Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday August 7

I am noticing that the attitude of this blog is either up or down -- so welcome to an up day of sorts!  First thing, though, is a minor comment about the weather.  The last day or so has been much cooler in terms of humidity here.  Don't get me wrong -- I am not complaining since I am very much aware of what the temps are like back home in St Louis -- but the place we are staying at has no A/C so it's been a bit warm in the evenings.  Last night was perfect -- I am guessing it was in the low 60s?  And this afternoon has turned out to be a sunny and comfortable day.  Yeah!

OK, now what about that "to do" list that was about a mile long?!  Well, I am getting through it but just a bit on the slow side.  Right now, I have most of the afternoon "off" so I am hoping to get my presentation mostly together for Thursday morning.  I decided to do a Google Doc quasi-Power Point sort of a thing so here is the link (just keep in mind that this is a work in progress!):
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1PQTdt_iV97vvPWjAoTd6pZsyjyvjo_WdshhSvdt1BzQ/edit
I am hoping that by Thursday morning, I have something that looks a bit more together (still figuring out some of the logistics at this point).

I was also able to walk down the street after lunch today and buy a Dartmouth shirt!  Yeah for a little bit of shopping!  I told Jim that I would be home later tonight so I am going to stop at the King Arthur Flour Company on the way home (and bring Jim home some baked treats hopefully!).  So those two activities will be off my list!


At the moment, I am a bit sweaty because I just spent a good 45 minutes tracking down three books in the stacks over at the library (including a newer publication I hadn't seen, Teaching Race in the 21st Century, edited by Lisa Guerrero -- and once you see the price on Amazon, you will understand why I wanted to borrow a copy!).  The stacks are rather strange here (see above; this is just one section).  The books in the stacks live in a glass room -- a huge room that is enclosed to protect the books (climate controlled).  The older section is a bit freakier than the newer section.  Anyway, I was going up and down stairs trying to find the three books I was after -- but, goal accomplished!  (and I got in a free workout!).

I did not participate in the optional workshops (going on right now in fact) on SPSS or Dedoose.  Even though I think I would like either of these two statistical data programs (to help crunch numbers), I don't see myself using these for my dissertation and so .... I will have to wait and use these programs for my first post-dissertation project (of which I already have a few ideas!).  This morning's lecture by one of the pysch professors here (and Dean of First Year Students) -- Dr. John Pfister -- was fascinating!  Basically, he posed the question about whether stats would be important to our research and then gave us a quick lecture on the basics behind statistical calculations (i.e. independent and dependent variables, the F test, and the T-test among other concepts).  Though I am still a little foggy on some of these concepts, I appreciated his fabulous teaching persona.  I think I would love a full class from him!

So now it's back to working on my presentation.  I can't believe that we have only three days left before driving back to St Louis.  I like being a student -- I know it's going to be so much harder to work on my dissertation once classes start back up again (though I am sort of hoping that my overload class (currently with only one student) gets cancelled -- I think I took on too much for this new semester already!).

PS:  Chris Anson gave a great talk yesterday afternoon on anticipating that your eventual published research might get misappropriated (i.e. the James Dobson fiasco with Carol Gilligan and Kyle Pruett a few years back).  Anson advised us to be on the lookout for ideological bias and to critique suspect findings and methodologies.  It's so nice to hear discussions about research being published :>

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