Thursday, September 3, 2009

The very long post where I talk about many things and then decide who will narrate my life story...

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.


mosey along said...

You make my brain hurt. I googled all the alien language in your post just so I could get a very foggy gist of what in blazes you were talking about and now it's going to be a two glass of wine kind of evening.

I love NPR. I very often don't get to hear full length programs, but English hubby downloads many podcasts and you've inspired me to charge up the ipod and start listening on my walks too...

Annje said...

I am happy to give you an excuse for more wine... I ony have a very vague idea of what I am talking about, so no worries!

Margaret said...

You have a DATE!! You're almost there!! Soooo Cool!
But the question remains... would you want Peter Sagal on your committee??
PS: it never occurred to me that talking about NPR was station dropping... I just thought it was part of, you know... life!

Annje said...

Margaret, yes I am almost there. I would love Peter Sagal on my committee--he would definitely make it entertaining.

NPR isn't exactly station dropping, it is part of life (in certain circles) and I listen to it, though not religiously, but every now and then it bugs me, ever so slightly, to hear "I heard on NPR..." I don't know why, I think it needs some analysis.

Danielle said...

Good luck with your dissertation! I hope all goes well for you.
Tuesday the 13th? It just doesn't sound scary at all.
Do people really 'station drop'? I think it might be a family thing. Josh and Alison are always saying something about this incredible thing they heard on NPR. Most of the political stuff on NPR flies right over my head. I cant stand politics probably because I know next to nothing about them. Or maybe it's because Josh would rather turn on NPR in the car than talk to me... I haven't figured it out yet.

Annje said...

Danielle, you should try Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me... it's really funny and not all that political.

redqueencjb said...

So I take it you are also in the behavioral sciences? From what I gather, clinical perhaps?