, this process will be over very soon! Today my goal is simple: Finish entering and revising questionnaire data! Wish me well!

  181. Day three of UMCP DH. Today I meeting with Dr. CV and clear my head.
    Goals for today: Write the Data Collection section, Write the Data Analysis Section, begin the instrumentation section. Thanks for reminding me Angel.

  182. Mari says:

    Buenos Dias:
    Day 3: I coded one student interview already for the day, I will be starting up another student interview in a few. I printed out a new pdfcalendar with new tentative dates from which I will schedule mini deadlines. Counting Down from 139 days.

  183. movingonmovingon says:

    yes, i think you are right about posting: I’m still working on yesterday’s goal of completing analysis for participant 5. I’m just about finished, but still looking through data to ensure I paint the appropriate picture.

  184. movingonmovingon says:

    This is difficult work. Not easy at all. Not that is should be. Right now, I’m writing about how my coding led me to the themes I describe in my findings section. One of my committee members has asked me to make my analytical process explicit. I’m reading over her notes and comments and am a bit overwhelmed by them all. I need to talk through her comments with someone. Should I request a meeting with her to talk through them or should I talk through them with another colleague? I need more than a general “overview” type of meeting with someone. I need someone to really help me think about the nitty gritty of my writing/thinking and my committee member’s comments. I’m wondering if I’m being too “needy” in this request or if it is appropriate for me to ask for this type of help from someone. Like Dr. Carter says: the dissertation is about me. I recognize that no one is invested in the way that I am, but I really would appreciate having someone really take an interest in what I’m doing. Is this need/request out of line?

    • Hi MOMO,
      Would it help if you sat and outlined what you THINK the committee member wants in terms of the nitty gritty – what you would ACTUALLY do if you were walking through these recommendations day by day, step by step – and then requested a meeting with the committee member to talk through your outline? That way, she will see your thought process and that you are actually working on her feedback. She will also have concrete ideas to clarify rather than talking generally and abstractly.
      All of the advice I’ve gotten has been to go to the source – the person who will actually sign off on the document – rather than other colleagues or friends. If that person approves what you’re doing, then you’ll Ph.inish.

  185. movingonmovingon says:

    Day started slow, but ended up being productive. Talking to Dr. Carter helped me clarify my thinking a little more as did talking to other colleagues from my department. In addition to writing analysis for participant 5, I also completing many parts of my dissertation elephant. Dr. Marinelli’s visit was right on time.

  186. So (which IS NOT a word used to start a written sentence in the dissertation; Carter-Veale, 2012), I didn’t get to my job search stuff again. I am making more progress on filling in the template, though, and I have the trial version of Adobe Acrobat downloaded from the link I pasted yesterday. Note: it took me a while between downloading, installing, and setting it up, but Acrobat is now showing in my browser and my Word documents).

    Parking Downhill: I need to continue working this document and format the TOC, front matter, and appendices, which I will do tomorrow along with working on my vita/resume.

  187. Kelley Engle says:

    Nice referencing there Alexis ;>

    My day was not as productive as I had hoped but I am working diligently now for the next hour until hubby comes home! Then will celebrate his birthday and go to gym to work out. Lots of coding (the programming type) going on here right now.

  188. Dear DHers,

    Hello from Panama!

    It’s good to see you all online and moving toward your goals. Dr. Shauna … congratulations!!!!!!!!! Wow, it almost seems like you just finished your proposal last year!
    I’ve been posting pictures and summaries on my blog about Panama. Feel free to have a look!

    I don’t have phone service and only have internet for limited times each day. That’s new for me! Things are going well. Miguel and I gave a talk on Tuesday, and I was the facilitator for a workshop today. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be with the DH at College Park this week. I think that this is the first one that I’ve missed at UMCP. Keep on pushing and moving forward!

    All the best,
    Dr. Tull

    • Hi Dr. Tull! We miss you!

      Now we’ll have to schedule a special follow-up to the DHouse for this cohort when you get back so you can make us do the 45-minute freewriting challenge. 🙂
      Today we are working on our elevator speeches. Fun times for all. :S But so worth it.

      Enjoy Panama! Wow.

  189. spencertime says:

    Spent 5 hours with my advisor yesterday. The most time I’ve ever spent with her.
    She absolutely loved–actually gave me a high five (first time for that)–that I am not on Nvivo (thanks Dr. Carter-Veale for your persistence!).
    1. Brain Dump (her advice): write, write, write (And just like I learned in DH, she told me to not worry about editing my brain dump. She said to just dump.)
    2. Thematize my Nodes (too many of them)

  190. Mari says:

    Day 4: Interesting morning- surprise visit from Dean of Graduate School, I was on tv 😉 glad I got that out of the way, and now back to coding. I will start with one student interview, but hopefullly get through 2 again today.

  191. blessedone says:

    Hello all. Yesterday I did get in contact with my Advisor who I learned, left town. We will skype sometime today to discuss a completion plan for the fall. I have also sent an email to my editor asking her for a chapter I sent months ago, and asking for an honest conversation about our process together. Today I will pull out Chapter 3, reread it, and make notes for future edits myself.

  192. Happy Friday! LOL @ Mari “on tv” – it’s always the last thing I want to do to practice elevator speeches, but it has helped me over the years to be challenged in this very specific way. Thinking about my “meaningful movements” and facial expressions, my umms and uhhs, and getting quickly to and repeating my take-away message – even accounting for mic placement and earring shadows! – these are things that we don’t tend to get practice with or feedback on in our home departments. Yet another advantage of Dissertation House participation! You’re either in it or you have no idea what you’re missing…

    Today’s KISS Menu:
    11:15 – Wow, I looked a second ago and it was 10:30… smh. Work on template formatting with Adobe again.
    12 – lunch
    1 – mini lecture/elevator speeches, part 2
    2 – template formatting – are all appendices and front matter inserted? Check headers and numbering, other “forgettables”
    4 – Vita!!! Resume!!
    4:30 – Probably some kind of closing ceremony, Park downhill
    5 – Pack up, hug ppl, give out photos

    Last day, #TeamGetItDone!

  193. What will we take away from Dissertation House? Comments from the participants at UMCP:
    – Ownership of the dissertation process as something that has to be done, regularly, and set concrete goals to be consistent
    – Won’t try to “avoid the hurt”
    – Go where the productivity is (“I don’t need to work at home. My house will be spic-&-span.”)
    – “Table 1 and table 2” 🙂
    – Need to work with other people. “I love working with other people” “I’m grateful for the community”
    – Positive self-talk and granting myself permission to write even crappy work rather than allow the blank page to stay. Worry about the quality later, and often it’s better than you thought it would be.
    – It’s ok to keep pushing rather than getting derailed by the things that are not killing me.
    – Call yourself doctor
    – Visualize the “tomato suit” – book the party rooms – set the date and don’t let my date pass.
    – Change my conception of what a productive day looks like. Four good hours of consistency – even messy and unclear – set me up for good passive thinking while washing dishes later. It doesn’t have to feel like torture, and it doesn’t have to be 8 hours.
    – I need to re-read and complete this part of the process rather than just moving on to the next, more exciting chapter before the current section has been completed.
    – Have created a new schedule and a new date – the countdown has started.
    – I will set up a job search system, like putting the keys in the same spot everyday.
    – Work on my 30-second, 2 minute, and 5-10 minute elevator speech with a community that I set up or join, remind myself why I’m doing this and why it’s important. I have re-written my elevator speech by hearing and seeing what others have been through.
    – the graduate elephant, setting a deadline and working backwards from the end to the starting point
    – I learned about myself – to trust myself more, that I already know what I need to do and I wait around for my advisor to tell me to do it – and she won’t. It’s my responsibility to own it – I could be here forever or I could graduate. I don’t want to be here anymore. I will make my progress and choose to empower myself, and show my advisor.
    – I’m learning to do it afraid. I have been afraid to graduate after I have connected my identity to this. I have delayed my happiness.
    – I take my motivation from this experience. I am not alone – there are others who feel the same way as I do. We have a collective sense of the struggle and we can support each other.
    – I have learned better time management as a mom and student. I have paired up with someone who is in the same position as I am and we are overcoming the belief that student moms can’t finish.
    – When something is bothering me – I will do something about it. Whatever is broken, whatever is minor, I won’t let it get in my way. I had a problem with a person I work with, and I surprised myself that I was mature and open and our professional and personal relationship improved.


    • spencertime says:

      Alexis, I enjoyed reading your reflection, but you got to help me out with the Tomato Suit reference. . . :o)

  194. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone,
    It’s great to hear from you Dr. Tull! You are missed, but you will be proud to know that we are making great progress and learning so much! Hopefully you will get to see the pictures that were taken during the week and can get a grasp of our group dynamic from the blog.

