Summer 2021 Challenge


Congratulations on getting to this page – Summer 2021 Challenge!

Welcome to Dissertation House online. If you are here, you are in the right place. You can get your dissertation finished in 2021 with daily progress.

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.”

Our pre-registered participants are required to blog daily during their time in the Dissertation House and are encouraged to continue blogging until they finish their dissertations.

Congratulations to all of our new PhDs! (Check our “Alumni” page for regular updates)

You can participate in the online Dissertation House from any part of the world. Students join the Dissertation House (DH) from various states in the US and many countries in the world. The “DHers” who participate come from universities throughout Maryland, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and funding from the graduate school at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC- The Founding Campus). Through the PROMISE Pathways initiative, and the PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation project, we invite and encourage all doctoral students within the University System of Maryland to join us online.

To join us online:

  1. Go to the comment section below and introduce yourself (name, school, department.) Note: You may use your full name or an alias. If you have a blog, you may use your blogger ID, however, you do not need a username or password to participate.
  2. Tell us what you are working on and what you plan to accomplish today or over the next few days.
  3. Blog daily, preferably twice a day (morning and afternoon/evening) to report your goals for the day, your daily accomplishments, and your goals for the next day.

We will repeat something that we said before, because it is both important and true: Our graduates and participants pushed (and we do mean that they pushed through adversities, complications, and issues) to finish sections, get chapter approval from advisors, complete drafts, pass proposals, pass defenses, and turn in their final documents. These grads are now professors, working in non-profits, industry, and have had postdocs throughout the global academic community (e.g., France, South Africa, Egypt.)

If you have joined us in the past, come back again if you are still working on your document. We are still here, and we will still be part of the community that will cheer you on! Post your goals for the next six months on this page. You are not alone, this is your online community. Focus on completion. As coach Dr. CV says “A good dissertation is a done dissertation.”

129 Responses to Summer 2021 Challenge

  1. Welcome to the Summer 2021 Dissertation House (DH). The DH will be starting soon. Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Will you be the first to post your daily tasks? Even if you are not part of the UMBC, you can join us here. Let us know what you plan to accomplish from July 6-9. Use this page and the other participants as your accountability partners.

  2. Ngeri says:

    Hello. I am Ngeri Nnachi, at UMBC in the LLC department. I am looking forward to editing my first three chapters as well as getting some necessary reading done to contribute to my chapter two mainly though some of the reading material can be added to chapters one and three as well. I look forward to this opportunity to be intentionally productive and do so, with others to be accountable to.

  3. Welcome to Day 1 of UMBC’s Dissertation House. Even if you cannot join us on Webex please join us here. We are happy to have you. This could be the last summer you spend working on your dissertation.

  4. Gretchen Tucker says:

    Good morning, I am Gretchen and I am a rising 4th year in the Gerontology PhD program at UMB/UMBC. My goal is to work on Chapters 1 and 2 of my dissertation proposal. Specifically focusing on the significance and literature review sections. Excited to be a part of this group.

  5. Laura says:

    Hi, I’m Laura. I’m in my fifth year in chemistry. This week, my goal is to implement the feedback I received from my PI for my independent research proposal and to complete a draft of a research paper. For today, my goal is to finish that proposal and to have an outline of the paper done.

  6. Ben Daniels says:

    Hi! I’m Ben Daniels, rising 4th year PhD student in the UMBC Dept. of Geography and Environmental Systems. Over the next few days I plan to complete the main section of my proposal lit review.

  7. Ben Daniels says:

    Hi! I’m Ben Daniels, rising 4th year PhD student in the UMBC Dept. of Geography & Environmental Systems. I plan to complete the main section of my proposal lit review.

  8. Deepa Gupta says:

    Good evening, I am Deepa and I am rising 6th year in Computer Engineering PhD program at UMBC. My goal is to finish last two aims’ section and conclusion of my dissertation proposal. Then I will be reviewing my final documentation. Slowly and steadily I am determined to finish. Thank you for letting me post here.

