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I submitted my paper. Hurray.
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I have written what I feel there is to write.

When I wrote to John looking for approval to write this for a SIOP proposal last week, he suggested that it could not be done in 3,500 words. Either he was wrong or I am: my current word count is 3,466. I need to proofread it tomorrow, but I dont want to add a bunch of crap just to leap an imaginary hurdle. I figure all I really need is a "B," so I am willing to take the risk.

joyce kindly offered to proofread it, so I will make any comments she suggests or which leap out at me in a re-reading tomorrow (while I am giving an exam in *cringe* eight hours), then call it good.

In the meantime, I am going to try something crazy and see if I can paste it here for posterity (note: this does not mean I expect anyone to read it . . .):

Self-Monitoring and Leadership: A Meta-Analytic Exploration )
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I am at a coffeeshop drinking chai and wondering if my student from last semester (who is sitting less than six feet from the back of my head) recognizes me. She may actually not - I had more hair then. [oooh, side funny story. Our reception at the conference was really weird. One example of the weird: I walked up to a guy I used to know wellish (famous for comping me VIP tickets to the circus so I could sit close to the tigers), and said something really smooth, like "Hello." I was carrying a fruity drink and had to lean in to be heard, and he jumped back like he had never seen this strange woman who was advancing in to his space bubble. Then, five full seconds later, his eyes got really big and he said my name, incredulously. Apparently he didn't recognize me and thought I was a bar fly of some variety).

The good news is that the coffeeshop is open. The bad news is that they are in reach of the school wireless network. I love wireless, but almost wish I had my old external card so I could pop it and lock it in my desk when deadlines loom. I have so little willpower these days when it comes to distraction.
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I dont want to work on this paper. Which is why I haven't been.

However, I am running out of time to procrastinate. It is due tomorrow. No time is specified but I probably ought to have it in by 11 am, which is when class would meet if class was going to meet.

I need to write several pages of introduction / lit review, then have it looked over by someone else, do a final read-through, and ship it to John.

The roommates are up and making noise in the kitchen. I wish we had an all night coffeeshop. Actually, I am typing as I think and the Easy Chair may be open all night since it's finals week. I think I will take this show on the road, to sit over there and work. It is more procrastination to drive over there, but I get a lot more done without internet, as of late.

Fortunately I have the articles I should need, and its really only about five pages of real writing. Time to get busy . . .
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I layed down for an hour, and tried to soothe myself to sleep by repeating "It will all work out okay. It is going to be okay. It is going to work out okay," over and over again.

Obviously the chanting didn't work that well, since it is 2:24 am and I am sitting at my computer in my bathrobe trying to read blogs and be distracted from my life.

Tomorrow I will start hauling stuff to storage, which will help. I may even arrange to have the thrift store people come sooner, since I need to see discernable progress to keep from freaking out.

As for the paper, well, meh. I emailed John to clarify the length I should be shooting for, and he refuses to commit to anything but "write the paper so it is complete, rather than worrying about length. The length is what it is." I find that to be absolutely useless advice and it makes me feel like avoiding the whole damn thing. That would work, except the paper is 50% of my grade in that class. Oops.

I am going to work on it for twenty minutes now, then go to bed. I have to be up in less than five hours . . .
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Okay I managed the shower and getting dressed, but the dog walk was postponed. We are meeting Anita at the dogpark later, to walk and talk. It's way nicer when Kiska can be a free dog, and I dont have to manage the leash.

I spent probably an hour in the basement, figuring out what I need to pack, what goes to charity, and what is garbage. There is actually a fair amount for the thrift store (I left it down there, to be hauled off one backseat at a time), not too much to pack, and lots of garbage to dispose of (packing materials, etc). I hauled all the garbage up - I am hoping that the trash fairies take pity on me and haul it off, even though it is a bit over my weekly quota. They might, since usually I am a one bag/week girl. If not, I can take it to the dump on Tuesday afternoon.

I heard back on the doghouse I freecycled, and decided to donate it to the Dalmatian Rescue (second email I received). I am having to resist the temptation to post lots of other things on freecycle, since it is so! much! fun! to have people come haul off things I didn't want / use anyways. I want to make sure to maximize my thrift store donation tax deduction though (up to $500, I hear) so am not posting anything else just yet.

I sent my prof a couple emails with pertinent questions on the MA and have a plan for the paper. I am writing it as a conference submission (which the syllabus hints at) which means it can only be 3500 words, which feels doable. I am at around 2500 very disjointed words, so my current focus is on smoothing it out and deepening the information provided. I can't get too invested in the analyses / results section though, until I can redo the numbers using the correct program.
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I like the presentation I just finished - the only challenge will be getting through it in twenty minutes - I have at least twice that much material. Hopefully I iwll be able to update the analyses with H&S numbers, but either way, the show will go on.

Tomorrow I get to translate the presentation into a paper. . . It would be easier if I had the real analyses done, but I can map it out and work on translating the rest of my presentation into paper format. The intro and lit review will be the challenging part, but I should be able to make substantial progress.

Tomorrow's agenda:
- Draft Paper
- Figure out how to calculate a fail-safe N, do so
- Update analyses, if John responds to email
- Pack a box or two
- Draft final exam for dev class
- Update rubric for CSD papers
- 1 pm - Ali picks up soloflex
- practice MA presentation out loud
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I am still having trouble with the meta-analysis program.

Fortunately I had an excel file set up to do the appropriate calculations (homework from earlier in the course), and was able to plug my numbers in there. The results from it are useful, and I was able to do one interesting moderator search to partition variance.

