Integration and Not Balance

As we begin the start of the Fall semester I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s class. I was able to get advice from my peers on how I should be managing my time with my thesis. It sounds ridiculous that my thesis is focusing on work/life balance but I cannot seem to manage my time. The group that I was in gave great advice of dedicating at least thirty minutes a day to my thesis. I find that this would be beneficial as thirty minutes provides me ample time to research and write but not overwhelm me. For the first few weeks, I really want to solidify my research. Similar to Diana, I want to further my literature review. My biggest fear is putting together a number of sources only to begin drafting my paper and realizing that it does not flow and needing to start over. With this, I need to be intentional with the work that I am doing. This past week I did set aside time for my thesis and surprisingly it came in the strangest way. I needed to read a text, “Sustainable Careers in Student Affairs” for my job as we were then having training. Shockingly enough, the text focused on work-life balance. I guess in theory I really didn’t set aside time for my thesis, but I was able to get thesis work and work for my job done at the same time! During training, one thing that stuck with me is the discussion of the impact of ideal worker norms and the reasons for them. This tied into my journaling that I have done and noticed that simple things such as having a “working lunch” impacts one from having a balance or should the text say integration of work and life. Another contributing factor is one’s supervisors. If one’s supervisor is constantly sending out emails and messages when staff is not working it’s easier for staff to adapt those habits and create a department that has no integration of work and life.  I am hopeful that this text can be used in my literature review as I dive deeper into each chapter.

Tomorrow’s Getting Harder, Make No Mistake

Son, Don’t Let The Man Get You!

It doesn’t take a lot to feel genuine happiness. Just a flickering lamplight, notepad, static crackling on whatever station I’m tuned into, a good book or ten, and a whole lot of solitude. (I’ll add my winter break reading list to the bottom of this post!) With all the reminiscing lately about how our family’s journey in America started out in Louisiana, I can’t help but start things off with “Born On The Bayou,” a household staple. 

It’s truly something to behold, looking back at all the moments, minute and monumental, that make this year stand out in my mind. A year split between what was becoming the “new normal” and the unfamiliar “old routine.” A regular sleep, work, and exercise schedule. What should have been my undergraduate ceremony in the spring that was actually me wrapping up half of the graduate school experience. But also, finding a new appreciation for the people who stuck around. A couple of new arrivals, and departures, if you will, to carry on with the metaphor of transitory spaces from my last blog. Growing closer to people as time grew scarcer. A sense of adventure, in all of the forms that can take on, beginning to form and solidify. Putting those map-reading skills to the test for more than just navigating life. And a sense of familiarity, comfort, and enchantment with the unknown, perhaps the greatest ironic gift of all. I hope I can capitalize on it, and make meaning of exactly what I’m doing here, and in a more meaningful sense of that question.

And with all of this, a project that I’ll be carrying with me for the foreseeable future, one that will serve as a marker of my identity in areas where it’ll make a big impact. 

I’ve Been Swimming In A Sea of Anarchy

It’s only fair that a transition to a new year and a fresh thesis process warrants a song with the same concept, like “Everyday Is A Winding Road” by Sheryl Crow. Thankfully, I’ve discovered another search term that yields useful resources even without extensive filtering and truncated searches; forensic oration. Granted, it has more so to do with litigation practices and actual courtroom semantics than evidence, but that’s perfectly fine! In fact, it ties in perfectly to what I’m hoping to achieve after all, which is exploring how linguistic evidence can be valued in the same regard as even the smallest scrap of physical evidence. 

A lot of last semester was spent as my foray into archival, involved, and innovative research and much of the break was spent evaluating sources, approaches, and research designs in between chasing joy. I’ve finally figured out what would work best for this project, in terms of organization and design, and it’s a very special construction that I’ll outline below:

