Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer of Data Cleaning

I love almost everything about research: collecting data, reading theory, writing articles, analyzing data, etc.  However, there is one thing I dislike very much about research, and that is processing all the data I collect in order to analyze it.  Despite el-wa7sh (my dissertation) coming in at 400 pages (quite long for my field), I barely scratched the surface of the data I collected for my dissertation with it.  On the one hand, this is useful, as I have lots of material to work towards tenure on.  On the other, I have to do a considerable amount of data processing to make it workable and also deidentify all of the data to close the active study with the IRB and have them leave me alone.  Data processing includes things like the dreaded transcription, which I still have more of to transcribe in a fashion suitable for linguistic, rather than content analysis, blacking out names and pictures from Facebook pages  (and of course the more active the user, and the better data I got, the longer this takes), making nice tables for SPSS and linking them to my qualitative data, etc.  Essentially, it is incredibly boring, and I have lots of it to do.  While many academics resolve to write things over the summer, I have submitted two articles so far this year, so instead I'm resolving to finally get all of my dissertation data cleaned up (which then means more writing, a much more enjoyable task).  I am secretly hoping that in the post-baby breastfeeding sleep deprivation state, this type of boring work will become challenging, and thus more interesting, but I have my doubts.

Planning classes for the Fall (that I won't be teaching due to maternity leave, but that's a different story) is my other summer occupation, but more on that later, including adventures in online language teaching!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dance Demos Down!

This weekend was our local Celtic Festival, and I was in charge of organizing the demonstration dance stage.  We had a decent turnout of various types of Irish and Scottish dance styles.  Even better, baby cooperated and with the assistance of a pregnancy exercise belt let me do my own dance demonstration at 36 weeks, focusing on the National dances which require less jumping that the traditional Highland ones.   I'll be reminding any dance students of mine that ever complain about being tired of this feat . . . 

While I can't practice Highland like I'm used to, being able to continue teaching and demonstrating (and taking flamenco classes as well) has been the biggest relief of my third trimester, as I was afraid I would turn into some sort of immobile whale.  Instead, I get to be a dancing whale--infinitely better :-).   Four weeks to go!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Made it!

My first year on the tenure track is officially over!

Grades were finished Tuesday, assessments forms Wednesday, and my article for the semester today.
Alas, being pregnant means no alcohol to celebrate, but I did make a delicious apple spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting to celebrate turning in grades Tuesday, and ba2lawa for a colleague's retirement party Wednesday.  My husband is currently making caramel ice cream, which I can use to celebrate completing my article.  The disappointing part of all of this is that it turns out pregnancy, instead of allowing me to devour copious amounts of food as I had always believed, is squashing my stomach and making it nearly impossible to consume normal amounts of anything, even my favorite treats.  Well, five more weeks to go!

I'm also in a bit of a conundrum with this article, which came together far more quickly at the end than I was expecting.  I'm submitting to an edited book, and the deadline for submission isn't until June 30.  Due to baby, I was hoping to finish by the end of May, but I'm done now.  So do I submit 7 weeks early, or wait? I've ever been a procrastinator, but isn't finishing something 7 weeks early ridiculous to begin with?