    • Welcome to the Dissertation House. Day 2 begins today I hope you join us again.

      • Deepa Gupta says:

        Thank you Dr. Carter for your follow up comment. I was able to finish the aims and conclusion section also. I spent a few extra hours on the same day for finishing my final edits such as references, figures caption numbers etc. and completed my target. I was becoming apprehensive towards what the future may unfold but I am trying to calm down and have just recently sent my proposal draft to my advisor. I am waiting for his new criticism. I am slightly fearful but I am progressing.

  9. Hello All! My goal for today is to continue working on completing​ ​the IRB data management & security plan for my study​​​​​​.

  10. Nicole Viviano says:

    Hello!! My name is Nicole Viviano and I am a rising 4th year PhD candidate in the UMBC/UMB Gerontology program. My goal for this week is to finish my proposal. More specifically, I want to wrap-up my literature review! I’m so excited to be here.

  11. Erika Aparaka says:

    Hello all! Thank you for letting me join via blog. I have defended my dissertation, but have been working to make edits requested by my chair and committee. My goal over the next few days is to complete the edits to my 5th and 6th chapters. I am grateful for the continued support and thankful to be a part of this group.

    • Hello, Erika thank you for joining us. Day 2 begins today what were you able to accomplish yesterday? One chapter at a time, one page, paragraph. one sentence at a time, Baby steps are still steps as long as you are moving forward.

  12. Danny says:

    Hi,

    I am Danny. I am a rising 6th year Ph.D student in the Chemistry program. I joined this workshop to create some accountability and build momentum in completing my degree. My goal at dissertation house is to get a completed draft of the 3rd chapter of my dissertation. I will have a completed outline of the chapter by the end of today.

  13. ohud saud says:

    Hi

  14. Ciara says:

    Hi everyone! Ciara here, rising 4th year in the Language, Literacy & Culture Department. I’m working to incorporate difficult feedback into the draft of Chapter 2 of my dissertation proposal. So far today, I’ve been able to compile some articles that will help me accomplish this goal!

  15. Researcher says:

    Hi everyone,

    I will be editing graphs (chapter 3 of my proposal) to represent latest changes we’ve made. I will also divide them into different scenarios so it is clear and simple. Happy to join Dr. CV again and for the last time before the proposal Sep1 ,2021.

    Wish me luck!

  16. ialshathri says:

    Good afternoon, I am Iman and I am a rising 5th year in the information systems PhD program at UMBC. My goal for this week is to work on the feedback I received from my advisors on study three. after that, I will work on the discussion section for study 3.
    Happy to be part of this group.

  17. Researcher says:

    Evening update:

    I update the graphs and divide them into different scenarios. However, I am not done fully with the scenarios. I think I will adding more tomorrow.

    See you tomorrow.

  18. Laura says:

    I’m still addressing my PI’s feedback on my proposal–there are 4 points left to address. I have almost finished the first one. Tomorrow morning I will finish writing about that, and hopefully address the other ones which should not take quite so long (but some are dependent on this one). After that (hopefully tomorrow), I’ll do an outline of my research paper.

  19. Gretchen Tucker says:

    I worked on changing my excel spreadsheet to track articles for literature review. I also read several articles that will be included in the lit review. Tomorrow, I will continue to work on my literature reviews.

  20. Ciara says:

    This afternoon I was able to start reading some of the scholarship I found during the morning. This evening I will incorporate some of Dr. CVs feedback to expand a section of one of my chapters. Tomorrow I plan to keep making my way through the newly found articles and taking notes to prep for writing

  21. Danny says:

    Today, I had my one-on-one with Dr. Carter. We agreed that starting and finishing the 3rd chapter of my dissertation was a solid goal for this week. I started out with an outline, and now I have 5 pages of ink down. I was able to get 2 figures put together that show experimental setups with their captions. Tomorrow, my goal is to complete the experimental section of the chapter. My zombie activities for tomorrow will include creating a table of contents for the chapter, building an endnote citation library for the manuscript, and generating hypothetical figures that show the expected results of experiments not yet completed for the chapter.

