It has been a rough week-and-a-half in some respects. Getting back into a rhythm is always hard, especially when it involves getting up at 5:30 in the morning--it is hard to make that rhythmic. But I teach at 8:00 and there was nothing I could do about it.
I guess the good thing is that I am up and at the U early and end up with a lot of time to work on finishing my dissertation.
The tots lasted exactly 4 days in their care-center before catching the first of many colds--nothing serious, just runny noses, but still, 4 days! My husband caught it too. If we all come down with the swine flu I just may go crazy.
I applied for graduation and managed to achieve the hardest part of finishing the process: scheduling my dissertation defense (where I presumably face my 5 committee members to negotiate just how much more work I need to do to get their necessary signatures). This feat of enormous magnitude involves choosing a day and time when at least 4 of your 5 members can physically be in a room together. The day we could all agree to work into the schedule was Friday, November 13th. That's right! Friday the 13th. Thankfully, I am not superstitious, but even if I were, in Spanish cultures it is Tuesday the 13th that is unlucky, so I'll just go with that.
I have spent much of the rest of my time in front of SPSS on the computer, up to my eyeballs in numbers: the statistical data from the study I conducted. I am happy to report that I was able to run all of the tests myself: ANOVAs, MANOVAs, Chronbachs alpha, Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient.
The funny thing about all of this quantitative data analysis is that I think I am really more of a qualitative gal. I had actually planned on conducting focus groups or interviews as well. Then it hit me: between organizing, conducting, transcribing coding, content analysis, etc.... that I would NEVER finish. Besides, I have tons of data with just the quantitative and it really is easier to analyze in some ways (but you miss out on a lot too).
OK, now I have lulled any readers off to sleep... CLAP CLAP!
Well, wake up because I have something to tell you. To lighten up moments of my day (when I am not in front of the computer and sneaking looks at blogs I read) I have been listening to podcasts on my 15-minute walk from the parking lot to my office. Really, the only one I listen to is "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" from NPR (National Public Radio). It is not the program most people are referring to when they snootily "station-drop" that they were listening to NPR and heard something ever-so-informative-- so don't be frightened (I am kidding).
So "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is a news quiz show where they take funny stories, quotes and such from the news and turn it into a hilarious radio game-show. Listeners call in and play and there is a lot of funny chit-chat. It has a slightly liberal bent (which is fine by me, if you were wondering), but I love that they make fun of everybody. There is something about the way the host, Peter Sagal, delivers the lines that makes me burst out laughing (as I saunter down the street). It is exactly my kind of humor. I have also listened to it while running, but the laughing interferes with my panting (just kidding--the breathing is under control)
There are also some other very funny people on the show, who make a "panel" of sorts, Paula Poundstone is one of my personal fav's. If you have never heard it, click on the link when you have an hour or download a podcast and listen to a show--you will not be sorry!
I saw a question on someone's blog a while back (maybe Pioneer Woman?) asking who you would want to narrate your life. I can say, without a doubt, that it would be Peter Sagal.