Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dissertation update and rant

So now that you know how crazy life in general is, let me update you on this dissertation. Data collection is done and data analysis is done. I have written all of my chapters except my final summary chapter (which is due Saturday). I don’t think I realized how much I opted to tackle when I designed this study, but lord I wish someone on my committee had sat down/stood up/something and said you MUST cut something out! Honestly maybe that has been the issue from the start is that I feel like I don’t have anyone being my cheerleader and supporter. While I do have one committee member that I adore, he is a junior faculty member in comparison to the others and I don’t think that he would make waves unless he felt it was unethical.
So back to my data. I have 16 variables and 5 subjects for each study. Now for many of you that doesn’t seem excessive, but when you are doing a single-subject design study that means there is NO group comparison. You graph each variable for each subject and you write up each variable by subject. No you do the math: 16 X 5, oh and then multiply that by 2, since I had to redo my first study. Needless to say excel and I are good friends most days.
The not so great news is that I don’t have any clear trends in my data, it’s a jumbled mess! I could easier deal with other things than this mess I brought upon myself. Honestly I have no one else to blame, but me in regards to the massive amount of data. But I wish that it had some clear cut trends. Trying to dissect that much data and figure out what/why things didn’t go as planned has been horrific. It doesn’t help when you aren’t getting the assistance you feel you could use from your support system and they just want to know why your project didn’t work and these others did. *sigh* It’s been a rough past few weeks and I know I have more to tackle.
I’m just seriously disheartened by the lack of academic support and the delays that keep occurring. It makes you want to quit, but you know you can’t when the end is in sight. The difficult part about the end is that in my opinion it keeps getting pushed back by others. It’s frustrating to send an email with a timeline and have not one person respond to it and when you bring it up 1 month later in regards to another issue it is finally addressed and you are told it’s not obtainable, why don’t you wait another 4-8 weeks?! I guess to them 4-8 weeks isn’t bad, but I assume they are not struggling to pay their bills or feed their families or are burned out beyond belief (both hubby and I) and are in desperate need of the vacation that has been delayed (again). I understand that EVERYONE who earns a PhD has setbacks and it is a true journey and test of character, but honestly I feel like I have struggled and struggled and there has not been the support from the academic side that there really should have been. I’m sorry if you think I’m whining and complaining, but if I don’t do it here I will explode. I can’t make complaints at school for fear of repercussions and the honest fact that I need the contacts that academia will provide when I finally leave this place.

So I guess enough of the pity party and back to work. My writing is calling.

1 comment:

  1. Venting does not = pity party. And we all need to vent. Also, seems to me like this is a good place to do it - certainly better than at school :)