Thursday, December 17, 2009

Conference in Resort City in the Americas

Remember how I struggled to get my dissertation abstract to be sent in to a conference since December 4th?

Well, I heard back right away from the evaluation committee, and surprise, surprise, they were not taken aback by my orthodox grounded theory methodology.

And so, I received the doctoral scholarship, and I will be flying to Resort City in the Americas (RCA) to present my emerging work in April 2010.

Hopefully, I will be able to have my dissertation fully completed by then.

Question: to bring wife or not to bring wife along to RCA? :-D


Edit (Dec 19): It turns out that I didn't receive a scholarship yet, my dissertation was only accepted. Twenty over doctoral dissertations were accepted, and only five scholarships will be given out, to be announced later. A proposal using classic GT methodology winning a competitive scholarship? I have my doubts. :-/

So tired...

Was able to both get some movement happening in my dissertation (thanks to a wonderful GT consultant) as well as send in my dissertation abstract for a doctoral scholarship for a conference in April (thanks to the conference organizer for emailing me and offering me a one-day extension, unprompted).

But boy, am I tired. And tomorrow is a full day's work.

It's already 2:30am.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Memoing is Another Word for Journaling!

I have been journaling since the tender age of eleven. So I understand the discovery-through-writing process very well. In fact, it has become an integral part of my continual journey of personal growth. This blog is just one good example of my journaling.

When GT Consultant whom I recently engaged told me to memo just the way I blog (*courtesy wave to GT Consultant if s/he is reading this*), I thought s/he was just trying to be a good teacher, connecting memoing to something with which I am familiar. As it turns out, s/he wasn't kidding at all. Memoing is very simply, discovery-through-writing. Although there are things one ought to do to keep the process at a theoretical level (I refer you to Glaser's 1978 text, Theoretical Sensitivity), the "feel" of memoing is not at all different from what I have been doing for years: the iterative process of recording and discovering my thoughts on paper/computer.

So... why haven't I been memoing all this time? I think it's because I thought memoing was something more fancy and difficult. After all, research is not supposed to be so natural and fun... or is it? [insert grin]

I feel like I'm on cloud 9!

Watch out world, a dissertation is coming your way!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

About Learning

I wish I could have a better attitude about learning, but when you've been doing something for more than a year and a half, and you find that you still haven't learned what you were supposed to learn, it's time to hold down the shift key on your keyboard and randomly hit some keys along the number row. For example:


Anyway, today, I realized that I did not read Barney's section on "memoing" very well. In a way, it's not my fault. His writing is dense and hard for a novice to follow. Nevertheless, it was a smack-myself-on-the-forehead realization (from the help of a couple of classic GT experts) that I am supposed to memo right from the start.

Memo. Right. From. The. Start.

"Memos lead, naturally to abstraction or ideation. Memoing is a constant process that begins when first coding data [emphasis added], and continues through reading memos or literature, sorting and writing papers or monograph to the very end" (Glaser, 1978, p.83).

I've read this. I swear, I've read this. Several times, in fact. But for the life of me, I didn't memo from the beginning of coding. And I don't know why.

Maybe its because I thought Corbin & Strauss (2008) did it in a non-classic way when she (Corbin) explained how to do it? Maybe I thought her memoing method was preconceiving?


(Yes, my attitude sucks right now. But I feel like I have a right. After all, this realization makes me think that I may very well not be ready to submit my dissertation for a conference scholarship next week.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Data Coding Stuckness (An Email)

Excerpt from an email I sent to a classic GT methodology expert:

"I decided to code the fieldnotes from [some participants]. I did line-by-line (or idea-by-idea) coding. I've generated 200 codes and then started to categorize them. As I am categorizing, I am finding myself not knowing where I am headed. To solve the problem, I went back to your article on __________, which was helpful to re-read. Then realized I needed to re-read theoretical codes, and did that using Glaser 1978, 1998, 2005. Last night, I printed out all of my codes over 6 pieces of paper, and looked over them. I feel completely inundated! And I realized that I've only coded less than half of my fieldnotes from interviews! But once again, I find myself not knowing where I am headed! So, I was stuck, and I went to the literature, but now that I am back to my data again, I am stuck again.

I have to keep working today (while it is night-time for you in _______ ). While I await possible input from you, I will be asking myself Barney's (2004) questions for theoretical sensitivity ("what is the main concern" etc.) and just going back into the woodwork and relook at my data, code by code. It's exhausting to do this with so much time in-between. Each time I come back to the data with a week or so of lapse, it feels like I'm starting all over again."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stuff The Loneliness!

I sent Big Name Editor my dissertation proposal last week.

This week he wrote back. His first three words were "very good proposal."

[insert smile]

And then he proceeded to warn me about how I've given myself "more work than needed" for a dissertation.

[insert frown]

As I sit here, having done only 30 minutes worth of actual work in 2 hours, I ask myself what is the value of having a "very good proposal" if it continues to remain a proposal.

- - -

Turning on my glass-half-full self...

I am starting to make some tiny progress dissertating again.

I went through the codes that I had generated, what... oh... 6 months ago?... and realized that they were rather dull. "Without grab" as Barney Glaser might put it.

After thinking through it a bit and rummaging through various Glaser books, I realized that the codes are a little on the no-grab side because I was coding without a whole bunch of theoretical codes in mind. I guess one might say that I am lacking in theoretical sensitivity?

So, I am re-reading about theoretical coding in Glaser (1978, 1998, 2005) to sensitize myself to theoretical codes. I plan to finish the reading these this week -- not study them but just read them and have them float around my head -- and then embark on my data next week.

I've identified two conferences to which I want to send my dissertation. One will be in the Americas and the other in Europe. I hope to bag the dissertation scholarships. But the deadlines are on December 14 and 15.

Time to stuff the loneliness and just work!