September 2008

i really dislike the habit of some academics who just recycle their papers, change a sentence or two, and have a new publication. right now, however, i finally can understand the temptation and the problems when working on the same topic for years. i write about a certain subject for the third time, and there aren’t that many grammar variations left for the introduction part.


The Husband is on a eight-days-school trip and i am spending the time in My City, enjoying the time for myself. there is so much on my to do list for my thesis. but where did last week go? and what did i get done?  i wasted two wonderful work days at home, because i got new windows. it was cold, and i was tired, and just wanted to curl on my bed and sleep, which i was not able to do because there was construction going on. i cleaned the apartment on the first day after they left, and the second after they finally finally left, and once more on the third day. now all is nice and clean – except the walls which need to be repapered.  and painted. i assume this will cost me two additional days. but i really really want to get done with my questionnaire this month. and there are still so many studies that i need to read.

nonetheless, i just handed in the book chapterlet – finally. so glad. and the next deadlines are in six – no, four – what FOUR?! weeks. oy. i just realized it while typing. so many books are piling up and i have no idea where to start.

i would love to leave the office and drive home, but i am sure that i would just cuddle in my bed and drink tea and do nothing, and the deadlines are coming closer. so i force myself to stay here until 6pm and start the first of the two compendium articles, which luckily covers exactly the same topic than the book chapterlet did. at least no additional reading for that one.

I always thought I was good at multi-tasking, but when it comes to my thesis, I am so restricted to linear-writing. Instead of working on the tasks I have listed, I returned back to first chapter and worked in additional readings and deleted some paragraphs. With this speed I will never ever get to start the empirical part… 😦

And private stuff keeps my busy as well. Just not a productive day at all.

Of course I did not even touch the book chapter yesterday evening – at 8 I was so tired that I even did not succeed in fulfilling my good intentions to go to the gym. And I did not get half the reading done because I was flipping back and forth between different topics. This morning I am back at the thesis and struggling if my idea makes sense at all. So far I have

  1. An introduction – which will be rewritten when the whole thing is complete
  2. A chapter about the background and reason of my thesis which covers two of the main academic constructs that I am dealing with – way too long, needs some polishing
  3. A chapter that breaks that narrows down my research question and informs about research that has been done in that field – needs some polishing and I need to cover three books that I have not read yet
  4. The structure of a chapter that is supposed the theoretical framework of my empirical study – and my problem child. Instead of reading and writing I constantly worry if the structure and topics I want to cover make sense and if they are connected the way I think.
  5. An unwritten chapter of my study
  6. An unwritten chapter of the conclusion

So, the goal for today: write about the third construct that I cover in chapter 4. Tomorrow sum up what I need about this construct from empirical data.

And go to the gym today – your back needs it!

Back in Our City. It is still just such a nice feeling to eat without braces, to clean your teeth without braces – and the difference between the pre- and post pictures are amazing.

Ok, time plan for September: read, read, read until Wednesday until I have to go back to the office (hurray for thesis advisors who are not in the office this week which allows me to spend time in Our City).

Wednesday Office, Thursday and Friday construction workers in my apartment, read read read the following week and then write up the structure for the interviews. Hand it to my thesis advisor and wait for feedback. In the meantime write article 1 and 2. Oy, and I have to work in the comments on the chapter – well, that has to be finished tonight. So no surfing the world wide web today.!

I read a lot during my vacation for my thesis and my empirical study gets shape. But why did it take me so long to figure this out and why have I not read way more? Regret, regret, regret. There are so many articles and books and journals, and so many that I still do not even know exist.

Anyway, my plan is to finish the reading in two weeks and then set up the interview structure, interview the persons, and work on the interviews, and be done on September 1st 2009 (except proofreading). Will that be possible? I don’t know. But I will try!

and it was so great not to commute between My City and Our City. We did not really travel, just went on some day trips. Plus I had dear visitors from abroad which was really really nice.

Now I am back at the office, having started the day with getting my braces removes. So great!!!

I have been thinking about this long neglected blog and will take good care of it starting today – with a layout change as well.