redzils: (Default)
Oh yeah, I think I forgot to tell you, innernet:  I passed my dissertation defense last Monday, and am now Dr. Red Zils, Ph.D. (The only person who calls me Dr. Anything is my mother, and she likes "Dr. Red" instead of "Dr. Zils").

Well, I didn't actually forget to tell you, but it felt so big that I didn't know how to box it into words that day. Then a day passed, and another, and I have been busy doing the Snoopy dance (accompanied by the mantra 'I did it! I did it! I did it!'), touring OurNation'sCapitol with my mother, eating great food with people I love, working on the minor revisions my committee asked for, jumping through paperwork hoops, interviewing for jobs via telephone, planning an on campus interview for a job in OrangeGrowingState, trying not to freeze to death in the garret, and generally living my same life.

Having a Ph.D. doesn't make me smarter, or faster, or richer (ha!). It doesn't make me a better person, or a more interesting one. And I am gleeful about it anyway - I wanted this so badly; I worked really hard to make it happen; and I accomplished my goal. That right there makes me happy and proud. I am glad I did it, even if this economy means I go home to work in the family business, instead of ever using my degree.

I'll be in Footballsburg one week out of every month from now until May, and probably wherever TDaC is the rest of the time (OurNation'sCapitol at the moment, OrangeGrowingState, probably, after that). I'm telecommuting for the job that pays me, working on three or four manuscripts with my advisor, and taking advantage of the flexibility to do so from places that make me happy. Please let me know if you are here or there or anywhere we might meet - I'd love to see you.
redzils: (Default)
Honestly, if you do not put ONE TABLE with means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations in ANY quantitative paper you deign to publish, I think the American Psychological Association ought to a) withdraw your membership OR b) (preferred) assign a hitman. Aargh.
 
This part - comparing my data to other people's, collected using the same instruments - should be easy. Instead its making me want to thump people (authors, reviewers, and JOURNAL EDITORS) with an umbrella. A hard, black, pointy umbrella.
redzils: (Default)
I think I have solved the outstanding nagging question for my dissertation defense prep: one of the people on my committee looked at my results section before Christmas, and wanted to know if changing my mediation-religion, essentially (Baron and Kenney, 1984 to McKinnon and colleagues, 2002) would have had me doing different analyses. The answer is, well, maybe: my high holy mathemeticians spell out the conditions under which it is appropriate to test mediation (which were not met, so I found another analysis), while hers' does not. There is no defensible version where I say, "oh your guy totally supports my assumptions" - he Just Never Says, Either Way.

So, I've been wondering for the last, oh, six weeks, on and off how I could prepare to get through that gracefully, and without doing Structural Equation Modeling (which is very time consuming and wouldn't have given me much). Tonight I looked at her guy's website again and realized there was just no way out. But, instead of giving in and spending the next four days doing SEM, I tackled the three paths we are quarreling about one at a time, via Sobel test. None of them were signficant, so my decision to not test the complete model was supported, regardless of the assumptions you are prepared to make.

Essentially: I win.

I still need to figure out distribution data for the measures I used when administered in other samples and compare it to what I found inmy sample, but this is not hard, just annoying. And then I will be as prepared as I can be, until I meet with my advisor tomorrow morning. I expect her to ask for a few changes and new thoughts, but am still really, really hoping to pretty much wrap my prep up by close of business tomorrow, so I can spend my weekend merely reviewing the paper and my notes, not frantically flailing.
redzils: (Default)
"They listened. They argued. They resorted to mathematics..." Terry Pratchet

Isn't this the outline for a dissertation? Literature review, setting up the model, [testing it], then analyzing the data to death and writing it up in numerical gibberish?

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