    I’m very excited to use this week to build some serious momentum, that will get me to the finish line faster.

    See you all tomorrow.

    • Welcome to the Dissertation House. Glad to see that you were able to get words on paper. Glad to hear that you created your Zombie list too. Day 2 begins today I hope you join us again.

  22. Ben Daniels says:

    Today I started working on the big section of my lit review that is my goal for this week. Tomorrow I plan to continue working on it based on my notes and lit review matrix.

  23. Welcome to the Dissertation House. Day 2 begins today I hope you join us again. Another day another opportunity to get it almost right. Progress, not perfections = Ph. D. What are you going to be working on today. We begin today with 2 mini-lectures with “Managing your advisor” and “Knowing What your limitations are”

  24. William Walton says:

    Hello Dissertation House,
    This is William, a part-time Ph.D. student in EE, entering my 7th year this fall. (Slow, but steady progress). Yesterday, I summarized some experimental results and further expanded an outline in preparation for a conference paper. Today I plan to do more of this. (While I am not actively there with everyone, I am there in the spirit of research and dedication towards finishing my Ph.D.) Have a nice day everyone.

    William

    • Hello, William good to see that you made it to the blog. Welcome to day 2 of the DH. Did you and your advisor hit submit on the journal article? Glad to see that you have moved on to the conference paper.

      • William Walton says:

        Hi Dr. C.V.
        The journal manuscript is still under a required I.P. review by my workplace, but I managed to gently nudge it along today such that it should meet my requested deadline of this Friday. I updated my advisor just before the holiday weekend and will inform him when the review is finished. (One reviewer is well accustomed to reviewing technical journal articles and plans to give us some feedback. Such feedback was helpful on a prior conference paper that we submitted.)

  25. Gretchen Tucker says:

    Good morning,

    Looking forward to day 2. I will continue working on my literature review today. Looking forward to today’s lectures.

  26. Erika Aparaka says:

    Good morning everyone. I will continue to work on chapters 5 and 6 today. I have been refining these chapters by aligning relevant interview data with each of the points I wanted to highlight in my initial outline. Thank you for letting me join you all via blog.

  27. Ciara says:

    Good Morning and Happy Day 2! I’m working on expanding sections of my Chapters 1 and 2 this morning, utilizing both feedback from Dr. CV as well as the literature I found yesterday.

  28. Laura says:

    Today I’m addressing more of the feedback for my independent proposal, with the goal of finishing it today.

    • Laura says:

      I finished revising my proposal and sent it to my PI! Now to work on my research paper. My goal is to have an outline done and to copy/paste in what I have previously written into a working document by the end of the day.

  29. ialshathri says:

    Hello,
    I finished working on all feedback I received and I sent it to my advisors. I’ll start working on the discussion for study 3.

  30. ​After class ended yesterday, I continued to work on my IRB application. Specifically, I created an outline for the “lay summary of the study, including the purpose and the research questions and hypothesis to be evaluated” section. I spent the remainder of this morning transitioning the outline to an actual document. I hope to have this section completed by the time we finish up this evening! I am discovering that in being more intentional with this IRB, it can also serve as material for the navigational guide my committee has requested…I’m chipping away aka making up for the time I was cavorting (somewhat footloose and fancy-free) on vacay…

  31. Laura says:

    After having set aside the research paper for the proposal, I’m getting my head back in the paper to get it done too! I’ve collated what I had so far, which was an out-of-date outline (updated that), an intro (copy/pasted that), a methods section (copy/pasted and updated that), and my preliminary figures with captions (copy/pasted). Then I went through the feedback I’d received from a few people on my figures and updated the captions. I made comments on the document for each figure in what I need to do based on the feedback; since I have to use another computer for figure editing, I’ll get to that first thing tomorrow morning. After I reformat my figures, I’ll write up the discussion for each one, which will be the bulk of what I have left to do. If I get all that done, I’ll be set to write a conclusion and fill in the holes and missing captions in my introduction on Friday!