    Today I worked on something very simple, but extremely important towards accomplishing my dissertation goals and that is organizing the hard copies of my 32 returned questionnaires! It took some time and I kept telling myself I don’t have time to do it because I needed to do other more important tasks. For me, creating order has been probably the single most challenging task involved in writing the dissertation. However, lately I have been learning that I have been afraid to embrace many of the very things that will help me the most! Isn’t that funny?
    However, this week I realized how much organizing helps to save time in the long run! Who knew? I know this is a very basic concept that I think I knew intellectually, but didn’t really embrace or believe it since I have not been a very organized person. I thought that because I have gotten this far being pretty scatter brained, I could continue through the dissertation the same way, but that is not the case. I have met so many brilliant but disorganized professors that I thought,” I’ll just be one of those one day”. But even the most messy professor, must of had order in his or her life at some point, if only during the dissertation process.

    So, despite being stubborn, I am beginning to surrender to the dissertation process. I am learning to accept that it is not going to change for me and I am just going to have to conform to its structure. This has been a very hard lesson because I think that part of what we learn in women’s studies is to constantly question, analyze and resist structures that seem unfair, harmful or oppressive. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I have largely experienced the dissertation process as all of those. But, I think I forgot that it isn’t just that and that even it’s negative aspects can serve a purpose if I allow them to. So now my attitude is more like “Yes, some of this is unfair, painful even, but let’s do it anyway”. This new attitude is progress because for a long time I just got stuck in the unfairness, painful part of it, and I couldn’t move on. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t getting x support, wasn’t being accommodated, or that “they” couldn’t see things my way, etc. etc. So, I worked slower, as if I was hurting someone else by not showing up to do work everyday. As if being rebellious was going to hurt the University of Maryland’s feelings or something. Isn’t that crazy? I think I am a strange, strange individual. But, when you know better, you do better, and now that I am aware of my issue, my fears and confusions, I can move on and be more productive.

    It’s so strange how so much of this dissertation process for me has been less about the intellectual product and more about the emotional work and personal discovery. In that way, I really am looking forward to seeing this thing through and seeing how much I grow as a person when I come out on the other side. That is what my motivation is. It is not gaining a title and wearing a rob, because superficial things like, although I want them, haven’t been enough to motivate me to want to finish and face my fears in this process. What does help me push through my anxiety and negative self talk is knowing that every obstacle I have encountered thus far has transformed me into a better version of myself. This dissertation is an opportunity for me to learn more about what I am truly capable of. I am really excited about meeting who I will become on the other side of this and shaking her hand to say “Well done!”. My challenge is to become better through this process, and not bitter. I think for a while I lost sight of that. But, I am beginning to get back on track! Be patient with me, God isn’t through with me yet!


  195. Angel says:

    One more thing, Here is the information about the book I was telling you all about. It has really been helpful to me. Check it out!

    “The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now” by Rita Emmett (2000)

  196. What an amazing week. This experience was unexpected for me, but it brought to light where I started (and lingered for a while) – thinking I would never finish this degree – and where I am today – getting my last template changes made so I can upload. Hallelujah.

    I was able to thank some of the people who helped me get done. Wasn’t emotional at all. *side eye*

    And I finally worked on my vita/resume updates. There’s still more to do on that, the template, and the front matter (I’m freaking out knowing that I’m forgetting to acknowledge someone), and the final appendices. I heard back from one of my counties (yay), and I need to check in with another as I wait for more word. Also need to get my jobs spreadsheet together.

    Dr. Alexis

  197. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I am posting my goals for tomorrow. This will help me a lot!
    -Apply to assistantships-2hrs
    -Finish revising data entry-2hrs
    Wish me well!

  198. spencertime says:

    Yesterday: Good.
    Brain Dump was necessary. Beginning to thematize nodes was a stimulating experience.
    1. Thematize nodes further
    2. Brain dump 1.5
    3. Reflection of thematized notes (requested by advisor)

  199. Mari says:

    Today at COW– had to finish coding student interview from yesterday 😦 but I’m done with that one. I’ve moved on to reviewing and editing another student interview. I will begin coding it soon.

  200. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Great Mari! It’s awesome to see you here at COW. For those of you who don’t know, COW stands for the Community of Writers. We are students generally in our proposal or dissertation stages who meet together regularly to work on our goals towards dissertation completion at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus. Our group grew out of the Promise Dissertation House to help continuously build on the skills and progress that we made there. If you are interested in joining us, you can contact me at

    Today, my goals are pretty much the same as the one’s I posted last night. To restate them they are:
    -Revise Data Input: 2hrs
    -Apply to Assistantships: 2hrs
    However, I also need to do the following in addition:

    -Contact Participants about interviews and consent forms: 1 hr
    -Organize Folders: 20-30 mins max!

    So in total, I will be working for 5 1/2 hours. I will break for 20 mins 3 times during that period and since it’s almost 1:30pm that means that I will be here until 7:30pm. Wish me well!


  201. movingonmovingon says:

    I joined COW today and am happy to be working with a community of others working toward the same goal as I. Nice to see some familiar faces from DH. I’m so glad I attended the DH. It really got me back in the swing of writing and believing that I can get this document completed!

    Today: Just finished writing poetic portrait for final participant. (checked this one off the list)
    Additional Goal for Today: Rethink/Revise/Better support emergent themes.

  202. Mari says:

    What a day! Since I last wrote, I reviewed and edited 3 student transcripts. I coded 2. I am done for the day. I will be back tomorrow at COW with a few others. I will continue coding, I have 7 more student interviews (initial/follow up) to go!

  203. Mari says:

    Lenisa, Rebecca and I are at COW again today… I am in the process of coding another student interview. The goal will be to finish coding that interview and review/revise mini-goals for the week.

    • movingonmovingon says:

      Glad you guys got some work done at COW today. I was with you in spirit, but worked from home. Starting clarifying the introduction to my analysis. Feel good about the progress.

  204. Mari says:

    Two student interviews coded- coding and writing goals set for the week. I’m off.

  205. movingonmovingon says:

    It’s 9 am and I’m getting started. Goals for the day:

    1.Revise Findings Chapter (s)
    2. Begin Discussion Chapter

    Good luck to everyone!

  206. Michelle says:

    I’ve been out for a week but back to work.My goal for today is to finish transcribing interview 17.
    Angel where are you?

  207. Mari says:

    Hi Michelle! Hope Angel found you 😉
    Today working on coding 2 interviews… still working on the first one.

  208. Michelle says:

    Hey Mari! Yes Angel found me:)
    I realized that I already finished interview 17. Today I finished interview 18. Yeah. Only one left to go!

  209. Mari says:

    That’s great news! Congrats Michelle!!! I just finished coding first interview… I will move on to the second one hopefully it takes less time. :I

  210. Hi All,

    Today didn’t go anywhere near how I thought it would. I did get to help a friend in a meaningful way (for both of us), though, so now it’s doing a little make-up planning to keep myself uplifted. I stopped by my grad office to print out my schedule for the week and to check my finances. 🙂 Then I’m omw to productivity.

  211. jillybean1013 says:

    Hello D.H. colleagues! It’s almost 2:30 am. I’m listening to NPR. I’m thinking of going to IHOP for an early morning breakfast…but I’m tired, grouchy, and probably too sleepy to drive. The good news is I’ve completed drafts of chapter 3, 4, AND 5! AND there’s coffee downstairs. A good dissertation is a done dissertation right? so in that spirit I await my meeting with my advisor on Wednesday morning. Dr C-V lets get rolling on those D.H. graduation stoles…I want mine to be purple with little yellow polka dot flowers, you’re coming right? I’m gonna have a COW (get it?) if you don’t come. Okay all, happy writing : )

  212. Mari says:

    Hello! I finished coding the second student interview I had set for yesterday last night. I just got through coding one today. I will have to do some RA work but I will try to get through another one today. Two more student interviews to code!! My ESOL student profiles are indeed gone. Gave up the search so that recreating journey will begin tomorrow.

  213. Ha! Ok, I’m still cracking up reading these posts. I’m working at Wegman’s with my friend today. I took time (finally) to fill in my schedule up until next Tuesday, so I feel much better knowing what I need to do.

    Today I’m doing quick edits to my vita and resume (I made notes in bright red for where to continue in my document, so today I just jumped right into it. Awesome. Thank you Me-From-Last-Week). I’m also formatting PDFs, adding sections and rearranging pages, and finishing acknowledgments. I should be a lot closer by 7.

    Happy writing. – I start my work with this song. It reminds me to count up all of the amazing parts of life and to notice the continuous moments that make up a meaningful life.

