If you joined us last summer, and you are still not finished with your dissertation, you can join us again. The in-person 2012 Winter Dissertation House at UMBC starts January 17-20, 2012, and the online blog session (Winter 2012 Challenge) will run until July 2012.  Join us as online we start the New Year working on establishing new goals and revising old ones.  Even if you have never posted on a social network before you can start posting here. This blog is dedicated to graduate students working on their comprehensive exams, proposals, and or doctoral dissertations. We have found that when working on a long-term goal it is important to let others, including loved ones, know what you are trying to accomplish.   Just writing your goals down helps you to stay on track and posting them to a blog helps you to maintain some accountability to someone other than yourself.

Setting your deadlines is an important task.  Not only do you need to set a long-term goal such as finishing your deadline or graduating in 2012, but it is important to  set mini-deadlines for when you want to complete your a draft of your dissertation, chapter, section, page, paragraph.

What will you be working on this semester? Join us online. We are excited to see who will be the first to post in 2012.


Update: March 2012

This blog session now has more than 1200 comments. To join, page down to the bottom and login.  Introduce yourself and post your goals. Come back daily for motivation and to let the group know how things are going.  This blog will be in session until July 2012.

2,105 responses to “Winter 2012 Challenge”

  1. Day 84. Hi Dissertation House!

    I’ve been away on a few life adventures and it’s time to center myself and dig my heels in for the final stretch. I hope everyone’s well.

    I told my advisor I’d get a draft of Chapter 3 updated. Let’s see if I can get something good to turn in tomorrow (after a full two days of leading a teaching portfolio retreat!). My eyes are closing but they’d better stay open for the next few hours..

  2. I’m back and I am focused! Every day I am making a progress in my research. I have started to realize that even the small progress counts.

    My work plan for the break was not a great success due to the internet and software issues, however, I have a mini-symposium coming up, so I worked on my poster.

    In 2011, I started a running PowerPoint of my research data and based on Dr Carter, started included summaries of key observations and methodology. In 2012, I plan to start a Word document of my research goals, methods, and key observations.

    Also, since I getting more accustomed to the project I’m working on, I have started to pre-plan the next day’s goals/experiments.

    Today the goal is to: 1) perform work on my project involving a ligand of interest and start working out the kinks of a new program I will be utilizing and 2) start my Word document of my methods.

    Welcome back Alexis and everyone! Have a great day!

  3. Day 83 and counting. Alexis was the first to post in 2012 (after me of course)Congratulations!!
    And in the no.2 spot was who? Jodian? Good for you welcome back and a great start to the new year.

    Stay focused everyone and we await, Lenisa and dr2b Westmoreland’s return. Happy New Year 5 days in. Every little bit of forward progress works.

  4. Good morning Everyone,

    I know it has been a while since I checked in but I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year!! I also wanted to share my update and goal for today

    Update: I defended my proposal on December 20th 2011. It was a great holiday gift to myself.

    Goal for today: Finish first draft of IRB application and send to advisor for her review.


  5. Hi again,

    I finished a draft of the IRB application. I will look it over once again tomorrow and send it out to my advisor.

    Plan for tomorrow:
    1. Edit IRB application
    2. email to advisor
    3. do some research on Atlas ti


  6. Good morning Everyone!

    I’m not feeling too motivated today but I’m here in my office. I’m made it out of my house (yeah!!). Just printed out my IRB application to edit.

    I guess I’m feeling a little overwhelmed because I have a few other things that I committed to do today in addition to my dissertation stuff. I’ll check back in when I finished my dissertation goals, which I plan to do first.


  7. 135 Days. This is really fasle because its my graduation ceremony countdown, once I set my defense date I will change this to 2 weeks before that date and then I will have a mild panic attack and carry on.

    I had a not so great winter break, concerning my dissertation. I was sick and then I came back Saturday ready to work and I got sick again, this time worse. I am just getting back on my feet. My advisor is back from out of the country so I will meet with her later this afternoon to discuss some things and a date for my dissertation. She mentioned to me this morning about moving the date earlier by a few days because one of my committee members is going to be out of town.

    I have so many things to do I guess I will start with making a todo list.

    Let’s get to it!


  8. Day 82. Happy New Year, everyone! Dr. CV, Jodian, Michelle, Nikki, it’s great to “see” you!

    Let’s work through the storm. Dr. Marinelli at the Counseling Center quoted from the 12-step program: Progress, not perfection.

    I overslept today but I’m working on my analyses now. I had some weird descriptives the other day, so I’m making sure that those are taken care of, then I’m updating my chapter 3 to submit to my advisor.

    After this I will get more of the big questions answered, piece by piece. Steady progress.

    Happy Friday.

    P.S. is anyone going to the Community of Writers potluck tomorrow on Frat Row? I don’t have a dish yet, but that’s secondary to committing to the writing!

  9. Hi Nikki and Alexis good to know that I’m not working by myself today.

    I like your reminder Alexis, progress not perfection. Today I finished the edits to my IRB application and sent it off to my advisor. I checked out Atlas.ti and found that they had a free trial version to download. I’ll play around with it this weekend. Anyone knows how to use it?

    Have a great weekend!

    Alexis, Robert and I will be at the Community of Writers potluck tomorrow. Don’t know what I’ll bring yet either, maybe my usual fruit 🙂


    1. Hahaha! Fruit always wins. 🙂 I’ll figure it out tonight and make myself come work. 🙂

      Don’t know anything about Atlas.ti, but glad you found the trial version.

    2. Don’t get mad: I might bring fruit, too!

      1. Hi Alexis,
        Sorry that you couldn’t make on Saturday. I hope you feel better now.
        Oh I think they maybe having it at the same place next week so hopefully you can make it then.


  10. Glad to see Lenisa, Michelle, and Nikki are back. Happy New Year; It’s also good to see that we are not totally giving up even when we are overwhelmed and not motivated. Progress not perfection is good saying for all of us to adhere to. Have a great productive weekend.

  11. Ok, working isn’t so bad when you HAVE to come back to it. I got some of my reliabilities run, and although I have some questions, I can still do my chapter 3 edits with what I have so far. I will go to the COW potluck tomorrow and put in some more work.

    So, for the weekend, edit as much of chapter 3 as possible in time to turn in a new draft Monday morning.

    Over and out.

    Dr. Smackdown

  12. Hello Everyone and Happy New Year.
    I am at the Community of Writers Potluck. In seat and working on a scholarship application. My goal for today is to do as much of the application as I can in 3 hours. Ready set Go!

  13. Day 79: Finishing and turning in updated draft of chapter 3 + agenda for meeting tomorrow

  14. Hi Everyone,

    I’m really sleepy, but again I made it out of the house and am in my office getting ready to work. Yeah!!

    I just got feedback about my IRB application from my advisor and plan to work on them today and tomorrow.

    Happy writing everyone.


  15. Day 63….

    I met with my advisor Friday and I might be defending on March 26th or 27th. Anyways, today I am going over some papers I have from my advisor to see if they belong in my dissertation. I am giving myself 2 hours for this task then I need to organize some things and re-plan my writing schedule that originally went through April and now ends at the beginning of March.

    I e-mailed my committee members and I am waiting to hear back from just 1 person so see if they say the same. My advisor is leaving the country again so my window of opportunity is limited to the week when she is planning to come back.

    I should be freaking out but as Dr. CV. says I don’t have time for that. Onward and upward I am marching towards my goal. I spent most of my morning organizing myself and my desk. I have my TADA Journal out and I am fired up and ready to go!

    Happy Monday


  16. Happy writing! I’m definitely struggling with not freaking out. No time! But there IS time to do a little more, and that’s where my focus needs to be. The light’s still green.

    I submitted my draft and my advisor won’t have time to read it before tomorrow, but she said I can walk her through it. So I can do a little more filling in of the numbers and decide what needs to happen next.

    Some steps:
    – Fill in school and district level public data to get a sense of response rate
    – Think about how to deal with irregular item responses and missing data
    – Review information on power analysis/calculating recommended sample size (a limitation)

  17. Day 63 went well…..

    I have my final “to done” list and I am going to meet with my dissertation mentor tomorrow to re-work my calendar but I kind of already have it figured out. I will just go for a little confirmation and emotional support.

    I went through like 7 papers today and a book section for my dissertation. I put a few paragraghs in that I thought were important here and there. Tuesday will start and end with my last coding spree which will probably then continue the rest of this week according to my schedule.

    After I walk in the snow to my car I am going to reward myself with Starbucks for a mostly successful Monday.

    My 2nd mother from church asked me today “How does a person eat a elephant?” and I said “BarBQue it and then cut it up??” to which she replied “One bite at a time, and that’s exaclty what your going to do with that dissertation”.

    So here I go here I go here I goooooooooooooooo!




  18. Day 78. Saved a new data file with demographics to include in my description in Chapter 3. Have to run to my assistantship to lead this last week of portfolio retreats. Super sleepy. Meeting with my advisor today. I have a new consequence for missing days of work. If I go a day without contributing something toward my dissertation, I have to send my advisor an email: “Dear Kathy, Today I did not work on my dissertation. – Alexis” and face whatever consequences. More than likely she’s just going to wonder how far off the deep end I’ve gone, but I hate the idea of her reading that, so it’s just enough internal/external motivation…


  19. Day 62.

    Alexis, that e-mail sounds scary….let me try….”Dear Linda, Today I did not work on my dissertation. — Sophoria” ahhhhhhhhh, oh no I don’t like that it’s for bad people. 😦 Today I am going to start coding and probably meet with my advisor during lunch.

    Let’s get to it!


    1. Yes! Let’s get it. Today went well. My advisor meeting was actually bearable, and I even told my advisor about my email strategy. She smiled and said, “And the key is what I’ll send you back as a result of getting that message.” I said, “Exactly. I don’t want to know so I’d better not let it happen!”

      Some quick edits to my chapter and I’ll get back into the results/analyses. I can do it!

  20. Day 62 has stolen from Day 61….(theivery I tell ya)

    I finished all my Spring 2011 coding which was a BIG hurdle for me. I made myself finish. I also met with my advisor today and we talked about a paper that we are trying to get out by Friday which will also probably turn into my Chapter 3 or 4 or something like that. Today I felt that “backing off” that is what every good advisor should do when the bird is ready to leave the nest, it felt weird though. I was somewhat hesitating on being assertive because I didn’t want to seem rude, weird I know but in time I will get used to it.

    I am trying to figure out how to get my officemate to stop talking to me, he is a very sweet guy but he talks too much. I don’t feel bad saying it here because he even says it himself all the time. Maybe I should wear a black ski mask or put a sign on my back that says “busy” or “invisible please leave a message”. I like it quiet which is why I LOVE the winter semester because bay bay’s kids are still at home.

    I need to make a flow chart for the paper before I go home, well not really I just need to draft it so it can be on my mind for me to decide what I really want it to look like.

    My hands are swollen and red from too much typing and writing….:(




  21. Day 77. Oh my goodness, Nikki, you are cracking me up over here. From the black ski mask to the bay bay’s kids, I’m rolling. That probably does feel weird – the backing off – but it’s a great sign. Also, the assertiveness is something I struggle to attain, too, because it’s necessary. But it’s not rudeness. Anyway, even if it is considered rude, well-behaved women rarely make history. 🙂 Congrats on pushing through the data! Did you give yourself a cookie (or a cupcake)?

    I’m cleaning/organizing data to have my set ready to go for all the analyses (Ready, set? Go!). I’m not sure how long it will take, so I want to push through like Nikki before and after the retreat today.


    P.S. Happy birthday, Dr. CV!

  22. You ladies are funny. Keep pushing on! You can do it!

    Yesterday wasn’t such a good day for me. But I’m making up for it today. I just submitted my IRB application. Yeah!!!


  23. Day 61 was filled mostly with sleep and thoughts about sleep. I am working on a paper with my advisor but my mind is drifting and I need a early start because she is coming in early tomorrow so I will call it a night and start back in the morning possibly with some coffee from McDonald’s since they are having a $1 sale on any size. I don’t usually drink coffee but theirs is pretty good.



  24. Go, Michelle! Good luck with the IRB. The people there give good feedback if there is anything to edit. And Nikki, happy sleeping. I’m on my way there, too, so I can be productive in the morning before the last day of retreats. 🙂 I see the promised land, and I’d better get there with you!

    Good night, #TeamFaSho!

  25. Day 76. The cleansing rain has passed and there were splashes of brilliant pink and orange in the morning sky. Today will be a good day.

    I’ve discovered a gem for working in my office – so excited to see SPSS AND MPlus installed on our computers!! Gotta clean some more data and this will help a lot. I’m planning my next steps for today/tomorrow/weekend right now. I will go to the gym after my FINAL day of portfolio retreats for the YEAR – woohhoooo!!! They’re so good but they’re so intense – I’m worn out afterward. Then tomorrow is the on campus writing group that Learning Assistance Service is hosting. I should get a good amount of work done there.

    So good.


  26. Day 60. The rain and my blankets played trickery on me and I thought it was still night so I didn’t get out of the bed until after 7. Anyways, McCafe’ and me are here and ready to work. I sat in my car and watched the sun rise on the roof of Lot 5 now I am inspired to rise to the occasion and get my work done today. I agree Alexis, today will be a good day.

    I am working on the paper today and prep for my next coding marathon which is segmenting some of the data into chunks that I will code at a later date. The segmenting helps me go through them faster and get into my groove.

    Keeping my mind on Jesus.


    Mmmmmmm good.


  27. It has been a grrreat day. I tried to get myself to do some more work in the office after my last day of two weeks of leading portfolio retreats (plus cardioboxing and abs classes), but my brain is fried. I’m going to post what I want to accomplish next (big goals) and get home and eat some leftovers before I crash…

    Learn and execute stats – the closest ones for me to attempt next are for my 2nd and probably 3rd research questions. I will start there once I’ve gotten some notes started. So as I take my notes, I will try to reflect on how I expect the stats to come out and things to remember that are specific to my dissertation (application recommendations)

    Write up the basic tables. I realized that I had to go back and clean up certain parts of my data set to re-run a descriptive analysis, but I dunno if I actually went back and re-ran the analysis to compare to the previous descriptives before I added in new data. So I have to make sure I have that and everything looks copacetic (probably the most complex slang term I’ve ever used).

    Draw up draft of chapter 4 with new results once analyses are coming together. Meet with stats person and advisor to check in as I go. Generally survive this phase of my life.

