Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Process, process, process. That seems to be what I am doing a lot of these days. It's a qualitative research thing, particularly if one tends towards social constructivism, an epistemology I find myself embracing more and more.

Heather, another aspiring scholar, has taken the liberty to keep me accountable on my blog, which means more regular updates. Doesn't hurt me to do so. In fact, it may help me to share some of my processing.

Where have I been?

Over the last month, I have been working on my dissertation proposal. My adviser (I prefer to spell it with an "o", but when in Rome...) has been wanting me to write, but I've been hesitant, finding that writing without reading beforehand is a waste of time for me. I don't think by writing drafts, I think by writing memos. "Journal While You Work," I call them. I even have a little acronym: JWYW.

And so, I open my MacBook, and turn on the little yellow sticky notes and start typing. This is what I would write right now if I were to write in my virtual stickies:

- 1:59pm. I've written and edited two pages of my intro. It's a good start. I like them. But I did have this artificial target to get a full draft done by yesterday. I won't punish myself for an arbitrary target. I will look at the work done and rejoice over what I've accomplished. Besides, Adviser is very understanding about how long it takes to write. My client is at 4pm, which means I have to stop working at 3:20pm. That gives me 1 hour 20 minutes. What should I do? I feel stuck with the headings. I don't really know how long a qualitative dissertation proposal should be. It's so creative and subjective. I think what's more important is to fill up the information on the existing headings, "Introduction" "Conceptual Framework" "Research Questions" "Research Methods" and "Validity." Go with these for now and just add content to the scaffolding. Let Adviser comment and suggest edits. God, will this be done by the end of the week??? (That, by the way, is a prayer, not an utterance of exasperation.)

The rest of this post to be completed at the end of the day.


Heather said...

JWYW is a great idea! I find that blogging is only so helpful; I don't want to reveal my ideas to the general public, so the blog is not the best space to jot down those ideas-in-progress.

Are the headings in your proposal so set in stone? I can't imagine that you would be held to them as your ideas evolve. Don't put undue pressure on yourself.

Do you have a lot of contact with your advisor? Even though I work, I make sure to set up evening appointments. I discuss things to death with everyone. That's why they're there, and their brains are ripe for picking!

I am glad that you are setting your own goals but not stressing about missing them. Have you been to They have a "Daily" board meant to help you keep you in a group making those goals.

:-) Heather

Lonely Dissertator said...

Yes, I meet up with Adviser regularly, and yes, my headings are not set in stone, and yes, I am a member of Phinished. I even have a dissertation support group in my school. Need all the help I can get!