  32. Researcher says:

    Hi,

    I did not blog in this morning. But I editing some scenarios but did not write as much as I was planning to do this morning. So I decide editing the introduction and added a paragraph to the conclusion. Tomorrow I will be working again on writing scenarios and my plan is writing two pages on that section.

    Wish me luck 🙂

  33. Ngeri says:

    I got a good amount of my Chapter One editing done today and hope to finish them tomorrow to hit send then begin on the editing of my Chapter Two.

  34. danny says:

    Today I was able to finish the experimental section on the 3rd chapter of my dissertation. I am finding that the new nature of some of these experiments has given me a lot of insight into how I can approach the discussion more systematically.

    Tomorrow I will start by elaborating on the discussion section’s outline. The chapter consists of two major experiments with varying parameters. I want to get at least the first part of the discussion finished tomorrow, with hopes of getting part of the second half finished.

    Great day all. see you tomorrow.

  35. Gretchen Tucker says:

    Today I met with Dr. CV, which was extremely helpful. Tonight I will be working on revising my problem statement. Tomorrow I will continue to revise and add to my literature review spreadsheet.

  36. Ben Daniels says:

    Today I added to the introduction and main body of my lit review (almost 2 pages). I did struggle with motivation in the afternoon. There is a lot of information to distill, but I’m glad I was able to make some progress. I plan to write even more tomorrow!

    • Sounds like a good plan for today Ben. Welcome to Day 3 of the DH. Are you struggling with your motivation or with motivation within the research?

      • Ben Daniels says:

        I was more struggling with focus and getting up the energy to start a new section of my lit review. Overall I am still very motivated to advance my research!

  37. As I did yesterday, I am going to continue writing this evening until I hash out this question I am stuck on (that ‘should’ be smooth sailing but seems to be posing a challenge for me)…The goal for tomorrow is to proceed to the next question.

  38. Ciara says:

    Good morning everyone! Today I plan to set up some time to meet with my co-chair who has recently joined my committee. I also plan to submit a draft of chapter 1 to her today. Additionally, I will continue to incorporate the findings of the scholarship I found on Tuesday to my draft of chapter 2.

  39. Gretchen Tucker says:

    Today I will continue to work on my problem statement and literature review spreadsheet.

  40. Laura says:

    Today I will format the figures for my research paper and write a discussion paragraph for each.

  41. danny says:

    Today I will begin the discussion section of my chapter. I hope to get at least one of two parts of it completed today.

  42. Deepa Gupta says:

    Hello, my new target is to complete technical edits of my journal.

  43. Researcher says:

    Good morning,

    Today I am working on scenarios writing a simple explanation for each. My target is to finish this part today. My plan is to have tomorrow for literature review editing and adding to conclusion.

  44. Hi All,
    Took a step back from writing more last night and this morning. Currently, working on a zombie activity (i.e., adding sources to my citation software). Will revisit the IRB application with fresh eyes during the afternoon portion of the retreat.

  45. danny says:

    After having a one-on-one with Dr. Carter. I have shifted my goals slightly. On top of working on the first part of my discussion for chapter three of my dissertation, I will be setting hard deadlines for all my chapters and tasks to finish the Ph.D!

  46. Janet Rutledge says:

    Greetings. My name is Janet Rutledge and I serve as Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School. I’m also a faculty member in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department. Normally I would speak with you in person or by Webex but today they asked me to use the blog. I’m a people person and like to connect so this is a little bit different for me. I hope we can have a bit of a conversation.

  47. Janet Rutledge says:

    I’m excited each time I get a chance to talk with Dissertation House participants. Organizing your writing is one of the most difficult hurdles since it is so different from taking classes and turning in assignments — the very skills that you’ve perfected to get you to this stage. The tools that you learn here will be very important for the rest of your careers. As a researcher you will be the one setting the timetables and due dates for your work and you need to learn to set realistic goals, a path to reach them and the accountability to stick to it. That is precisely what DH is all about. Having a group to help you stay on course can be very productive for many of us.

