Tag Archives: masters

What A Friendly Kid!

Try To Live, Trying To Learn, Trying To Just Be Who I Am 

I’m taking up the spirit of Lindy Ruff and saying it’s important to keep a short-term memory moving forward regarding what didn’t go well, capitalizing and building on what did, and just battling on to the next one, in regards to my presentation. It’s a lot more telling how someone faces adversity rather than how they accept victory. Thank you everyone for the feedback and interest in the room! I’ll get more into it in a second, but wow, I am so glad that is behind me! Honestly, having the presentation behind me is very reminiscent of when Hannah Montana performed “Just Like You” and revealed her secret to Lilly, her best friend. 

The rest of the week has been a blur with equilibrium; I didn’t eat as well as I normally would, but I got better sleep! I exercised minimally, but I kept my mood up with plenty of feel-good movies and music; all I need to turn my mood around is a Mighty Ducks movies and series marathon, Saturday Night Fever, and of course, classic Tom Selleck in Three Men and a Baby. When I rode my bike, I could barely balance, but when I ran, I hit a new personal record! I wrote a literal page a day, but I got through three books and a good chunk of manga that I’ve been putting off thumbing through for the better part of six months. I cried when the Riveters were eliminated from the playoffs, but I had nothing but hope in my heart after seeing St. Peter’s Cinderella run. The Devils may have had yet another lottery season, but I’m still pumped to see them this Sunday!

Above all else though, I think the most profound progress on my thesis (and the highlight of my week!) came from an interaction outside of the actual writing and editing stage. I was running an errand for work and happened to run into Diana and her kids! It was insightful hearing from Diana about what it’s like having to juggle all the different roles and responsibilities that you both impose on yourself, and that others place on you. It had me wondering where the separation in my own life is. While it was nice running into a classmate with a lot of wisdom, it was actually the two little ones who gave me a surge of hope for the thesis process! Like Madame Web told Spiderman during the nineties animated series; you must remember to have the faith of a child! Seeing how those two had nothing but confidence in their abilities to do a standing split, or be the cutest Ghostbuster (who, FYI, I could still see even as he hid behind Mom and giggled!), made me remember I have to believe in myself to go forth and just do my best and do what makes me happy! So, thanks for that! 

And now, a thesis update! 

Hope The Tears Were For Something

Let’s put on “Cheers” by blackbear, a definitive anthem of the pandemic years and the thesis process. To recap a semester and a half worth of content, it’s been painful, draining, and laborious work, but at the same time, exhilarating, enlightening, and fun! I settled on what road to go down once and for all by going with the most unbiased form of decision-making; a coin toss! (I should have defaulted to this long ago since it is how I decided where to go to college way back when!) So, it’ll be a creative project, which means slightly restructuring my lit review and methodology section, and editing things I wrote in the interest of furthering research, rather than for the reading pleasure of others. It’s a good thing I just stocked up on red pens! My next step from here is to edit the four thirty-five-page stories I have, and craft at least one or two more to really flesh out the characters and feel like I wrote enough. So, not a novel, but intertwined short stories with a cool forensic linguist! 

It’s wild how making this one decision changed everything for me; if I keep going at the pace I kept this week, instead of being a last-minute submission in May, I might be able to comfortably finish with an extra two weeks to spare. Talk about a turning point!

I refuse to let the rest of my work fall by the wayside, so I’ll work on refining one or two case studies to create an article to submit to a journal or academic magazine for publication, and of course, I’ll still be employing a lot of that work in my pitch for the three-minute thesis competition! Other than this, there’s nothing to do but keep trucking along! 

There’s Somethin’ Fiction ’bout The Way That Reality’s Going

I just want to end this post by reminding everyone that although the weather today may make it seem otherwise, it is spring, allergy season is upon us, and it is nearly time for baseball, with Opening Day fast approaching for the Mets, making this tune by hippo campus more than fitting! The next six weeks or so are going to fly by, and I can’t wait for it to be over! So, here’s to a Venn diagraming of the end of this process and program, and the start of the rest of my life! 

There’s Just Some Things You Can’t Do Inside Those City Limits

It’s Gonna Take A Fireman To Put This Old Flame Out

It’s really weird for me to have so much to write about; normally I’m a last-minute blog poster, so to have two posts in two consecutive weeks tells me that there’s a positive trend in how my thesis work is going! It also helps to have Tim McGraw as part of my thesis soundtrack; his album Not A Moment Too Soon is appropriately titled for this part of the thesis process, as things are going from liminal to concrete, and the deadline is starting to Venn diagram with the date. As per my last post, things are continuing to be a bit of a see-saw, but that’s mainly due to the fact that I’m facing some presentation anxiety, which I’ll explain further in a little while. My will to keep writing and see this thing through is summarized pretty well by the song “Give It To Me Strait.”

I guess I have this overwhelming sense of hope that I can do this after having as close to a perfect day as possible yesterday. The weather was perfect; the sun was high in the sky, reflecting off the water in the center of the park I ran a few laps around while my Mom and brother lingered somewhere in the background, walking at their own pace. I managed to skin my knee, bringing back the feeling of what it was like to be a kid again! Park trees, skinned knees, melting ice cream, and smiles brighter than sunbeams! I saw the ducks take off in a perfect flying-v formation, and even briefly helped a little kid who was learning how to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time. Seeing someone else have to push through the fear of failure and anxiety made me confront myself about how awful I was handling my upcoming presentation. (Truth be told, I just forced myself to make a slide deck last night!) 

Enough about my extracurricular activities, let’s get on with the thesis report!

Ain’t No Closing Time, Ain’t No Cover Charge 

Let’s go “Down On The Farm” for a quick minute or three!  I’ll tell it to you directly; I loathe the thought of presenting my thesis topic because it feels so out of place in the classroom. Last semester honestly killed a lot of my confidence; I found myself constantly questioning if I was in over my head with this topic, if I sucked as a presenter (strong likelihood), or if maybe there just wasn’t a space for forensic linguistics here. I felt like I spent the whole time speaking to myself. Keeping with the spirit of being on the farm and my love of Smallville, it felt like I was the scarecrow on homecoming night. I know I definitely don’t want to lose on any of the progress I’ve made towards feeling better about my thesis and feeling better in general, so during my big day out yesterday, I picked up my notebook and just kept writing; what I wanted to put on my slides, what I wanted to share, and what I think no one else needs to know. 

I think the emotions and inspirations behind the project are just as important as the finalized product, so buckle up for the ride! In order to mitigate the odds of boring everyone, I’m going to phase through my slides rather quickly, and then allow you, my audience to vote on what they want to see; excerpts from one of the case studies, my written component for Research Days, or one of the accompanying short stories starring none other than Rem Shepard, a forensic linguist with all the grit and heart in the world. 

As far as thesis completion goes, I’m worried, scared, and shaking in my Converse! (Get it, the linguists’ favorite sneakers? It’s one of my better jokes!) The preliminary stuff is out of the way, but after two case studies, I feel like I’m running on empty. Even with all my re-organizing and whatnot, I just can’t get it together. I just don’t enjoy research anymore. It took a few panic attacks, but eventually, my mellowed-out mood at the park had me picking up the pen for Rem Shepard again, this time having him interview someone on death row to discern if perhaps, there was one more death she was responsible for, to give the family some closure decades after the crime. (It’s morbid but also cathartic in an odd sense.) Like I said in my last post, I’m leaning towards the creative route to make the deadline because, at the moment, it’s coming to me much more naturally. I’m scared of not following the research route because I don’t know if I’ll ever have a moment in time to do something like this ever again. It really tears me up inside to have that fear of not handing everything in prim and proper by May. I know it isn’t an inherently shameful or embarrassing thing and yet I can’t shake the connotation of a summer submission with failure. I guess this is the duality of the mind; everything else in life is falling into place, but the center is slowly falling in. What will be will be, and for now, I just feel better getting my worries out there; maybe it’ll help to put someone else at ease!

