June 30, 2008

Email to a comrade

Dear Comrade D,

Thanks for your emails.

I am alright now, though the tension (plus excitement) of carrying out the preliminary study will not end until it is carried out on Thursday. After that more work to do: using NVivo and SPSS for real to analyse those collected data. I can't wait to see the results.

If the preliminary study is successful, my confidence of completing PhD study on time is high, so goes with the probability. If it is not successful, more work needs to be done along the way. By hook or by crook, I want to get myself upgraded by the end of this year--in order to start the data collection.

Although Dr S advised me not to submit the ARM paper until next year, I will continue working on it to make it a maximum 4000 words Upgrade paper. To be frank, this is very challenging. Codensing everying into this amount of words while being able to justify the research ideas, questions, aim, design and ethical issues is very hard! My writing on research ideas and questions alone already took 2500 words! Of course, more work to do.

I have to confess, I am a workaholic. I can sit infront of my laptop working for more than 24 hours without feeling mentally tired! So, please forgive me when I put other things aside. Those other things could be family, friends, money etc etc. In a sense, it is a relatively good characteristic for anyone who wants to complete PhD within 3 years. 

Meanwhile, having good and helpful friends in the journey is extremely important at certain points. Such friends direct or even pull us back on the proper track, avoiding us to repeat their mistakes in their journey. For example, your so-called wasted one term time to complete a pilot study (like some, if not most of our seniors did) actually shed light on my path for lesson learnt. Indeed, it is not entirely wasted, although I never think that is a waste--it shaped who you are now. 

One problem I see in you, is you are not putting what you've thought or spoken into words or other meaningful symbols such as diagrams, charts, or tables. Your are good in justifying and explaining, but limited to oral phase. One suggestion of mine is to ask someone to be your sounding board and then you record what you explain and justify and code whatever you said in words. Another way, which works very well to me is to use mind mapping.

Ok. Good luck to your research journey. And try not to compare to others' research, like Prof D said to you before. Your journey is unique, like every other doctoral students.

Best regards,

Wee Hoe 


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