  48. Janet Rutledge says:

    Research has shown that this is a critical stage where students give up. It can be overwhelming to have something that is undefined in scope and length of time. Some faculty mentors are very hands on with setting a schedule whereas others leave it up to you. Either way, you have to be the driver since this is your thesis or dissertation. But you are not in this by yourself. We are here to support you and help keep you on track. You have taken the first step by joining DH. I see there are some who have been to DH before and I hope you here their stories about what they got out of it and why they see value in returning.

    • Ciara says:

      Hi Dean Rutledge! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and support, and the foresight to create and support a program such as DH. This is my first experience with DH, but many of the lessons are reinforcing the advice my peers and I were given during our proposal seminar last semester (Language, Literacy & Culture). I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend some time dedicated to organizing my writing (and writing process) as well as to be in community/in solidarity with my peer scholars. Thank you again!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Dr. Rutledge! I would like to echo Ciara’s sentiment about your encouragement and your founding DH, which has been such a great experience. I too prefer to connect with people in person; I feel like all this working virtually has taken away a critical part of academic life. One of my favorite things in the lab pre-COVID was seeing people in the lab day-to-day and connecting with them. Having the support of others makes a world of difference in my confidence and productivity. I plan to pass on everything I’ve gained in DH to my future students!

      • Janet Rutledge says:

        We will be back on campus this fall and I hope we will be able to rebuild the sense of community. Having support from others makes a lot of difference. So glad to hear that you plan to pass on what you’ve learned to others.

  49. Janet Rutledge says:

    Now is the time for you to ask any questions you have about Grad School policies or anything else on your mind. I would love to hear from you!

    • Ciara says:

      Other than completing the writing, are there any points at which you’ve seen students get stuck over and again? -eg, forgetting a specific policy, etc

      • Janet Rutledge says:

        Great question. Time management is the biggest challenge. And that includes finding time to care for yourself, maintain balance and making time for things that renew you. Don’t wait for life after grad school — you are in real life right now!

        All programs are supposed to provide an annual review for PhD students. Some programs do a better job than others. In some cases the student needs to do the prompting to make sure it happens. If your program does not have a format for the review they can use the one available on the Grad School’s website: https://gradschool.umbc.edu/facultyforms/ (Annual Doctoral Student Meeting).

        Speaking of deadlines, it is important to check the Grad School website to make sure you are current on completing forms by the deadlines. See https://gradschool.umbc.edu/graduation/reqs/doctoral/

    • William Walton says:

      Hi Dr. Rutledge,

      I have indeed found the D.H. sessions very helpful as someone in industry pursuing a part-time Ph.D. while working. I have the following questions:

      1. With respect to journal publications, does UMBC have department or University level provisions to aid students with publication costs, should there be limited funds at the Advisor level? While this is not presently a concern for me, I have been informed that such cases can occur, and it would seem that having an understanding of University level perspectives, policies, and available resources would be good for graduate students to know about.

      2. Does the University have a particular policy and stance on “Joint Intellectual Policy” between the University and ones employer? (or I.P. in general for graduate students). I am involved in such joint IP. Obviously, the Ph.D. is my goal as a student, but it would be interesting to know more of UMBC’s interest in I.P. potential of our research.

      3. (Again, as someone coming from Industry) I am wondering if UMBC, similar to industry, has training type sessions for professors also along the lines of culture, ethics, accountability, and so forth. It is interesting seeing the difference between workplace and academic culture. I appreciate, and respect both environments (to the extent of my experience). I know that we (students) have research ethics, etc, type training, but I sometimes wonder if training/workshops (such as the above mentioned ones) at all levels, are done (or would be beneficial) in academia on routine a routine basis also, so as to help with vertical relations in academia. Hence, that is my question.

      Thank you for reaching out to all of us. Perhaps I will see you at one of the Graduate research events and can update you on my research.