    • Ok, got “good enough” changes made to vita/resume, updated more of the template and started embedding the pdfs. Gotta run because I’m late! Continuing creating pdfs, embedding, inserting, and formatting tomorrow…

  214. Lisa says:

    I got back from vacation and I’m happy to report that I did do my hour every day except for travel days! I have gotten a little off-track the last couple days, though, because my son is home this week with me, and my grandmother had major heart surgery yesterday. Between running after my boy and worrying about my grandmother I only got about 3 hrs done the last two days. I’m trying to be realistic about how much I can do with an 18-month-old around. I’m planning on three hours a day this week with a promise not to feel guilty for spending the rest of the time with my baby. With that in mind – here are my goals for tomorrow:

    -Email about final committee member and start the process for sending the committee to the Grad School.
    -Determine significant variables for each single-participant experiment, run each model, and run three-fold cross validation for each participant.
    -Bonus points: combine raw and normalized variables for stress experiment toward effort to improve classification accuracy.

  215. Feeling inspired today, especially by the Fab 5 US Gymnastics Team. I think I’ll adopt the 2012 Chariots of Fire theme song as my new own personal anthem. Seems appropriate for this stage of my dissertation process. I might even tripple jump across the graduation stage…see you at the finish line! ; )

    • Ok, here we go again…meant to say “as my own personal anthem”…not “new own…” It’s approaching 12:30 am and I’m slipping into my nocturnal study mode. Alright, off to kinkos. night night.

    • movingonmovingon says:

      Yes, FAB 5 were out of sight! Gabby’s smile makes me happy 🙂
      The discipline and focus of these Olympians have definitely resonated with me in this dissertation process. Like them, I have to give this process all I have! Just do it – MOMO

      • I like Gabby’s smile too. I’m especially inspired by her performance on the balance beam. I feel like I’ve got my own balance beam act that I’m trying to pull off! Indeed finishing this process will be a real stunt. Happy writing : )

  216. movingonmovingon says:

    Greetings! I’m at Bowie Library working today and am feeling good about progress. Goal for today: GET SOLID DRAFT of FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION CHAPTERS.

    Focus, focus!

  217. Michelle says:

    Here with Alexis. Still transcribing. I didn’t reach my goal yesterday to finish # 19. That’s my goal for today.

  218. Pingback: Dissertation House at 2012 SSI for “Alumni” – Friday, August 17 | The Dissertation House

  219. Mari says:

    I’m at Knight with Michelle and Tanya and got to work a little with Alexis too. I just finished dragging through the second to last student interview. I have one more student interview to get through. It’s an entertaining student… so I’ll try to get through as much as I can before 8…..

  220. I like Gabby’s smile too. I’m especially inspired by her performance on the balance beam. I feel like I’ve got my own balance beam act that I’m trying to pull off! Indeed finishing this process will be a real stunt. Happy writing : )

  221. Lisa says:

    Yay! I finalized every last bit of my committee today as well as doing all my single-participant protocol analysis! I didn’t get to my Bonus Points task, but it was because we took our son out for his 18-month birthday lunch. It’s important to remember life sometimes!

  222. I stayed up late tonight. Let’s see what gets done. Hopefully it’s worth being tired tomorrow!!

  223. Made progress but can’t see straight… Marked off section in document for where to continue working. Might need to catch a nap when I wake up….

  224. Yeah, those late nights never worked for me. I’m in Knight hall working on hopefully the final changes to the template, updating the TOC as I go (this stuff is like the final exam to the dissertation).
    11 – Mooooore template (I don’t think you folks will take this long on it. I’m just slow)
    1 – Break (ready to upload yet?)
    2 – Troubleshooting, upload, survey
    4 – Plan next steps
    5 – Guitar class

    Have a good day, all.
    Dr. Smackdown

  225. Michelle says:

    Finally!!! I finished Transcription #19

  226. Mari says:

    I am at Knights Hall with Tanya! It was good to be present and see Michelle finish her 19th audio transcription, and Alexis upload her dissertation, and Tanya celebrate her mini goals. I have to leave but I hope to finish coding my last student interview tonight!! Profiles need to get worked on tomorrow!!

  227. Mari says:

    It is 1:37 AM– i am done coding that last student!!!! wooo hooo hooo… silly moment… now good night!

  228. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I know it’s been a little while. And I realize now that I need to keep up with the blog more than ever! I was trying to think of what I accomplished this week to prepare for my meeting with Dr. Carter, and I had a harder time remembering because I didn’t keep a record of my goals daily like I usually do on the blog! But, I have been working! Everyday meeting with people like Alexis, Michelle, Tonya, and Maritza in Knight Hall or Oakland Hall for COW (Community of Writers). It’s been great! Trying to keep up the momentum from dissertation house is not easy, but I am trying. I met with my adviser this week and she seems pleased with my progress. More importantly, I am pleased with my progress! But, I still have so much more to do! It’s overwhelming, but I am just taking it one day at a time. Today’s goals are as follows:
    -Finish inputting questionnaire data into excel
    -Upload Application for Assistantship

    Wish me well!

  229. You ladies are awesome – I enjoy working with you, so I hope to continue … even though I FINALLY UPLOADED my dissertation!!!!

    Wooohooooooo. (it does happen to people like me, whatever that means) Woooohoooooo!!!!

    More soon!
    Dr. Smackdown

  230. Mari says:

    Buenas noches…
    Today was quite a day– I worked A LOT— but unfortunately not on my dissertation as I hoped. Let’s just say I spent several trips carrying (at least 20) buckets of water onto the backyard, waiting for a plumber and cleaning up a nasty mess. I am sore to the fullest extent. I will make at least a skeleton outline of the profiles I need to make and call it a night. Tomorrow will be a new and more productive day at COW.
    Angel- I hope you weren’t alone for too long.
    Alexis- you’re awesome!

    • Wow, Mari, doesn’t life have a way of inserting itself right in the middle of your dissertation? I guess the reality is that it’s really the other way around, but it seems like the D is bigger than life.

      Yet, you picked yourself back up (after the water) and even posted on the blog. You are strong physically and mentally, and your mental stamina will carry you though (just keep taking care of yourself physically, too!).

      Angel, same thing! You pushed through and were able to say that you made progress today. I loved seeing that you were happy with your own progress. That can be a great motivator, better than getting approval from your advisor.

      Keep it up ladies!

  231. Mari says:

    This morning I am at COW– with Jennifer and Jamey. I had my coffee and breakfast, and settled in– ready to work on filling in my outline with those profile drafts.

  232. Good afternoon D.H. colleagues! It’s threatening to rain here and I’m so excited! I’ve grown weary of the hotness, kind of ready for some cool weather. I’ve got my favorite blanket, the chocolate chip cookies in the oven, the water for my tea boiling and a lavender scented candle burning in the background. And after all that I think I’m finally ready to put in a few hours on my dissertation. Chapter 5 here I come! Stay encouraged friends… ; )

  233. Mari says:

    Alright– I am done for the day!! I have drafts for all students at school A– very rough drafts– but drafts. Must revisit, but at least I have at least a paragraph on results for 2 key assessments. I also created a table of the results for the ESOL scores.
    Now to just relax with family.
    Angel thanks for cheking in, I hope you’re having a productive day!

  234. Lisa says:

    I just figured out my reward for finishing my writing: I bought a pair of boots (yes, another pair!) that I have been lusting after and I’m putting them on the shelf above my computer where they will stay until I finish. Talk about motivation!

  235. Sorting out my “favorites” files on Microsoft windows. I thought this was going to be one of those tasks that would take “15 minute or less”. WRONG! I have a TON of favorite websites, and yes each one is special. I’m afraid to put the links in folders because I won’t know where to find them when I need them. And there’s nothing worse than wanting to retrieve something on a website that you KNOW you have but can’t find. One thing I did find useful was a set of academic search engines that find articles that even google can’t find. That was cool. This next part is totally random but I have to share. I was watching cartoons today (on my study break of course) and do you know SCOOBY has a laptop in the mystery machine! And daffy duck has a girlfriend!? What’s next? Text messaging? My goodness. I think in my blog I’ll start a list of academic search engines and a list of my ‘favorite’ (kind of like that word) commercials. The one I like right now is Miracle Grow where the lady is sitting on the porch talking about having two green thumbs…and at the end she shows her plant and says “boom” (i like that part). Next time I see my advisor I want to be able to say “chapter 5, BOOM”. Happy writing….weeeee!

  236. sooo excited! I just found a killer article on informal education in the workplace that I can use for chapter 2. (bouncing on the bed excited) wooo hooo!!

  237. Michelle says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I’m here in the Journalism building, with my seat in a seat 🙂

    I met with my advisors on Friday. The meeting went very well. But I sure do have some thinking to do about my career trajectory. In terms of my dissertation, they want a detailed description of each organization. So that’s what I will be working on today. Organization # 1.

  238. Words of the day: FIND YOUR GREATNESS (the Nike commercial). Be inspired! Happy writing ; )

  239. Lisa says:

    Today I am working on organizing my analyses and outlining next steps in preparation for a meeting with my advisor tomorrow. I think the analysis organization will be a good exercise to identify what’s working as well as any gaps.