    So, yeah, these can’t be done in one day. I start with the stats reading tomorrow, since all I’ll have to take to the writing session at the library will be my books rather than my laptop. Oh, and a bunch of water, snacks, and caffeinated drinks.

    K. Gnite, #TeamGetItDoneCauseICan’tThinkOfMuchMoreToNameThisThing

    1. Correction: I might have implied that I lead the gym classes. I only took them tonight. As you were.

  28. Day 60 is DONE!!!

    Day 59 is trying to steal but I’m not gonna let it! I just finished a 15 HOUR work marathon…:( Anyways I am taking Day 59 off for some doctor’s appointments and etc. I think it was the coffee. I don’t normally drink coffee but I thought I needed a pick me up this morning. And let me tell you, it picked me up and it won’t let me down. I probably won’t fall right to sleep when I get home. I feel like the energizer bunny….

    Since I am taking off tomorrow I wanted to check a few more things off my list before I come back Saturday and kind of make up some of tomorrows lost time. I did a bunch of stuff but mostly spent like 12 hours working on that paper/new chapter. I think it was worth it because I am happy with the work I did. The most important things I did today though were apply for graduation and reserve the room for my dissertation defense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Oh I got a JOB INTERVIEW scheduled yesterday!!! It’s next month in Texas so I will need to start preparing for that also soon. Ooooooooh LaLa!! 🙂

    I am probably going to see blue/gray bunnies hopping across the road on my way home, that’s what I always see when I am sleepy. I will try my best not to kill the non-existent creatures.

    Saturday I am set up to code at least three journals from Fall 2011. Maybe more depending on what time my morning meeting at the museum ends. Our new exhibit on Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello opens at the end of the month. If anyone has a free day (like in your dreams when you do) stop by and see it. (http://nmaahc.si.edu/)



  29. Wow! Nikki that is awesome!! I’m working on stats at the LAS writing retreat. Was so confused by these formulas and then realized there was an error in the book description. Anyway, making my way through the current chapter so I should be able to tackle the rest soon. After I’ll go see my friend at the hospital. Praying for her.

    Have a good weekend, #TEAMGETITDONE!

  30. Day 74. Super sleepy. Saturday morning syndrome. 🙂 More stats today. Phone is acting weird so I’ll be brief: Goal is to finish a chapter with some notes on application.

    Good day – we made it thru Friday the 13th alive with only minor surgical scars (my friend is doing fine).

    Thanking God for healing and a new day. #TEAMGETITDONE

  31. Day 73. Long day but grateful for good health in loved ones and near misses from what could have been tragic. Didn’t get anything done but I could do some skimming before I fall out….

  32. Day 56. I am doing my community a service today by working on my dissertation and one day being an inspiration to someone else to go out and get an advanced degree. I think Martin would support my efforts and what I am trying to do here. I’ve been to the mountaintop, I’ve seen the promised land, I am going to get there.

    Today I am coding. I can’t really expect that I will get to much more besides maybe a job application or some job related research on my breaks. My plan is to work until around 6pm and then I’m out and we’ll try again tomorrow.



  33. Day 56 was GREAT! I was so motivated. I would probably work another hour if I wasn’t hungry because I forgot to pack food this morning so I am going home to eat. I think it was because I was for the most part uninterupted by whatever. It was so quiet and I made it through 5 and 1/2 design journals. I mean I coded 5 and 1/2 design journals and I also transcribed their interviews after I coded each journal.

    I have 15 journals, so 5 down and 10 to go. I spent my entire day on journaling today and that will probably not be a reality the rest of the week so I will make a goal of 3 per day until Friday then I will be done.

    My goals for the week are:
    1. Code 15 journals
    2. Transcribe 15 interviews
    3. Trabscribe 1 video interview
    4. Work on DCC Conference Paper

    I have a reward waiting for me on Friday to go see the movie “Red Tails” with my girlfriends!!! 🙂

    I am preparing myself to get all my sleep tonight so I can be here fully prepared in the morning. Tuesday might be a McCafe’ day…..:)



  34. Day 72. Happy MLK, Jr day and my dad’s birthday and just general celebration of life and freedom day.

    I took a while to get into things but I managed to read more stats and plan out how much time it will take me to work thru all of the reading while getting the rest of the analyses complete. I actually timed myself to see how long it takes me to get thru a certain number of pages, so I won’t expect too much and shut down.

    I have had some health issues come up in my family over the past day, but I think things will settle down this week. Basically i’ve been at the hospital friday (for my friend), Sunday, and today. I might be back tomorrow depending on how the tests go. It’s been scary to say the least but I have been able to stay focused on getting some dissertation tasks accomplished while being with friends and family in meaningful ways. I’m also very thankful for the support I have received from loved ones. This all reinforces how important it is to me to get this degree so I can be there even more for them.

    Good night, #TeamGetItDone

  35. Hello once again! If you haven’t been to a Dissertation House before, you’ll be pleased at how much you’ll learn and how much you’ll get done. I’m finally in my last semester! I just turned in my Application for Diploma. At this Dissertation House, I plan on 1) talking to Dr. Carter about my status, 2) finish some transcription, 3) create the outline for the remaining chapters of my dissertation, and 4) work on writing one of the sections. (Subject to change!)

    1. Hi Susan! Happy Dissertation House week. As a three time alum, I agree completely! Bets wishes on your goals this week.


  36. Happy day everyone! I plan to start writing a paper that I have been working on for the 2 past months! Starting with writing the introduction….

    Good luck to all,

    1. Welcome Yasaman!

  37. After hearing so much about Dissertation House, I am excited to finally attend. My main goal for this week is to finish the Introduction to my proposal. I plan to accomplish that by 1) writing a problem statement, 2) summarizing my background material, 3) writing the significance of my research, and 4) stating a hypothesis.

    1. All you have heard is true and then some. Good luck on meeting your goals for the week.

  38. My goals for this week:

    1. Start filling out thesis template (downloaded today- yay!)
    2. Update EndNote Library
    3. Copy Candidacy Proposal over to template
    4. Write up rationale for 2 projects (10pgs each)
    5. Update background (10pgs)

    1. Hello Margaret! Welcome and Good Luck!

      1. Thank you!!!

  39. Hello!
    Day 1 of Dissertation House.
    Here are my goals for the week:
    1. Finish my proposal, I have three paragraphs and some minor edits to make.
    2. Replicate the methods used in an article to see how they set up the data
    3. Download and format data from the 1999 Census Transportation Planning Package
    4. Work on my presentation for my proposal defense
    5. Outline my introduction of my dissertation.
    -Amanda D.

    1. Hi Amanda, what WONDERFUL goals you have they just took me down memory lane a little bit. Best of Luck!

  40. Goals for this week:
    Discuss how my work is related to:
    * Jadhav et al
    * Pawar et al
    * Pospieszalska & Ley
    * Caputo & Hammer
    * Bagchi et al
    * Chen & Springer
    * Shao & Hochmuth

    Take some notes on 4 unread articles

    1. Happy Reading Alex!

  41. I am ready to start working! Day 1 goal is to complete a detailed outline for Chapter 1.

    1. Hi Gretchen! Welcome to the DH!!

  42. Hi all,

    Things that I will/ need to do for today:
    – Come back to literature and clarify my topics
    – Clarify my topics by writing issues of my study and send them to my advisor
    – Revise my interview questions based on the topic
    Hope we all can accomplish our goal of today!

    1. Hello Hye-Sook! Stay focused and you will accomplish all your goals and sometimes even more.

  43. My Goals:
    Day 1. Outline of the Dissertation. Based on this => Deadline for finish with requirements
    Day 2. Intro & Results for Chapter 2a
    Day 3. Intro & Results for Chapter 2b
    Day 4. Intro & Results for Chapter 2c

    1. Hi Carlos, Welcome to the DH! I see you have your whole week prepared and ready to go! Good Job!

  44. Day 55.

    Today started with McCafe’ so I know it is going to be a GREAT day working into a GREAT week. I am being kept in perfect peace. Today I am going to work on my DCC conference paper and code and transcribe 3 design journals. I plan to work until 6pm and go home, that means I have 3 hours for both tasks starting at 12. I have a few e-mails to write and prepare before I get started.

    Alexis I will be praying for you and your family members, things that take us away from the dissertation are uncontrollable so keep your mind on Jesus and he will carry you through. This is a time for you to take seriously your schedule and monitor your physical/mental/spiritual health to minimize stress.


    Let’s Go People!


    1. Nikki, thank you so much for your encouragement. I am daunted by all of these posts – look what happens when I’m away for a few days… 🙂

  45. WOOHOO!! Day 1 of winter DH! I have my own blog, but I posted my goals and the results of meeting with Dr. Carter already there – here we go!!


    Margaret 🙂

  46. […] – Online ChallengeSummer 2010 ChallengeSummer 2011 ChallengeWinter 2012 ChallengeWinter 2011 ChallengeCoaching and MentoringDr. Wendy Y. Carter-VealeDr. Renetta […]

  47. Hello All
    It’s day1 of the Dissertation House. Welcome to those of you participating on line. If you have even been in the DH, you know how busy I am. I will post later on tonight.


    1. Hey Dr. CV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

      1. Hello Nikki
        55 more days to go!!!!Glad to see that you have been playing hostess to the students in the DH. I hope that you did that during a 15 min break. All the best.

  48. future "Dr. Faizah Carr" Avatar
    future “Dr. Faizah Carr”

    Hello everyone,
    I am attending my second Dissertation House. I am excited to be on campus. This type of DH will be different than the retreat, but I have made a sacrifice taking leave from work to gain motivation from these great resources.
    My goals are to 1) incorporate Andersen’s conceptual model to both my abstract and literature review, 2) make additions to my introduction, 3) make additions to finish the research & methods 4) request data from AHRQ for SEDD, and 4) create a schedule to work on dissertation on a weekly basis outside of Dissertation House.

  49. life-changing words of the day: “If you have time to wallow, then your schedule isn’t tight enough!” -Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale

  50. Good evening, DH!
    Time to wrap things up, here’s my post for my wrap up of today, and where I want to start tomorrow! See you then!


  51. Goals for tomorrow:
    1. Continue expanding on my outline for Chapter 1
    2. Continue to write sections of Chapter 1….make them concise and flow easily
    3. Work on getting all of my sources into endnote

    Let’s make it happen!

  52. I made good progress today. But the transcriptions that I have to do are taking longer than I thought. I also actually had 6, not just 4, to do. I completed two. The day was almost over at that point, so I began looking over my dissertation to see where I need to go next when I pick up writing again. Tomorrow, I’ll do 2 or 3 more transcriptions and maybe some writing to break the monotony. Goodnight!

  53. It was a short day for my work – ;(
    I have been outlining some aspects that I will focus for my research –
    Need to finalize my interview questions by tomorrow.

  54. Intro part1 done..working on part 2

  55. Day 55 was good. I had some minor distractions but I pressed my way through. I had a permanent retainer put in my mouth yesterday so I feel like I have been swallowing metal all day. I don’t know how much I am going to like this. I finished journals 6,7, and 8 both coding and transcribing. I also worked on the DCC conference paper and sent a new draft to my advisor for her review. Maybe she won’t review it tonight and then I can probably finish all my coding tomorrow. Okay, maybe not but we shall see.

    I’m out.

    We ARE #TeamGetItDone!


  56. Patti Ordonez Rozo Avatar
    Patti Ordonez Rozo

    Hello everyone,

    Greetings from Cambridge…. I am working on getting some data and possibly a post doc… but in the evenings I am working on my dissertation! It’s so great to see everyone working hard. I will do the same remotely. I just spent the last few weeks working on my results. I, like Margaret, have a blog to share with you… http://pattiordonez.wordpress.com/.

    I see the count downs everyone has. I think I should do the same, but since it is the third time I am counting down, I am a bit hesitant to do that. Dr. CV, set me straight.

    Have a great week everyone! I will peak in from time to time…

    Patti PhD(c) <— that means PhD Candidate soon to be Dr.

    1. Happy New Years , you asked so here it is….it’s a new year and a new you. Set the date and stop looking back…i.e.start counting. A good dissertation is a done dissertation.

  57. Good Morning …
    The Challenge is ON!!!!!!
    Goal today: Intro-Results Ch. 2a
    Thanks everyone

  58. Good Morning, Dissertation House! Goal for today is to enter edits for Chapter 2. My primary goal for the week is to complete the edits for chapters 1-4 and set a realistic deadline. Second goal is to get my dissertation committee to finalize a date. I have been working on this for a month! Very frustrating because it is out of my hands, but will keep moving forward.

    Happy day! Patti

    1. WOOHOO!! Go Patti, go!! We’re missing you here at DH, but know you’re working just as hard as if you were! I know how frustrating it is to get your committee together – maybe pester your advisor(s) until the point they give up and finally set one? (I’m sure you’re already doing that – just a thought though!). Good luck with everything, and just as Dr. Carter-Veale says, “A good dissertation is a done dissertation!” and just because you always love my quotes, “Work smarter, not harder.” -Ron Carswell

      Good luck, girl!


  59. Good morning! (Patti O.l — I sympathize. I’m trying to heard my “committee cats,” too!) Hello everyone else! Back to work today. I’m going to transcribe at least 2 of my remaining 4 interviews today. I may break them up (it can get sooooooo boring) by typing a little on my dissertation. Hoping to be productive. I have such a problem with eye strain (contacts and glasses) by the end of the day that I usually can’t continue through the evening. Have a good, productive day!

    — Susan

  60. Day 2: I am almost done with data entry! Horray!

  61. Dissertation House Day 2:
    I am going to expand on my outline for Chapter 1 and work on writing more of Chapter 1. I need to add more sources into Endnote also.

  62. Hi,
    My name is Thishan and I am planning to do most of the editing today.

  63. Good morning! I had revised my semantic net and run a simple experiment to test my hypothesis yesterday. Today I will further explore the semantic net and refine my conceptual model.


  64. Day 2 of DH- Plans for the day:
    1. Outline Dissertation TOC
    2. Write chapter on most recent work
    3. Outline experiments left to do

    1. Things I have done on Day 2:
      1. Outlined Dissertation to the best of my ability (before meeting with Dr. Carter)
      2. Wrote Rationale for chapters 4, 5 and 6
      3. Outlined experiments left to do
      4. Added experimental procedures into experimental section (chapter 8)

  65. Day 2 goals – review the grad school website so I familiarize myself with policies, procedures, and dates and then can formulate a timeline and task list. Also I will continue to develop an improved statement of the problem which will guide my edits and reorganization of my first 2 chapters. Finally, I can continue to update the first 2 chapters with new articles from lit searches.

