Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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T: Amazing Husband
ST: Three-year-old Wonder
Prof. G: Advisor I
Prof. C: Advisor II
Julie: Stylish Sister
Rob: Awesome Brother
Belle: Our Cat
Bill: Grumbling BIL
Rita: Uncomplicated SIL
SMU: Smallish Midwestern University
Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Friday, March 17, 2006
Reinforcements
I haven't had a lot of time to work on the dissertation lately because, as I mentioned earlier, ST's daycare is closed for Spring Break. Days with ST are full-on and I love having this "bonus" time to spend with him, even if it does put a kink into my dissertation schedule. We've had a great time together visiting friends, shopping, baking, pretending, and chatting. Today, however, we're taking it easy because ST woke up with a fever of almost 102 degrees and is currently napping, red-cheeked, in his sunny bedroom. We were supposed to go see Clifford the Big Red Dog at our local children's museum this afternoon and then attend a St. Patrick's Day parade (ST adores parades), but it doesn't look like either of those things are going to happen.

On the work front, I made a wise move this week and decided to call in some reinforcements. As you know, the massive foreign language component of this dissertation has, at times, been a major headache for me. Since 90% of the research for the case studies must be done in a foreign language, case study work progresses very slowly. I decided, at last, to call on my friend Kurt and his language expertise, and he has been a godsend. I've been dealing with some complex ideas, ideas that even Kurt has problems with and German is his native language, and these ideas have occasionally stymied my progress on this chapter. Kurt graciously offered to read some of the more complex and vital documents for me and then work through them with me. Heaven! I feel like a burden has been lifted from my brain.

I also picked up the hard copy of the comments from Prof. C. He printed out the dissertation and wrote all over it, generally very positive things that made my heart sing. (Instead of just a "good," I even got a "This is very good!" on the last page of my first case study! Hurray!) Prof. C. and I come from very different methodological viewpoints, and in his written comments he pointed to places where he thought his approach would be useful; indeed, he said that by including his approach (in addition to mine), I could make a "very significant contribution to the field." The thing is, I'm not sure how much time I'm willing to spend on changing a section of the dissertation to reflect his approach, although I have considered it before. I am, at best, a novice in the approach he suggests for Chapter Three -- I've taken a course on it, but I never felt like I truly understood it or how to do it, although I certainly understand why it is effective. I'm not confident in my ability to add this idea effectively, no matter what the impact on the "significance" of my contribution. But, depending on how the remaining case studies go, I may call in some reinforcements here, too, and see where adding this facet would take me.

But now, back to tending to my feverish little boy, who is stirring in his bedroom. It appears that, today, I have other significant contributions to make.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 3/17/2006 12:13:00 PM  
2 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    Hurray for you. Sorry for ST... but I'm sure he's in good hands. It's a miserable, rainy, gray day here, so the thought of going to a parade is laughable. Nicely, the wife has taken the day off from work (she put in 41 hours in 4 days this week, so she thought she deserved a break). And the family is thankful. I'm getting some work done before lunch, then it's family time!

    I applaud your ability to let go of work to spend time with ST. That's something I sometimes have trouble with. Both my boys, especially The Painter as he's older (4 in a month) are constantly demanding. I find myself at times (when I'm ostensibly playing Dad) traipsing off to visit with my laptop. Naughty, naughty me... :)

     
  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Peri said…

    Hooray for help in German! Who doesn't need that ;) Sounds like you are making excellent progress even if this week has been more about ST.

    We've had the cold and high fever at our house since Wednesday and it has been slow to depart. I've even got it now (I have a mild fever). It does mean lots of hugging and kissing for the little ones (and their mom). I hope you are able to have lots of cuddle time. Then take some vitamin C!

     
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