  240. Mari says:

    Today I am continuing on the student profiles- I am writing at least a paragraph with the CLAVES results for each of the students at school B. I will also review the student codes and revise/merge.

  241. Lisa says:


    -Meet with advisor. Go over analyses completed, analyses planned, and changes he recommends, and tools to extract last 3 variables.
    -Collect signatures and turn in Committee Nomination form! Yay!
    -Start on next steps identified in meeting with advisor.

  242. Kelley Engle says:

    Hi All:
    Have run into some technical issues with the pilot experiments – am SLOWLY working through them. More pressing at the moment is a review of a paper I need to complete to give to my mentor. So this afternoon will entail reading/reviewing and then tomorrow is back to coding!

  243. Lisa says:

    Today I am going on a wild chase to figure out how to capture those last variables. Could be exciting! I’m trying to think about the things I’m doing as things I GET to do rather than things I HAVE to do. I’m thankful that I GET to work on my dissertation!

  244. Mari says:

    Good evening! I have been working with Michelle, Angel, and Pragati since about 4:30- I continued working on student profile A1. I went back to it after I drafted the paragraphs on student CLAVES assessments for all participants. Michelle and I also took a look at Angel’s coding book– and noted additional possible memos we could be taking.
    Tomorrow I will hopefully finish the draft of A1 and move to A2. Good night…

  245. Michelle says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’m taking it one step at a time. I made some progress on the description for organization #1. For tomorrow I will continue working on coding the documents from that organization.

    I also had to do a few more interviews from that organization. So I am now on another countdown for transcriptions.

    For tomorrow. I will finish transcription 1 of 5. And code 2 documents.

  246. Pragati says:

    So I am back. I still have to work on my variables tables and the codebook. The progress is that I I had a semblance of the variables table last week but met with my advisor and found out some additional steps I need to take.
    1. I will first need to aggregate all my variables at the household level.
    2. Then aggregate up to the district level
    3. Make variables tables at:
    a) student level
    b) household level &
    c) district level
    4. Also need to find out in stata how to calculate the n’s of the students within a household, # of households within a district and # of persons within a district in my analytic samples both at the district and student levels.
    Today I tried to understand _n and _N in stata. Still can’t say I have that down…I really need to know this to address 4.

  247. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I have been getting a lot of peer pressure from fellow bloggers Maritza and Michelle to post! So, here I am! As much as I complain, I am grateful to have friends to want to see me do well. So, what I have I been up too? A lot! But I am frustrated because I feel like I have little to show for it. Still, every little bit counts so here is my progress report.
    1. Yesterday, I applied to an assistantship and filled out the application for my Personal Care Assistant application. Both of these things are big, because I don’t like doing any of them and I have been putting them off.
    2. Today I attended a job fair for DC government to hire people with disabilities. I need money ya’ll. But I doubt it if I will find something that will be flexible enough to allow me to graduate. I have a lot of hard decisions to make in terms of either growing more debt, or taking on a job, taking longer to graduate, and accruing more debt! Wow, both options seem like bad one’s. After my experience at this job’s fair though, I have decided that unless I find a part-time internship , I am not going to work full time.
    3. Today I also finished creating my code book. Tomorrow I will finish revising my exel spread sheet. Everything is taking so much longer than I planned. It’s really frustrating to be working regularly and moving so slowly. Not to mention that a lot of the things that I need to do to maintain my life, like take care of my health, get a job etc. seem to compete with the time I need to finish my dissertation. But, I will get better at this in time. It’s just frustrating to feel like you are constantly moving, but not getting very far. I still need to work on posting my goals and stuff. I think that will help me feel some type of accomplishment. I have avoided posting lately because I don’t feel like I have enough progress to report. But, slow and steady wins the race I suppose. It’s been great to meet with members of COW every day. Thanks for your support everyone!

  248. Carlos says:

    Trying to keep going!

  249. Good Morning Everyone
    Today is another day to work on your dissertation. If you didn’t get anything done yesterday or even this morning, let it go. It’s 10:37am you still have time to get something completed today. What’s that something going to be? Is it another line of data inputted, another 15 min of transcription, another 15 minutes of coding, getting another experiment started, another line of revisions/edits completed, another paragraph written? It’s up to you. Will you spend the next 15 min wallowing about what you didn’ t get done or will you spend 15 minutes doing something?

    Mari glad to see that you are working on transcriptions and was able to persevere enough to find something interesting. Angel, my grandmother always said “get as much education as you when you can because “work/job” will always be there waiting for you”.

    Troy, where are you; you must be an expert on NVivo by now. Carlos, what’s the latest word with the dissertation, a defense date, and the advisor’s revisions? Lisa a girl can never have too many boots; glad you thought of a reward to keep you going.

    Kelley and Angel forward progress no matter how small is important. Remember those days, months, years when you weren’t making ANY? Remember when you didn’t know which direction was forward?

    Pragati, hang in there and check out the the UCLA stat page they have plenty of information on STATA.
    Michelle good for you for taking your advisor’s feedback and just going with it. I like that (purple ink). You could have complained but you simply wrote “Starting with organization #1!!!!!!” You have taken another sip of the Kool Aid. See you on Friday.

  250. Michelle says:

    Hi Dr. Carter, great to see you on the blog! Yes taking more sips of the Kool Aid 🙂

    Today I had to run around town to do some errands. So I made sure that the first thing I did was transcription. I’m happy to say I finished #20!!! I did a victory dance. I the dance up made up on the spot 🙂

    Hey what can I say, the Olympic athletes, particularly Serena and Bolt, have had an impact on me :). Got to think like a winner right! These athletes practiced hard, for years and years and years, just to get the opportunity to compete in the Olympics. This got me thinking about all the writing, the sacrifice and the small victories of my PhD career thus far. When I think of the Olympics and my dissertation I remember that all the hard work is part of the journey which is preparing me for the opportunity to shine as a scholar. The dissertation and dissertation defense is just one of the major Olympic events of my career.

    Keep practicing (writing) everyone!

    I also coded three documents.

    For tomorrow, I will finish transcribing another interview.


  251. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone!
    I have been watching the Olympics like Michelle, and I too find them to be a great sense of motivation. There is this one athlete from South Africa named Oscar something. He is the first person with a physical disability to compete in the Olympic games. His legs were ambutated when he was a baby, and he is competing in the running meets. He had to fight just to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes. His struggle speaks to me a lot. Even though he had to go through so much just to prove that he is good enough to compete with people who don’t have disabilities, once he mad it to the race, he is still expected to meet the same standards as everyone else. No one makes it any easier for him. He doesn’t get a head start in the race just because he is missing limbs, or because he had to challenge the Olympics in court. Would you believe people tried to say he actually had an advantage over the other athlete’s because he had prostethics? They tried to keep him from racing. But he made it. I think he deserves a medal no matter what, but he won’t get one unless he meets the same standards as his competitors without legs. I know he will meet them too, and that will make his Gold that much greater. That’s how I feel about my dissertation. Pragati pointed out to me that I am the only person with a disability she knows on this campus. I got to deal with stuff that most of my peers can’t relate too. But guess what? I still gotta write a dissertation just like everybody else if I want to get a PhD. And that’s ok. I prefer it that way. I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t have to meet the same standards. Because then I would be missing out on the growth and learning opportunity that comes with it. And people would think less of my PhD. Oh no, can’t have that. It sucks sometimes, but it is what it is. Just got to suck it up and win my race the best way I can. But, I digress….

    So, I got some good news! I have an interview tomorrow for a GAship for the PreMcNair/ Academic Achievement Program. It would be a blessing to have some tuition remission and regular pay coming in. I think I would also enjoy working in this program such I am such a strong product of McNair and other Academic Achievement Programs. It will be a challenge managing my time, but I think I am up for the challenge. So wish me well!

    Today I Maritza kept me company as I revised my excel spread sheet. I got a lot done but I’m still not finished. I can’t believe how much time it is taking me to go back and place something as simple as 99 or 0 in spaces where there is missing data. But, it has to be done. I tell you I am paying for every little short cut I attempted to make, and every bit of avoidance, procrastination or disorganization I have ever practiced during this process. It’s always best to get it right the first time, and to face what ever difficulties you are having right away. Otherwise, you are prolonging the inevitable and making matters worse. Point taken, lesson learned. Moving on…

    Tomorrow I am getting to Knight Hall at 10am. Feel free to join me on UMCP campus if you will be around. I will spend that time working on the excel spread sheet for my questionnaire. I recruited my little brother to help me transcribe one of my 3 interviews I have left. Since I am taking longer to finish my spread sheet, I am hoping he can save me a little time. That’s all for now. Best wishes everyone on accomplishing your goals and keep pushing!