      Sincerely,

      William,
      Ph.D. Candidate, EE

      • Janet Rutledge says:

        Glad to hear that you have found DH to be useful. Here are my thoughts on the excellent questions you raised.

        1. In most cases publication costs should be covered by your faculty mentor. Depending on the department this may be through an external grant or an internal funding source within the department. If that is not available, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) has a grants program and it may be possible to get some funding for publication costs. That isn’t on the list explicitly but is certainly within the spirit of what they fund. See https://gsa.umbc.edu/grants-faq/

        2. The university definitely has a stance on intellectual property. It sounds like an individual agreement would need to be made in your case. This would be managed through the Office of Technology Development within the Division of Research Administration. See https://research.umbc.edu/office-of-technology-development/

        3. Faculty are required to complete training on numerous topics. For example, responsible conduct of research training and certification are managed through the Office of Research Protections and Compliance https://research.umbc.edu/office-of-research-protections-and-compliance/. Faculty are not required to receive training on how to be an effective mentor or on cross-cultural mentoring. That training is available but I don’t know how many take advantage of it. We are considering holding a series of workshops on campus but no concrete plans are in place yet.

        Best wishes on your continued success.

  50. Janet Rutledge says:

    I invite you to ask any questions you may have about Grad School policies or anything else on your mind. I would love to hear from you!

  51. Janet Rutledge says:

    I wish all of you a very productive week. I hope that you will build on what you’ve learned and will continue to support each other as “accountability buddies” through completion of your degree and beyond!

    • Thanks for your well-wishes, Dr. Rutledge! I truly appreciated being a part of the DH with its concentrated focus on writing and general proposal tips aka moving the dissertating needle (that requires a reboot from time to time:). As a result of your (and the co-founders) DH vision, I am seeking out additional opportunities that will allow me to further engage in accountability-type writing environments. Have a wonderful weekend!

  52. ialshathri says:

    Hello, Yesterday I finished the outline of the discussion section for study 3. Today, I started searching for references that have similar results. I expected to start writing by the end of the day. Thanks for giving me this opportunity.

  53. Dr. Shariece A. Evans says:

    It is very exciting to read about the great things happening at Dissertation House this Summer!! Wishing all of you a productive week! Keep pushing! You can do it!!

    Warmly,
    Dr. Shariece A. Evans
    DH Graduate
    Public Policy UMBC c/o 2020

  54. Gretchen Tucker says:

    Good afternoon Dr. Rutledge. DH has been extremely helpful as I work towards my dissertation proposal defense. This is a daunting process and DH has made it feel more manageable. Such a wonderful opportunity to share the experience with fellow students. Best,
    Gretchen, PhD Candidate, Gerontology.

  55. Ciara says:

    Good afternoon folks! We have about an hour left today. So far I’ve been able to schedule time with my chair and co-chair, request the CVs of my external committee members, make some easy edits to chapter 1, draft some text (words on paper) for my difficult edits for chapter 2 and did some reading which has re-energized my excitement for my work. For this last hour I will continue to make the difficult edits with a goal of sending chapter 2 to one of my committee members tomorrow who has specialized knowledge about one of my difficult sections. I know the rest of you have been killing it, too! Proud of yall!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Good for you Ciara. Sometimes you have to plan ever hour and every minute to stay focus and on tasks. Have you finished all of your difficult edits?

  56. Laura says:

    Today I finished reformatting the figures for my research paper based on the excellent advice I’d received from other PIs I know (including a journal editor!). I struggled to start writing the discussion for the figures. Remembering that it doesn’t have to be the perfect academic format right away, I went with some of my favorite techniques: I put each figure on a PowerPoint slide and then wrote a discussion for it as if I were presenting it (I have presented the data before, so that helps!). A more conversational style feels a lot easier to write (and helps me see things I might otherwise miss–talking to someone about what I’m stuck on also helps). It may not be pretty, but I do have text for each figure.