I’ll see you all tomorrow afternoon! 

I’m Only Off To Wander Across A Moonlit Mile

Got Motion, Restrained Emotion

I’ve caught myself listening to The Pretenders more thanks to “Brass In Pocket” coming on during the long, stop-and-go ride home on Monday. It’s been another one of those wrap-around, non-stop, everything is inside out and upside-down sort of weeks, but I’m loving every second of it! Chaotic energy is sometimes necessary to shift into high gear and get the words flowing, even if it’s for the thesis and not for my blogs, which are going to be much more sparse, probably until the end of the semester. 

As far as things outside of school and my thesis go, they’re going! It took exactly two hours after class for me to accidentally answer to Nash (Bridges), so at least my Dad got a good laugh at the end of the day. By the time we got home, it was back to Sonny or Vice. Just like last semester, carpooling with the man was not only fun, but I managed to drive with three hands on the wheel and just had to grit my teeth and bear the constantly changing radio stations. (I’m guilty of it as a passenger, which is fine because my Dad can tune it out, but as a driver, constantly changing the radio gets on my nerves!) I started a new job, and I’m enjoying getting acclimated and finding my rhythm in the workplace, and figuring out how to adjust my running and writing schedules accordingly! The Devils bus trip sponsored by the Graduate Student Government is only a few weekends away, and since it’s a rivalry game against the Islanders, you can bet I’ll have the time of my life! I’m stoked for some playoff Riveters hockey, and I’m excited for the new Opening Day on April 15 for the Mets! I know it’s ways away, but the thrill of baseball on the horizon (along with the annoying itchy eyes and runny nose thanks to allergies) is how I know it’s the changing of the season, and the start of better times. My application to the paralegal certification I mentioned a while ago is going in soon. It might not be super apparent, but there’s a shift in how I’ve been feeling as of late, and I hope to keep it going.  

Anyway, let’s get on with the thesis update! 

There Is A Wait So Long

The taunting, sardonic tone of “Here Comes Your Man” by the Pixies sums up the feeling of having to present this upcoming week. It’s tough to follow after Susan and Jessie since they’ve both had dynamic and compelling stories to tell and research to share, and while I may get lost in the world of forensic linguistics, it isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly OK! 

I’m thinking about how open I’ve been about running a parallel track of research vs. creative writing this whole time, and whether I should split the presentation between the two, focus on one, or find a way that lets me pull my Research Days work in and still make it make sense to everyone else. I’m also thinking about how open I’ve been about the insider-outsider feeling and the way that might have an effect on how I feel going into the presentation and what ends up happening. I’m thinking about how I’ve written the same amount, lengthwise, of both creative fiction and case studies, and how it would be so easy to rework my lit review and methodology and pivot between the two. The looming deadline has me leaning one way, and my heart and instinctual self have me leaning another. Here comes your man, indeed. Except he’s a man with no plan. Going the creative route would let me finish ahead of schedule, comfortably, and I probably would have less anxiety. I’ve been committed to the research angle for so long, my imposter syndrome might just explode if I try to cross over to the creative side, no matter how much I try to reason I haven’t lost any progress. But if I cross over, I’ll feel like I cheated myself out of something that might not come around ever again.  

I started the semester out thinking I had all the answers, and the closer I get to sharing my work with others, the more I realize I can answer their questions, but none of my own. I have more than an adequate handle on forensic linguistics; the terms, key figures, major occurrences, and all that jazz. It’s my position in the field that is unclear. Am I a researcher? An inspired writer? An imposter? Just a student? Just a guy?

But, that is not a cause for stress or any other concern; it’s almost like the internal conflict is letting me pull through on both fronts and keep the momentum alive so I’m well-positioned, no matter what direction I take. This is a thesis that’s been something out of a fairytale for me. There have been a lot more potholes than smoothly paved roads, and plenty of tears, frustration, and moments of doubt. And yet, there’s been so much magic and charm to it. This thesis has been a nocturnal project, with the progress when inspiration hit outpacing the rising of the sun. All the words have been flavored with different types of teas and coffees, and my identity as the writer was validated by the scrawls on the sides of the cups. It belongs to me just as much to me as it does to the spaces in which I found myself writing, such as Starbucks, the library, the park benches, the passenger seat of the family car, the break room of Kohl’s, and who knows how many rooms and offices at this point on campus. This project came together thanks to countless voice memos, index cards, post-it notes, and conversations with anyone and everyone who stopped to even ask what I was working on. For my presentation, I’ll figure it out in due time. Here comes your man, more like “This Charming Man.” 

At least I’m pretty much wrapped up on the Research Days front! I went all in and now have a written component. In this paper, I analyzed the CSI effect versus real-life timetables and investigative tools available, how police procedural shows have impacted jury duty selections and verdicts, and the overall effect of long-term viewing through the lens of social psychology. I kept it relatively short (about ten pages). I’m also wrapping up the design of my digital poster, and am slightly dreading the amount of teasing I am going to incur when I walk into the house with either a trifold or poster board and the question “Is this a project for class due tomorrow?” I might even add some glitter just to give this work some personality! It’s just about getting it done and doing it well at this point.

Suddenly Thunder Showers Everywhere

It’s only fair to end things with another one of The Pretender’s big hits, “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” This song, in particular, is especially appropriate for describing the floaty, optimistic, and yet focused sort of feeling that seems to be my baseline as of late. I wish I could articulate it better, but I think that if the Mets are telling me I’ve gotta believe, and miracles like those on the ice can come true, then there’s nothing for me to do except accept that there is just something in the air and just keep doing what I’m doing! 

Loosen Up!

Like A Movin’ Heartbeat In The Witching Hour

I’m telling you, Def Leppard’s Hysteria is one of the greatest albums to come out and one of my favorites to have on at any time; in the car, working out, and while working on something when I need that extra push! “Animal” is definitely one of those time-warp songs; you can just see the hairspray flying, the mullets growing out, and all the leather jackets with their back to you leaning over pool tables in dim light, with the haze of cigarette smoke and the smell of stale beer permeating the air. I’m just blown away by how fast spring break flew by and how I managed to figure out my directions for the foreseeable future! I owe a lot of this momentum going forward to hope from external forces; the Riveters, who might be fourth seed heading into the playoffs, but have played some of the best hockey I’ve seen this past weekend (check out Rebecca Russo’s end-to-end goal!), the Devils, for the upset wins over the Avalanche and the Ducks, two teams who they persevered against (with the latter game proving Jesper Bratt is elite and should have been the Metropolitan Division’s Last Man In), and the Mets, with the return of the MLB, new acquisitions, and the chaotic energy of our owner, Uncle Steve!

This blog is a shorter one, but the energy is what’s critical here; there’s a breakthrough taking place right here, right now! 

Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light, Go!

I know you know the words to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and it is totally not a guilty pleasure song, so feel free to sing along! As far as thesis writing goes, I am proud to report that I met my goal of wrapping up the first two chapters plus my written component for research days, so that’s a solid thirty percent out of the way! After reading through a recent Twitter feed about presentation fiascos, I also made sure to double-check everything has page numbers and follows the same order of appearance as far as elements of the cases I analyzed go. The next thing I checked for as I was running through it again was any form of bias, which I am glad to say is missing, and if I had adequately addressed any counterarguments, which just took another page or so to work through. 