    ~ Kelly

  66. good morning..it goes slower than I like..but I have still 4 more hr..

  67. Hello Everyone,
    I am not much of a blogger, but I think I will enjoy writing in here, as much as I enjoy reading everyone’s post. I should definitely get back to work instead of reading them by the way.
    First time attending DH. I really wanted to, even though I am not feeling that great. And I can only say that I am so glad I did because I already gained so much!
    My goals for the week:
    – enter some survey data in the Access database. I am shooting for 22 (2 villages)!
    – come up with an outline for my thesis
    – start writing down part as part of chapters what I have achieved so far
    – read papers to identify key statistical analyses to perform on survey data.
    So far, I have entered 3 whole questionnaires in the database and I expect to enter 7 more today. We’ll see at the end of the day how many I was able to input.
    I have to say that this experience makes all that process so real. I can actually picture an end date, and start counting backward from there. How wonderful! I should probably stop there for now and get back to work!

  68. future "Dr. Faizah Carr" Avatar
    future “Dr. Faizah Carr”

    Yesterday I put the finishing touches on my abstract. Today I am tying all of the loose ends on my literature review. I created a table for my literature review. There were some articles I didn’t finish summarizing. One article is a thorn in my side because I cannot find it ANYWHERE….it is by Chiu, KW and Aronsky D and titled “An emergency department discharge framework for identifying potential adverse events at the time of discharge”.
    I have sectioned out my literature chart in the Lit Review and singled the section to be landscape. This was a formatting feat for me.
    Based on today’s lectures I believe I want to begin journaling my dreams. I do not suffer from writer’s block as much as I suffer from dreading the mental space in need to be in TO write…instead of just writing. This journaling should get me in the practice of writing SOMEthing just to be in the practice of capturing my thoughts. I want to get out of the habit of “thinking” about my dissertation and masking that as “working” on my dissertation.

  69. Day #2:
    I finished the three paragraphs my advisor wanted me to add to the introduction of my proposal! I have also HEAVILY edited the introduction (which my advisor did not want me to do, but hopefully it will be OK).

    Tomorrow I will make edits to the rest of the proposal and maybe have time to start some of the other things on my list.

    Amanda D.

  70. Good evening, DH!

    2 days down, 2 to go! Here’s my wrap up and my goals for tomorrow:


  71. Today I finished my detailed outline for Chapter 1. It contains 7 sections and I have completed 2 and put them in the dissertation template. Tomorrow I will work on the next 3 sections. My goal is then to finish the last 2 sections on Friday and over the weekend read/edit it to have a rough draft of my first chapter by Monday! 🙂 Time to get it done!

  72. Merlin Mann:
    > Recent advice, summarized: Write your way out of a thinking block—because you’ll never *think* your way out of a writing block.

  73. I will continue working on the Probit model subsections tomorrow!… best of luck to everyone!

  74. Today, I planned to:
    * Read Jadhav et al and write something about it
    * Read Chen and Springer and write something about it

  75. Today I explored the semantic net and finished the experiment design. Tomorrow, I will work on the experiment by revising my VBA codes to incorporate the new features that I added in the design phase.


  76. I did realize that i need to be more efficient in managing my time.
    Downloaded the thesis template, read up on latex, glanced over few masters thesis.
    things on the check list – made a brief outline of the thesis. – done.
    for tomorrow:
    make the outline more specific, get more samples of masters thesis from proquest.com, make bibliography excel sheet structure, write abstract.
    – Arun Kannanganat.

  77. Today I:
    * Read Jadhav et al and wrote something about it
    * Wound up making a system for writing an annotated bibliography. I can keep track of which sources cite which and who has common topics and so on.

  78. Yvette Williams Avatar
    Yvette Williams

    Data entry done, but I discovered an extra step to fix. Hope I can get through this tomorrow!

  79. Well, I finished 1.5 interviews — my goal was two. But both of the interviewees were sooooo chatty! Hopefully, the last two aren’t. I didn’t expect that this is what I’d spend the majority of my DH time doing! But I have to remind myself that if I were home, I probably would just put it off in favor of something more “fun.” I’ll finish up the interview that I didn’t finish today tomorrow. And probably one more. That will leave only 2 more. I hope to do some dissertation writing at least on Friday. Goodnight!

    — Susan

  80. 1. I have start the Inro part 2
    2. Endnote web is up and running…
    3. Looking forward for tomorrow to work on Intro part 2.

  81. Today I got a lot of comments especially on inserting a problem statement as early as possible. Now I have to insert it properly and edit rest of the material appropriately.

    Goal for Thursday is to complete the above task.


  82. Goals for Day 3:
    1. Finish writing chapter 6- most recent work
    2. copy in figures for chapters 4 and 5
    3. Fill in more details into experimental chapter 8
    4. Work on specific aims chapter 3

    decided to hold off on the intro, background and abstract sections for now

    ~til tomorrow!~

  83. Finished Intro for Chapter 2a, working on results. Tomorrow finish 2a and start Intro/Results Chapter 2b.

  84. So far, I had productive days which is good-!
    I created a draft of my possible research topics and sent it to my advisor & ready to talk with her about it.
    But I haven’t come up with interview questions yet – hope the planned talk with my advisor can help me move forward.
    Tomorrow, I will work on my literature review – start with revising my outlines and the paper.
    Hope you all had a productive day!

  85. Things for tomorrow:
    Read, take notes on, and write about:
    * Pospieszalska & Ley
    * Caputo & Hammer
    * Shao & Hochmuth

  86. I started the day with a plan to read the Proposal Cookbook and work on my introduction. It turns out I spent the entire day working through each section of the cookbook and now have an excellent idea of what my proposal should include. I also have a problem statement and statement of purpose and have rough outlines of my background and significance sections. My goals for tomorrow are to type everything up, expand my background and significance and hopefully revise my existing lit survey.

  87. Nohemi Voglozin Avatar
    Nohemi Voglozin

    Day 2: 3 full questionnaires entered, almost finished with the 4th. I can’t believe how much time each one of these take to be entered in the database. Tomorrow morning, I will start the day by working on my outline. I can continue entering the data in the afternoon. At least, I will be able to cross something tangible off my list. See you all guys tomorrow!

  88. Things I accomplished today: reviewed information on the grad school website, marked down essential dates/deadlines to start formulating a timeline, created a tasks list, e-mailed committee members to get an idea of availability for a fall defense, scheduled a meeting with my adviser, sent e-mails to study participants to finish some data collection, and did literature searches for updating my lit review. Dr. Carter provided feedback on my statement of the problem which I need to improve.
    Tomorrow: Elaborate on my statement of the problem, look at the dissertation template, meet with my adviser to work on an analytic plan for my data, finalize a timeline, edit my proposal.

  89. Nohemi Voglozin Avatar
    Nohemi Voglozin

    It turns out that I just finished entering the data for the 4th questionnaire I mentioned earlier. I feel better. I’ve done more than yesterday. So far, 7 out of 22 done! Still an accomplishment, even though I would have liked to have worked on more.

  90. Yesterday, I managed to get most of chapter 2 done. My goal for today is to finish chapter 2 and send it off to my advisors for approval!

    1. Palante…Palente…:)

    2. Yay Patti!! Congrats on your work at MIT. You can set a count-down again … the good news is that you are moving toward your goal … no dust under your feet!

  91. Insanity Countdown: 60 days

    Ready at the House….Gladly the door was open. Woke up 5 times last night by son Gabriel (3y/o). My other son Daniel (7y/o) told me “Daddy..you need to listen to me…… you need to focus and finish your Ph.D.”

    For today:
    1. Finish to add the tables to results for Ch.2a
    2. Intro draft writing…transitions later
    3. Figures & Tables for Results Ch. 2b
    4. Get a group to continue at this pace..at least on weeknights and weekends

    1. Three cheers for Gabriel and Daniel!!!!!! Carlos, puedes lograrlo!

    2. Genial! Que bendición son los niños!

  92. 5 burpees to wake up

  93. Today, I’m going to finish up the interview transcription that I didn’t quite finish yesterday, and probably one more. I will be meeting with Dr. Carter this afternoon, so I have to prepare for that (have an agenda). I hope to do some writing re: my study company background to break the monotony of transcribing.

    — Susan

  94. I have two goals today before meeting with Dr. Carter this afternoon: expand both my background and significance sections.

  95. Good morning,

    Today I am planning to finish my abstract and edit rest of the material that I completed yesterday.

  96. Getting ready to start the day…planning on keeping the goals I set for today after my meeting with Dr Carter 🙂

    Re-posting my goals for today (originally posted last night)
    Goals for Day 3:
    1. Finish writing chapter 6- most recent work
    2. copy in figures for chapters 4 and 5
    3. Fill in more details into experimental chapter 8
    4. Work on specific aims chapter 3

    decided to hold off on the intro, background and abstract sections for now

  97. Good Morning All

    Day 3 in the DH. This morning we are going to work with the dissertation template.

  98. Good morning everyone!
    After I have started to get up early, I got up earlier every day. So I woke up 5 AM this morning that makes me now very sleepy… :&
    Whatever, here are my progress this week:
    – I got my IRB approval so I am ready for my interviews next week
    – made an outline for dissertation topics and am waiting for my advisors’ feedback
    I will start work on my literature review today and
    I will try to revise my interview questions (need some clear idea…)
    Hope you all will have a productive day!

  99. Good Morning everyone!,

    Wish you guys good luck for today. I won’t be in cause i need to attend one of my friends dissertation. Will See you guys either in the evening or tomorrow !.
    Enjoy your day!!. 🙂

  100. Day 53…

    Day 54 was a #fail.

    Moving forward today I will be coding starting with journal 9 and hopefully getting to journal 15. I have not heard back from my advisor about the paper yet, that is due tomorrow so I will just try to free myself up to work on that tomorrow. After these journals I have 1 video interview to transcribe I will try to push myself to get that done today also and I will be on-schedule for the work that I planned to get done this week.




  101. Day #3:
    Today I will be making the final edits to my proposal. Hopefully I will have some time to start formatting the data from the CTPP as we need that to run some stats on for a conference in Feb,
    Amanda D.

    1. Finished editing the proposal! Now it is ready to get sent off to the committee. I am going to wait a little bit though, as we have not been able to set a date for the defense when everyone is available.

      Today I also downloaded the CTPP data that I need and cleaned-up one of the files that we can use for mapping data later. I am waiting to hear back from my advisor on some technical issues that I don’t know how to tackle. Tomorrow I will either work on the data or try to start my PP presentation for my proposal defense (but it sure would be nice to have some snazzy maps to show them).


  102. Good morning, DH. This morning I have a meeting with my adviser, my agenda with her includes drawing up a plan for my data analyses and possibly even doing some analyses together. I am also going to set a tentative date for a defense in the fall. Later today I have a book chapter to read for my lit review and will continue to edit my statement of the problem. Have a productive day!

  103. Hello All and especially to the new faces at DH,

    I have been away, but rest assured I have been working on getting some data and preparing for a poster presentation I have tomorrow.

    I have also been updating my data powerpoint and my word document.

    Today, my goals are to 1) complete reading a review article and 2) update my method sections in my word document.

    Happy writing/researching everyone!

    1. Hi Jodian! Good to “see” you online. Did you finish your article and your update? Let us know! The DH set-up is different this time. You’d probably get a boost from seeing all of the people in this Winter’s DH. We had to re-arrange the room, so it’s different from the way that you experienced it last summer. If you’re on campus, come by and take a peak while you’re on a break.

  104. Hi all,

    Hope you all have a productive day!
    Today was a little bit distracting for me due to things in my office.
    But I still got some things done: revised interview questions, got some new ideas for formulating my topics after discussing with Dr. Carter (Thank you!).

    Tomorrow is another day and see you all early tomorrow morning as refreshed!

  105. Winter 2012 DH:

    I didn’t blog this morning but I attend a dissertation defense for someone in my lab but I will tell you what my goals were and how productive I was today.

    My main goal was to get three more sections of Chapter 1 written. I was able to work on several sections of Chapter 1 and was able to complete 2 and then work on several parts of 2 others. My goal tomorrow is to get something written for each section of my Intro and then spend Sat and Sunday adding/editing/polishing so I can have a rough draft to give my adviser on Monday!

    See you all tomorrow!

  106. For Friday : EDITING

  107. My progress on writing codes and running experiments is slower than I expected. I will continue working on experiments tomorrow.


  108. After a great meeting with Dr. Carter, I now know I have to answer the question “So What!” Tomorrow, my main goal is to revise and expand my problem statement into paragraphs with additional motivation and no terse, technical language. I also will expand my background section.

  109. future "Dr. Faizah Carr" Avatar
    future “Dr. Faizah Carr”

    Today I added the remaining pieces of my literature review. Only thing left is to complete the bibliography.
    After this task, scheduled for tomorrow morning, I plan to review my Introduction and Research and Methods Section. I am not sure how much I can get done tomorrow, but my goal is to write, write, write.
    I have my DH meeting with Dr. Carter scheduled for tomorrow morning.
    I am happy about my progress because the fine-tuning and changes I needed to make were a block for me. I didn’t know where to start. NOW it is 98% complete (the literature review).

    1. Dear Faizah, I know that you wrote this at 4:54 yesterday afternoon, but if you haven’t completed the bibliography yet, please plan to get that done this morning. You’d be surprised how much you can complete in a concentrated period of time. I call them “orange juice concentrate moments” … it’s like that frozen, reconstituted juice in the frozen can where you add water. Finish the bibliography today and know that you’ve fully completed that task. Then review your sections and plan what to tackle next.

  110. Now, I have the first drafts of the intro and approach for my paper. I’ll be working on the market simulation section tomorrow. Looking forward to it…
    Good evening everyone!

    1. Hi Yasaman! It sounds like you’ve been able to get something done! Congratulations!

  111. Well, I have just one more transcription to do, but I was hoping to be a little closer to being done with all of them. Oh well, tomorrow. I met with Dr. Carter this afternoon. We talked a lot about how I’m going to handle teaching full time this semester while trying to finish up and defend. This is what really freaks me out! On top of that, I can’t get my 5 committee members to agree on ANY date in April! Don’t know what I’m gonna do. Now I’m super-freaked out. I’ll vent to my understanding husband tonight. Hopefully, that’ll help. EVERYONE: Get your committee to set a date as soon as you possibly can!!!

