Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Getting Close

And I'm not even talking about the baby. I mean that I have around 20 or so surveys yet to code. I'm going to see if I can push them all through today. However, that may be extremely unrealistic considering we have a birth center orientation this evening. I am just so sick of having these hanging over my head. Of course, even after I finish these, I have a lot of parts to go back and re-check and fix, but that's like editing after you've finished your rough draft.

This is the real meat of research work, folks! Not the glamorous SPSS analysis of your figures, not the writing up of results, nor the defending of your work to your committee (that's only in grad school anyway), nor the submission of your papers to journals to reject repeatedly, nor the giving of interviews to avid reporters. (Ha!) No, most of it's this data crunching.

I continue to feel quite discouraged that I am at this point now in mid-August, 5-8 weeks before the baby, rather than at the beginning of June, when I would have had three months of summer to write up my results and begin the process of getting them to my committee. As planned. The part where I have to start those frickin' lengthy applications to internships all over again on top of all this is also bumming me out. Dammit.

Anyone who said they wanted to help, there is now a part that anyone who's an accurate typist could do. (And it's actually an interesting part.) It involves reading PDF documents that (anonymously) contain scans of people's handwritten responses to 2 short questions, and entering those answers word-for-word into--yes, my favorite--an online Google spreadsheet.

(Requires Gmail to access spreadsheet, which--if you don't have that by now, you should anyway, and I have plenty more Gmail invitations!)


argotnaut said...

How soon does this have to be done? I'm in my last two weeks of summer class (and going away Thurs-Sun), but I could help starting next Thursday.

liz said...

Uh, two months ago?

I shudder to think I'll be working on it yet next Thursday, but I'm sure I will.

I really wish I had followed my own druthers instead of my advisor's advice about this.

She thought I was nuts to want my assistants to do this part, while doing the scoring and coding of surveys on my own.

But there's such a steep learning curve on the damn surveys that after, what, two months? I'll be surprised if they are done with the mere 50 they took away between them (Actually I don't think they are done, but I'm picking up the surveys anyway).

That potentially saved me about 5 days' work.

--Except that what with preparing to train the assistants, having them over, doing the training, driving to Ypsi to pick the surveys up, and going back over the 50 to check the work--there's at least two days lost again out of that 5. So it's saved me *maybe* three days, tops. (And I'm sure it's been a drag for them, too.)

And all this time, the two of them could have been simply keeping up with the easier, more interesting, task of writing in the answers of whatever surveys I did that day, instead of 300 of them needing doing now all at once. Dammit.