I was starting to run out of steam and recognized I kept polishing these chapters up because I didn’t know where to go from there, or how to get to that next destination. Let this be a cautionary tale about over-researching; you can find plenty of brilliant cases at all levels (local, state, and federal), but you have to pick and choose which you think you can work with the best. The last major piece of writing I had to spread out over a long stretch was my paper on the Rwandan genocide for Conflict Resolution, so I used the Dr. Lynch approach to figure out what to do; first, look at my abstract to see what needs to be addressed and answered, thus creating the bare bones of a new outline. Next, I generated an exhaustive list of questions for each section of my thesis in no particular order; introduction, literature review, methodology, case studies, results,  the brief interlude and restatement of the purpose, the proposed place and protocol for forensic linguistics, the hypothetical change and outcome, and the conclusion. Then, I went back and categorized the questions, combined what I could, and moved on to the next process. 

I spent half a day alone on this and created a checklist to see what information I had available on every case, and created a checklist; legal documents, academic articles, newspaper articles, magazine articles, podcast episodes, documentaries, and television or movie adaptations or inspired elements that helped me figure out which cases were up next. Following this, it was a matter of pairing each case with the remaining articles or even using previously untouched elements of those already cited to make things easier on my future self. So, what was once my research folder is now sib-divided for each chapter of my thesis, with everything I need right within reach. I’ve been working on each chapter of my thesis as an individual document, and I’m sorting through and moving them around to the appropriate subfolder as needed. 

The elements of conflict resolution I mentioned earlier are also taking shape in their own right; I spent the other half of my organization day formulating questions that I hope to use those concepts to answer, rationalizing to myself why this fits in the intermediary space between case studies and proposed protocol, and the general outlook is decent so far! After all the organization and re-outlining, I was too wired to not make progress, so I started writing “out of order” again. I now have a rough draft of the “interlude” section and the beginnings of my proposed protocol. The case studies are ultimately what should come first and remain my priority, but it’s OK as long as I keep it going!

As far as Research Days go, I’m feeling good about my progress! I’m just about a month out, but I have the time to change, add, and revise my written component, as well as work on my poster. This is where I have the least motivation to get anything done. I trust myself to, but who knows when, and how. 

I can’t ballpark how long it’ll take now, but if I keep going at it I might be able to get through another case study by the end of this week, bringing me to the official halfway point, plus my Research Days work! After that, I’m considering asking someone I know to read things over for me and let me know if mastery of the topic is demonstrated, if enough background is given without detracting from the main ideas and purpose, etc. There’s nothing to do but keep pushing from here!

You Got It, But Are You Gettin’ It?

There’s nothing urgent enough to “Armaggedon It” just yet. I feel a bit of burnout creeping up on me, so I might not be as active as this past week. If I get through the next case study, and st least figure out what my poster looks like, I’ll consider that more than enough! After all, I have exactly a week until I present so that’s where I need to fine-tune my rhythm. Yes, this is bringing up all the ugly, negative feelings that come with the insider-outsider effect, but I’m coaching myself through it. Fear cannot outweigh curiosity and progress! It’s another case of going through it to get past it and walk on. 

It’s Such A Magical Mysteria

The closer I get to the end of this thesis process, and to school itself for me, the more it feels like “Hysteria.” I’m stoked about Jessie’s presentation for tonight! I know that whatever comes of the storm, the story will be a page-turner! 

There’s this gnawing curiosity and unease about how the rest of March and April are going to play out, but I can’t psych myself out trying to forecast too many things or by ripping into myself for not having more done. It’s just like the Mets always say; Ya gotta believe! 

Have You Got It Together?

Writers, Prize Fighters, And Wall Street Traders

I have nothing but love for New Jersey, the state I’ve always called home, but after Susan’s moving presentation and amazing memoir snippet, I had nothing but the infinite possibilities and wonder that New York has held for so many people over the years on my mind and there’s no song more fitting than “An Open Letter to NYC” by the legendary Beastie Boys to inspire me to keep it in perspective while moving forward. It’s one of my favorite music videos, and it’s neat how they celebrated all the positives of New York while still addressing the fact there are systemic changes that need to be made! Thank you for sharing and setting a high bar Susan! 

There have also been other good events from last class to now. I was able to order my graduation cap and gown online, and seeing the order confirmation felt a lot like getting off of the one and nine line. The Meet the GAs event GSG hosted was a blast, and going forward, there are so many more fun events to look forward to, from guest speakers to massages to an alumni panel to a Devils game bus trip! (If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to me or follow Kean GSG on Instagram! Also, graduate students get first priority for game tickets, so definitely make the effort to come if you can!) I finally let go and let my emotions flow during a one-hour run and two-hour journaling marathon one day, and I’m getting better at keeping my mood level. My Dad is still lovingly ragging on my haircut months later, especially now that it’s growing out and the feathered layers are more pronounced; I absentmindedly answered to both Don (as in Don Johnson) and Sonny Crockett, the name of his character on Miami Vice the other day, and he has yet to let it go. (No one else gets to call me Sonny, so don’t even think about trying it!) To be fair, there are definitely a few similarities, and I definitely wouldn’t mind having a Daytona Spyder. I’m anticipating and certainly not going to fall for Nash/Nash Bridges!

I feel pretty good about the direction my thesis and work, in general, is going in after attending the recent career fair and speaking with individuals outside the program to see if there is an audience for it. (And yes, there is!) Riveters hockey this weekend was both a mood booster and major comfort! Seeing a team you love stand up for mental health awareness, especially after a year where you personally have struggled more than ever before is incredible and beyond words. Add into that the fact that both the Riveters and the Devils had thrilling OT wins on the same day, not to mention the crazy awesome calls from Erica Ayala during Tuesday night’s game, and you have the most amped-up version of me on a writing tear! 

I’m feeling better now that I’ve broken a lot of ground on my thesis, and I was able to integrate what isn’t the central focus, but the most important aspect to me, which I’ll get into in just a moment. My Research Days endeavor is full steam ahead as well, and you’ll be able to read about it in-depth in just a second! 

Now, a true thesis update!

We Just Got The Start Wrong!

So, you will definitely need something as upbeat as “Haven’t Had Enough” by Marianas Trench to get through this next section, and I definitely need something as emotive as bolded caps lock for this next statement: MY THESIS IS ON A ROLL AND I HAVE FOUND MY VOICE! Yep, the wheels are turning and the accelerator is pretty much to the floor! 

In terms of progress, I have nearly two chapters done, plus my research days project which I am nearly complete with, barring a few modifications to my research design. As previously stated, I finally mad-libbed together a methodology section, which felt like passing through the EZ-Pass lane, but then I got caught up in the mad scramble for the exit and took a wrong turn at the fork in the road. Essentially, my first stab at one of the case studies I put together wasn’t necessarily terrible, since it was on target and checked off all the aspects that I wanted to assess; the background of the case, the significant factors that made me select it, the key figures in the investigation, the role that linguistic evidence either did or did not play, and the ultimate consequence that perhaps a shift could have incurred. (I also decided once I started to go with a chronological progression of the case studies, to highlight how different investigative tactics and tools have emerged or become more sophisticated.) It just felt like something was missing, and it was something that even Rem Shepard couldn’t help with. (I did give him a second story, but it was more for fun rather than as a roundabout to frustration.) The lab manual approach worked for my methodology section but needed to be tweaked for everything else. And my answer came in the form of something much closer to what I’m working with; a brief crash course in how to draw up legal briefs and memos, and opinions from the Supreme Court. 

Luckily, there are plenty of free legal memos and brief writing guides and examples on the Internet, tailored to all different areas of law. I chose to focus on the organization and language utilized in criminal law, evidentiary, wills, trusts, and estates documents since written and verbal statements and artifacts are crucial here, and used examples of each to create a comprehensive list of terms and definitions that should be kept in perspective and to see what aspects are crucial to mention in real-life situations. (LexisNexis is goated for having all the document examples I need, plus a rad legal dictionary!) I also took note of the headings, length of each section, and the extensive use of superscripts and footnotes, which was a big help in helping to make my work more concise and readable. I was also able to re-organize the chapter, add in a few aspects and instances I had glossed over, and alter the section headers to better reflect the material. But, something was still missing, and that’s where the Supreme Court opinions come in. 