    — Susan

    1. Susan, can you bring in some guest lecturers? If you control your course, perhaps you can revise the syllabus so that you can have guest lecturers on the last day of the week that you teach (e.g., Thursday or Friday), and have someone be the guest facilitator. You can also “hybridize” your course by having one day be an “online” day where students follow the slides and then discuss or post on Blackboard. You can resolve to “check” their posts at night (giving you the day to write). You teach computer science, so this wouldn’t be too far out of the box. Since you teach 100 and 200 level courses, you can ask a senior grad student to be your facilitator … feel free to pay them a little bit. $50 can go a long way in a grad student’s pocket.

      1. Dr. Tull: Thanks for your concern and advice. I do have a couple of colleagues that I may be able to ask this of. I had them cover my classes one week last semester and it was amazing what I got done. You’re right — I should definitely do this. Thanks!

  112. My goals for today were to read, take notes on, and write about:
    * Pospieszalska & Ley
    * Caputo & Hammer
    * Shao & Hochmuth
    I did the last two, and started on the first.

  113. What I did today:
    1. Rearranged my outline (aka started a new template) due to issues with one from yesterday- thanks to Dr. Carter’s meeting 🙂
    2. Filled in more experimental info into Chapter 6- would say this is about 80% done
    3. Drafted specific aims
    4. Added 20 more references into my endnote lib…still have about 100 more from previous work that was never added…aka fail
    5. I now have a clear idea of how to finish this thing soon and oh yeah, how to talk BETTER in 2mins 😉

    What I will do tomorrow:
    1. Draft background section
    2. Write 10 pages of background (Chapter 2)
    3. Fill in pain-staking details into Chapter 4 when goal 2 drives me crazy.
    4. Add more references into endnote…

    Sorry so wordy!!!

    See everyone tomorrow, bright and early 🙂

  114. Tomorrow, I will read, take notes on, and write about:
    * Pospieszalska & Ley
    * Pappu et al
    * Chen & Springer

    1. Hi Alex!

      I meant to ask if you do annotated bibliographies? I used this method in grad school, and it helped me to go through hundreds of papers. I set up templates. Each had the paper’s title, authors, authors’ affiliations (since it’s always important to remember who is doing what, and where), and the journal reference. Then I had sections for Background, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, and Next Steps. Having *these* versions of the journal articles, made it easier for me to synthesize the information. Since I knew that I would do this for each paper, it also made it easier for me to keep track of what I’d read. I had a file for these annotated bibliographies on my computer, but I also printed each of them out and put them in a loose-leaf notebook, with dividers by broad topic area. My broad areas were acoustic phonetics, vocal physiology, and speaker recognition. Later, I ended up having 3 notebooks. Best wishes and you move forward!

      1. Dr Tull,

        That’s a great tip. That’s what I wound up doing this week, and I wish I’d done it sooner. I have found that I’d rather write if I’m complaining about someone else’s paper instead of trying to write my own results section! I didn’t realize how much I needed a document that acted as a bridge between my notes and my article. Using LaTeX, I was able to set up a PDF document that collects all of my notes, and has hyperlinks between related articles.


      2. One category that I have in my system (and this is easy to do electronically) is plots that I like from papers that I read. There are some papers where the most helpful thing is a clever and clear presentation of complex information.


  115. I actually sent a few paragraphs to drcarter@umbc.edu for any comments, as I thought this space would not enough to insert.

    1. Hi Trishan! You’re our only physicist this time. I see that you’re planning to edit today. Let us know some more specifics. How is it going? Are you editing by the page, by the paragraph? Are you editing for grammar or content? What is your full goal for today?

      1. Good morning Dr.Tull. Thanks for your reply. 1st I wrote without worrying about grammar and then did the editing. I showed it to Dr. Carter on Wednesday. She pointed out that the problem that I am chasing is not explicit in my introduction. So I inserted it. Also she highlighted that it is better to have transitional words from the document that we all got on the 1st day. Based on these comments I started to edit the document, paragraph by paragraph and also I had to change the location of paragraphs to have a smooth going. Yesterday night I finished that work also (which was the last goal that i had set up for this dissertation house) and sent it to my advisers as my UMBC advisor will be gone for a conference all next week and the proposal that I am writing is due week after that. Full goal for today is to draft the problems that I encountered during my data analysis last week and send those to my advisers so that they can advise me how to proceed.

    1. Margaret, you make me laugh!!! You have *WAY* too many question marks in your blog post! (LOL!) Ok, let’s start with this. Pick ONE thing to do today. I suggest that you spend 1 hour on your schedule, and be deliberate about your days. CONSOLIDATE your TA days. Your TA meeting and prep days should be on the same days that you TA (teach, run lab, correct exams). Do NOT let your TA duties, nor your “other” project duties take over. TA days are TA days, period. Don’t let them spill over. If you TA on Tuesday and Thursday, then all of your TA duties, including set-up and prep, should only be done on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you can in any way control your days, consider letting your dissertation writing days be Friday through Monday. Let Tuesday – Thursday be your concentrated days for other projects and TA duties, but put some dissertation time into those days as well. Perhaps 7AM – 11AM, or whatever works for you.

  116. Very productive afternoon, Finished 2a, started intro for 2b and got people interested in meet2finish group. Finalize Intro 2b and work some analysis for 2b.

    1. Table 2b_activations
    2. Table 2b_correlations
    3. Table 2b_connectivity
    4. Figure 2b_activations
    5. Figure 2b_correlations
    6. Figure 2b_connectivity
    7. List of pending Table and figures for 2b

    1. Hi Carlos!
      Your first phrase: “Very productive afternoon.” This is music to my ears! Since we’ve spent some time talking in person, I know how much it means to you to have some productivity. Congratulations! I’ll look forward to hearing more!

      1. Just in case you don’t page up to see my other message to you, remember this:


        1. Muchas Gracias!!!!!!
          Thanks A Lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  117. Nohemi Voglozin Avatar
    Nohemi Voglozin

    I wrote down the first lines of my thesis today! I started the day working on my outline, and I am really happy with what I was able to accomplish today! I also started filling the blanks about some of the stats to perform on my data. Tomorrow, I will continue working on the outline, the stats and writing! Can’t wait!

    1. Dear Nohemi,

      Those words, “Can’t wait”, brought such a smile to my face! I love the excitement! Now THAT is the kind of exuberance that we like to see. I think that you took Dr. Han’s words to heart. She asked everyone to find the joy in the process. It looks like you’ve tapped into it. Good for you! Wouldn’t it be great if people around the world who are working on their dissertations could go to bed at night, and wake up in the morning with a smile and say, “What a day, I *can’t wait* to work on my dissertation!!!” Spread the love Nohemi … spread the love!

      Enjoy your day!
      -Dr. Tull

      1. Nohemi Voglozin Avatar
        Nohemi Voglozin

        Thank you Dr Tull! If I knew how much motivation I will get by participating to the DH, I would have done it way sooner! Like I was telling some of my fellow DH participants, I found myself waking up at night wondering why it’s not morning yet so that I can get up and get ready to go to DH! I really needed to dig up the fire that used to burn inside me and that brought me all the way from Africa to start my PhD! And like Dr Carter says, if I find the time to complain about this or that, I can definitely find the time to work on my thesis! Thanks for the support and your time, Dr Tull and Dr Carter!

  118. Accomplished today: met with my adviser, I wanted to create a data analysis plan with her but because I have not collected data from 110 participants (as I proposed based on a power analysis) she said I can’t start doing analysis yet 😦 However, if I re-calculate my power analysis and can demonstrate that a slightly smaller sample will not significantly affect power, I can petition my committee to ask for permission to stop short of 110. I got other suggestions from my adviser on how to better manage my data. Also, I continued doing lit searches and read a chapter in a book that I need to return to the library before I go home.
    Tomorrow: Finalize a timeline with tasks to be completed, re-read my proposal. I have asked for permission to leave early since it is an 8 hour drive back to Ohio and it is supposed to snow…

    1. Dear Kelly,
      Meeting with your advisor, face-to-face, was key! That alone was worth the trip! If you need help with the stats, consider contacting Dr. Mario Sto. Domingo who was an adjunct in your department, he also conducted some research for Dr. Ken Maton. Consider making a list of the tasks that were proposed and approved, then check off those tasks that have been completed. Have a safe drive back. Once you return, continue to blog! You will notice that some of the people on this blog, e.g., Nikki and Alexis, have been blogging almost daily for the past year and a half. Become part of #TeamGetitDone, resolving to continue until you finish. We have three other DH’ers who have started their own blogs (one has the countdown!) Fellow DH’er at your table, Margaret G., has her own blog as well. The blog is a public (or private if you adjust the setting or limit the readers as one DH’er has chosen to do) journal that keeps you on task.

      Resolve to “never again” have a day where you do nothing, unless it is a *scheduled* break. You may remember my story. I took a day of rest to go to church, have brunch with my friends, spend time with my husband, SLEEP, and then by 6:00 PM Sunday night, it was time to get back to work. Those Sunday nights were not always intense, they were the “ease back into it” days where I looked over what I done during the previous week, and planned what I would do the next week. Sometimes, that was a good time to organize the rest of my life in advance (TA hours, what to cook, were the clothes clean?) Before you leave today, blog about what you are going to do this weekend. Give yourself a “measurable” task and make sure that you finish it. We’ll be looking for you. 🙂

      Have a good trip back. Drive safely.

      Best wishes,
      Dr. Tull

      1. Thanks for the words of encouragement Dr. Tull, I appreciate it. It is very easy to get in the habit of putting aside the work when I am so far removed from academic life and tell myself that I will get it done “someday”. Being at DH has made it very concrete for me and re-energized me. Just figuring out what I need to do to finish has been very helpful. It has very much been worth the trip! PS I hope I still feel that way after I make the drive back through snow and freezing rain 😉

        1. Hi Kelly! You’re welcome! Once you get home and get settled, you can remind yourself of the experience by reading the blog, and reading through what you have written this week. You will SEE that you have accomplished much in a short amount of time. You met with Dr. S. and you have some direction. That meeting was worth the ride. Believe me. In these final months of finishing the dissertation, you cannot underestimate the meetings with your advisor. You’re probably prepping to leave now. Enjoy some good music or a good book on tape as you drive. Safe travels! We’ll see you next week here on the DH blog!

          1. Dr. Tull,
            These are good words you have shared. I really like your Sunday idea – I have been struggling with the concept of working every day and honoring the Sabbath, which people have been repeating around me lately. Not sure what’s the best thing to do about that, but when I take a whole day it’s so hard to pick back up again…

  119. Day 53 was good, I kind of got tired and really just kind of cranky in the middle of the day but I pushed through. I had a job interview through skpye that just ended and now I am going home. I went through journals 9 through 13 and completely coded and transcriped the interview. I transcribed journal 14’s interview and I already set up the journal for coding. So technically tomorrow I only have journal 15 and half of 14 to do and the video to transcribe. I thought I could push myself to stay tonight but thats going to be a no.

    My conference paper is my priority tomorrow and I have a doctors appointment that will wisk me away for a litle while in the afternoon. The paper is due tomorrow so right now I will just put the journal coding to the side until Saturday unless some miracle happens tomorrow, which is quite possible.

    Great JOB to all the DH folks at UMBC, Dr. CV is an angel so listen to every word she says.

    All is well.



    1. Congrats on having a good week Nikki! I seem to remember that there is a reward on your schedule today in exchange for all of your diligence this week. Enjoy “Redtails!” It should be a good movie.

  120. Good morning everyone,
    Last day of the dissertation house! 🙂
    I was procrastinating this winter but I could focus on my work this this week (thanks to all).
    So far, I became clear with my research topics that I am going to talk with my advisor this morning (so I will miss morning sessions). I set up interview schedules for next week and hope that I could come up with better interview questions (cross-fingers). Wish you all a productive day!

    1. You came to the right conclusion …. NO more procrastination Hye-Sook! 🙂 Having a meeting with your advisor is very proactive. Good for you. Talk with other students in your LLC cohort or in others before you about interview questions. There are some tried and true methods. Mirror the style of some of the interview questions that you see in your key journal articles. This will give you some direction. Good luck to you!

  121. Yvette Williams Avatar
    Yvette Williams

    Thanks to Dr. Carter and the Dissertation House team for the T-shirts and certificates!Today, I am switching gears from data entry to writing. I hope everyone finishes strong today!

    1. Hi Yvette,
      The shirts were made possible through our PROMISE grant. They were an incentive for the Dissertation House, coined and inspired by Nikki Westmoreland and Alexis Williams The Dissertation House at College Park. Alexis is a graduate student in Human Development, and Nikki is in Mechanical Engineering. #TeamGetitDone began as a tag line on Nikki’s Twitter feed! We designed the shirts with the simple message … get it done! Have a good writing day!

  122. Day 52…..

    Today I am working on my conference paper and then we’ll se what I can do outside of that, I’m looking for a miracle today, I sit in expectation of getting things done!!!! 🙂

    Yes Dr. Tull “Redtails” is my reward tonight, I’m excited!


    We are on the move!


    1. ON THE MOVE! If we get new shirts next year, we may have to add that. But by then, you’ll be Dr. Westmoreland, won’t you? 🙂

  123. Last day! I’m GOING to finish that last transcription! I’m still struggling with getting my committee together. I also hope to do some actual writing today.

    — Susan

    1. Yes, Susan, you WILL (you WILL, you WILL, you *WILL*) finish that last transcription. Since that is your goal. Go for it! Don’t even read email until you finish it … don’t even open a window for email! (This method works when you’re on a mission!) Don’t worry about the writing this morning, focus on the transcription.

      1. I finished it! And I’ve been able to do a little bit of writing!

  124. My plans for today:

    1. Draft background section
    2. Write 10 pages of background (Chapter 2)
    3. Fill in pain-staking details into Exptl section (Chapter 5) when goal 2 drives me crazy.