    Plan for tomorrow:
    I’m not exactly sure how detailed the discussion should be, so tomorrow I plan to look at papers of research of collaborators who do similar types of studies as a model. Once I have a discussion section written to look like other papers, I’ll send that to one of the PIs who originally gave me feedback on the figures. Next, I’ll fill in the holes in the introduction, which will require gathering some more sources to cite. Since the conclusion heavily depends on the discussion, I’ll wait until after the discussion has been polished more before writing it.

    • Hello Laura

      Thanks for sharing some of your techniques for getting some work done. I love the use of PowerPoint and writing to the slide. Right it may not be pretty but the ideas are yours and now they are in draft form with words on the page….edit later. You don’t have to write and edit on the same day.

  57. Gretchen Tucker says:

    Good afternoon everyone, I had a very productive morning, but found my energy and motivation started to deteriorate during the afternoon. Any tips on how to get some energy and motivation back? I welcome any suggestions.

    • danny says:

      Gretchen, try creating a list of low priority tasks that are unrelated to your main goal. This will allow you to take a mental break from your daily goal, while still chipping away at future tasks that will eventually need to get done anyway.

      Or coffee….

      • Laura says:

        Or tea!

        Between the drop in blood sugar and the need for a siesta, afternoons can be really difficult. I like to have a little snack (protein!) and listen to some upbeat instrumental music to keep me focused. Like Danny said, if you’re losing your steam, those low-demand tasks are good. And if all else fails, a good brain break like a walk or a mentally engaging unrelated activity (mine is playing the piano) helps me!

        • Dr. CV says:

          Laura create a long long Zombie tasks list or take your other tasks and break them down in to the smallest units possible. Playing the piano I am truly impress, I can’t read music or play an instrument maybe a tambourine to keep the beat.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Gretchen, Let me get your Zombie task list started….in text citations, Excel spreadsheet activities, transitions between paragraphs, bibliography, definition of terms….

    • Ciara says:

      Hey Gretchen, this is when the pomordoro method really comes in handy for me. I’ll start with some zombie tasks to get myself moving and then start the pomodoro method. It helps so much for me to know I have a small chunk of time that I need to be productive/focused and then I’ll have a short break (which may or may not be accompanied by a treat :))

  58. danny says:

    Today I was able to create an in-depth schedule of tasks and sub tasks that will get me to completion of my degree. This laid out every experiment, figure, document section and administrative task I have to complete to get me my doctorate. I can now say that my deadline to defend my dissertation is February 22nd. 229 days to go!

    This is truly the first time I’ve been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Tomorrow, I am back to full writing mode, and intend to complete the discussion section for the 3rd chapter of my dissertation.

    See you tomorrow!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Danny it was a pleasure speaking with you this morning. Well done, 229 days to go and counting. Glad to see that you have a number and the clock is ticking.

  59. Ben Daniels says:

    Today I wrote 4 pages of my lit review! I am so grateful to DH for helping me refine my goals and increase my productivity. My plan for tomorrow is to continue with the main body of my paper.

    Thanks for taking the time to “speak” with us, Dr. Rutledge. It’s a pleasure to feel that I am part of a community of graduate students. I really appreciate their and your support.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Thanks for blogging out Ben. It’s good to see that you have a plan for tomorrow.

    • Janet Rutledge says:

      Please continue to take advantage of your support networks. We all need them whether we realize it or not! This is true even for those who appear to be very successful and “have it all”

  60. Dr. CV says:

    Good for you Deepa Baby Steps are still steps. Welcome to day 3 of the DH.

  61. Dr. CV says:

    Welcome to Day 3 of the DH. This morning we focused on Preparing for your Defense. I hope everyone got useful information out of the presentation. It was also brought to my attention that my last slide had an image that conveyed a unintended message. I truly apologize and see it as an opportunity to learn not just to accept the slide design and images that are offered as an option by the software. I will do better.

  62. Dr. CV says:

    Congrats everyone for pushing forward despite the gloomy weather and internet challenges. I have read most of your posts and I am glad to see the progress. I am looking forward to Day 4 DH in the morning. The heavy rain is starting up again in NC; there are leaves all over the yard and water everywhere. Hopefully the rain and wind will stop for real pretty soon.

