Friday, January 29, 2010

First Month of Sabbatical

My initial timetable was to complete Chapter 2 of my proposal by today. Since that initial plan, a few events changed the order of the list. My adviser (who hasn't given up on me - yet!) asked that I temporarily suspend work on Chapter 2 and switch to working on Chapter 3. And the experiment is going full-speed-ahead. My adviser asked that the end-of-term survey be divided, administer half of the survey now and the remainder at the end of the term. That small task turned into a two-week event - however, it is mostly complete.

So the progress has been focused on Chapter 3. As it turns out, if you actually work on the document, you can progress. That is, once I am stopped worrying about it, complaining about it, trying to organize it, or do anything other than just write it, progress happened!

Luckily, I have a number of people who were kind enough to kick my butt - especially my husband, who reminds me that I can make anything difficult if I try. He recommended that I just sit down and get it done and you know, I think he's right.

So Chapter 3 is nearly done - I'll do more work this weekend, then email the draft to my adviser on Monday with an update on the surveys. It does feel good to make progress!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Still plugging along - SABBATICAL is wonderous

Since the last posting, I applied for and was awarded a paid, full-time, 6-month sabbatical from work to focus on my degree. What a gift!!! Studying is much easier to do in daylight hours while I am awake and alert. I am enjoying it enough that I may apply for another....

The school requires a 3-chapter dissertation proposal approved by my dissertation committee prior to being considered ABD (All But Dissertation). My timetable was to complete my proposal by October, 2009. However, planning to leave my office took more personal time than I had budgeted. The reality of the situation was that I did complete Chapter 1 by October, 2009. Wanting input from my committee and wanting them to know of my progress, my advisor and I contacted the committee members for an update meeting in late November. That was a good idea to touch base with everyone - and I received good feedback with strong suggestions.

My updated gameplan is to complete Chapter 2 by the end of January, 2010 (Yikes! that's in less than three weeks!). I am operating a bit out-of-order as part of my experiment is being conducted now even though I don't have final approval on my proposal. The risk is that my committee has the ability to challenge any part of my proposal, which may mean that I may have to redo my research and consider current research a pilot study.