    1. Dear Margaret,
      One tip for getting a lot of writing done is to continue writing without all of the details. For example, you can plan to write and when you draw a blank, literally draw a blank line on the page, and keep on going. When you can’t remember a reference but you know that it belongs in a certain spot, you can write “(REF)” and keep on going. You can go back in fill in the details later (like you’re going to do for #3!) You might consider focusing on #2, and “rewarding” yourself with #3 tomorrow. It might not be as pain-staking as you think it will be. You can fill in details a little bit at a time; you don’t have to have them all in at once. Allow your document to “live and breathe” … it grows as you go. You don’t have to do everything in succession, you can continue to edit and refine along the way. Best wishes!

      1. Thank you for the advice, Dr. Tull! This is precisely what I have been doing all week! I think you called it free-writing (or was it raw-drafting?) when you spoke to us earlier this week. I personally have a case of writer’s block, trying to search for the perfect words, etc. On Tuesday I started the dissertation template, literally wrote my name on it for the first time, and I now have about 15 pages of raw-drafted content! GREAT ADVICE! Thanks again! 🙂

  125. Insanity Countdown: -59 days
    Last night..too anxious….not much done. I need to get back into Krav

    1. Finalize Intro 2b
    2. Finalize analysis for 2b.
    3. Table 2b_activations
    4. Table 2b_correlations
    5. Table 2b_connectivity
    6. Figure 2b_activations
    7. Figure 2b_correlations
    8. Figure 2b_connectivity
    9. List of pending Table and figures for 2b

    Get it done!!!!

  126. INSANITY!!! You can do it! 58 days….

  127. FYI, you all are not crazy. (LOL!!) It can be done!! And yes, get back into Krav if you can. I think that the feeling of “power” will be great for you! Get those endorphins going.

  128. Hi,

    Today I am planning to write some emails to my professors regarding things that I came across in my data analysis. I have already finished my goals for this week.

  129. Final day of DH. Today I will be working on my proposal defense and some data collection.
    -Amanda D

    1. Hi Amanda,
      As you prepare for your defense, remember that it’s not just about how well you know your project, it includes questions like:
      “Is this project doable?”
      “Has she garnered enough knowledge to tackle this issue?”
      “Has she thought about all of the tools needed to complete the task?”
      “Is the project focused enough?”

      Your methods section will be especially important because you want to be sure that once they say “yes, approved”, that you can hit the ground running and do the project. I recommend that you focus on the defense as your goal for the day. Be comfortable with working on that and filling those gaps.

      1. Thank you, Dr. Tull!

  130. Today my goal is to expand my problem statement into a couple of paragraphs to be less terse and provide more context. I will then expand my background section in the same way.

    1. Hi Wes. This sounds like a good plan. Since you are working on your proposal, if you haven’t done so already, feel free to write the sections (headings if nothing else) into your document. As I’ve mentioned to others, you don’t have to do everything in succession, do a “core dump” where you put all of the things that you already know into the respective sections. You can edit and refine later.

  131. Good Morning All

    Today is the last day of the Dissertation House. We finished up our last 2 minute presentations this morning in the Good Morning Dissertation House format. Keep up the good work. I hope that you keep blogging long after you leave the DH.

  132. Good Morning DH!

    I can’t believe it’s the last day of Dissertation House! I wish I had the time to do this every day until I’m done! Today I will be working on Chapter 1 yet again and putting some more sources into endnote. I hope to have 2/3 of my intro done by today so I can finish up the rough draft over the weekend.

    Get it done!

    1. Hi Gretchen,

      Make a plan with others in your group to come together again and do this … until you’re done. Remember my story? I worked with my friends nearly every day until we all finished. By the end, I was the only one there, but I went to that Barnes and Noble coffee shop at the mall every day until I finished. My friends, Brenda and Jacquie were already being called “Dr.”, but I had to press on. Students at UMBC and College Park have done the same thing. They have come together to work in groups. In some cases, they have been able to reserve a room within a department, and work there. Good luck and best wishes!

  133. So far, I have completed:
    1. extending my original semantic net for financial investing
    2. exploring the semantic net and designing the experiments
    Today I will write VBA codes to implement the experiment. The first thing I need do is to revise the original codes to separate the training and test sets.


    1. Hello Jie,
      Congratulations on making progress this week! Please let us know how things go.

  134. Hey everyone!,

    Good luck for making the best out of the last day of the dissertation house.
    – Arun Kannanganat.

    1. Arun … what are YOU going to do today? Please share with us. I want to make sure that you’re able to meet your goals too! 🙂

      1. Hello Dr. Tull, Sorry i checked the blog only now.
        thanks for your encouragement!. I think the dissertation house exp. has certainly catapulted me into getting more serious about writing my thesis. I have finished my specific outline of my thesis. I used most of my time today to read other thesis examples in proquest.
        Have a great day!.

  135. Last day – not looking forward to driving through snow and freezing rain 😦 This morning I am going to re-read my proposal, take notes on it looking for areas that need to be updated/revised. Leaving at noon… hoping everyone has much success in completing what they have set out to do. Anyone planning on Dec. 2012 graduation? I will see you there!

  136. Good morning everyone! Congratulations on your dedication to the process of the Dissertation House! I’ve taken some time this morning to write to nearly everyone who has posted within the last 24 hours, so please “page up” to see my comments. I started around 7:45 this morning, and I think that I’ve now reached out to everyone. A “shout out” goes to Alexis and Lenisa (from the College Park DH) who are taking care of some personal matters today. They are missed. Michelle B-H, looking for your update soon. Congrats on the IRB! And if anyone sees Maritza G., let her know that we miss seeing her here.

    To those in UMBC’s DH, you did it! Four days of intense concentration on your work. I love what Margaret Dabek said in an earlier post:

    “Margaret Dabek says:
    January 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    life-changing words of the day: “If you have time to wallow, then your schedule isn’t tight enough!” -Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale”

    *Life-changing words* … that’s great. Yes, we put a lot of time and thought into this process and Dr. Carter-Veale definitely gives of herself to make sure that you get things DONE!

    For those of you who are trying to get a date from your committee members, I recommend making appointments with them in person and working with them to see where the flexibilities are. I think that I’m going to write a blog post about this on the main page. Look for it on the home page in a few minutes. 🙂

    1. Hi Dr. Tull,
      I’m here 😉 Thank you for thinking of me. I’m back, and with a new countdown. Striving for early Fall… proposed deadline to self an advisor. Proposed countdown to self– 9/18/12 (228 days). Most immediately I am counting down to writing paper based on my dissertation which I hope to present April 25. Need to finalize abstract by March 20. I will begin posting more often Dr. Tull & Dr. CV 😉

  137. Hello, all!!

    Last day of DH *Tear* – but it doesn’t end here! I have plans for meeting my goal of finishing in August. I can do it. I am capable. I WILL be Dr. Grow by the end of summer!!

    But for now, here are the goals for today!


    Have a great, productive day!!

    Margaret G.

  138. Hello everyone, I finished the post with some tips for setting a defense date. Here it is: https://dissertationhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/i-want-to-defend-doctoral-dissertation-how-do-i-get-a-date-from-my-faculty-committee-six-suggestions/. You can also get to it by clicking “Home” on the menu at the top of the page, or by going to the top post on http://www.thedissertationhouse.com.

  139. Logging out now so I can get on the road. I set a defense date this morning as I had to complete the Nomination of Committee Members form for the grad school (due 6 months in advance of defense) – it is October 26, 2012 (but subject to change based on availability of committee members). Setting a date is both exciting and terrifying!! Praying you all have much success in completing your projects. If you pass through central Ohio sometime, say hello! 🙂

  140. Day 68. *Sigh* The week’s events threw me for a loop but God’s bouncing me back… I’m at the grad office finally checking in again. Today is a stats day – as are all of them until probably mid-February – and I’m organizing data and running analyses. Funny how this point seemed so far away and unreachable a while ago, and now I’m looking at 1st and goal and the goal seems far away and unreachable if I let myself believe the lie.

    – submit agenda for advisor meeting on Monday
    – look over data and make sure it’s clean and reliable, no weird reverse codes or repeats/missings
    – run an analysis or two and try to make some sense from them
    – plan next steps for weekend/next week

    Grateful for this support. Grateful that when I didn’t check in, someone checked on me. Grateful to be prayed for and to be able to pray for others. Grateful to be alive and breathing and strong.

    “If I had known my life would be a wild ride into the unknown, I would have been brave enough to put my head back, laugh, and enjoy the trip.” Some woman in New Jersey 🙂

    Getting it done with #TeamGetItDone

  141. So I did it…I made a blog to chronicle my daily to-do list, DH-style 🙂
    It’s not meant to be beautiful or amazing, so please don’t expect that…just trying to get some much needed dissertation writing angst out there…maybe you can relate? 😉

  142. future "Dr. Faizah Carr" Avatar
    future “Dr. Faizah Carr”

    Dissertation House has helped me refocus my priorities. Ignoring them does not make the priorities go away…the procrastination just leaves less time , more dread, and is unprofessional. The legacy I want to make will be what I create.

  143. DH IS DONE! But the dissertation is not!! More posts to follow, so feel free to follow me on my blog and comment! If anyone has a blog other than here, please let me know about it! I follow everyone’s blogs 🙂


    Til next week! Rewarding myself tonight with a Hibachi dinner with friends!


  144. Happy Friday Dissertation House! 🙂

    This week has been helpful and I feel prepared to tackle my dissertation…..hopefully in a very timely manner (aka 55 days)!!!!!! I have two sections left of my intro and I hope to write those and flush out some other sections this weekend. I have told my advisor I would have a draft to him on Monday and that is the first task on my “Dissertation Check List” I have created in order to graduate in May.

    I hope to stay motivated and blog my progress!!!

  145. Happy Friday and weekend everyone!

    I had a productive week, I wrote draft of 2 sections of my paper, which was killing me! 🙂
    I’m happy and ready for a good weekend now!

    Good luck to everyone and thanks to Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter!


  146. Thanks Dr. Carter!!!!
    Gracias Dra. Tull!!!
    This was better than Xanax and Ritalin…….You know what I mean!!! 🙂

  147. And again..
    Thanks to Natasha and Miguel for the help and support.

  148. The final day of DH is over. I feel really good about where I am now and I also have a good plan for moving forward. I really enjoyed DH and I look forward to checking-in on everyone’s progress!
    I hope to announce that I am a candidate by the end of Feb. (depending on my committee members’ schedules!!)
    -Amanda D

  149. Today, I planned to read, take notes on, and write about:
    * Pospieszalska & Ley
    * Pappu et al
    * Chen & Springer
    and I did! I completed all of my goals for this week, and I wound up, on my way, starting an annotated bibliography, which has helped me greatly in collecting my thoughts across the literature.

    Thanks, everyone, for providing a quiet, productive, energetic environment with wonderful camaraderie!

  150. At home!!!

    Trying to manage time…..I will finish finish tonight
    1. Table 2b_activations
    2. Table 2b_correlations
    3. Table 2b_connectivity
    4. Figure 2b_activations
    5. Figure 2b_correlations
    6. Figure 2b_connectivity
    7. List of pending Table and figures for 2b

    Common People….Let’s finish this
    NO excuses! Just Get it Done

  151. Day 52….

    I just finished my paper and I submitted it to the conference. It is in God’s hands now. I had a small freaking out moment because my advisor forgot the attachement in her 4:30pm revisions e-mail to me. And she said in her e-mail that she was going out meaning away from her desk probably until tomorrow. So I had to make a decision about what to finish with the paper and how to make it look before I sent in the final version. I hope I make her proud, I did the best I could with the knowledge I have in my little head. I just had to keep reminding myself that it is a DRAFT. It is a DRAFT. It is a DRAFT. Oh me Oh my!

    I prayed for a miracle this morning and not getting that last version of the paper just might be it. Even though I don’t understand it right now. Also this meeting I had in the morning just got cancelled so I can sleep a little bit later and get started on finishing my coding earlier HENCE I will go to bed on time tomorrow in preparation for my 5am rising on Sunday morning. #OhitisJESUS!

    In regards to the Sabbath convo earlier I actually don’t do any work at school or at home. I bust my behind the rest of the week both and home, church, and school and the only thing I do on Sunday is church. watch football, and nap. God rested after creating the world, I can rest after working 6 days on my “little” document in comparison to making the sun the moon and the stars. That just works best for me.

    Well I’m off to the show.

    Tata now.


    Another week almost done!


    1. This is good, Nikki! I will compromise with myself and try to get into that kind of discipline. 🙂

  152. Nohemi Voglozin Avatar
    Nohemi Voglozin

    Final day of DH. I’m sad to see it come to an end. However, don’t they say that every good thing has an end? I kept working on my outline, I got some writing done and read a few papers. I haven’t met the goals I set at the beginning of the week (I knew they were a bit ambitious, like always!), but I’m satisfied with the work I got done this week. I was able to stay focused enough to work, think, and produce a tangible result. Which is good.
    I have started my countdown, which makes the whole process more real. I have decided to set weekly goals, realistic ones! and do my very best to achieve them, and well. I also took the resolution of putting on my #TeamGetitDone T-shirt each and every time I can, to inspire me to get it done. The only way it can be done is to work on it! and that’s what I will be doing. I am also thinking of the rewards I can get myself (I will not let this one slide!) after I reach milestones in my research. For example, what will I give myself when I will be done growing my plants in the greenhouse? or when I will be done extracting the DNA from my samples? I still have 150 seeds to work on. I have predicted the end of the work in the greenhouse for the third week of March. That will be a big milestone, considering that I have started that process since August 2011!
    It was a pleasure meeting you all, DH Winter 2012 participants. I hope to see you each weekend in the Commons! Keep up the good work!
    PS: It’s fun to blog! I didn’t know I had so much to share. Maybe I will follow your example, Margaret G. and Margaret D.!

    1. woohoo, go Nohemi, go! if you do start a blog, let us know about it!! 😀

  153. Insanity Countdown: -58 days

    Buenos Dias!!!
    Next 90 minutes: I will continue with the following:
    – Figure 2b_activations
    – Figure 2b_correlations
    – Figure 2b_connectivity
    – List of pending Table and figures for 2b

    “It is all about myself”

    1. SCJVC
      Insanity Countdown: -58 days

      Almost 90 minutes……worked the whole time…ignored family and I got the Figures for 2b activations. That was good. Now I know that I was unrealistic about the timing for the amount of things I was planning to do in the 90 minutes period. Now…next 30 minutes and Call Susan to see if we can still meet today….Got some snow and freezing rain.
      Keep Going. I couldn’t plan todays day, but I am Trying to pace myself to focus on Pictures for Ch. 2b.