It’s remarkable how easy it is to find Supreme Court opinions, with or without database searches, and I truly loved those I read that were written by Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in particular. I can remember seeing Justice Sotomayor on the news the summer after fourth grade when her confirmation process had just begun, and leaping up in joy when I heard she had also read the Nancy Drew series in its entirety as a young girl, and my Mom telling me, “Maybe one day you’ll work with her!” It’s an honor to include and cite her work in my thesis, and it makes me all the more determined to do a good job. Justice Sotomayor’s majority and dissenting opinions are practically all in the same ballpark of thought that I entered into this thesis with, and if there’s anything I pulled from them it is to organize your thoughts in order of importance and illustrate the consequence of the final findings and rulings. (Her style of writing also emboldened me to go back and revise my statement of positionality to be more paramount.) Justice Kagan’s writing style particularly struck me as inspirational, as there were glimpses of humor and an almost conversational tone, filled with accessible examples illuminating her key points. I blended the two together, and then I found my groove! (And plenty of sensible parallels to other things, such as literature and media! I’m also going to make it clear here: If I can compare anything to anything in hockey or baseball without it being a distraction or hard to follow, you bet I will!) I kept Kagan’s warmth in mind, and it definitely helped me settle down and want to write, instead of feeling the pressure of a deadline and dreading writing.

Now, onto the part of my thesis that is possibly the most important to me; the inclusion of concepts from my conflict resolution course! Granted, I still have plenty of case study analysis to write before I can even begin to plan out and write the future considerations and procedures section, but I didn’t want to lose any momentum, even if it means writing out of order briefly. Sure, it sounds conceited, but I know I have the material locked down and I can and will power through that portion of my thesis; I was able to define and illustrate all key ideas and points from memory, and barring the year, I even had the in-text citations memorized. It’s going to take a lot of refining, but I feel good about the direction things are going in. 

Hopefully, after all of this, I’ll get the story straight and the ending right! Now, onto some Research Days progress! 

Just A Whole Lot Of Noise 

It’s rare for this to happen, but I needed silence at first to figure out how I was going to proceed with my Research Days project. (Usually, I have to have some sort of music or podcast on in the background to set a pace and keep me motivated.) Unfortunately, the time constraints and concerns over whether an IRB certificate needs to be acquired are something I can’t stress myself out over any longer, and as much as it pains me, I have to do away with the survey and statistical analysis. Naturally, this means having to restructure my research design and outline a bit. So, it’ll be a media analysis over a case study analysis of just one character or one series, and I’ll have to stick to finding the role of forensic linguistics and how that portrayal lines up with the reality of the field. Furthermore, I think this is where content analysis best fits with my thesis, so I can work in reverse by completing this, and then amending the methodology section as needed. It’s a tricky business, but this endeavor has to take on a double-identity; a stand-alone project, but also something that ties into my larger thesis. 

Lately, I’ve just had “pulse conditioner” by Cougar, “Blimp Mason” by Citizen, and “Rave After Rave” by W&W on loop as I continue the write-up and poster process. (I think I might have conditioned myself to associate clubbing music with homework!) As far as my poster goes, I have the guidelines provided by ORSP for Research Days, but I think it could be tweaked a bit to become a tie-in graphic I can feature in my thesis. I’ll probably have that ready by the middle of next week, so I can look away and fix it up a bit before formally presenting later the following week. I also figure that by following this timeline there’s a possibility I might even be able to fold it into my upcoming thesis presentation, which I haven’t thought too much about just yet. I better get on that! 

If, When, Why, What? 

West End Girls” provided me with all the questions I need to figure out what direction to go from here. The plan is simple; just capitalize on the momentum! After all, my abstract, introduction, literature review, and methodology are all completed and the pedal has been pushed down to the floor lately. I hope that by the time I’m back in the classroom on Monday I’ll have the two chapters done and edited, plus the written component to my Research Days project/thesis tie-in done, which brings me to roughly 30% completion as far as thesis-thesis written material goes. If I really need to, I can always write out of order and cut to the later parts; the conflict resolution infusion and the proposed protocol of forensic linguistics and projected future changes to keep things going. I know that 30% isn’t much at all, but it takes a step to start a journey, another to keep it going, and a third before you decide to sprint because you’re moving too slowly! At some point a switch will flick and this thing will be done by the deadline!

I know that I have a lot of other things going on as well, such as planning for my upcoming presentation and beginning to prepare the website for my multimodal submission. (I’m also looking into publishing this formally, so it’ll be neat to journey into the world of Proquest/JSTOR/other thesis and dissertation databases! I also wonder if I can get  my Research Days findings published in a formal journal, or maybe even a magazine!) I can’t tell you exactly how just yet, but it’ll be OK. I’m getting there!

Get Straight, Go Forward, Move Ahead! 

And don’t forget to “Whip It!” The rest of spring break is all about figuring out a better routine to carry me to the end of the semester, keeping the momentum going on my project, and of course, showing up and supporting Jessie next Monday during her presentation! See everyone then! 

It’s Gonna Get Worse If He Waits Too Long

You Take It On Faith, You Take It To The Heart 

Tom Petty is absolutely correct; “The Waiting” is indeed the hardest part! But, waiting is thankfully where things have massively turned around for me. What I thought was falling behind was a lot more like being under construction; the road to actually, really feeling better and happier is no doubt going to be long and stretch well beyond what I thought it would, but staying the course is something I’m determined to do! The first steps came this week, by re-assessing what is and isn’t working in life in general. Negativity and living in the imagined “worst-case scenario” or “bad outcomes” isn’t going to magically disappear, but it is possible to take a step back, assess the thought, and do my best to work around it. I finally convinced myself that it’s OK to still enjoy the things I love even if I was momentarily stuck and unmotivated with my thesis, and that’s how I found myself spending Saturday and Sunday both weeks rooting for the Riveters! (I really hope that everyone at least got to take a peek at the games, whether on ESPN+, Twitch, or from all the clips and play-by-plays I retweeted! And it was great to get my family into the games as well; my parents are familiar with a fair amount of hockey terms and rules after years of the Devils on their TV, and now they’re getting to know the Riveters as a team! (It’s a work in progress; Madison Packer, team captain, is the only player my parents can recognize and name on their own, in large part because of her pink hair!) Needless to say, they think it’s fitting and hilarious that the team I root for spent a bit of time in the penalty box!

It’s pretty tough to be sad after seeing amazing work like that, and finding a viable path forward in the process! During Sunday’s win against the Minnesota Whitecaps, I had an enlightening interaction on Twitter with Dr. Virginia Yonkers, an amazing and accomplished scholar who opened my eyes to the methodology of ethnomethodology, as well as keeping a methodology but adding a lens, such as constructivism! I’ll explain further down just how my mind’s eye is imagining this is going to play out. 

Outside of just the weekends, I’m back to a regular gym schedule, lifting a little heavier, and took full advantage of the few nicer days and went for some long runs, bike rides, and soul searching. There’s something about beating the traffic and pedaling to your backdoor in the middle of the sunset while wind hits your face that makes things feel a little better, just like pulling into the parking lot for a deserted beach and staring out at the water on a cold, windy day. Of course, with student government meetings, the wonderful Twosday that happened to coincide with the Miracle on Ice anniversary, the Devils returning to action on Thursday against the Penguins in a big way, a trip to Broadway, and of course, the Riveters at home this weekend in Newark with the gorgeous Black Rosie jerseys, I can feel a shift coming! The ongoing negotiations between the MLB and player’s association will hopefully have an equitable outcome, and I know it’s ancient news now, but I can’t wait for the Mets to have their Old Timers Day this summer! 