  1. Abstract 
    1. Brief summary of the thesis and the associated keywords meant for database searches
    2. Projected Length: 250 words or less
  2. Introduction
    1. Defining the Term + Field of Forensic Linguistics
      1. Begin broadly, and narrow the scope to pertinent components
    2. Introduction of Field History + Key Figures + 1-2 Landmark Cases/Expert Testimonies
    3. Introduction of the Conflict/Central Question and Its Importance 
  3. Literature Review 
    1. Should segue seamlessly from the Introduction
    2. Components 
      1. Re-Iteration of the Hypothesis Question and Individual Sections to Address Different Instances of Forensic Linguistics Being Critical, But Overlooked (Meant as In The Different Forms of Forensic Linguistics, Not Necessarily Different Cases)
      2. Methodology (Will Be Thoroughly Explained and Expanded Upon Appropriately)
        1. Qualitative Mixed-Method Study using Discourse Theory, Case Study, Protocol and Content Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, and Possibly (?) A Criminal Justice Theory 
      3. Explanation of Projected Impact of this Research
        1. A nuanced portrait of the entire legal process, from arrest to courtroom, linguistically
        2. A path forward toward equitable interviewing, evidence collection, and courtroom processes
        3. Possible changes to the justice system 
    3. Projected Length: 4-7 Pages
  4. Thesis Casework 
    1. Determination of Parameters of Forensic Linguistics Necessary for Demonstrating Competence/Mastery +Defining of the Following
      1. Interviewing Procedures/Outcomes 
      2. Enhanced Auditory Evidence
      3. Forensic Stenography/Handwriting Comparisons 
      4. Forensic Oration
      5. Examine the Ethics and Motivations Associated
    2. Careful Selection of Cases Where Forensic Linguistics Could Have Been Employed via Expert Testimony But Was Neglected
    3. Cases Where Forensic Oration Was A Deciding Factor
      1. Once again, Ethical Implications, Factors of Bias, Etc. are to be examined
  5. Approaches to Demonstrate Thoughtful Analysis and Application of Forensic Linguistics (Only For the Purposes of This Outline, Not A Section In The Paper)
    1. Discourse Theory 
    2. Protocol and Content Analysis
    3. Explication and Imagined Application of Corpus Linguistics in Appropriate Scenarios 
  6. Results 
  7. Conclusion
  8. Overall Projected Length: ~70 + Pages

While the above is my overall outline, I recognize that there is a need to further flesh out and define the components I’ve condensed, in my hypothesis so that maybe my project can shed after-thought labels like “unique” or “interesting” when discussing or presenting it locally.  So, have a very bare outline of just the things involved in my hypothesis question! 

  1. Forensic Linguistics (General Premise, Field of Study) 
  2. Linguistic Evidence (What It Is, What It Is Not)
    1. My Points of Focus 
  3. How Is Forensic Linguistics Currently Utilized Today 
    1. Expert Use 
    2. Use By The Prosecution 
    3. Use By The Defense 
  4. What Does The Above Mean For the Field? 

It’s hefty stuff, but that’s what the abstract and introduction of any good thesis are for since they set the stage! I’ll focus this week to refine the work I’ve steadily completed on this thus far, and then set it aside. After all, fresh eyes will yield a different perspective, even if the writer and editor are one and the same. 

Smile and Grin At The Change All Around

After checking out the outlines above, and seeing all the work I have to do, there’s nothing that exemplifies how I’m feeling better than the screech in “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. (Also, it was the theme for CSI: Miami, a great show that will be mentioned again later!) Naturally, the above sections I have to write are going to continue to be refined until I feel that they’re thesis caliber. Maybe it’s an impossible idea that I’m chasing, one of the perfect thesis, or something that I’m not capable of, but I just know that I can, I should, and I will be better than this. 

Beyond that, however, it’s almost eating me alive how I really shared what was on my mind in terms of what I mentioned during the TROIKA exercise last class. Dr. Zamora summed it up perfectly by mentioning the insider-outsider phenomenon because there is a dissonance attached to seeing all the meaningful feedback flying around and then just stopping or slowing when it gets to you. And for what it’s worth hearing a week later, I’ve somewhat always known this isn’t the audience for my work. I guess the best way to describe this is more of a social than an academic struggle; my work is sound, but my feelings are not, and that is grating. It feels valid and important yet somehow also juvenile and distracting. Nevertheless, I won’t get lost in the cycle or fooled by these feelings! My mind’s eye is focused on the process, and I just have to stay the course. 

It’s going to come down to two things to pull everything together; grit and resilience. And there isn’t anything I do better than the two. So, that May 5th deadline is one I’m going to battle onwards to. 

I guess the best way to summarize my thesis work thus far and the overall process is that I’m essentially working it from the inside out; I’ll have to really, truly treat this as an investigation; I have all my evidence, a few theories of how the events unfolded, and now I need to put things together to find the actual occurrence, not the one of convenience. Parallel to completing my thesis, this is only going to enhance my investigative and academic skillsets. So, with this out of the way, I’m going to tackle my literature review, specifically the nuances of the methodology after I clear up the introduction and proceed from there. 