    • Mari says:

      Good luck tomorrow! 🙂

    • This was very inspiring to read, Angel. Full of insight that I want to remember, particularly in your statements about disability and how it is alternatively (often simultaneously) respected and disrespected.

      Keep at it. I say that when I do something good for the “future me”, I will say “thank you, past me. Good looking out,” when I realize that I did something proactive and saved “future me” lots of time and effort. 🙂

  252. Mari says:

    Thank you Dr. Carter 🙂 Still working on getting those rocks in. I have a rough draft of A2, but needs more work so I’ll continue working on that. I also reread Friese’s take on coding in Atlas.ti, merging codes, creating subcategories etc., and printed out the surveys that need to be filed for each student for family part. I have a lot to do… but it will get done.

  253. Hello everyone. I’ve been reading your posts and finding much needed encouragement in them. Tonight was very productive for me. I completed the write up and analysis of my results in Chapter 4. I am prepared and anxious to discuss/defend the findings with my advisor next week. I mentioned in Dissertation House that the statistical model was my greatest challenge in finishing the Ph.D….and is was…(past tense) : ) Stay encouraged!

  254. Well, it took five days instead of the 1 day I had hoped it would take, but I’ve finally finished revising my findings and analysis for all five study participants. Having done that, I feel like i’m moving closer to my goal of getting it done! Thanks for the posts – they have certainly helped me stay motivated and focus.

  255. Michelle says:

    Happy Friday!
    For today I transcribed interview 21. Victory Dance!! I have 3 more to go. I also coded 2 documents and 1 interview to help write organizational description #1.

    Tomorrow I am going to the Communities of Writers (COW) at College Park. I plan to transcribe interview #22 and code 1 document and 1 interview.


  256. Carlos says:

    Status: BURNED OUT!!!!!!

    – Chapter 1. 100% Under Mentor’s Re-Re-Revision (Since 8/08/2012)

    – Chapter 2. 100% but to be modified at the end

    – Chapter 3. Working on Mentor’s Revision (Since 8/06/2012)

    – Chapter 4-5. Did not get Mentor’s Revision (Since 7/12/2012), but I need to update according the comments made to chapters 1, 2 and 3.

    – Chapter 6. 1st Revision addressed, but I need to update according the comments made to chapters 1, 2 and 3.

    – Chapter 7. 1st Revision addressed, but I need to update according the comments made to chapters 1, 2 and 3. (most likely it will be divided in three chapters)

    – Chapter 8. 55%

    Countdowns: NOT REALLY!!!

    KISS for today
    – Finish Chapter comments Chapter 3
    – Get 5 hour energy

  257. Carlos says:

    I decided to stop for the weekend and relax…………Now getting ready for tomorrow.

    KISS menu:

    0600h Insanity (Day 1- Fit Test)
    0700h Get Ready
    0800h Dr.’s Appointment
    0930h Finish Tasks/equipment/Test for New MRI project
    1230h Review Chapter 3 and send
    1530h Review Chapter 4 and send
    1830h Review Chapter 5 and send
    2130h Review Chapter 6 and send
    2300h exam/plan and blog

  258. Carlos says:

    Only 4 hours of sleep. Morning was good. Afternoon got messy with all the reviews, ended up not sending any of the chapters..

    Tomorrow KISS

    0600h Insanity (Day 2)
    0700h Get Ready
    0800h Finish Review Chapter 3 & send
    1200h Work
    1800h Home-Family Time
    2100h Review Chapter 4
    2200h exam/plan and blog

  259. Carlos says:

    Just exhausted..and behind schedule. No motivation at all. I need to finish this!!!!!!
    Anyone around?? Michelle? Robert? Mari? Angel?

  260. Carlos…just put your pants on and get to work! 😉
    You need to finish this so you can finally MOVE ON!
    call or email me sometime if you need a buddy to talk to 🙂

  261. Carlos says:

    It is actually working 🙂

  262. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the motivation, Carlos and Margaret! I’ve been feeling a little down lately and it would be really easy to just sleep all day and ignore the dissertation. Instead, I’m setting smallish goals and just thinking of what the next little thing is that I can do to move me one step closer to finishing. Today that is reading an article that describes an analysis similar to what I need to do and researching (and attempting to understand!) a number of different statistical options. Sometimes I think my eyes might fall out of my head, but I’m doing *something*.

  263. Carlos says:

    Just got back from work. Great Day! just two paragraphs done, but the most important ones.
    I was able to answer to most of the comments made by mentor. Tomorrow the goal is to focus on chapter 1 & 3 so anyone would be able to understand exactly what I am doing (including a very descriptive figure).

    Tomorrow KISS

    0600h Insanity (Day 3)
    0700h Get Ready
    0830h Take Dani to the dentist
    1130h Work-Get 20 minutes each hour to work on dissertation
    1800h Home-> Chapter 1 & 3
    2200h exam/plan and blog

    Thanks!!! For the support. Sorry I did not get back soon
    Gosia, Patti……..ooops! I meant Dr. Dabek, Dr. Ordonez, Dr. Carter, and Mari

  264. OMG. You guys are posting about stuff taking so much longer than you expected and needing to pull energy from SOMEWHERE because it’s CERTAINLY not INSIDE you at the moment … Remember that just as the energy goes out, it also comes back. Do what you can – realistically – during each moment that you have.

    Also: Remember what it takes you to get that energy because you’ll still need it on the other side. 🙂 It’s just better because at that point you can say, “Well, I’m still tired, and stuff still takes longer than I thought, but I never have to do THAT again!!” Hopefully while making more money….

    Today, I’m tying up more loose ends. I just got “approval” from my last county to do my follow-up raffle with the school teachers that participated in my dissertation study. So,
    KISSoldier Meu (it’s baack):
    12:30 – gym (I missed bootcamp this morning and am simultaneously moving stuff out of my grad office)
    2 – Food
    2:45 – Try to meet folks over at Knight, Instructions for course syllabus
    4 – Raffle instructions and set up for picking teacher winners
    5 – Park downhill and transport

    I hope everyone’s having a good, productive day!
    Crazy Aunt Lex, Ph.D.

  265. Lisa says:

    I decided this stats stuff is a little over my head and I don’t have time to figure it all out for myself. I contacted CIRC at UMBC to arrange an initial stats consultation. We’ll see how it goes! I also contacted one of my committee members to arrange a meeting about my elusive variables. Did I mention I turned in my committee nomination form last week? That was a relief!

    I think once I get all my variables nailed down and can plow through the tedious but straightforward analysis, I will be less anxious about getting this done. But right now with those two things up in the air I feel like I’m grasping at straws. Can someone tell me this gets better?!?

  266. Good morning everyone,

    We have 5 extra spaces for the 1-day Dissertation House tomorrow, Friday, August 17. Location: UMBC Commons 329. Breakfast refreshments and lunch buffet in the Skylight Room — free for you! Please let us know that you are coming by following the regular procedure:

    Renetta Tull

  267. Lisa says:

    Sitting in Alumni DH @ UMBC bright and early! I’m working on understanding my stats more and setting up my data sets for 10-fold cross-validation.

  268. Mari says:

    Good morning!
    At DH @UMBC today! SO excited to attach faces to blog names:)
    Today I’m attacking student profile #6 today. Good luck everyone!

  269. Bill says:

    Figuring out what dissertation house is all about. Hoping to develop a number of clear, time-sensitive goals to get me closer to graduating. Thanks for the hospitality

  270. adoration23 says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    I am at dissertation House. at UMBC. Today, I will be working on my IRB application and organizing literature for Chapter 1.

  271. Jodian says:

    Here at DH. Hope to clearly state graduation timeline and experiment plan

  272. From a long hiatus and a far away dissertation house….rehabtheresearcher is back!
    I’m happy to be here representing the University of Pittsburgh.

    Here’s today’s plan:
    1. consolidate content for my conference poster
    2. develop the outline for chapter 4: The design of NAViSection
    3. determine a countdown deadline through one-on-one session: 12-12-12?!!! (not the defense, but the draft dissertation)

  273. Angel says:

    Good morning,
    This morning I’m just happy to be here. Below are my goals for the day:

    -Finish inputting data into excell
    -Email advisor excell data file
    -Transcribe 1 interview

    Wish me well!

  274. I am here after a busy morning. Goal is to have an outline of my instrument by the end of the day.

  275. Hello All
    Today is a 1 day dissertation house with several 30 min 1-on-1 sessions; I barely have time to breathe!!! It’s great seeing everyone including Nahom from Pittsburgh (CMU DH alum).

  276. Carlos says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Defense Day: Wednesday October 3rd….9:00 am (I’ll ready got the auditorium)
    I got my boss here, so I have to stay until at least 7 pm.
    Keep working!!!