(Also, I have my fingers crossed regarding a few more upcoming job interviews and the results of a few past ones!)

Things are in motion, and I am trying to conscientiously be here for it all. And now, a thesis update! 

You’ve Got To Trust Your Instinct And Let Go Of Regret

If you’ve been following my progress since September and know me, “All Mixed Up” by 311 is just the right pace and mood for how things have been, and I’m on the happier side of it now! The methodology dilemma is no more! I know where this thing is going, and I know “how to write my thesis” now that I have all of that cleared up. In my last attempt at a methodology section, I got frustrated and overwhelmed and wrote a whole short story as a way to prove to myself that I know what’s going on and how to do things, but I’m not so good at telling others what the framework of my project is. Most of my struggles in school are lost in translation to my parents, and yet this time, my (real, not something of a) scientist (himself) Dad had a helpful response; brush up on my lab manual comprehension and lab report writing skills, because the problem I’m describing is basically the same as those processes! And yes, it worked. (Also, I am still capable of keeping up with the fast-paced and nuanced science talk! Between that, this, some literary theory and criticism I’ve been delving into on the side, and all the stats I’ve been brushing up on and crushing, I’m feeling really good about myself!)

So, it was once again a scenario where I had to work it from the inside out; I might have figured out my angle and style, but I also needed to work on formatting, organization, and introduction of ideas, transitions, and actually sitting still long enough to write things out. Naturally, I rationalized that if there could be different types of literature reviews (narrative, chronological, etc.) the same logic could be applied to my methodology section, and so I chose to introduce my means of analysis by ranking and re-evaluating what a methodology is. Of course, case study and discourse analysis are my top two, and so they were scheduled to appear in that order. Protocol analysis almost threw a wrench in the plans, but since it ties into my case study framework, I just folded it in there. I took a look at content analysis and corpus linguistics next and through the same process, worked out how I would introduce and implement these investigative tactics. 

Following this, I used some structural elements of the lab manuals and reports I combed through to create a “composite document,” which was essentially typing out how I would introduce the methodology in a transition from my literature review no matter and leaving brackets with very obvious instructions to my future self wherever necessary, such as [insert name of the methodology here], [insert author’s name here] and [insert quote about the relevance of methodology] to give you a basic idea. I then circled back to add in other important brackets, such as [explication of the relevancy] and [reiterate supporting detail from previous sections], and also added the essential and pertinent headings and sub-headings for each approach and for the rationale section. I then created a corresponding “for filling in the brackets” document that contained all the key terms, definitions, and figures I wanted to mention and used a bold and italic system to once again denote importance versus optionality. I made sure to add in-text citations next to each term where applicable, and created another document for just those. (It’ll be handy through the whole process, so future me will thank me later!) And then, just to make sure I really hit all the bases before loading them up with information, I revisited Telling A Research Story: Writing a Literature Review by Christine B. Feak and John M. Swales and checked my composite document against some of their tips for having concise, pragmatic writing that still addressed all concerns of both author and audience while giving attribution where necessary. 

Naturally, drawing up a composite document also meant a lot of re-evaluation of who is this really for, an issue that I’ve constantly been grappling with. (Yes, it is for everyone here, but when published, hopefully, it will be seen by other forensic linguists and researchers!)  Luckily, I happened to know of a few categories of case studies, and after some research, I determined illustrative and critical instance case studies were the two that best fit the bill here. As a quick refresher, illustrative case studies are used to dissect and examine a prior situation for the purpose of explaining it to others and are qualitative by nature. Nothing is added, subtracted, or dissected, but it differs from a cumulative case study in the sense that it is assumed the audience is either entirely new or only vaguely familiar with the topic at hand. Critical instance case studies can be utilized to either examine or determine the causes and consequences of an instance or to challenge a universal assertion. Rather than challenge a universal assertion, the question at the center of my thesis, how can linguistic evidence come to be viewed in the same light as physical evidence, seeks to introduce a potential universal assertion. So, that moved finding supporting sources and justifying this approach, my main concern for this section of my thesis to the resolved column. It was tedious, and some of the steps may not have been entirely necessary, but it felt good to feel like something was getting done and eventually filling in all the brackets. 

Conventional? No. 

Successful? Yes! 

TL;DR: I played a high-stakes game of mad-libs with my methodology section and it paid off really well! 

I’ve gotten started on the critical part of my thesis writing, which is the actual application and analysis of all the cases I selected. It’s going to be a hyper-involved process that involves checking out my notes on my sources, re-reading articles and re-visiting podcasts, possibly adding in some documentaries (PBS is the best!), and of course, creating titles for each chapter, but I can, and I will do this! 

Out Of The Shadows And Into The Night!

Now that I’m older, I admire how sociable Phil Collins is, insisting Billy not lose his number! (I could never!) As I’m working on my Research Days project, I am also working with the knowledge of knowing it will ultimately become a part of my thesis, and based on the topic, it is coming at a highly polarized time and needs to be completed with a high level of integrity, not just for the sake of the outcome, but also with consideration to the impact it could potentially have. It means working on a disclaimer to place at the beginning of my survey, to ensure that there is a clear understanding that completion of the survey is completely voluntary and that there is content of a sensitive nature that will be addressed. Furthermore, as I load up and trim down questions, I am also cognizant of the limitations of what is and is not permissible without an IRB certification, so I plan to meet with a resource librarian to ensure that the questions are appropriate and within bounds. 

Aside from narrowing the list and scope of the questions on my survey, I’ve narrowed down what statistical software to use! I’ve messed around with a few open-sourced tools and found that I really liked both JASP, which is automatically calibrated for APA-style results, charts, tables, and PAST, a similar, but simpler software. I’m confident in my working knowledge of the tools, and I’ve done quite a few practice runs with some stats problems to make sure I know exactly where to input what and everything else. (I will also admit it is inflating my ego every time I intuitively know where to plug in what or click what.) 

Aside from the mathematical side of things, I feel pretty confident that I have reviewed all of the pertinent literature on the CSI effect, and am able to translate that into what my survey questions are attempting to measure. I’d also given myself the task of watching a set of shows that I felt were pertinent to influencing how others in my age group and a bit older might view police, investigations, and available resources, and I’m making steady progress working my way through them all. I’m only one person with a limited amount of time, so I’ve devised a plan to try and see if transcripts of episodes are available anywhere, and then, I plan to run a bot to analyze for similarities among the scripts, a set of key search terms, etc. and go from there. (Rest assured, this will be marked in my methodology section if I chose to do so!) So, my Research Days work is alive and a live wire! 

All My Dreams Have Fallen Down

This floaty and focused feeling I’m getting from making progress on my work and other concerns are pretty well summarized by “Save Me” by Remy Zero. Just like young Clark Kent, I too am setting out on my journey to become who people will know me as for years to come. Smallville is one of my all-time favorite shows and I usually have it on in the background while writing. This week, it echoed in my life; much like Clark and Jonathan Kent, my Dad and I definitely fight a lot but are still quite close. And just like Jonathan Kent, my Dad looked me in the eyes when he gave me the lab manual review advice and said, “I wish I could tell you all the answers, but you have to find them yourself.” It had me thinking about the insider-outsider feeling, and I came to realize over the last two weeks I hardly felt it, and I want to keep it that way. Forensic linguistics is fascinating and I regret spending even a moment wishing I picked something else to write about. I’m literally going to exercise the option of being able to leave the classroom for the second half of class and walk around as I write, and hope to finish at least half a chapter before heading home. 

