Thesis Project 2021-02-16 20:04:46

This last week being off on Friday and Monday allowed me to dedicate more time to my thesis project. Unlike last week (where I had to constantly return to my project multiple times and work in short bursts) I was able to sit and work for a longer period(s) of times on my project. I was able to finish the chapter I started last week, which means I’ve been able to get through 2 chapters in 2 weeks! I am incredibly excited and proud of the progress I am steadily making. At this rate I can get a lot of creative writing done with enough time to spend adding in the research and reviewing/editing my work. This is crunch time! February is ending next weekend and time is flying! So hopefully I can keep this momentum going. Whether I have to come back to my project 7+ times in one day, or working in one sitting for a long period of time, I just want to keep the progress flowing.

It also felt great to share some of my work with some of my peers last week, and the feedback was great, so thank you to Dylan and Linda. I’m going to add a link to the full chapter below for anyone who would like to take a look!

In the small groups last week we discussed how for my project (and others as well) that revisiting some of our past memories can be disturbing. For certain aspects of my project this has definitely been something I’ve had to deal with in. In a sense I find it somewhat therapeutic and, as challenging as this could be, I see it as another opportunity to re-work through many things I’ve previously dealt with. We also discussed how brave it seems for me to be putting so much of this information out for people to read. I never looked it as being brave (I do appreciate this label though) but I did go back and forth with myself on the level of honesty and vulnerability I’m sharing in this project. For that reason, I’ve been considering if this project were to be publicly published, doing so under a pseudonym. If I were to do this, is this something I should explain up front to my readers? My whole goal is to be as authentic and transparent with them so that they can trust me and therefore trust my project, will remaining anonymous strip away any of this transparency and trust? These are just some questions I’m considering as I finish working through my project.

Chapter: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RfcxedDKKdsPgTzYFl3iteb1jsrA_5lwlsrLnz8curQ/edit?usp=sharing

Thesis Update 2/16

This week I spent some more time writing my story, and I can feel the momentum beginning to build.  I definitely feel as though I could have gotten some more done, but I feel really good about what I was able to accomplish as I can now see where things are coming together and where I could possibly make improvements or tweaks, but that is something I will do once I have Dr. Zamora takes a look at it and gives me her own opinion on the direction of my narrative.  For tonight, there won’t be too much to report back other than I feel as though I am moving nicely through all of it and will be excited to continue moving forward with it.  That’s all I got guys, see you all in class! 

Perhaps a Less Eventful Week

To be honest, last week I hadn’t expected the response to my depressing account of my time at Rutgers that I received. It was very gratifying to feel that my story was really taken in and appreciated(?). I thought on what Dr. Zamora suggested that I have at least one other paradigmatic event that I encode and relate to Elbow and the other authors whose works I am comparing to my story or my raison d’être. That said, I am at something of a loss. I do not want to imply that this week was not in its own way productive for me; I continued to do research and create categories of codification, as well as continued to explore new avenues of literature.

Image result for grounded theory process diagram

Like a buffoon I lost track of one particular document I had been referencing about grounded theory which had a good diagram to help give me some direction. Until I find it (if I find it) I’ve been using this one from a Temple University resource. There are different levels of theory in grounded theory – bounded, substantive, and formal. Where I believe I am is towards the beginning of substantive theorizing. In this ghost article I had annotated it labeled bounded theory as being hunches and seeds of an idea. I believe I am past that, though my substantive or explanatory theorizing has a tendency to lead to rumination. I included those two pieces last semester about the differences between rumination and reflection, as well as insight vs. self-awareness / self-consciousness. The crux of my autoethnography shouldn’t likely relate just to the depressive tendencies between myself and the world but certainly it is a part of what I’m relating generally, so it’s been hard to deeply evaluate it without falling into it.

Otherwise I can admit that my journaling this week was thin. I have a tendency to feel drained after not even prolonged exposure to my gagfeelings and especially when I have to put myself out there emotionally. Writing is something of an emotional offering up of oneself whether or not it turns into some personal exhibition so it’s not surprising to me that that is the case. It might be an interesting lead to freewrite about that experience of mine. I don’t know if other people experience the same kind of mental exhaustion when writing or expressing themselves but I become sometimes despondent after even having a sincerely cheerful mien. This blog post is turning into something of a freewrite / attempt at bounded theorizing. That’s good though, freewriting is freewriting and I’ll take my inspiration where I can find it. Sometimes the blank page is inspiration enough.

I’d like to include this freewrite I did last week. I know it’s from last week and not this week but just as an example of my less formal autoethnographic efforts, this is what I do:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZeBo-svp6kUhe37wMqdSyqGUh3GoImSt8iB5iL_W5mU/edit?usp=sharing

Reminder: Breathe

Things have been stressful, but what else would anyone expect while working on a thesis for your M.A.? Especially when the information being researched pertains to so much of your own life. In the past week, I took the time out to do some deep, personal inner inventory of myself. In wanting to help others with the results of this thesis, I must be able to help myself.

Through my inventory, I came up with an idea that relates to my research. I want to create a yearly journal that has prompts for daily writing. The prompts will be to help others by logging daily life events. It is hard to shut your mind down at the end of the day, when you have so much weighing on it. The journal would have three daily prompts. Two of which would be the same every day, with the third one always being different and a positive attribute to one self. I think that many people would benefit from having something like this to help guide them through the negativity that pulls us down each day. It is important to always end the day with positive energy. Positivity helps to have a more restful night.

After clearing my mind, I took the time to compose the prompt that I will be asking my volunteers to write about. That prompt will be: How has journaling impacted your daily life? Do you find that when you write about your experiences, you feel some relief in any way? Would you recommend journaling as a tool to those that suffer from P.T.S.D.? Why or why not?

My survey ends at midnight tonight. I am very pleased with the amount of my fellow veterans, that have volunteered to participate in my research. Time to complete the written responses from my volunteers will be two weeks.

During that two weeks, I will be continuing to work on my own writing samples that will be included in the thesis. So for now, and always, I wish peace upon all eyes that have fell upon this update.

Reminder: Breathe

Things have been stressful, but what else would anyone expect while working on a thesis for your M.A.? Especially when the information being researched pertains to so much of your own life. In the past week, I took the time out to do some deep, personal inner inventory of myself. In wanting to help others with the results of this thesis, I must be able to help myself.

Through my inventory, I came up with an idea that relates to my research. I want to create a yearly journal that has prompts for daily writing. The prompts will be to help others by logging daily life events. It is hard to shut your mind down at the end of the day, when you have so much weighing on it. The journal would have three daily prompts. Two of which would be the same every day, with the third one always being different and a positive attribute to one self. I think that many people would benefit from having something like this to help guide them through the negativity that pulls us down each day. It is important to always end the day with positive energy. Positivity helps to have a more restful night.

After clearing my mind, I took the time to compose the prompt that I will be asking my volunteers to write about. That prompt will be: How has journaling impacted your daily life? Do you find that when you write about your experiences, you feel some relief in any way? Would you recommend journaling as a tool to those that suffer from P.T.S.D.? Why or why not?

My survey ends at midnight tonight. I am very pleased with the amount of my fellow veterans, that have volunteered to participate in my research. Time to complete the written responses from my volunteers will be two weeks.

During that two weeks, I will be continuing to work on my own writing samples that will be included in the thesis. So for now, and always, I wish peace upon all eyes that have fell upon this update.