I was talking to my mom on Skype just now and she asked me whether I’ve got everything done now. And my answer was/is no, right now I have a lot of things on my plate. Here they are, in order of urgency:
1. My qualifying project:
I have to rewrite the introduction and methods sections. I wrote the original proposal semesters ago and since then there are several more important research articles that have been published and that I have to include in the introduction section.
I had my first interrater reliability training today. I trained a fellow student to help me in coding the research articles that’s in my meta-analysis. And I have 2 more training sessions with two other students in the next two days. And once that’s done, I’ll have to wait for them to finish coding the articles that are assigned to them, and then compare their results with mine. If our interrater agreement is 80% and above, then I’m OK, if not, I’ll have to refine my codes.
I still have to review my own coding and do some fine-tuning before I run some statistical test. I’ll also have to make an appointment with the Stats professor just to double check that I’m doing the right statistical tests correctly.
Then I’ll have to write up the results and discussion sections and explain why I got what I got and what the implications are. And all this time, sending my drafts to my advisor for feedback.
Then I’ll have to submit the finished paper to the four professors in the department and work on the presentation scheduled on December 8.
2. Assistantship work
Right now I’m working on “abstracting” (summarizing) 3200 lines of interview transcript for the qualitative part of the research grant. Each transcript takes me about 10 days (3hr per day) to complete. I’m trying to finish the current one by Thursday, and then I still have more transcripts to go through. And this job can be frustrating when I have to keep the interviewee’s words but at the same time making sure I summarize the big ideas.
And I also have to look for research articles for my advisor’s workshop in January.
On November 2, I have to drive 1.5 hrs to Grantville, PA, for the PA Council of Exceptional Children conference. I call it a “booth-sitting” session, mainly there to promote the department’s programs.
3. Teaching assistantship work
I am currently a teaching assistant (TA) in the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) class. I like the science of ABA, unfortunately in real-life-applied-classroom settings, behavior is almost always never clear cut and distinct. Behavior is often messy and makes terrible graphs. Anyway as a TA, I have to grade homeworks and final projects, and next Monday, I’m teaching the class on Generalization and Maintenance. So this week I’ll have to work on the powerpoint presentation and may be come up with some activities for the class to do. And being the TA, I have to help students in their final projects… a lot of problem-solving involved, which I find that I like doing.
4. Other non-academic stuff
I am organizing a farewell party for my friend, Marvin, on November 11. He is graduating and moving to North Carolina soon. This doesn’t take a lot of time, just need to contact some friends, reserve the community room for the gathering, and make sure there’s food on the table on that day.
I just registered for the Jingle Bell Run that’s on December 2. I was talking to a colleague this afternoon and found out that he runs the 5K in 21 minutes! My Komen Race time of 41 minutes really looks bad now…hahaha. So besides all the academic work, I have to keep up my training, and work towards 35 minutes….or less. 30 minutes would be great and this would mean running faster and not letting older ladies overtake me on the running track 🙂
This Saturday, October 28, I’ll be volunteering for World Vision at their booth during the Third Day with the David Crowder Band concert at Lehigh. I managed to rope in Marvin for the volunteering job. We get to watch the concert for free. So I have to be there by 4.30pm and stay till maybe 10pm.
I think that’s it…for now. And now back to my abstracting work…