Don’t Bend, Don’t Break, Baby, Don’t Back Down 

It’s only fair to end the blog post with a song as stubborn sounding as I am, like “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, while I detail what I’ll be presenting on at Research Days in the coming months! Especially since it is adjacent to, but not exactly my thesis work! 

I’ll be presenting a media-studies content analysis of the CSI effect, which means that yes, I have a good reason for why I’ve been re-visiting the three main series and the current re-boot! (Jorja Fox’s Sara Sidle will always have a special place in my heart as a primary reason for why I pursued my thesis topic and this research.) I’ll be conducting some original quantitative research for this as well, so be on the lookout for a survey in the near future. And with that, I’ll see everyone in class! 

Tomorrow’s Getting Harder, Make No Mistake

Son, Don’t Let The Man Get You!

It doesn’t take a lot to feel genuine happiness. Just a flickering lamplight, notepad, static crackling on whatever station I’m tuned into, a good book or ten, and a whole lot of solitude. (I’ll add my winter break reading list to the bottom of this post!) With all the reminiscing lately about how our family’s journey in America started out in Louisiana, I can’t help but start things off with “Born On The Bayou,” a household staple. 

It’s truly something to behold, looking back at all the moments, minute and monumental, that make this year stand out in my mind. A year split between what was becoming the “new normal” and the unfamiliar “old routine.” A regular sleep, work, and exercise schedule. What should have been my undergraduate ceremony in the spring that was actually me wrapping up half of the graduate school experience. But also, finding a new appreciation for the people who stuck around. A couple of new arrivals, and departures, if you will, to carry on with the metaphor of transitory spaces from my last blog. Growing closer to people as time grew scarcer. A sense of adventure, in all of the forms that can take on, beginning to form and solidify. Putting those map-reading skills to the test for more than just navigating life. And a sense of familiarity, comfort, and enchantment with the unknown, perhaps the greatest ironic gift of all. I hope I can capitalize on it, and make meaning of exactly what I’m doing here, and in a more meaningful sense of that question.

And with all of this, a project that I’ll be carrying with me for the foreseeable future, one that will serve as a marker of my identity in areas where it’ll make a big impact. 

I’ve Been Swimming In A Sea of Anarchy

It’s only fair that a transition to a new year and a fresh thesis process warrants a song with the same concept, like “Everyday Is A Winding Road” by Sheryl Crow. Thankfully, I’ve discovered another search term that yields useful resources even without extensive filtering and truncated searches; forensic oration. Granted, it has more so to do with litigation practices and actual courtroom semantics than evidence, but that’s perfectly fine! In fact, it ties in perfectly to what I’m hoping to achieve after all, which is exploring how linguistic evidence can be valued in the same regard as even the smallest scrap of physical evidence. 

A lot of last semester was spent as my foray into archival, involved, and innovative research and much of the break was spent evaluating sources, approaches, and research designs in between chasing joy. I’ve finally figured out what would work best for this project, in terms of organization and design, and it’s a very special construction that I’ll outline below:

  1. Abstract 
    1. Brief summary of the thesis and the associated keywords meant for database searches
    2. Projected Length: 250 words or less
  2. Introduction
    1. Defining the Term + Field of Forensic Linguistics
      1. Begin broadly, and narrow the scope to pertinent components
    2. Introduction of Field History + Key Figures + 1-2 Landmark Cases/Expert Testimonies
    3. Introduction of the Conflict/Central Question and Its Importance 
  3. Literature Review 
    1. Should segue seamlessly from the Introduction
    2. Components 
      1. Re-Iteration of the Hypothesis Question and Individual Sections to Address Different Instances of Forensic Linguistics Being Critical, But Overlooked (Meant as In The Different Forms of Forensic Linguistics, Not Necessarily Different Cases)
      2. Methodology (Will Be Thoroughly Explained and Expanded Upon Appropriately)
        1. Qualitative Mixed-Method Study using Discourse Theory, Case Study, Protocol and Content Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, and Possibly (?) A Criminal Justice Theory 
      3. Explanation of Projected Impact of this Research
        1. A nuanced portrait of the entire legal process, from arrest to courtroom, linguistically
        2. A path forward toward equitable interviewing, evidence collection, and courtroom processes
        3. Possible changes to the justice system 
    3. Projected Length: 4-7 Pages
  4. Thesis Casework 
    1. Determination of Parameters of Forensic Linguistics Necessary for Demonstrating Competence/Mastery +Defining of the Following
      1. Interviewing Procedures/Outcomes 
      2. Enhanced Auditory Evidence
      3. Forensic Stenography/Handwriting Comparisons 
      4. Forensic Oration
      5. Examine the Ethics and Motivations Associated
    2. Careful Selection of Cases Where Forensic Linguistics Could Have Been Employed via Expert Testimony But Was Neglected
    3. Cases Where Forensic Oration Was A Deciding Factor
      1. Once again, Ethical Implications, Factors of Bias, Etc. are to be examined
  5. Approaches to Demonstrate Thoughtful Analysis and Application of Forensic Linguistics (Only For the Purposes of This Outline, Not A Section In The Paper)
    1. Discourse Theory 
    2. Protocol and Content Analysis
    3. Explication and Imagined Application of Corpus Linguistics in Appropriate Scenarios 
  6. Results 
  7. Conclusion
  8. Overall Projected Length: ~70 + Pages

