Monday, January 22, 2007

Too Much Information

Yahoo! Over the weekend I got all of my data into SPSS and cleaned up - i.e. naming variables, computing new ones based on the received data, filling in the blank spaces, adding new data... It took several hours but now BOTH studies are ready to go. I can begin analyzing any time.

I even have 80% of the responses I need for one cell that I inadvertently screwed up by having the wrong experimental treatment condition assigned to it. Given my complicated 2 x 3 x 4(3) design, I think it's pretty decent to have made only two mistakes in assigning treatment conditions. If I had had no other thing going on at the time, I might have been 100% but I was teaching three classes at the time - one for the very first time. It's sometimes difficult to remember exactly how busy I was!

The end is definitely in sight now. It sure will be wonderful to finally get this dissertation bumped off.

There's just one thing. It's about the size of a tennis ball and it has to be dealt with right away. I don't know how everything will turn out, and all I can do is hope for the best but prepare for the worst (which would be a major surgery and some amount of recovery that may mean I won't be able to defend my dissertation this spring as planned). Even if I have to have a major surgery, I am confident that I will still be able to go to Japan this summer as planned. And, if I have to defend after I get back or sometime after the deadline for spring graduation, I will still be able to participate in the next year's commencement ceremony. After all of the nuisance of grad school, I sure don't want to miss out on the hoopla of getting hooded. I will be the first doctor in my family.

When faced with uncertainty, I take great comfort in acquiring information. Hell - I thrive on information acquisition regardless of circumstances! However, I am one of those people health psychologists say thrive on information and feel better with more of it. It's sometimes hard to imagine there are people out there who are the exact opposite - the kind who would prefer to be willfully ignorant because that feels better. Not me. I went so far as to locate papers my new doc has published... Is that overkill?

To prepare for what might happen, I spent time making phone calls and sending out emails to my committee. I actually called my advisor at home (the one I have ranted about before). She was very supportive, which I very much appreciated. I've got a plan now, but I am still trying to figure out what to do about dog care while My Man With Gills is at work. Giant Newfsance, the Baroness von Roughenhausen, is a bit much to deal with even when everything is wonderful. I might need somebody around for a while who can let her out do her business, entertain her, and reel in her enthusiasm so she doesn't injure me (or Max) while I am in recovery. I am hoping I can have "my buddy" taken care of laparoscopicly so that won't be necessary.

I think I am done being scared, for now.


Alasdair said...

Your fans are legion, but none are so ardent as this guy. As Mr. Zevon would say, we'll get through somehow.

Daphne said...

Everything will turn out great, don't worry!
On another note I like how you referred to it as your "little friend," my college roomie had an ulcer that she named Frank! :o) It's nice to inject a little humor into these sort of things... I know it always made me feel a bit better...

Anonymous said...

Hope you get well and that you can get that well earned degree

ScienceWoman said...

Ooh, goodness, tennis ball sized lumps don't sound good at all. I wish there was something I could do to help out while you recover. You'll be in my thoughts.