I am putting those results into my presentation, and transferring my attention tomorrow to my paper. Hopefully John will get my query emails and send some troubleshooting advice by email, but in the meantime I will be able to go on, knowing that my presentation Tuesday can go on, either way.

I also packed one box. The packing seems sad. I need to get my storage unit lined up, so I can start hauling stuff there - I dont want to live amidst heaps of boxes any more than I have to.
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I am going to stop running into this particular brick wall for awhile.

I went to Anita's and we walked and talked. She invited me to do lots of fun things, but my life feels a bit chaotic right now and I opted to come home and work on my meta-analysis.

The problem is, the program and I are not working well together. I am supposed to feed it some numbers and get some results. That plan is not working so hot, and there is no information on troubleshooting. Nothing I have managed to do to the numbers so far makes it better. And I am frustrated.

I am going to break for dinner, maybe pack a box, then come back to this, when my head hurts less.
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Okay, my presentation is as "finished" as it can be without results.

I played with the analysis program a bit tonight, and realized that I am going to be entering multiple iterations of the data in my quest to explain variance (moderators? why yes, lots of them, it looks like). Since it is now 1 am, I need to pause the adventure for some sleep . . . I think this could get addictive. It's like a game - feeding it various sets of numbers to achieve the pattern I want.

I feel like I should be able to complete this process tomorrow, if I focus. I mean, I will still have a paper to finish, but getting the numbers to cooperate will move me closer to that point and finish my preparations for Tuesday's presentation (the more immediate "crisis").

My day will begin with a trip to the library to get the numbers for calculating U, the purchase of some rubbermade totes (to pack my sentimental treasures, so they wouldn't be destroyed if my storage unit was damp), and my favorite guilty pleasure breakfast. Then, back to the salt mines - I mean computer - for me.
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Two issues so far (aside from the can't calculate U and it's making me crazy issue):

- I seem to have accounted for 193% of the variance. Unfortunately I only have %100 of variance to partial out, so something is not working. However, I re-entered the data and that didn't fix it, and I don't know enough about the program to do it myself. . .

- I cant figure out how to make it correct for unreliability. And, as far as I can tell, there is no user manual.

Lovely. Fun. Makes me want to tear my hair out.
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This whole libraries-close-at-night thing is not doing it for me.

Last weekend I visited the library Saturday night - after closing - and Sunday morning - before opening - before successfully conducting my business there.

I discovered at 8:18 pm tonight that the library closes at 8 pm on Friday nights. I need one number (scale standard deviation) from one study (published in 1984, the last year available only in paper copy) to compute U. With no U, I cant make progress on my analyses.

Dammit, I realize that librarians need time away from work too, but isn't that what student employees are for?
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It's five pm, and I have done nothing of importance yet today.

I woke up late. Wandered around. Ran some errands. Took an hour siesta (laying under the covers, even if I didnt sleep). And suddenly it is nearly five pm.

The new plan is to FOCUS for two hours (1700 to 1900, Eastern Daylight Time), on entering my data in the chart.

Then I will take Kis to the dog park for half an hour, and proceed to the library to get an article which I need and cannot acquire electronically.

Home then, to make best use of a strategy I call ten in ten. This was developed to deal with Neil's evil, incoherent, frustrating take home exams. I essentially strap myself into my desk chair with the instruction that I am not getting up, moving, or doing anything else for X number of hours. I have to write X number of pages, and until it gets done I am captive to my to do list. For some reason I can usually get something done under htose conditions.

I figure three pages of background material is a reasonable goal for tonight, and will put me on track to meet my new timeline.


Apr. 23rd, 2006 12:01 pm
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I swam to consciousness out of a dream about my meta-analysis.

Time to get this project done, and out of my head.

I used to dream about statistics after studying for exams. I would wake up with formulae imprinted on the insides of my eyelids and vague, half-conscious memories of oddly encompassing statistics information catologuing. It felt like my unconscious self was taking the bits I had wedged into working memory and weaving them into a more coherent whole as I slept.

I don't think all my dreams are that helpful (for example, the night before last I woke up from a long, detailed dream about having a baby), but they tend to reflect back whatever is taking up space in my brain (the baby dream is likely due to the fact that I have been thinking a lot about my friend Mim, who will have her second child in June). I need to get his project done so I can widen my focus to all the other important things in life.
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Liveblogging the angst, part 2:

I am like the Princess in the princess and the pea story today, or maybe it is Goldilocks. I will work, but only if every last thing is going my way.

Working on my poster on the floor was not quite it (too much dog fur, and if I start cleaning I will never get back to work). Working on the poster on my desk was not quite it (weird angle for my back). So I drug the coffee table in, and that is *just right.*

I was focussing well, until I got to some articles that dont have correlation matrices. I don't know a) if I can convert this data to a correclatin / d value, b) if its possible, how to do it, or c) how to figure out if it is possible

I think I need to set it aside, and try to focus a little more.
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My IP address hass been blocked from the Small Group Research archives at this time, because I opened too many PDF files in too little time.

They think they are preventing me from stealing their information.  However, they are actually preventing me from efficiently hand-searching old issues for research involving self-monitoring.

This is very frustrating.

Apparently I will be allowed in again in half an hour, as long as I don't try to open more than one PDF / minute.  What a ridiculous requirement - instead of searching about a year of published work in 20 minutes, I am going to have to spend an hour or so per year.  Because this minutia should take time away from the real work of the meta-analysis, or something.



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