  277. Pragati says:

    Hello All,
    Virtually joining DH. Goals for today:
    1. Create the updated Bodily Health variable
    2. Create the updated Occupation variable
    3. Descriptives tables for Individual level variables
    4. Descriptives tables for Household level
    5. Descriptives tables for District level
    6. Operationalize 8 capabilities
    Why do I feel I’ve had the same goals for the past 1 month or more??? Tired.

  278. Reconnected and Renewed…..shall I set this as my home page?

    Today I added all of my content into a poster for my conference.
    Formatting will be the joy to follow.
    I will review my poster abstract to ensure I cover everything explained in the abstract…and that will structure the outline for my system design paper.
    Tonight, I will develop a timeline to finalize both of these by next Wednesday….so I will already have daily to do lists.

    Tomorrow, I will park in a FREE lot and get prepared to learn all I can in the Summer Success Institute.

    For anyone that is reading my progress…I ask you to help me progress in a contest by PhD Comics. POINT – CLICK – (let the page load) VOTE!!
    you want to see the cool black car (KITT from Knight Rider) or just search for my name “Nahom” on the entry titled “The Synthesis of NAViSection”

  279. Jodian says:

    I accomplish my goals of a timeline for my experiments and the graduation. I now I need to keep working on the experiments and start writing chapter 1. Thanks Dr. Carter for the advice/talk!!!!!

  280. Lisa says:

    Happy to be able to say that I met my goals for the day. Dr. C-V talked with me about how to organize my results in the dissertation and to JUST START WRITING!!! And since I’ve worked a good solid day, I feel no guilt about playing with my baby tonight!

  281. Mari says:

    Today has been such an EXTREMELY productive day– By 11am I had more written about one student than I am able to write in a week! I also realize that I need to follow my own advice and get an outline going. Meeting with Dr CV always makes everything so much more simpler– THANK YOU for all that you do!

  282. Yeah! I made it and I got my goals done! Boom!

  283. Angel says:

    It’s been a good productive day! It was challenging getting here, but in the end I’m glad that I came. I finished my data spread sheet, and I started transcribing my first of 2 final interviews. Yay!
    Let’s keep it going!

  284. evesdawn says:

    Thank you for all the great feedback this afternoon! I appreciate your attention and help, and remember, there IS an end, and you WILL get there – you just need at least 15 minutes per day!! 😀 Good luck to everyone continuing on!!


  285. Lisa says:

    Today I had a meeting with someone in the stats department to make sure my method is good. She’s going to look over everything and get back to me. I also looked into a tool to calculate my last variable. It looks like it won’t be hard but it might be tedious. I’ll just have to suck it up and get through it. I’ve also been reading the Chicago Guides to Writing About Numbers and Writing About Multivariate Analysis. Very good resources for effectively communicating about analyses.

    • Lisa
      Good to see you using 2 of my recommended texts….I love those books!!! Tedious, smedious…a good dissertation is a done dissertation. Interesting, enthusiasm and awe inspiring are for undergrads! 🙂 You are sitting at the grown-ups table. Good luck on the stats.

      • Lisa says:

        Ha ha! You’re right – I know it will be a little time consuming but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing it! I spent the first part of today figuring out the syntax and I’m about to figure out how to run it on batches of files. I’ll probably figure that out before I pick up my son from daycare, then I’ll be able to run it all tomorrow. I would do it tonight, but we all need some clean clothes and I need a little sanity time! I’m excited, though, because once I get this last variable I can do the final analysis next week and then write write write! I’ve been looking at what sections are needed and it’s much less intimidating in the daylight. I know I’ve got this!

  286. Good morning, all,

    I was thinking about why it’s been difficult to post recently, and one reason was that the Dissertation House blog isn’t on my homepage anymore. Changing that RIGHT NOW! I see that someone else has posted about the blog as home page already – hi RehabtheResearcher. Some things just need to be automated or it’s literally out of sight, out of mind.

    By the way, I have a recurring dream/nightmare occasionally that I have been neglecting an important duty (like feeding a dog or showing up to a class) for weeks or months. When I wake up, I am SO relieved.

    Anyway, I’m organizing all of the many things that are out of control disorganized this week, including my sleep schedule. I got up on time but now I’m late getting to campus. Will need to
    – set/organize goals (they’re scribbled in my phone right now)
    – work on my syllabus
    – set up my health insurance payments (sigh)
    – and finally send out this raffle announcement that I’ve been procrastinating on
    – work on DH presentation ideas. I’m thinking about using anonymous comments from this blog. Do I need special permission to use comments anonymously in order to promote DHouse to the College of Education? I will email Dr. Tull & Carter about that…

    Have a great day all. Claim it.
    Dr. Lex

  287. evesdawn says:

    T-minus 22 hours left!! Celebrating my last day as a graduate student by reading through my dissertation and focusing on making my presentation delivery smooth as possible 🙂

    Signing off for the last time as Margaret, ABD 🙂

  288. Hello All
    Evesdawn is defending her dissertation tomorrow!!! Please send her some luck and keep her in your thoughts tomorrow.

    The weeks sure do fly by. Last Friday I was in Maryland now it’s almost Friday again. August is coming to a close and another semester begins. When you are All But Dissertation (ABD) the seasons come and go and before you know it another semester begins again. Another reminder that you are not finish. If you have not set a clear cut goal to complete your dissertation this coming academic year, you will find yourself in the same spot next year. I strongly recommend that you set a specific deadline based on when you want to finish. What day do you want to finish? Sometimes you think you are waiting on your advisor but the reality might be that your advisor is waiting on you. Waiting on you to show him or her some evidence that the dissertation or proposal is almost done.

    A common question that I ask graduate students is, ” If I wanted a copy of your dissertation today, what would you be handing to me?” To get a PhD, you need to turn in a well written, coherent, document. Are your files organized? Is your document in the Graduate School’s format? Do you have a hard copy of all that you have written on this topic? Could you tell me how many chapters you have? Don’t wait on your experiments are done before you start writing. Can you write a paragraph about your experiments, even the ones that didn’t work? Can you write a paragraph about a table or figure you created? If you recently gave a talk at a conference, can you write a paragraph based on each of your slides. Stop thinking about why you can’t get it done and focus on what you will have to do to get it done.

    Carlos, Troy, Angel, Michelle B, Jodian, Tonya, Spencertime….what’s up? Women from the summer DH at College Park check in—Praggati, movingon?. Rehabtheresearcher welcome to the blog.

  289. Kelley says:

    I got done what I had last posted regarding doing a paper review, fixing my coding issues and reviewing data sufficiency issues. Had some major changes this week which has put dissertation work on hold for the moment. I was offered a full-time position as department chair at the college where I have been adjuncting. I’m excited and feeling very blessed but also quite stressed! Time management will be the most important to me right now. Thankfully my dean (and supervisor) is very supportive of me finishing my dissertation (she also has a PhD). This week I am getting settled into my new position – next week I will resume dissertation work:

    1. Combine all treatment data into one file
    2. Choose one “good” classification rule (needs at least one medication) and calculate accuracy using Access VBA.
    3. Setup pilot experiment using VBA

    Alexis – I know what you mean about the dreams. My recent dream is that I am at my defense and mentor chose not show up (and didn’t notify me). Major panic!

    I want to thank you all for posting your progress, frustrations and achievements. Even though I don’t post very often- I do read your posts and am continually motivated by them.

    • Congratulations on your amazing appointment, Kelley! I hope that you take a moment to celebrate while keeping your dissertation rhythm.

      Eek, I know the feeling of that dream. But don’t worry – just get to the defense! 🙂 I worried for a minute that my committee wouldn’t show, but they all came in right on time, laughing like it was a luncheon or something. I just tried to think of it as if I was simply sharing my findings, not being evaluated so much…

    • Lisa says:

      Way to go, Kelley!! More incentive to finish up fast??

  290. Michelle says:

    Hi Dr. Carter and Everyone,
    Sorry for not checking in. This week has been my 12mins-3hr days. I really felt like I was at the burnout point and so I took some time to rest and plant my fall veggie garden. For those of you who know me, my garden is a source of personal and spiritual renewal. It’s my quiet space where I can be one with nature.

    I had a very productive spring garden. Unfortunately, my summer garden didn’t do so well this year. This is in part due to the so focused on the dissertation not taking enough time to water my plants or even to weed. By the time I got back to gardening this month the weeds were knee high. My tomatoes were looking very pitiful 😦 and other plants weren’t producing as much as they used.

    I really need to work on balancing my life better. Realistically I know that to get this dissertation done in time for graduation in May, I can do 3-5 hours per week in the garden until November when the season ends. I will look at these hours as my reward for getting my dissertation goals accomplished. Given the state of my summer plants, that I love so much, it will hurt my heart if I can’t tend to them. So dissertation blog world, it’s a goal that I’m setting. No garden without accomplishing dissertation goals beginning tomorrow morning until early November.