I also realized I’m closer than further on a lot of big decisions, like how to submit my thesis and how to present in a few weeks. For my thesis, I’m definitely doing a traditional submission and a website. (I figure it might help to have live links to my sources in my work.) Admittedly, the latter half is weighing heavily on my mind; I really don’t want to go for round four of an aggravating instead of exhilarating time in front of the classroom. I could take the easy way out and use it for practice for Research Days. Or, I can stop stressing over what is still way out on the horizon and remind myself that no matter what happens, I’m hitting submit in May. 

So, I’m not quite Superman just yet, but the time will pass in the blink of an eye.

Don’t Give Yourself Away! 

It’s only fitting to end a post this long and with hints to even longer pieces of my writing with a bop like “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. (This came on at least three times while I was cycling uphill, so I’m equating it with a strong surge of determination and a push against all odds.) As I look ahead to today’s class, it’s all about showing up and supporting Susan, who I am sure will have an amazing presentation! See everyone later! 

It’s Gonna Get Worse If He Waits Too Long

You Take It On Faith, You Take It To The Heart 

Tom Petty is absolutely correct; “The Waiting” is indeed the hardest part! But, waiting is thankfully where things have massively turned around for me. What I thought was falling behind was a lot more like being under construction; the road to actually, really feeling better and happier is no doubt going to be long and stretch well beyond what I thought it would, but staying the course is something I’m determined to do! The first steps came this week, by re-assessing what is and isn’t working in life in general. Negativity and living in the imagined “worst-case scenario” or “bad outcomes” isn’t going to magically disappear, but it is possible to take a step back, assess the thought, and do my best to work around it. I finally convinced myself that it’s OK to still enjoy the things I love even if I was momentarily stuck and unmotivated with my thesis, and that’s how I found myself spending Saturday and Sunday both weeks rooting for the Riveters! (I really hope that everyone at least got to take a peek at the games, whether on ESPN+, Twitch, or from all the clips and play-by-plays I retweeted! And it was great to get my family into the games as well; my parents are familiar with a fair amount of hockey terms and rules after years of the Devils on their TV, and now they’re getting to know the Riveters as a team! (It’s a work in progress; Madison Packer, team captain, is the only player my parents can recognize and name on their own, in large part because of her pink hair!) Needless to say, they think it’s fitting and hilarious that the team I root for spent a bit of time in the penalty box!

It’s pretty tough to be sad after seeing amazing work like that, and finding a viable path forward in the process! During Sunday’s win against the Minnesota Whitecaps, I had an enlightening interaction on Twitter with Dr. Virginia Yonkers, an amazing and accomplished scholar who opened my eyes to the methodology of ethnomethodology, as well as keeping a methodology but adding a lens, such as constructivism! I’ll explain further down just how my mind’s eye is imagining this is going to play out. 

Outside of just the weekends, I’m back to a regular gym schedule, lifting a little heavier, and took full advantage of the few nicer days and went for some long runs, bike rides, and soul searching. There’s something about beating the traffic and pedaling to your backdoor in the middle of the sunset while wind hits your face that makes things feel a little better, just like pulling into the parking lot for a deserted beach and staring out at the water on a cold, windy day. Of course, with student government meetings, the wonderful Twosday that happened to coincide with the Miracle on Ice anniversary, the Devils returning to action on Thursday against the Penguins in a big way, a trip to Broadway, and of course, the Riveters at home this weekend in Newark with the gorgeous Black Rosie jerseys, I can feel a shift coming! The ongoing negotiations between the MLB and player’s association will hopefully have an equitable outcome, and I know it’s ancient news now, but I can’t wait for the Mets to have their Old Timers Day this summer! 

(Also, I have my fingers crossed regarding a few more upcoming job interviews and the results of a few past ones!)

Things are in motion, and I am trying to conscientiously be here for it all. And now, a thesis update! 

You’ve Got To Trust Your Instinct And Let Go Of Regret

If you’ve been following my progress since September and know me, “All Mixed Up” by 311 is just the right pace and mood for how things have been, and I’m on the happier side of it now! The methodology dilemma is no more! I know where this thing is going, and I know “how to write my thesis” now that I have all of that cleared up. In my last attempt at a methodology section, I got frustrated and overwhelmed and wrote a whole short story as a way to prove to myself that I know what’s going on and how to do things, but I’m not so good at telling others what the framework of my project is. Most of my struggles in school are lost in translation to my parents, and yet this time, my (real, not something of a) scientist (himself) Dad had a helpful response; brush up on my lab manual comprehension and lab report writing skills, because the problem I’m describing is basically the same as those processes! And yes, it worked. (Also, I am still capable of keeping up with the fast-paced and nuanced science talk! Between that, this, some literary theory and criticism I’ve been delving into on the side, and all the stats I’ve been brushing up on and crushing, I’m feeling really good about myself!)

So, it was once again a scenario where I had to work it from the inside out; I might have figured out my angle and style, but I also needed to work on formatting, organization, and introduction of ideas, transitions, and actually sitting still long enough to write things out. Naturally, I rationalized that if there could be different types of literature reviews (narrative, chronological, etc.) the same logic could be applied to my methodology section, and so I chose to introduce my means of analysis by ranking and re-evaluating what a methodology is. Of course, case study and discourse analysis are my top two, and so they were scheduled to appear in that order. Protocol analysis almost threw a wrench in the plans, but since it ties into my case study framework, I just folded it in there. I took a look at content analysis and corpus linguistics next and through the same process, worked out how I would introduce and implement these investigative tactics. 

Following this, I used some structural elements of the lab manuals and reports I combed through to create a “composite document,” which was essentially typing out how I would introduce the methodology in a transition from my literature review no matter and leaving brackets with very obvious instructions to my future self wherever necessary, such as [insert name of the methodology here], [insert author’s name here] and [insert quote about the relevance of methodology] to give you a basic idea. I then circled back to add in other important brackets, such as [explication of the relevancy] and [reiterate supporting detail from previous sections], and also added the essential and pertinent headings and sub-headings for each approach and for the rationale section. I then created a corresponding “for filling in the brackets” document that contained all the key terms, definitions, and figures I wanted to mention and used a bold and italic system to once again denote importance versus optionality. I made sure to add in-text citations next to each term where applicable, and created another document for just those. (It’ll be handy through the whole process, so future me will thank me later!) And then, just to make sure I really hit all the bases before loading them up with information, I revisited Telling A Research Story: Writing a Literature Review by Christine B. Feak and John M. Swales and checked my composite document against some of their tips for having concise, pragmatic writing that still addressed all concerns of both author and audience while giving attribution where necessary. 

Naturally, drawing up a composite document also meant a lot of re-evaluation of who is this really for, an issue that I’ve constantly been grappling with. (Yes, it is for everyone here, but when published, hopefully, it will be seen by other forensic linguists and researchers!)  Luckily, I happened to know of a few categories of case studies, and after some research, I determined illustrative and critical instance case studies were the two that best fit the bill here. As a quick refresher, illustrative case studies are used to dissect and examine a prior situation for the purpose of explaining it to others and are qualitative by nature. Nothing is added, subtracted, or dissected, but it differs from a cumulative case study in the sense that it is assumed the audience is either entirely new or only vaguely familiar with the topic at hand. Critical instance case studies can be utilized to either examine or determine the causes and consequences of an instance or to challenge a universal assertion. Rather than challenge a universal assertion, the question at the center of my thesis, how can linguistic evidence come to be viewed in the same light as physical evidence, seeks to introduce a potential universal assertion. So, that moved finding supporting sources and justifying this approach, my main concern for this section of my thesis to the resolved column. It was tedious, and some of the steps may not have been entirely necessary, but it felt good to feel like something was getting done and eventually filling in all the brackets. 

Conventional? No. 

Successful? Yes! 

TL;DR: I played a high-stakes game of mad-libs with my methodology section and it paid off really well! 