      “i a going to do it”

  154. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -58d 1h 40m

    Talked to Susan: We are going to stay home due to the roads conditions, but keeping tabs on each other. Next 90 minutes get figures for CH2b correlations. I got unexpected company at 1 am…in-laws stopping by because of the weather (couple and 3 kids)…Here is a party right now….but even I haven’t seen them for months (including my Godson)…I got to remember that the next 58 days it is about ME…then I will have time for them in the summer.

    Keep going….I am going to do it…………

    1. I put my “TeamGeItDone” shirt…so people will learn when not to talk to me!!!!!!

      1. “Alexis likes this” (Re: the next 58 days are about you, and wearing the shirt reminds people not to talk to you. Also liking the posting of very short-term goals like “next 90 mins.” I think that might help me more, too.) Oh, but be sure to play during the scheduled breaks! Esp. if you don’t get to see them that often. 🙂 every moment counts. With that said, where’s my post?…

        Go get em, Carlos!

  155. Hi Susan What’s the plan today????

  156. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -58d 00h 21m

    Got figures for CH2b correlations..Reward myself… A DOS EQUIS AMBAR 🙂

  157. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -57d 22h 31m
    Got my beer, time to go out with the family to play in the snow. Now some lunch/nap and continue….actually I am going to call Susan and Margaret to see why no posting……no excuses….Just get insane and do it!!!!!

  158. Day 67. I am so stealing Carlos’ T-minus days-mins-hours countdown as soon as I figure out how to count like that… 🙂 But seriously I am inspired – he has raised the bar.

    Today’s agenda (I was slow in starting):
    – finish week’s goals and task list
    – outline my specific stats accomplishments thru the end of Jan
    – finish skimming/noting chapter 3 in Brown CFA for Applied Research
    – park downhill

  159. It’s much later than I had planned, but I’m up and ready to go. I can’t believe Carlos’ energy today! We were going to meet at UMBC at 9:00am, but the roads are icy around here. So, we’re going to both work at home and blog. Confession: after calling Carlos around 8:30 to tell him I was staying home, I stayed in bed until 11:30. I was exhausted and feel so much better now. He and I are going to blog back and forth today and see if we can meet up tomorrow. This weekend, I need to prepare for the start of the classes that I am teaching — they begin on Thursday. So, I need to:
    – Put up and review the CMSC 202 web site
    – Get my CMSC 202 notebook ready
    – Put up and review the CMSC 345 web site
    – Get my CMSC 345 notebook ready
    – Merge my teaching, dissertation, and personal calendars together on Google Calendar so that I can schedule when I can work on my dissertation and what I will be doing. (Thanks, Dr. Carter!)

    BTW, I found out yesterday afternoon that my defense date is April 6th, a couple of weeks earlier than I had hoped for. I have to get my dissertation to my committee on March 9th — a tight schedule. But I’m NOT going to let this go into the summer or I’ll go crazy! It’s all about ME until I’m done!
    — Susan
    Go Carlos!

  160. Day 51…..

    Today I have 3 tasks:
    1. Code Journal 14
    2. Segment and Code Journal 15
    3. Transcribe 1 video interview

    I like everyone’s posting and the energy! I was reading on my phone at home and I was like oooooooh I gotta get to my office and do some work!!! I am going to have to work at home (ugh~!) some later because I need to make another sick-n-shut in visit.

    Go Carlos!
    Go Susan!
    Go Alexis!
    Go Nikki!

    We are #TeamGetItDoneEvenOnSaturday

    Can’t Stop Won’t Stop!!!

    From “Red Tails”….From the last plane, to the last bullet, to the last minute, to the last man, we fight!

    For “TeamGetItDone”….From the last data set, to the last chapter, to the last paragragh, to the last advisor, we FIGHT!

    Let’s Do It!


    1. SCJVC
      Insanity Countdown: -57d 19h 12m

      Thanks Nikki, Susan, Alexis!!!!
      I just woke up..got black coffee, Coke zero and looked up for the iGoogle countdown to share it but didn’t find it…..I look to the countdown again and realized It took me 35 minutes. Sorry, couldn’t find it.

      Hi Susan…..Good to see your posting..I got more energy
      My Kids are fighting..for the tv, pc wii.I just told them that if they don’t play together I will put them in their room until I finish my Ph.D work for today….Wow ..It worked.

      MargaretS!!!! where are you??????????

      1. Get figures for CH2b connectivity for BA47 in 60 minutes (Keeping it simple).

        1. Done for BA_47 connectivity!!
          Now 30 minutes to play wii with the Kids!!!

      2. Thank you for the motivational call today, Carlos! You really got me working! I put in about 4 hours of solid work and am documenting all of it on my own blog, so don’t worry, I am not lost! 🙂
        Keep up the good work!

  161. 48 Days
    So, I’ve started my countdown, too. I have 48 days until I have to turn my dissertation in to my committee. I worked on my CMSC 202 web site earlier, but have a lot more to do. My husband and I planned the day out: when we’re having lunch (did it), what he’s going to get at the grocery store, and when we’ll eat dinner. We discussed how making a schedule each day will help me and also help him to help me. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not it works. If it doesn’t, maybe somebody will have some suggestions.

    Back to work!
    — Susan

    1. SCJVC
      Insanity Countdown: -57d 17h 56m

      Go Susan!!!!
      I call one of my wife’s friends for them to get together tonight. My Kids don’t want to play with me now that I have 30 minutes. so nobody needs me..then next 60 minutes connectivity for Ch2b BA 44
      Keep Going…..

  162. Done for BA_44 connectivity!!
    short break……to Enjoy Salpicon!!

    1. Salpicon!!! No fair bragging about Colombian food you can get that I can’t get!

      1. Well you missed a lot for the New Year’s…in a couple of weeks we will have AJIACO!!!!!
        let me now if you are interested 🙂

  163. I’m almost done with the CMSC web site. My computer’s been giving me problems, so I wasted about an hour trying to fix it (didn’t get it fixed). I’m going to break for dinner & TV for an hour now. I really want to at least get one site up by the end of the evening. But I’ve also resolved to not stay up really late so that I can start to get up earlier until this is done.

  164. Carlos — I think it’s best for me to work from home tomorrow. My computer is giving me all kinds of problems. I’m going to have to get someone from my department to look at it early this week. But I’m going to keep working tomorrow and blogging. I still *definitely* want to do the Saturday/Sunday thing where we work together at UMBC, but I think I need to start next weekend (and I will!).

    Others — *Please consider joining us.* Remember, if we get 5 or more people, Natasha will find us our OWN ROOM in the Commons Building to work in. We can construct some kind of mini-dissertation house schedule that we stick to each time we meet.

    — Susan (48 days)

    1. I am down for the Sat/Sun INSANITY sessions 🙂

  165. I am in starting the first weekend in February! I am working tonight, too all the way from Cambridge! Nice to know I am in good company!

    1. I’m so glad! Let’s knock this thing out! Can’t wait to see you and hear about your progress.

  166. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -57d 10h 11m

    Didn’t continue working after 6 pm…I cut my hair, then Mass, then to a Birthday party…Dancing..only one beer and some type of liquor shot. Got back took a shower..I made myself to log here and plan the day for tomorrow. I will just sleep until the kids decide to wake up..hopefully after 7 am..then I need to finish figures for 2b BA 32 connectivity and then start with 2c the whole 9 yards (optimistic) some how watch the game. I need to have a pretty good draft of Chapter 2 by Monday night (Wow..I don’t know if feasible but I will enjoying the summer without people asking are you still working on your dissertation????)) Well think that’s why we are calling it insanity!!!!!

  167. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -57d 04h 07m

    Gabriel is up 6:30 am….put him to watch tv, some breakfast…I am sleepy..No promises I will just..What NO PROMISES???? Ok 60 minutes for pictures BA 32

    Glad to hear you guys….

    1. 2b BA 32 done!!!

  168. Wow, Carlos! Very impressive…. So my goal for today is to finish chapter 2 completely and complete the first pass of edits for chapter 3. If time permits, I will enter the first pass of edits for chapter 1 as well since it is short… Glad to have a whole day to dedicate to my dissertation. I like posting this… it’s like being in DH from a far… I am setting a date of March 5th to be finished with my dissertation. That means I have 43 days. I may have to adjust that depending on my defense data. Starting the count down today!

    1. Great Patti!!!
      That helps me to be focus…At the end we can have time to have a Colombian Brunch (Picada, etc) Keep going!!!!!

  169. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -57d 00h 32m

    Ok…2 hour nap, Breakfast, shower….now back to insanity!!!…

    30 minutes for detailed the ch2c and then post by task (sorry for putting so many things on it but I think I have never wrote that much before) this posting by task is in addition to a visual countdown for those 60 minutes and is easier for the family to wait some minutes to ask for things (by the way….in that time waiting, they usually forget about it) 🙂

    Common people!!!!! Wake up……You will have Whole weekends to enjoy in the summer without worrying/thinking or freaking about this!!!!

    1. OK …Done!!!
      It looks that I will need so much time for this..but I’m not moving the dateline.
      Just realize that I have a bunch Analysis pending for the Ch2c. 😦
      Will get some coffee and then Finish Analysis for 2c.

  170. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -56d 23h 42m

    Trying to relax……..deep breath………………..24 analysis/tables/pictures for Chapter 2c…Praying!!! 🙂
    Ok…one at the time. taking 30 minutes break/relax and think on best approach.

    Keep going Carlos!!!

  171. I’m finally up and moving. Still having a hard time getting out of bed when I don’t have an obligation to another person (e.g. a meeting or DH). Today:
    – Finish CMSC 202 web site (almost there)
    – Set up CMSC 202 Blackboard site (forgot I had to do this)
    – Set up CMSC 345 web site (this may take longer than I anticipate)
    – Overlay my personal, teaching, and dissertation calendars in Google Calendar

  172. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -56d 20h 16m
    Being Realistic Ch. 2c will take the whole week. I made a checklist for every step so I can find small spaces of time to focus and finish and more important see myself accomplishing things. Now, I am taking Daniel (7 y/o) where some friends to watch the game.

    1. Enjoy the game!

      You may want to make a calendar using Google Calendar or some other calendaring software and put everything that you have to do for the week, personal, work, or otherwise, on it. Then, you can see where you have open time to pencil in the steps that you need to do to finish Ch. 2c. Dr. Carter suggested that I do this and I think it’s a great idea. Because even if you know the steps you need to finish the chapter, you need to look ahead and be realistic about when you can actually sit down and get them done.

      Just a suggestion. I’ll let you know if it works for me.
      Back to work for me!

      1. Thanks Susan…
        I’m back……Actually my friends called to tell me that they already had a table for me to watch the game and still keep doing some things…That was great…I got down 12 analysis and set them up for tables. Now….Prepare my meeting with my mentor/boss to negotiate time and finally agree with a final plan.

        1. Great! Sorry that the Ravens lost, especially in such a horrible way. It sounds like your friends are very supportive! Can’t wait until next weekend when we all get together. We need to keep encouraging everybody to come so that Natasha can get us a room.

  173. Greetings from Ohio, DH friends! I arrived home around 8:30 Friday night and except for about 20 min. of white-knuckle driving in eastern Ohio, I beat the ice and snow. I have spent the weekend catching up on things around the house and spending time with my boys (2 little, 1 big). My almost-10-year-old passed his test in karate yesterday to be promoted to red belt – so proud! And they both won their basketball games. Anyway, tonight I am planning out my work for the week. I have 1 interview to collect data on Tues. and a few others to schedule. I have some additional data to enter and have to re-do my power analysis to see if I can create a rationale that would satisfy my committee that I could stop collecting data short of N = 110 without sacrificing power. I have a number of articles to read as well, the result of doing a lot of lit searches last week at DH. 12 minutes a day, right Dr. Carter? I can do that! 🙂

    1. and You will…Keep going

  174. Well, I certainly underestimated the time it would take me to create a new course web site. But if I hadn’t been blogging and committing to a firm schedule (with my husband’s help), I wouldn’t have gotten nearly this far. I’ll pick up where I left off tomorrow — finish CMSC 345 web site, create CMSC 345 notebook, and overlay calendars in Google Calendar (VERY important). Goodnight!

    1. Have a good sleep…. I am also having issues underestimating my time to accomplish task….the continuing blogging small steps has been helpful in be hyper-attentive for small periods of times, more efficient, effective and efficacious. Initially I thought that I will boring people to death…but then I remembered those words….It is about ME time.
      I need to rest and continue tomorrow: Main Focus is the meeting with my mentor/boss and then continue with Ch.2 Analysis + exercise.

  175. Lots of good advice today. Keep it up. I met my goal of finishing one chapter and sent it off to my advisors. I also got 3/4 of the way through a second chapter. Tired now so I am hitting the sack.
    Signing off,
    TeamGetItDone in Boston! Go Patriots!!! Sorry Ravens… I heard it was a good game.

    1. Palante!!!!!!!

      1. 🙂 #TeamGetItDoneAllOverTheWorld!

        1. 🙂

  176. Awesome progress everyone, even with being honest about lack of progress. I am reminding myself to keep going and keep reflecting and I’ll get done! Carlos, I found at least one countdown (and I promised myself to stop after a few mins if I didn’t find it right away!). I’m at -64d, 7h, 15mins! Something like that…

    I’ve done some journaling about making my schedule more airtight and rejecting distractions/ truly behaving as if my number one priorities are finishing school and finding a good job. Got some reminders from “How to Write a Lot” – a book that helped me get on track over the summer but then I let myself fade out of some of the really good habits over last semester. SO! On time to bed, early to rise and get right to it, getting good food and exersize, and keeping a simple daily log of my work time and progress in my GDocs.

    I didn’t get done with everything I planned the other day, so I still have to
    1) finish up my agenda for the rest of January,
    2) glance over my descriptives, and
    3) do a test run of my analyses to see what questions come up. I have added that I will
    4) read over the documents that I got from the grad school to make sure I am not missing a step in my planning to graduate.

    Down to -9 minutes! Gotta go. Ok, so, ummm, January agenda done by 9:30am.


    1. -5hr, 52mins – January agenda’s done after a little interruption. Glancing at grad school docs, highlighting areas where I have questions/concerns. Til 10:30am.

    2. -5hrs, 2 mins – Data check til 12pm.