    With respect to this week, based on my 12mins to 3 hour day week, I finished transcribing interview #22 and am working on number 23 right now. I revised a draft of my CV, something I need to have for my advisor for our next meeting in September. I also did some free writing for the intro (20 mins) and chapter 4 of the results section (1 hr).

  291. Michelle says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    My goals for today
    1. Transcribe interview #23
    2. Write outline for organizational description
    3. Finish Coding Interviews Org. #1
    4. Write one section from outline

  292. Mari says:

    Hi Dr. Carter and all Fellow Bloggers 😉
    II can’t beleive it’s been a week since DH. Well unfortunately I got a little under the weather but I bounced back and I’m working on my 10th Profile. Wishing you all a very productive Friday!

  293. Michelle says:

    Hi Mari! That’s so great! You’re working on Profile #10! How many do you have left to go?

    I accomplished all my dissertation goals for today! Now I can go tend to my lovely little plants. I’m planting cabbage, Swiss chard, and broccoli, yum!

    Goals for tomorrow.
    -write 3-5 section of organizational description
    -transcribe 30 minutes of interview #24

  294. Hello All
    I can’t believe that evesdawn did not post that she passed her defense and she is now Dr. Margaret Grow!!!!!!

    Congrats Kelley on moving from an adjunct to Chair of a dept. You are right time management will be an issue even more so with this new job. Remember to do something on your dissertation no matter how small the tasks it. Daily forward progress is important.

    Mary #10 done how many more to go.
    Congrats Michelle for getting number 23 done and heading to the garden to celebrate.
    Have a good weekend all…a holiday is coming up. Plan your dissertation around it.

  295. Congratulations to Margaret … Dr. Grow!!! She did it!!!!!!
    Also, congratulations to Nahom (rehabtheresearcher, Carnegie Mellon DHer) … his entry for PhD comics won the grand prize!

  296. Kelley says:

    Congratulations Margaret! Tell us how does it feel? 🙂

  297. Mari says:

    Hello! Today I worked with Michelle, Robert and Lenisa–it was good to have company! Today I finished draft of profile #11… I sent a follow up email to one of my committee members…spent 10 min working on organizing upcoming week schedule, I also went over my school 2 binder to note what hardcopy files I am missing and will print out tomorrow. Now off to enjoy my evening with family 🙂

  298. Michelle says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I accomplished the goals I set yesterday.
    1. Write 3-5 section of organization description (CHECK! I did 4)
    2. transcribe 30 mins of interview 24 (CHECK)

    I can now go to my garden and enjoy time with the family!!

    For tomorrow. I will write 1 section of description, and transcribe 15 mins. of interview 24.


  299. Big congrats to Dr. Grow! And to everyone else for continuing to work on your dissertation goals! And I’m laughing to congratulate Nahom for his PHD Comics accomplishments! So awesome.

    Just stopping in finally. It’s way past my bedtime. I’m on campus, finally having gotten some progress on a few important tasks in preparation for next week – the first week of classes. I tell people how important it is to make your weekly schedule, and the longer I put off creating mine – no matter how intimidating it feels to get started – the longer I took to get much of anything done. But now I’m scheduled up until September 1, and it feels really good to have some new ideas for getting things accomplished. Here’s the planner I use. (can you open it?) 🙂
    Instructions: Fill in Roles first, then Actions (specific tasks). I find that there are too many possible roles, so I fill in only three or four and then connect the boxes. Then each action goes into a day of the week, and then into a specific time period of the day it’s assigned.

    Ok, I go home now. Hopefully I can force myself to get up at the time I set for the morning. If not, that’s why I write in pencil…

    Dr. Lex

    • It really does feel infinitely better to go to bed and wake up knowing that I’ve made a plan. I’m testing out a new system: “boss time.” At SSI, Dr. Esparragoza said in the “Managing Career Transitions” talk that he gets more done from 6am to 8am than he gets done from 8am to 4pm. He was talking about how so many other tasks – meetings, phone calls, etc. – tend to take over his day.

      That talk, followed by a conversation with a military colonel, reminded me of how many people in leadership and management positions seem to get up very early. So I made a plan to try having what I’m calling “boss time” first thing after my morning prayer and “quick-cersises” (quick exercises to wake up my body, about 10 minutes every morning or as often as I can). I’ll see if I can keep up boss time before 7am, and then do my regularly scheduled getting ready routine. Ask me how it’s going!

    • Mari says:

      Thanks Dr. Lex 😉 I printed out a copy of the planner– I was able to see it and print it! I’ll try it out and see how it works! thank you!

  300. Mari says:

    Hello! I printed out my parent files that were missing, created new dividers and labels for each participant and removed those students that will not be used at this time. I’ll be working on draft of profile #12…hopefully I have at least a rough rough draft before I leave for church at 6pm.

  301. YA says:

    Dear All & Drs. CV, Tull:
    On Friday I received the comments from my Dissertation Chair on the changes I need to make to my dissertation before defense! I have until Friday August 31st to submit the changes, so my goals for today are as follows: Edit Chapter 5-least revisions needed; followed by Chapter 4. For the rest of the week: Tuesday: Edit Chapter 3; Wednesday; Chapter 2; Thursday Chapter 1. Friday: Final review of all edited chapters before re-submitting! Most of the changes recommended are formatting of figures and tables versus content, so I am optimistic that a defense date is inevitable. Have a productive day all!
    Oops, I almost forgot: major congratulations to Dr. Margaret Grow. . .well deserved!!!
    Really, according to Kelley, how does it feel to be over that bump?
    Kelley, congratulations on your new appointment. Wishing you all the best!
    Later everyone, I am off to the library to edit. . .

  302. Lisa says:

    I just calculated my LAST VARIABLE!! Yay!! This has been a long time coming! Now I need to clean things up a bit, normalize the data, and put it alongside all my other variables in my data sets. I’ll be 100% ready to go with analysis! I haven’t heard back from my consultation with the stats people so I’ll have to follow-up with them. I can’t wait to start my analysis!

  303. Wow – there are some amazing updates on here. Mari, it sounds like you had some great organizing (I need to do a lot of that) and I hope your drafting turned out well. Oh let me know how the planner works for you. I have to keep changing it when my schedule doesn’t turn out as I planned, but it helps me get so much more done than I would have otherwise.

    YA – congrats on making so much progress with edits. My committee didn’t even ask me to change around tables and figures until after the defense, so you’re probably going to need fewer revisions once the defense is over.

    Lisa – amazing! Congratulations on calculating the last variable! Keep up your momentum through the analyses and you’ll be out of here in no time.

    I talked to Pragati today at the College of Ed welcome fair and she said that her advisor gave her the ok to schedule her defense. So please wish her well – she’s doing an amazing job, too.

    I didn’t do boss time today, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow. I’m working with one of my friends to make progress after we exhausted ourselves working at the fair. The new semester is HERE!!
    KISS Menu:
    Basically, two things tonight – syllabus: narrow down assignments and their weights and finalize EDHD498 wording for assigning grades. If I can get that done tonight, I’ll be in good shape for tomorrow.

  304. evesdawn says:


    I apologize for not writing in this blog earlier – my parents have been in town and my main priorities have been spending time with them and on my edits 🙂

    But, as Dr. Carter-Veale already announced, I PASSED MY DEFENSE ON FRIDAY!!!!! 😀 Only minor revisions required, which I completed last night! HOORAY!

    Everything looks a little rosier now, and I’m enjoying life. The best way to explain how I feel now that I’ve passed is RELIEF. I didn’t realize how much stress I had really been under this summer until it was all over and done with – my acne has started to clear up and I’ve already started to lose weight 🙂 It’s a wonderful feeling, and I don’t mind sitting in lab anymore, because it no longer feels like a prison lol 🙂

    However, I’m not completely done yet – I need to make sure that I complete everything before September 12 to receive the class waiver, and since I will be on vacation next week (HELLOOOOOOOO FLORIDA!!), I want to complete everything THIS week so I can enjoy my vacay completely 🙂

    So now, the goals for today are:

    1) get my advisor’s approval for corrections and get her to sign approval sheet
    2) scan approval sheet for dissertation and input
    3) submit original approval sheet
    4) complete the two surveys
    5) upload dissertation to proquest
    6) start a reaction (no, I am not done with labwork – I want to finish up a project for a first author paper…)
    7) Check bursar for any balances
    8) submit letter for waiver of class registration
    9) look for jobs 🙂

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel, everyone! Keep chugging along – it is definitely worth it in the end 🙂

    Margaret Grow, Ph.D. 🙂

    • This is so amazing. Everything you learned up til this point is what will get you through the rest of your life (or at least the next two weeks!). 🙂 Cherish every moment, even the tedium of formatting the final upload document…

      An adventure is only an inconvenience, rightly considered.
      — G K Chesterton

    • Congratulations Dr. Grow!!!!! : D
      A copy and paste my blog entry Friday: I also want to congratulate Dr. Grow, who defended her PhD dissertation today!! She was one of people who originally motivated me to blog about my graduate process, and it has been really inspiring to read about her progress from being very uncertain and feeling very far away from ever completing, to doing it, finishing and getting her PhD! Go Margaret!!

