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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday.....Evidence Table due this weekend

So, you think you want a PhD? You think, well after I get through the course work, it is all down hill? You think at that point you can work a full time job? Well, it is possible, but damn hard! My evidence table is due (was due) by this weekend. Fortunately for me, my research has very limited outcome research completed so out of 14 possible research articles I will probably have 5 on my evidence table. I still have to read all 14 articles! Before you begin to even think anything (like, seriously 14 articles is nothing) I will tell you this. My evidence table is a very SMALL precurser to my preliminary exams (which happen to be the first 3 chapters of my dissertation). Once my evidence table is complete, I will spend a day at the Taubman Library conducting a literature search that is all inclusive over 3 different main areas of my research. This lit search will turn up hunderds of articles for me to puruse and use in my second chapter where I will discuss what is known in the scientific world about my variables and what is not known. So, the fact that I am dragging my feet on this little evidence table is not a good sign. This is NOTHING compared to what I need to get accomplished in the next 2 months. The past year I have been a director of a hospice program. That job has been literally 24/7 with 60 a week at the office. I now have been promoted to a regional hospice consultant position, which takes no time after my 40 hours a week and most of the week I will be in a hotel. This means I need to FOCUS and get some work done in the hotel each night and make up for the last year that I have diddled away, all while still paying the University. You see, at Michigan in the PhD program, it is continuous enrollement. So even if you are doing NOTHING, you still pay tuition each term. On average, I pay $16,000 a year to do nothing. So if that doesn't light a fire.....I don't know what will. The fact that once I defend my prelims I am actually a PhD candidate and when I sign my name I can put a PhD (c) behind my name is actually more of a motivator for me at this point. After 4 years, I still technically have nothing, so getting that would at least show that I have accomplished something. 25% of my cohort has already defended their dissertations! I don't want to be the last one! :) So........I have my 14 articles in a folder and they go everywhere with me, so when I have 5-10 minutes at any point in the day, I am reading them. I WILL get through it! So.....just a bit of advice, don't think you can work full time and finish your dissertation. Enjoy being a student and knock it out, then you will have plenty of time to work. If you must work, make sure that you find a good mentor that will keep you in the game, and do something EVERY single day on your dissertation. Once it gets out of your mind, it is harder to get back in the game. Read a few pages, write a few paragraphs, anything to keep your mind in it every day. You MUST do this to get through!

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