    3. -0hrs, 1min – I think my countdown timer is a little too speedy… – Anyway, I got some helpful guidance on my data during my lab meeting and then my advisor meeting. My advisor wants me to check in with my committee members, and my department coordinator walked me through the deadlines for uploading the final docs after defense with and without walking (I want to walk). Keeping these things in the forefront of my mind will encourage me when I don’t feel like working.

      Now I will
      1) work on composites,
      2) run correlations and summarize, and then
      3) try out one or two of the major analyses and see if I can get them to run. (5:30)

  177. Day 47: Didn’t have a chance to blog in this morning. I had to go into school for a meeting and to pick some things up. I did take about an hour that I probably shouldn’t have to gab with a colleague. I just finished lunch and am going to dive back in now. Will blog in later.

  178. SCJVC
    Insanity Countdown: -55d 10h 50m

    Moved the countdown a couple hours closer to make it clear for me. Worked from 9 to 6, but I noticed that there are times where I don’t do much at work and then started to do 10 minutes Ph.D. task/thinking/planning….and after a productive day at work I was able to finish the other 12 analysis and talk to my mentor about meeting for the renewed approach suggested by Dr. Carter. We will meet tomorrow afternoon about it. I will go home and work on tables.

    1. good job Carlos!!! My countdown also says 55 days…GULP!

  179. Well, getting my web sites ready for teaching is really taking up my time. I think that I’m overdoing it. I’m going to get things up and running in time for the start of classes, but not worry if everything’s not perfect — I can work on it as classes progress. I need to get back to my dissertation. So, tomorrow: 1) get my laptop fixed, 2) go to an IS meeting, 3) meet with a new CS instructor for lunch, 4) overlap my Google calendars after lunch and fill in what I have left to do on my dissertation (I MUST have a very structured plan from here on out).
    End of day 47. Goodnight!

    1. Goodnight Susan!!!!

  180. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -54d 21h 38m

    Good Morning…What a Summer we will have by finishing this NOW!!!!!!!
    Wake up!! Carlos

    – Tables for activations by groups
    – Tables for activations between groups short
    – Tables for activations between groups long


  181. -63d, 7hrs, 12mins – working today at assistantship, came in and finished up composites and correlations from last night. Correlations look much better today and reliabilities aren’t too bad, which is good for going ahead with the rest of the analyses. After work, will try to run through some more analyses and do some background reading.

    Go #TeamGetItDone.

    1. Go Team Go!

    2. -62, 23hrs, 6mins – Whoa, I ran my syntax for one of the research questions. Like, the analysis ran (after some tweaking – I got some errors at first because the data set wasn’t set up properly for the program). Ok, I’m going to work out to wake up and then will try to understand what all the output means… 🙂

      Oh, I also worked on my semester calendar that my advisor worked for (way too scary to describe here), so I’ll make a copy of that and leave it in her mailbox to critique. Also fixed some wording and reliability information in Chapter 3 based on what I did earlier this morning.

      K, onward, #TeamGetItDone!

  182. -41d 2h 53m

    Yesterday, I managed to finish Chapter 3 and send it off to my advisors!!!!
    Today Chapter 4… quick edits by 10:30am and the more difficult edits by this evening…
    Nice to have all this inspiration from colleagues!

    #TeamGetItDone in Boston

    1. Go Patti!

  183. Day 58…..

    Today I am going to:

    1. Clean up Journal 14 coding
    2. Clean up Journal 15 coding
    3. Code 1 set of Navy documents
    4. Convert conference paper into dissertation chapter, or at least start thinking about what this will look like.

    Let’s do it!



    1. Ooops….That should be Day 48!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

      1. Oh and GREAT JOB to everyone who worked over the weekend, I was reading some posts while I was in the choir stand Sunday….LOL

        1. Lol at the choir stand, though… 🙂 Go Nikki!

  184. Great!!!
    Back to nothing…..Now I have to work in the proposal????? again????? Relax Carlos Relax!!!!!! Xanax Xanax 🙂

    1. Now I’m more relax……As I said before…Dr. Carter’s advice work better than Xanax 🙂
      Thank You!!! again Dr. Carter

  185. Hello All
    This is a new week, the DH is over but your dissertation is not. What’s the plan for this week? It’s the end of January stay strong everyone.

    1. Hi Dr. Carter!
      Since I have TAing starting next week for me (eek!), my plan for this week is to get as much done in the lab as possible – I’m working on getting results for the project that I will be presenting at the ACS conference in late March, but I need to find reliable papers and ways to get results and good characterization – fast! So that’s my main goal for the week in lab.
      For writing, I’m working on at least writing up ONE new reaction a day, including ChemDraw schemes, and placing them in my files 🙂

      Good luck to all! Can’t wait for Friday!


  186. Hello from UMB! First things first — You all are amazing! Thanks for such inspiring posts! I’m almost caught up on all the posts of the blog.

    After a bit of a hiatus due to health challenges, single parenthood, living at home with my parents and sister (AND my cousin and her little dog too for several months), and academic issues beyond my control, I am back in grad school and back to work on my dissertation.

    Long story short, I had to develop a different dissertation proposal with similar research questions in a different cohort because my PI’s study is currently suspended. It has been a HUGE headache. I had a committee meeting in December and they approved my use of the different cohort. Thankfully, my recently published JAGS article is based on the cohort I will now be using for my analysis and will count as paper 1 for my dissertation. The main differences are that I am now only analyzing data from a cohort of women, I lose one cytokine from my analysis, and I gain an additional study visit’s worth of data. So, I have to make some major changes to my document.

    Dr. Tull’s post on defense scheduling was so timely. I’m looking for a defense date anywhere from late March to late April so that I can participate in hooding and commencement in May. I’m an MD/PhD candidate and medical school doesn’t resume until July, but I need to officially celebrate the PhD completion for morale’s sake. I’ve been in med and grad school way too long without any sort of celebration of accomplishment (9 years to be exact).

    Today, I will be accomplishing the following:
    -Edit table of contents to reflect changes in headings in the background and methods chapters
    -Incorporate comments from last week’s meeting with my advisor into my new document
    -Edit research questions and aims in chapter 1 and 3
    -Copy and paste relevant text from chapter 1 and 2 into new document
    -Copy and paste first manuscript into its chapter
    -Edit conceptual model to reflect changes in the cohort and feedback from my last presentation to fellow predoctoral trainees and faculty

    It’s 2:46 and Itzhak Perlman radio on Pandora is making greatness happen!



    p.s.: where can i get one of those amazing t-shirts??? 🙂
    p.p.s.: i love the spin-off blogs!!!! i’ll have to update the one i started in 2010 more regularly!

    1. Hi Maya,

      You’ve got a lot going on but you’ve got it going on! If I’m allowed to read into your words, you aren’t letting anything stop you from getting this degree!

      Go Get ‘Em!

      P.S. I think Dr. Tull was the t-shirt lady 🙂
      P.P.S. Itzhak Perlman radio is now playing in my ear, thank you. Nice break from my techno/house-y “Panoptica radio”

  187. My day was more productive than I expected as I had one interview scheduled for data collection (I scheduled it before I came to DH), then called another potential participant this morning to schedule – she told me she was free this afternoon and coincidentally lived about 4 blocks from the interviewee already scheduled. Did I mention that the location of both visits was about a 50 minute drive from my house? Two visits in one afternoon, an unexpected gift which gets me that much closer to finishing, woohoo!

    1. That is awesome. Reminds me of the saying: What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

  188. -62d, 8h, 37m – Only a little time before a full day at the assistantship.
    1) putting specific dates in my personal calendar that I turned in to my advisor (and forgot to put my name on)
    2) quick journaling
    3) glancing over how to run a mixture model

    Go #TeamGetItDone – happy Witness-day!

    1. Back at the grad office and my friend left me some chocolate-covered strawberries. Sooo on point.

      Mixture models, here I come!

      This is harder than I thought so I need to break it down
      1) Read one section of the MPlus guide
      2) Try to set up the syntax
      3) Repeat with next relevant section if syntax doesn’t come together.
      4) Record any issues/observations

    2. -61d, 19h, 21min – Got the syntax to run. Now just to figure out if I’m doing this right, requesting the right output, setting up the syntax correctly to reflect the number of classes, etc. But very excited that the thing ran at all and gave me some output!

      I don’t have to understand all of this yet, I just need to keep marching along and stop being afraid of what I don’t yet know. If I keep moving, eventually I’ll understand it and it will no longer be the enemy.

      Gonna head home and try again tomorrow. Goodnight, #TeamGetItDoneCauseYouKeptTryingAndComingBack!

  189. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -53d 20h 27m

    You want 8 papers???? 8 will be…….
    I’m the expert!!!!!!!
    This is so #$@*&$*@ ON!!!!!

    This week:
    1. Draft-writing Introduction for Chapter 2
    2. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 1/ Chapter 2a
    3. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 2 / Chapter 2b
    4. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 3 / Chapter 2c
    5. Draft-writing Introduction for Chapter 3
    6. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 4 / Chapter 3a
    7. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 5 / Chapter 3b
    8. Draft-writing Introduction for Chapter 4
    9. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 1/ Chapter 4a
    10. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 2 / Chapter 4b
    11. Draft-writing + specific list 4 MY Ph.D. paper 3 / Chapter 4c

    That’s why is called INSANITY!!!!!!!

  190. Good morning all!
    As you all know, I have my own blog where I post my “daily” ish goals, but I also post quotes that are relevant to either how I’m feeling in the morning, or relevant to the dissertation/research process. This quote I felt was just too good not to share with you all! It’s one of those quotes where the lesson is preached during the DH (you might have heard Dr. CV say “A good dissertation is a DONE dissertation!”) – so here it is!

    “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker

    So don’t worry about getting it perfect! Just get it DONE! 🙂

    Good luck all!



  191. Day 47….

    Today I will:

    1. Code some Navy stuff
    2. Send that to my advisor
    3. Draft my job presentation
    4. Have a late afternoon meeting with my advisor



    1. I didn’t have that meeting with my advisor so I finished my tasks early today so I am going to spend my last hour reading before I head to choir practice. I am feeling the “Wednesday” blues for some reason my spirit is low….But the majority of the day is behind me so I will press on until I finish.

      Happy Wednesday!



      1. Girl, that’s why I called it WitnessDay because I am a witness that #GettingItDone when you don’t feel like it makes for a better #GettingItDone day the next day! Push!!!

  192. You guys are awesome!!! What motivation!!! We are at crunch time at the Hackathon at MIT and so my dissertation took a back seat yesterday, but I am getting some work done today. Can you believe that Dr. Carter met me at South Station today for a meeting!?!?! It is always good to have a conversation with Dr. Carter to get you focused and motivated. Goal for today finish the minor changes in Chapter 4 and download the data files from Physionet.

  193. Well, I was derailed for the past two days — my computer had to be completely cleaned and all its software reinstalled! I kept going in circles thinking, “Well, I can do this in the meantime. No, wait, I can’t. I need the computer to do it!” So a couple of very unproductive days. That’s why I haven’t been blogging.

    So, tonight, I’m reinstalling a lot of software (had my data backed up — always make sure that you do and in more than one place) and getting ready for teaching my first class tomorrow.

    I’ll get back on track, although I’m a little depressed that my son went back to college yesterday. I worry so much about him.

  194. Anyone: How do I get in touch with Natasha? I’d like to see if we can get that room in the Commons for this weekend.

    Also, who’s in for working this weekend in the Commons?

    1. You can reach Natasha at promisestaff@gmail.com

      1. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -53d 08h 48m

        I already e-mailed her, if I don’t hear from her tomorrow, I will adopt Dr. Carter’s approach…I WILL HUNT HER DOWN!!!!.

        I will be this weekend in the commons……..I will be swimming the next four days to get back to Krav on Monday. Plan is 2 days of Krav a week, 2 days of swimming and start P90X (I got from a neighbor). .. Many of them keep reminding me every time they see me about..My Countdown 🙂

        I got a new software to help me with the dissertation-paper approach and already paste and expanded for chapter 2. The good thing about this approach is that I will be able to do it during work hours. But one of the best things I got from Dr. Tull and Carter was the idea of working on several things depending on my strenghts/weaknesses and the time available….But always working on it and Just Get it Done!!

        I friend sent me a KISS message: Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)

        Good Night….I am going to get some rest, get some music mixed for my wife’s birthday

  195. Way to keep going, people! Big or small, it’s progress. Way past my departure time (I made the mistake of checking FB) – see you tomorrow…

    Dr. Smackdown

  196. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -53d 02h 52m

    Amazing!!!! Inspiring!!!!!
    I woke up around 2:45 am,,,,,,couldn’t get back to sleep so I followed Margaret’s example ( http://drdabekmay2012.wordpress.com/ )….If I can’t go back to sleep….just do something

    Weekend INSANITY Bootcamp is comming!!!!

    Thanks Margaret!!!!!

    1. Now…finally feeling sleepy
      it was a very productive time
      Thanks Margaret..

      1. Glad my insomnia could be of some help 😉
        Yay! Keep working and get ready for INSANITY on SATURDAY!!!

  197. -61d, 8h, 52min – Wow, nice middle of the night productivity, Carlos!

    In the office for another pre-assistantship session. I’ve got about 40 minutes. I will glance over the output from my mixture analysis last night and see if I can make any sense out of it. Main questions:
    1) What’s meaningful to me?
    2) What do I still need?
    3) Can I tell what I will need to do for the other RQs based on what I know?

    The next step will probably be to try the alternative cluster analysis to see if I can make that go..

    Go #TeamGetItDone! “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can chage the world – indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    — Margaret Mead

    1. K, going to work. So far I noticed some initial warnings about the convergence of the model, so I will need to look into that. I made note of information about the class membership between the two types of implicit theories I’m interested in. Be back later! What else can I #GetDone today?

      1. #GOALEXISGO!

        1. LOL! I just got told by WordPress, “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

          I got told by a website to slow down.

          Still processing this one, as is, apparently, WordPress.

  198. Quote for today: “Our greatest weakness is giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison

    Keep going everyone! You all are so motivational!! 😀



    1. Great Quote! I’m glad for new mornings and new mercies when I wake up every morning!

    2. Margaret did you give up your blog? The last post dates Jan 18th…what’s up with the adventures of dissertation writing…is the adventure on hold?

      1. Hi Dr. CV,

        It’s updated recently. I think if you have the suffix for Jan 18 after the “wordpress.com/” part, it’ll only show the 18th? Not sure why you can only see that otherwise.