    • Michelle says:


    • Mari says:

      Congratulations!! Sounds like it’s so nice to be done– hope you’re getting through little tasks so you can enjoy Florida 😉

  305. Kelley says:

    Thanks to Dr. Carter, Alexis, Lisa and YA for the congrats. I am starting to come down off that high peak of stress/excitement that I was on last week. This week is about focusing and developing a schedule. Next week will be about sticking to it!

    Congrats Lisa on finishing up your last variable! Good luck on the analysis portion! Congrats again to Dr. Grow!

    For the remainder of the week my schedule is as follow:
    1. Today – get prepping up to date in courses
    2. Thursday – out of town but will bring reading for admin responsibilities
    3. Friday – Grading
    4. Saturday – 1/2 and 1/2 Dissertation time/D2L Prepping issues
    My dissertation goals for Saturday are:
    1. Combine all treatment data into one file (or query)
    2. Choose a good classification rule to start with (must have medications in it)
    3. Calculate accuracy using Access VBA for this rule

  306. Aaand speaking of planning, “boss time” got out of hand this morning. New rule: Stop by 7am, no exceptions! (But I AM much better already at actually getting up when the alarm goes off. Bedtime still needs work). Still need focus and balance.

    Today is syllabus finalization and setting up my online resources. All day. I’ll try a quick breakdown:
    12 – finish the topics and dates
    1 – review general rules and objectives
    2 – lunch
    2:45 – resources and readings
    4 – ELMS,, Google Sites set up
    5:30 – trans
    6 – practice
    7 – zumba

    Ready, set, go!
    Dr. Lex

  307. Hi everyone,

    Wow, so good to see everyone online today.

    Shall I join you in setting goals?

    1. Meet with 2 students to discuss strategies for a successful semester
    2. Meet w/ Dept. Chair about next grant
    3. Meet w/ Leadership Team about semester initiatives (and eat lunch)
    4. Write a new blog post for PROMISE
    5. Revise a document for the Vice Provost
    6. Say hello to the grad students at the GSA cookout
    7. Eat healthy food
    8. Zumba! (Yes, Dr. Lex, I took the plunge! Apparently it’s working … my husband wants to buy me a new dress! LOL!)

    By the way, if anyone needs some advice on the final defense, Dr. CV and I will be panelists for a webinar on the topic tomorrow:

    Indeed, the lessons that you are learning here can be used throughout your career. These are lessons in planning, organization, communication, and tenacity.

    Good luck everyone!

    • Dr. Tull, I laughed when I saw that you finally started Zumba – you were saying for so long that you were interested. What do you think of it? Awesome, about the dress!!!

      Please do post your goals when you can. I learn whenever I see the things that mentors need to plan out and think through. 🙂

  308. Michelle says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    The week is almost over! For today my plan is to finish a draft of org description. This is the first one so it is taking a bit longer than anticipated.

    I’ve written everyday this week but I haven’t been to the garden since Sunday. Thank God for the rain. I really miss it out there so I’m really motivated to finish this draft.


  309. Carlos says:

    Reporting back! Defense Date: October 3rd, 2012 9:00 am

    Congratulations Dr. Grow!!! Excellent!!!! Proud of you!!! Sorry for not showing up…NO EXCUSES!!!

    Congrats Kelley for the promotion!!! I can’t imagine handling all that, but are given what we are able to handle, even if we don’t agree. Keep Going!!!

    Mari, Michelle, Robert, Ya, Angel…Keep Going!!!

    KISS plan

    1200h – Plan for insanity weekend (finally 4 straight days with no work)
    1300h – Webinar- The final defense

    Anyone interested on insanity weekend??? Just let me know!!!

  310. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Hello everyone, it’s been a while since I last posted. I have been analyzing my data and writing like crazy with the goal of finishing the drafts so I can submit and defend later this fall. Methods chapter 95%, Results chapter 75%, Introduction 75%, Discussion 10%. The kids went back to school last week so that has increased my work time significantly (p < .05) 🙂

    Margaret – congratulations on your successful defense. Way to go.

    Carlos – I hope to be right behind you in defending later in Oct. Wish I was in MD instead of OH so I could join this insanity weekend. I have been going to a friend's office on the weekends for a quiet writing place, it has worked pretty well but is kind of lonely. Reading everybody's posts helps a lot to stay motivated.

    Back to writing, only 2 1/2 hours til I have to pick up the monkeys from school. Hope everyone is having a productive day!

    Kelly in Ohio

  311. Hi Michelle, Carlos, Kelly (and monkeys)! 🙂 Keep up the good work and definitely accept the reward when it comes time for one. I definitely understand the “working alone” thing. I plan to get out to work with at least one friend next week, and hopefully I can make it the next time Angel sends me a text or email to join her.

    I survived my first day of teaching! I’m exhausted but I was patient with myself and my students were, too. I think I’m really going to like this class. But now I have to finish up my reflections of how things went today and post some resources for the students that I promised.

    Today, as I came to campus, I realized that I was thinking random worries like, “What if I get into an accident or something right now? Then I will be late to class!” “If the car doesn’t start I don’t have enough time to walk to the metro!” None of that happened (bonus!), but the point is that I was able to calm myself down, surrendering to whatever God had for me. “Well, I guess I’ll just have to be late if that happens.” I’m choosing to accept myself, as I am. It’s a good feeling.

    Ok, drifting off while sitting up. Better go do whatever I’m supposed to do before I fall out…


    • Mari says:

      Yay Alexis! First class that’s exciting! Yes accepting yourself is important 😉 I’m sure you will have a great time with your class this semester.

  312. Mari says:

    Today I am working on my last student profile draft– yes still working on that.. but I’m excited to be working on the last one for today! The planning and organizing last weekend didn’t quite work as well as I wanted– In fact I think it started to become a little bit of procrastination. Either way– I will focus and get back to my last student…
    To all of those visible and invisible bloggers– cheers to a productive day!

    • Yay for lasts!! Celebrate every one of them! Cheers to productivity. I’m about to go NOT be productive and enjoy a butterfly garden with the OTHER Dr. A. Williams – Asha!

      I hope everyone has a productive day if they’re working. I’ll be back later with lots to do. 🙂

  313. Kelly Schmidt says:

    Just send drafts of Ch. 2 and 3 to my adviser, with the goal of finishing 1 and 4 by tomorrow night. So close, so glad it is almost over! Hope you are all finding a way to be productive this weekend.

    Kelly in OH

  314. spencertime says:

    I shall labor on Labor Day.
    Goal: Complete a Chapter. I am 1/30th finished.

  315. Kelley Engle says:

    I had a great schedule for this last week but I tend to make my lists rather ambitious.
    So, here is my revised schedule for the next couple of days (includes work and dissertation):

    1. Grading for classes (work)
    2. Pick out good classification rule (dissertation)
    3. Find testbank (work)

    1. Prep for evening classes (work)
    2. Combine all treatment data into one file/query (dissertation)
    3. Begin VBA code for calculating accuracy (dissertation)

    Hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend!


  316. Michelle says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    Hope every had a great break.

    My goals for today are:
    1. Edit description for organization #1
    2. Code 2 documents for organization #2
    3. Work on timeline chart (org. #1)

  317. Lisa says:

    Hiya! Today I’m working on doing the data analysis for a conference paper and writing up the Related Work and Methods sections of the paper. This data analysis can go directly into my dissertation so it’s not even extra work – yay! Now I just have to run 90 logistic regressions and 9 kappas. I’ve already done 5 of the regressions so only 85 to go! Woo hoo!

  318. Yasaman says:

    Hello All,

    I hope you all have started a great semester. I defended successfully two weeks a go, and I am expecting a baby within the next 2 weeks!! 🙂 Sorry for not blogging earlier. Soon after I defended I started buying stuff for the baby and making myself ready. It has been a relief after my defense, but I have not started working on the revision yet. The committee gave me more time for the revisions since they thought the baby may come earlier and I might not have time to finish the dissertation document. And of course I was too much under pressure for a while to finish, so I am giving myself some time to rest and prepare for delivery (which means I have not seriously started looking for jobs yet!).

    Congratulations Dr. Margaret! I wish you all the best on job search 🙂 Also, enjoy Florida!

    Carlos, Michelle, Ya, Robert, … keep on going, there IS an end to this path!

    I wish you ALL a wonderful and fruitful semester,
    Have a great day,