Friday, June 29, 2007

Dissertation Freak-Out Update

So to my loyal readers (all 3 of you) who follow my blog and may have not heard, I spoke with the person who is working on my dissertation topic at the other institution. Fortunately this person was very accommodating, helpful, and is pursuing a slightly different approach to the research. Also, fortunately, this person is not a student and is not under the same melt-down-stress-level as I.

Thank goodness I don't have to scrap all the work I've done so far! Although I may omit a few things and/or change a few of my measures, it won't result in drastic changes and doesn't compromise what I am trying to do.

Nevertheless this potential overlap/competition/whatever-it-is should give me some added motivation. Right?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Internets and Productivitiy

Big Progress

In anticipation of my much overdue upcoming meeting with my advisor this afternoon I have made some big progress on my dissertation today:

1. I wrote something. (Holy cow!)
2. I removed 3 piles of papers off of my desk and placed them on the top of my filing cabinet. These were piles of papers related to other manuscripts that are in progress. I asked myself, "Why should these be competing wih the diss?" Now to get to them I have to look past the diss piles (which is getting increasingly difficult to do as they are growing exponentially).
3. I have given myself until COB tomorrow to finish my proposal revisions and send to chair. He is aware of this.
3. I am trying to scheudle a phone call with chair.

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Sex Experts

In the sea of cubicles in which I work, I can overhear any number of things on a given day. Just now, Professor Expat walks up to Person Y's cube and, in an unique attempt to begin a conversation, says, "People say you are sex expert..." From here on, the conversation seems to flow smoothly, if strangely.

Actually when you are surrounded by a team of experts on the sexual behaviors of a particular ethnic group of homosexuals who use a certain illegal drug, this kind of comment is perhaps not all that scandalous or unusual.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bad, bad words

I've been rated and I am shocked. Shocked!

Online Dating


The Big Time of Peer Review

So I was recently asked to be a peer reviewer for Big Time Disciplinary Journal. This is pretty exciting since it's the first time I have ever been asked to review something for publication. And because it's a fancy pantsy journal.

At first I was confused because I have never published in this journal. I immediately thought it was a mistake. Then, I figured that maybe someone I know requested me as a reviewer. But I don't think that anybody I know wrote this. And it's not in a field where my name would automatically come to mind as a content expert. Don't get me wrong, there are some fields in which I can be considered an expert. For instance, if someone wanted to know the Best Happy Hour Spots in Houston, they might know to call me up. Anywho, it finally occurred to me that I have submitted articles to this journal in the past that were rejected. And I mean REJECTED!--as in, never even made it past some kind of automaton-a-la-Jetsons-computerized-sorting-system to get to the hands of a reviewer or human being. Anyway, as a consequence, I have an online profile which matches up almost word for word with the keywords of the article they asked me to review. So the digital-peer-reviewer-sorter-system-de-jour must have found me through my profile.

Unfortunately, now I am suffering through a I-think-it-should-be-rejected-but-who-am-I-to-say paranoia. As well as its counterpart, the how-much-time-do-I-waste-explaining-the-paper's-faults-and-
clearly-articulating-my-critique conundrum.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Brain Drain Part I

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Well, I'd have to say that this is not your standard error.

-Cartoon by J. Pennington

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Still Pending

Has someone already written my dissertation? Is someone writing it now????

The answer to these questions (and more) are still pending.

I am feeling more hopeful, however. I have set up a time to talk to Dr. IISARAII (Intererested in Same Area of Research as I Am) with the hope that we can work something out so that we can both publish in this area. Meanwhile this debacle has given me some motivation for speed as I would like to publish before Dr. IISARAII. Although Dr. I will be presenting this research before I will have a chance...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Women in Art

This is great.

Happy Crappy Research

Research can be painstaking and boring. Tedious. Repetitive. But sometimes things happen to upset the balance. Why do they all happen at once? Today I experienced a major happy/crappy collision. See below for a summary.

I found out earlier today that an abstract I submitted to a conference next fall has been accepted. Yippee! This is good news, especially because it's important to me to try to get some recognition in this area. I might soon be applying for an open position in this obscure sub-field, so the more I have, the better.

I found out that another paper was accepted at this conference. Having only seen the abstract, this paper appears to be MY PROPOSED DISSERTATION. Yes, this abstract shares my dependent variable of interest, my proposed dataset, AND something seemingly similar to my independent variables of interest. The only catch here is: I DID NOT WRITE THIS ABSTRACT. Panic mode has set in and I have already started making calls to my minions to find out just what the heck is going on. For any of you non academics, it's important to know that we live by a few basic rules including this one: 1. If you do it, you want to do it first. If you don't do it first you look like a chump who can't think of something original. And if you aren't original, why are you an academic?

I'll keep everybody posted as this develops....

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