        Margaret, thanks for posting.

      2. Hi Dr. CV!

        Nope, my adventures are still continuing! Here’s the link to the homepage and always the latest updates from the blog 🙂
        Thanks for checking up on me!


  199. Day 46…..

    Today I will:
    1. Work on my list of edits from my committee
    2. Have coffee with our “new” professor in the department
    3. Work on my job takl slides

    If my advisor shows interest I will also meet with her today.

    Great Job Carlos working in the middle of the night!! Get it done! I saw the update e-mails when I woke up this morning and I was like who was up posting in the middle of the night.


    Let’s graduate ya’ll!



    1. Amen!!!!

    2. Amen!!! LOL at the update emails!!

  200. Good morning, folks! Margaret, I just love your quotes! Everyone else, I love your motivation. You all help me to focus on this goal and endure the situation I am in. Thank you so much!

    My goals are:
    1. Meet with my collaborator here for lunch
    2. Convert the data that I downloaded into something that my code can use
    3. Create an image for Chapter 3 visualization that describes what is happening better
    4. Run the experiments and get results. (Cross your fingers!)

    Happy day, everyone! Thanks for helping me endure. focus, and move forward!!!

    1. Palante MIJA!!!! Puye el burro!!!!

  201. Blogging in late. I’ve been spending the morning getting the materials ready for the first class that I have to teach for the semester. My son just called and said he forgot his hockey equipment for a game tonight. Gonna try to put that chore off on hubby. I need to get back to my dissertation tonight.
    Dr. Carter emailed me and said that Natasha is in Canada celebrating her birthday. So, I don’t know if we can get a room in the Commons this week for not. I’ll keep trying.
    PLEASE POST if you’d like to meet this weekend at UMBC. I’d really like to get this weekend “mini-DH” going, even if we have to use the library or other facility until we get a room.

    1. Hi Susan,
      I will be there!!!

      1. Natasha reserved Commons 329 from 8.30 to 8.00 PM on Saturday, January 28, 2012
        Gracias Natasha!!!!!!!!

        1. Hurray! Natasha, you’re great! Happy birthday, too!

  202. I will be there too, but I am coming at 9am 🙂

  203. Hello All
    Yesterday I met with Patti O in Boston; we had fun catching up on her progress. I spoke with Carlos over the phone. It’s good to see that you all have plans to meet to work on your dissertations this weekend. Glad to see that you realized that you are not alone in this long journey. Keep up the good work Teamgetitdone.

    1. Thanks Dr. CV!

  204. -60d, 20h, 36min
    1) Finishing up reading output (mostly I don’t understand, but will soon)
    2) If time, attempt a quick cluster analysis

    1. -60d, 19h, 58min
      Ugh, didn’t get much done. Read over a job announcement for a great position. Will need that motivation tomorrow morning when I come back.

      1) Finish output
      2) Glance at cluster analysis and try
      3) Reviewer’s guide – what is required in reporting?
      4) Try RQ3

      Onward, #TeamGetItDone

  205. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -51d 20h 19m

    We are here at the library:
    Plan for today focus on chapter 4
    1. Draft-writing Introduction for Chapter 4
    2. specific list Chapter 4a
    3. specific list Chapter 4b


  206. -60d, 5h, 49m – Happy Friday!
    In the office, spent time ordering one of my fundamental stats books on amazon that got recalled from the library. Booo. 🙂

    Ready for a good day, though. Glad I parked downhill yesterday! Copying and pasting:
    1) Finish output
    2) Glance at cluster analysis and try
    3) Reviewer’s guide – what is required in reporting?
    4) Try RQ3

    Go INSANITY crew! Work it out. Let’s #GetItDone on a Friday.

    1. Almost forgot: Done reading through output by: 11:35am

    2. -60d, 3h, 29m – Got through the output and made my notes! Had a scheduled chat in the office at 12 and now I’m ready for my next steps.

      Gonna try a cluster analysis as an alternative. To do this:
      1) Review how-to in my old stats notes
      2) Set up the data if necessary
      3) Run the analysis
      Review til 1:15pm, done attempt by 2pm.

      Let’s Goooo!!!

    3. -60d, 2h, 48m – forgot I’m not a robot and therefore need food.

      Recalculating review time…
      Review til 2pm, done attempt by 2:45pm


    4. -60d, 0h, 56m – behind schedule. Found my cluster analysis notes but still need more time. Also found out that at least one of my committee members can’t meet on the day I’m counting down to, soooo that means I have to prepare everything for at least one or two days earlier than I planned… 😛

      1) Cluster run by 3:30pm or bust.
      2) Move on to reviewer’s guide to FMM analysis – work on that til 4:30, outline notes so far.
      3) Then run RQ3 analysis til 5:30pm, take notes.


      1. Changing the date sucks, but you can do it! Success is in your hands!

        1. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
          — Tolstoy

          I want to change the committee’s schedules, but I’d better change my date!!! 🙂

    5. -59d, 22h, 46m – I’m out. Was able to work through up to some of the FMM reviewer’s guide notes. Next step: Attempting a quick set up of the RQ3 mplus syntax and running.

  207. Up late as usual when I don’t have a morning obligation. I don’t know how to solve this! I’m going to bed earlier (11:00 at the latest), but I still sleep for up to 10 hours and right through my alarm that plays music for an hour. I think it’s that I don’t get any exercise. Anybody have any suggestions?

    I’m getting back to my dissertation today and tomorrow. Having my computer crap out on me for two days this week really set me back. I’ve also lost a lot of motivation. I hope that tomorrow’s session at the Commons will help me to get it back.

    1) Set up a final interview
    2) Pick a chapter and break it down into smaller pieces
    3) Start writing the pieces
    4) Meeting a friend for a late lunch and hopefully some inspiration

    1. Just let me know the time and will call you….we are in the library !!!

    2. Susan, I have been having the same problem as far as staying up all night and sleeping too long in the morning…
      Let me tell you what I did this morning and maybe this will help!
      I could not fall asleep until 2:35am but my alarm was set for 7am. Obviously, there is a conflict here.
      So last night, i wrote a note for someone in my house to wake me up at 7am. Literally the note read “Wake Gosia (that’s my Polish name FYI… 😉 ) up at 7am- even if she screams and cries.” And that is precisely what happened- minus screams and cries. Is there anyone that can do this for you in your family? Or have one of us from DH/Commons group call you (granted you leave your phone on super loud volume…)?

      Yes, I am beat up right now abt the hours of sleep I got (I do not want to count how many b/c it will make me sad), but this kind of punishment will get me to bed earlier today, and so on and so forth.
      🙂 I am being productive today too, as painful as it may be
      Hope this helped…

      1. Margaret — Thanks! Yes it does help. I’ve tried having my husband wake me, but he doesn’t try hard enough. I think I’ll ask my sister, who’s always up early, to give me a wake up phone call, and then one 10 minutes later. She’s very persistent and wants me to get through this so that she and I can travel.
        — Susan

    3. Susan, I’m trying to keep myself motivated, too. I notice that I am more functional when I have a good system that keeps me accountable and focused on my priority. Have someone call or text you when it’s bedtime, maybe. For me, I told my friends that in order for me to hang out on my allowed days, I had to be on my way home between 8-9pm, no exceptions. And then I have to not make any exceptions (the hard part). SO many good opportunities come up to hang out JUST when I say I’m going to say no more consistently.

      I also have committed to doing short morning exercises when I wake up – they can take 5 minutes or 15 minutes depending how much time I have. It’s just to establish a wake up routine (I pray right beforehand, something that’s important for me in order to keep a broad perspective). What’s working for me is 10 reps of each exercise – some push ups, some back exercises, sit up variations, and then a short yoga cycle.

      Lastly, I turned off the radio alarm (also plays for a while) and just keep my phone across the room with a loud alarm with no snooze. If I snooze once I’ll snooze until it stops snoozing and then I just oversleep. If I have to I’ll set a second non-snooze alarm when I know I’m really tired (because I didn’t go to bed on time). No matter what, I am not allowed to lay back down. Not even to make my bed (I can trick myself easily).

      Overall, nothing works for me if I’m not committed, and the commitment only comes when I remember why I’m doing this and who it’s for, and that I only have to do this dissertation ONCE. Then I maintain my system. I reflect regularly on what’s working and what’s not, and make the necessary changes to stay balanced and gentle yet rigorous. Stay accountable and it gets easier to come back consistently.

      I will need to come back to read this soon… 🙂

      1. Those are all great ideas. One of the reasons that I actually use public transportation is because it forces me to work while it’s day. On top of already being committed like Alexis said. I mean committed like there are certain things/people that are on my “your not on team get it done” list so they had to take a backseat. I am very protective of my sleep, I mean like it is my precious. Don’t mess with it. I am usualy getting in the bed by 9:30 or 10 at the latest, that way I don’t really need the alarm because I wake up at 5:30 or 6 automatically. The more consistent I am with my sleep the more rested I feel when I wake up in the morning. I actually wake up and my body says we are DONE sleeping for now so get up and let’s do something. Although I do have my alarm come on it is more for my meditations and these morning spiritual radio programs that I like to listen to for affirmations in the morning and encouragement for my day.

        Now my enemy is my couch, because sometimes I transfer it to the couch after I wake up because I claim that I need to watch the news. LOL. Then 2 hours pass and I’m still in my pajamas. I don’t watch that much TV at night, usually never unless there is some national news I want to hear about. So I tell myself that I need to watch TV in the morning because I rarely watch it at night.

        Also on school days (which are Mon – Sat only) I lay out my clothes so that I don’t even have to think about what I am wearing and since I don’t gave a ta-ship it is usually some variation of the same outfit. This helps my morning routine. I am fasting with my church so I am not currently eating breakfast or lunch until next month so right now I can get out of my house in like 20 minutes from the time I open my eyes if I don’t sit down to watch TV.

        It is hard to be so committed and some days are going to be better than others but we just have to keep pressing on even when we mess up. The clock doesn’t stop because we mess up, our countdown to graduation is still in session.

        We can do it!

        1. Sleep is like “my precious”! LOL Nikki, that is the funniest thing!!!!! I think that I’m going to use that one. I’ll give you credit. I truly laughed out loud reading that!!! 🙂

      2. Thanks, Alexis. I’m going to take your advise about getting my friends to promise that they’ll hold me to certain limitations. For example, a friend who I haven’t seen in awhile emailed me today and asked me to go out to lunch. I hesitated, because he and I take extremely long lunches (hours). But I caved and went, telling myself that I’d give myself a time limit and tell him. Well, three hours later …

        So, lesson learned: Tell him that I can get together with him on occasion, but only for 1.5 hours, which is a reasonable amount of time for us to catch up on things. I’ll do the same with other people. Good advise.

  208. Day 45……

    Yesterday I met with my advisor and we talked about what we want to do with this Navy data. Today the plan is to work some with that data and also to work on my job talk presentation.

    That’s all folks!



    1. Nikki — Didn’t mean to ignore your response to my sleeping problem. I’m really happy about how many people response to my cry for help re: this. Thanks!

      1. No problem Susan, we have to help each other out even virtual support is support!

  209. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -51d 12h 23m

    Done at the Library…..See you tomorrow at the Commons
    Redirected the focus of Chapter 4 (KISS)

  210. Set my alarm for 7:30, up at 7:50. Not bad for me! I’m checking my email and getting a bagel, then heading to school. See you soon!

    1. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -50d 21h 10m

      Here at the Commons!!!
      Thanks Natasha!!! I really appreciate it
      Next 3 hours:
      Chapter 4a Intro KISS

    2. Great progress, Susan. Celebrate every step of progress since no one will do it for you. I clap for myself when I finish my morning routine – sometimes it’s really hard for me to get through!

  211. I’m actually here at 9:30 and ready to work! Goals today:
    – Read through some interview notes to jog my memory
    – Draft Ch. 3.2 Industrial Case Study:
    – 3.2.1 Setting and Background
    – 3.2.2 Data Collection

  212. – 59 Days, 5 Hours, 57 Minutes (cut/paste: why’d it take me so long?) – Happy Saturday, Saturday crew. Thanks for letting me join you (virtually). I’m happy to be in the office at College Park.

    We’ve got a great show for you tonight, folks:
    1) Run CFA for RQ3
    2) Record problems, observations, results
    3) Stat model info/tutorial – how to connect Q1 classes/prob’ys to remaining analyses?
    4) Dim sum with friends for Chinese New Year at noon
    5) Finish whatever didn’t get through during afternoon, decide next steps (looking at notes from CFA class, reading next chapter, finishing Reviewer’s Guide chapter?)
    6) Dinner for friend’s birthday at 6pm.

    Starting with CFA. Done by 11am then review.

    Go INSANITY team at the Commons. Let’s #GetItDone.

    1. -59 Days, 4 Hours, 35 Minutes – Set up syntax but first attempt yielded an error. Check when I get back from lunch. 🙂

    2. Ok, I’m not used to this – I started to post and then zoned out…

      Not sure I’m gonna get much more done, and it’s almost time to leave. I’ll park downhill now just in case.

      Next steps:
      *Tomorrow is planning day – I have a separate list for that*
      1) Figure out how to run CFA for RQ3 (fix syntax)
      2) Record problems, observations, results
      3) Stat model info/tutorial – how to connect Q1 classes/prob’ys to remaining analyses?
      4) Decide next steps (looking at notes from CFA class, reading next chapter, finishing Reviewer’s Guide chapter?)

      Happy Saturday, #TeamGetItDone

    3. Oops. Found the problem in my syntax. Musta been tired. Ok, I’m out after making a log of what to fix!

      1. Good Saturday WORK Alexis, I failed Saturday. Well not really but you know! I’m glad that you got so much work acocmplished! 3 Cheers for you!!

        1. Thanks, Nikki!! Actually you and others – Dr.Tull included – inspired me to do the 6 days on, 1 day off/planning thing, so I kept telling myself to push so I could really feel ok about DELIBERATELY not working (well, not technically working, anyway) on a Sunday. I say deliberately because there have been many, many days where I said I was going to work and then didn’t, felt guilty, and then still felt drained on Monday…

          Today, even though I’m still tired because I went to bed late, I actually feel like I took a personal recovery day. I could get used to this.

  213. SCJVC – Insanity Countdown: -50d 17h 48m

    Here at the Commons!!! Thanks Natasha for stopping by.
    Next 3 hours:
    Chapter 4a Intro/Methods KISS