While the above is my overall outline, I recognize that there is a need to further flesh out and define the components I’ve condensed, in my hypothesis so that maybe my project can shed after-thought labels like “unique” or “interesting” when discussing or presenting it locally.  So, have a very bare outline of just the things involved in my hypothesis question! 

  1. Forensic Linguistics (General Premise, Field of Study) 
  2. Linguistic Evidence (What It Is, What It Is Not)
    1. My Points of Focus 
  3. How Is Forensic Linguistics Currently Utilized Today 
    1. Expert Use 
    2. Use By The Prosecution 
    3. Use By The Defense 
  4. What Does The Above Mean For the Field? 

It’s hefty stuff, but that’s what the abstract and introduction of any good thesis are for since they set the stage! I’ll focus this week to refine the work I’ve steadily completed on this thus far, and then set it aside. After all, fresh eyes will yield a different perspective, even if the writer and editor are one and the same. 

Smile and Grin At The Change All Around

After checking out the outlines above, and seeing all the work I have to do, there’s nothing that exemplifies how I’m feeling better than the screech in “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. (Also, it was the theme for CSI: Miami, a great show that will be mentioned again later!) Naturally, the above sections I have to write are going to continue to be refined until I feel that they’re thesis caliber. Maybe it’s an impossible idea that I’m chasing, one of the perfect thesis, or something that I’m not capable of, but I just know that I can, I should, and I will be better than this. 

Beyond that, however, it’s almost eating me alive how I really shared what was on my mind in terms of what I mentioned during the TROIKA exercise last class. Dr. Zamora summed it up perfectly by mentioning the insider-outsider phenomenon because there is a dissonance attached to seeing all the meaningful feedback flying around and then just stopping or slowing when it gets to you. And for what it’s worth hearing a week later, I’ve somewhat always known this isn’t the audience for my work. I guess the best way to describe this is more of a social than an academic struggle; my work is sound, but my feelings are not, and that is grating. It feels valid and important yet somehow also juvenile and distracting. Nevertheless, I won’t get lost in the cycle or fooled by these feelings! My mind’s eye is focused on the process, and I just have to stay the course. 

It’s going to come down to two things to pull everything together; grit and resilience. And there isn’t anything I do better than the two. So, that May 5th deadline is one I’m going to battle onwards to. 

I guess the best way to summarize my thesis work thus far and the overall process is that I’m essentially working it from the inside out; I’ll have to really, truly treat this as an investigation; I have all my evidence, a few theories of how the events unfolded, and now I need to put things together to find the actual occurrence, not the one of convenience. Parallel to completing my thesis, this is only going to enhance my investigative and academic skillsets. So, with this out of the way, I’m going to tackle my literature review, specifically the nuances of the methodology after I clear up the introduction and proceed from there. 

Don’t Bend, Don’t Break, Baby, Don’t Back Down 

It’s only fair to end the blog post with a song as stubborn sounding as I am, like “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, while I detail what I’ll be presenting on at Research Days in the coming months! Especially since it is adjacent to, but not exactly my thesis work! 

I’ll be presenting a media-studies content analysis of the CSI effect, which means that yes, I have a good reason for why I’ve been re-visiting the three main series and the current re-boot! (Jorja Fox’s Sara Sidle will always have a special place in my heart as a primary reason for why I pursued my thesis topic and this research.) I’ll be conducting some original quantitative research for this as well, so be on the lookout for a survey in the near future. And with that, I’ll see everyone in class!