I’ve gotten started on the critical part of my thesis writing, which is the actual application and analysis of all the cases I selected. It’s going to be a hyper-involved process that involves checking out my notes on my sources, re-reading articles and re-visiting podcasts, possibly adding in some documentaries (PBS is the best!), and of course, creating titles for each chapter, but I can, and I will do this! 

Out Of The Shadows And Into The Night!

Now that I’m older, I admire how sociable Phil Collins is, insisting Billy not lose his number! (I could never!) As I’m working on my Research Days project, I am also working with the knowledge of knowing it will ultimately become a part of my thesis, and based on the topic, it is coming at a highly polarized time and needs to be completed with a high level of integrity, not just for the sake of the outcome, but also with consideration to the impact it could potentially have. It means working on a disclaimer to place at the beginning of my survey, to ensure that there is a clear understanding that completion of the survey is completely voluntary and that there is content of a sensitive nature that will be addressed. Furthermore, as I load up and trim down questions, I am also cognizant of the limitations of what is and is not permissible without an IRB certification, so I plan to meet with a resource librarian to ensure that the questions are appropriate and within bounds. 

Aside from narrowing the list and scope of the questions on my survey, I’ve narrowed down what statistical software to use! I’ve messed around with a few open-sourced tools and found that I really liked both JASP, which is automatically calibrated for APA-style results, charts, tables, and PAST, a similar, but simpler software. I’m confident in my working knowledge of the tools, and I’ve done quite a few practice runs with some stats problems to make sure I know exactly where to input what and everything else. (I will also admit it is inflating my ego every time I intuitively know where to plug in what or click what.) 

Aside from the mathematical side of things, I feel pretty confident that I have reviewed all of the pertinent literature on the CSI effect, and am able to translate that into what my survey questions are attempting to measure. I’d also given myself the task of watching a set of shows that I felt were pertinent to influencing how others in my age group and a bit older might view police, investigations, and available resources, and I’m making steady progress working my way through them all. I’m only one person with a limited amount of time, so I’ve devised a plan to try and see if transcripts of episodes are available anywhere, and then, I plan to run a bot to analyze for similarities among the scripts, a set of key search terms, etc. and go from there. (Rest assured, this will be marked in my methodology section if I chose to do so!) So, my Research Days work is alive and a live wire! 

All My Dreams Have Fallen Down

This floaty and focused feeling I’m getting from making progress on my work and other concerns are pretty well summarized by “Save Me” by Remy Zero. Just like young Clark Kent, I too am setting out on my journey to become who people will know me as for years to come. Smallville is one of my all-time favorite shows and I usually have it on in the background while writing. This week, it echoed in my life; much like Clark and Jonathan Kent, my Dad and I definitely fight a lot but are still quite close. And just like Jonathan Kent, my Dad looked me in the eyes when he gave me the lab manual review advice and said, “I wish I could tell you all the answers, but you have to find them yourself.” It had me thinking about the insider-outsider feeling, and I came to realize over the last two weeks I hardly felt it, and I want to keep it that way. Forensic linguistics is fascinating and I regret spending even a moment wishing I picked something else to write about. I’m literally going to exercise the option of being able to leave the classroom for the second half of class and walk around as I write, and hope to finish at least half a chapter before heading home. 

I also realized I’m closer than further on a lot of big decisions, like how to submit my thesis and how to present in a few weeks. For my thesis, I’m definitely doing a traditional submission and a website. (I figure it might help to have live links to my sources in my work.) Admittedly, the latter half is weighing heavily on my mind; I really don’t want to go for round four of an aggravating instead of exhilarating time in front of the classroom. I could take the easy way out and use it for practice for Research Days. Or, I can stop stressing over what is still way out on the horizon and remind myself that no matter what happens, I’m hitting submit in May. 

So, I’m not quite Superman just yet, but the time will pass in the blink of an eye.

Don’t Give Yourself Away! 

It’s only fitting to end a post this long and with hints to even longer pieces of my writing with a bop like “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. (This came on at least three times while I was cycling uphill, so I’m equating it with a strong surge of determination and a push against all odds.) As I look ahead to today’s class, it’s all about showing up and supporting Susan, who I am sure will have an amazing presentation! See everyone later! 

I Love You And That’s All I Really Know

Is This In My Head? I Don’t Know What to Think.

Someday, my thesis will have a happy ending just like Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” (Yes, my undergraduate degree is in literature, and I do know how Romeo and Juliet actually ends. I just really love the song, and I’m in a very Valentine’s Day mood!) After all, she had only three minutes and fifty-five seconds to capture the spirit of Shakespeare’s timeless tale and integrate her reimagined ending. The time crunch of working with what’s available and your own insight and perspective being imperative to the overall completion of the project is essentially what my thesis project is shaping up to be. Time is something that’s been stressing me out lately, on a grander scale than just thesis completion. It sounds silly, especially typing it out and posting where so many people can see it, but I feel like I’m falling behind in life in so many ways, even though I know I still have so many places to go and so much time ahead of me. All the things I love that I would normally fill this space writing about briefly, like my runs or Riveters and Devils hockey or the Mets have been really hard for me to enjoy lately. In the oddest sense, it feels like I don’t deserve to enjoy anything fun because I don’t have that perfect full-time job or amazing burst of inspiration to do something spectacular like write a whole book. I find that I’m tuned out most of the time and I don’t know how to plug back in.  

Life almost feels like it is at a standstill with everything that is out of my control and all of the waiting I’ve been doing lately; waiting for someone to return the book I need to the library, waiting in traffic, waiting to hear about whether or not I’m even going to get an interview for a job … The list of things I’m constantly waiting on could stretch the length of this blog post, so I’ll cut it short and instead offer you a glimpse into how both my thesis and research are regressing and progressing! 

How Do I Know When It’s Love?

Just like how Van Halen is on the cusp, but questioning, “When It’s Love,” I find myself looking at my thesis and wondering “how do I know I’m progressing and doing well?” I went the “conventional” route with the research and added my own spin by deciding to galvanize a field often forgotten about or left undiscovered, which would be the equivalent of putting my heart on the line. But, just like everything else I cherish lately, it’s been a rolling stone when I need something rock steady. I pulled myself through the introduction and literature review, and now I’m at a standstill with the methodology; there’s just no focus to it, and nothing to engage with, creating a situation somewhat similar to wondering whether it’s worth chasing down and going after. It’s a tangled web that temporarily hurts to look at or even think about, and I guess I’m going to have to revise my thesis timeline and give myself a few extra days until this upcoming Friday rather than Wednesday to get it where I want it to be. Most of the issue seems to be trying to justify the approach I’m taking with the case study by finding something similar or a researcher’s name to attach to the way I’m using a case study to validate my approach. But, I think that after running through the checklist, it’s nothing but love for forensic linguistics in my heart, and no matter how long it takes, I’ll get to where I need to be!

Dr. Zamora’s idea of creating chapters for my thesis is something that’s also going to help expedite the process and allow for greater exploration and explication of a very vast and complicated topic. Perhaps instead of puzzling over the methodology, I’ll dive into the content and then circle back around.

In the midst of this lover’s quarrel, I found that I needed to still work on something thesis-related, or else this odd feeling of guilt started creeping in. I figured if I couldn’t rationalize or organize my methodology section, maybe someone else could show me how, either by doing it, explaining it, or both. And that is how instead of revising anything I’ve written or trying to recalibrate my methodology section, I came up with a short story, the first to star Rem Shepard, the calm, fringe-bearing forensic linguist. (You’ve definitely spent too much time with me if you can figure out where this name came from.) Depending on how I feel, I might share it on my blog at some point in the future. In fact, maybe I could publish a few through the semester in a serial novel(la) format… I found that in writing creatively on something I’ve researched so thoroughly and so badly want to work with one day, there’s a palpable spirit to the piece, and the pacing and tone are similar to Robin Cook’s, one of my favorite medical fiction authors. 