  63. Ngeri says:

    I have been under the weather a bit this week so it has been difficult to remain motivated but I am grateful for my peers and Dissertation House for keeping me accountable. I made some progress on my Chapter 1 edits and some of the reading I needed to do to add to my Literature Review. Tomorrow I look forward to finishing out my readings in two of my books and incorporating them into the spaces allocated to them within my Literature Review. I will also be ready to hit send on my Chapter One for my Committee Chair. Thank you everyone for the motivation! I hope the bad weather did not hit anyone too hard today.

    • Ngeri Congratulations on pushing forward despite the lack of motivation. You have proven to yourself that you can write even if you are not motivated to do so. We’re looking forward to knowing when you hit “submit”.

  64. Welcome to Day 4 and the final day of the DH. It has been a pleasure working with you. This morning we are going to be working on our Elevator Pitch/ 3 M thesis exercise. We are going to discuss our dissertation topics without the use of jargon and try to explain our research to a general audience. Good luck everyone; I am looking forward to hearing more about all of the wonderful projects that you are working on. Which of the world’s many problems are you trying to solve with your research?

  65. Gretchen Guttendorf Tucker says:

    Good morning,
    Looking forward to day 4. Thank you to everyone for the great suggestions on what to do when motivation and energy are lacking. Today I am focusing on writing out my zombie list, problem statement, and literature review.

  66. Laura says:

    I’m not feeling well today, but I’ll do what I can, even if it’s just reading and annotating.

  67. Did not feel well yesterday afternoon and thus did not accomplish anything. Feeling better now and plan to complete the outstanding IRB questions today.

    • SaSC’s PhD Journey
      Thank you for your presentation on the show this morning. Your research topic is quite interesting. Glad to hear that you are feeling better today….seems like we have something going around even though we are not meeting face to face.

  68. danny says:

    Today I will be working on finishing my discussion section for the 3rd chapter of my dissertation. If I get this done today, it’ll be the first task to cross off my list of deadlines for defending in 228 days!

  69. Researcher says:

    Good morning,

    I spent the day last day to edit the scenarios. I will be working on editing the conclusion section.

  70. Ciara says:

    Morning everyone, using this morning to work through some reading and annotating 🙂

  71. Erika says:

    Good morning everyone. Today I’m spending time on chapter 6. I’ve made plans to submit 3 chapters to an editor I’m working with by Monday.

  72. danny says:

    Great job everyone!

    Today I continued the discussion section for the 3rd chapter of my dissertation. I might of been a little bit over zealous with trying to finish the discussion section today. There are a lot more details than I had realized. I am going to try and get more done tonight and play some catchup though.

    Also, I contacted all of my committee members and started to fill out the committee nomination form on the graduate school website. 128 more days!

    Thanks for the great week everyone.

  73. Ben Daniels says:

    I was able to write 1.5 pages today but more importantly I got some momentum going on a section that had daunted me. Also, doing the elevator pitch today was a valuable experience and I really appreciated everyone’s feedback.

    Thank you so much, Yarazeth and Dr. CV!!! And to all the other grad students, it was great to have this experience with you and I wish you lots of luck and productivity. Let’s keep this momentum going!!

  74. Laura says:

    Today I looked at some articles from our collaborators, and it looks like I need to look into doing some statistical analysis, which I haven’t done much before. Statistics will likely help me write with more detail. I still haven’t been feeling well, so I didn’t get very far and I took a nap this afternoon.

    Regardless, it’s been a great week. Thank you all for the advice, the motivation, and the support! Let’s all stay in touch!

  75. Laura says:

    Hi everyone, hope things are going well for you! Whatever cold I had really hit me hard for over a week. I lost the momentum I had during Dissertation House. I’m just now regaining some. After some edits, my proposal has been submitted! Now I’m working on the statistical analysis of data for my paper. I’m also putting together my application packet to start applying for academic jobs soon. Best wishes for a successful semester!

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