Hopefully, Rem will make a public appearance before the semester ends under better circumstances than thesis stagnation, possibly even with a new name, and definitely with better writing. Now, onto my Research Days progress, which is far more compelling!

If You Change Your Mind, I’m The First In Line! 

Nothing cheers you up and keeps the Valentine’s Day mood alive quite like ABBA, and for someone trying something that’s trying to break into a field and contribute some fresh scholarship, “Take A Chance On Me,” is right on the money.

Before delving into the research like I thought I would, I figured that it made sense to see how I could pull off the mathematical aspect of the research design I outlined last week. The good news is that I retained most of my statistics knowledge and prowess, and I did pretty decently on some practice problems! But, it would be way too time-consuming and complicated to do all the math by hand, and if I follow through on my plan to poll as many Kean students, faculty, and staff as possible in a convenience sample, I’ll never make the March 25th submission deadline! I’m going to either have to take the time to make a lot of trips to the one computer lab equipped with SPSS on campus, figure out if Computer Services can somehow give me this software for free, pay for it myself, find an open-source tool, or scrap the math entirely. I’ll figure it out at some point this week. 

Beyond just crunching numbers and pointing out flaws, I started combing through some of the literature on the CSI effect, and it is looking pretty sparse! There were only a few academic articles that I was able to gain access to, and I’m still combing the electronic book database, but so far, it isn’t looking too extensive. So, it looks like the bulk of my paper is going to be some integration of that, but a strong use of the case study and content analysis approach yet again to highlight the difference between television versus reality in terms of investigation and policing. I’ve narrowed down my shows for comparison parameters based upon the factors of age, relevance, and popularity based upon Neilsen ratings, the duration of the series, and the relevance it will have to the audience reading my findings. Here’s a list of shows I’ll be working my way through:

  1. NYPD Blue 
  2. CSI Universe (Original + Reboot (CSI: Vegas) CSI: Miami, CSI: NY) 
  3. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit 
  4. Blue Bloods 
  5. Criminal Minds

Thankfully, I’ve seen most of these already, or at least parts. The goal of having this list isn’t to just pick out and watch a ton of television without feeling guilty, but to see what could possibly be shaping the perspective of others, and to help with creating an unbiased and informed survey. If I can get a handle on the different personalities, resources, and aspects that are connotated with investigation and evidence, then I can easily substantiate or disprove my claim, and explain the rationale more thoroughly.

Finally, on this front, I’m elated that as per Dr. Zamora, I can fold this research into my thesis as yet another chapter. Things can only move forward from here!

What More In The Name of Love?

There are few bands I love more than U2, and no song to better summarize what’s at stake going forward than “Pride (In the Name Of Love).” After all, isn’t that what is most at stake here? I have a litany of self-set and official deadlines, but that isn’t going to do much except generate stress and unhappiness. So, here’s a three date list:

  1. March 25th – Deadline to submit poster + pre-recorded presentation for Research Days; totally OK to work on this up to the last moment.
  2. April 10th – The date I hope to have all the parts of my thesis completed by, so I have a substantial amount of time to edit,
  3. May 5 – No matter what, I will submit my work on time! 

As for the feelings of helplessness and worry about not being on track or running out of time, there’s nothing else I can think of doing that could be more effective than speaking to a professional or the school’s counseling center and finding a healthy path forward. 

I Really Love The Things That You Do

It’s only fitting to share a sentiment of love if I’m posting on Valentine’s Day, and in such close proximity to our friend-a-versary. From the moment we met at eighteen, nothing about my life was ever the same. I never thought that I would ever get to feel what it was like to be loved unconditionally or have someone who even just the thought of could instantly get me to smile. There’s no one else whose messages I can read in exactly their voice, and picture clear as day what sort of face they made while typing. A million memories came to the surface of my mind just typing the above two sentences. Braiding your hair in the middle of class because we had both read ahead and weren’t missing anything. Relying on your dog in his infinite cuteness for serotonin. Waking up at seven in the morning to the tune of “Here Comes the Sun.” Asking you to wake me up for class earlier than that because I was scared I’d miss it, and having you just casually lean over me and go “Hey, wake up. You told me to wake you up.” Going to the dining hall at separate times and scaring the staff into thinking something was going on and we were on bad terms when it was just a schedule conflict. 

It means more than you’ll ever realize when you recognize a name when I’m ranting about the Riveters or Mets or the Devils, or remember who plays what position or how many skaters are on the ice because it means you were really listening to something that I care about, even if you don’t. I couldn’t imagine dancing around to old Disney soundtracks and meme songs with anyone else. Anything peach or peppermint scented instantly brings you to mind. There’s tremendous comfort in feeling like I’m getting a hug from you every time I pull one of the crewnecks you gave me on and grinning to myself every time I see what looks like one of your signature steel grey sweatshirts out in public. You’re the only person I’ll ever enjoy everyone always expecting to see with me, and vice versa. After all, I wouldn’t be who I am without being around you so often!

I find myself thinking about all the different ways we say I love you without actually saying the three words; pictures of your dog, memes of things we say throughout the day, sharing our snacks, strong hugs, building playlists for one another, leaving the desk lamp on when one of us wasn’t ready for bed, brushing our teeth together at night, sharing a textbook for class, avoiding the word specific, getting the other to try all sorts of tea, and spilling all the beans about weird nightmares where the other was the star. (I still laugh about the time I ran into the common area to make sure we were still friends after a weird break-up dream.) There’s all sorts of love, but nothing like the kind you share with someone you can look at and say, “You’re My Best Friend,” and have it mean so much. I don’t think there’s a way to fully capture the feeling, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you’re the Monica to my Joey, the elephant to my fox, the Chen to my DaCosta, and my drop in the ocean.

You’re forever in my heart, and you’ll always have the best of me. I love you, Jamie! 

I Love You And That’s All I Really Know

Is This In My Head? I Don’t Know What to Think.

Someday, my thesis will have a happy ending just like Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” (Yes, my undergraduate degree is in literature, and I do know how Romeo and Juliet actually ends. I just really love the song, and I’m in a very Valentine’s Day mood!) After all, she had only three minutes and fifty-five seconds to capture the spirit of Shakespeare’s timeless tale and integrate her reimagined ending. The time crunch of working with what’s available and your own insight and perspective being imperative to the overall completion of the project is essentially what my thesis project is shaping up to be. Time is something that’s been stressing me out lately, on a grander scale than just thesis completion. It sounds silly, especially typing it out and posting where so many people can see it, but I feel like I’m falling behind in life in so many ways, even though I know I still have so many places to go and so much time ahead of me. All the things I love that I would normally fill this space writing about briefly, like my runs or Riveters and Devils hockey or the Mets have been really hard for me to enjoy lately. In the oddest sense, it feels like I don’t deserve to enjoy anything fun because I don’t have that perfect full-time job or amazing burst of inspiration to do something spectacular like write a whole book. I find that I’m tuned out most of the time and I don’t know how to plug back in.  

Life almost feels like it is at a standstill with everything that is out of my control and all of the waiting I’ve been doing lately; waiting for someone to return the book I need to the library, waiting in traffic, waiting to hear about whether or not I’m even going to get an interview for a job … The list of things I’m constantly waiting on could stretch the length of this blog post, so I’ll cut it short and instead offer you a glimpse into how both my thesis and research are regressing and progressing! 

How Do I Know When It’s Love?

Just like how Van Halen is on the cusp, but questioning, “When It’s Love,” I find myself looking at my thesis and wondering “how do I know I’m progressing and doing well?” I went the “conventional” route with the research and added my own spin by deciding to galvanize a field often forgotten about or left undiscovered, which would be the equivalent of putting my heart on the line. But, just like everything else I cherish lately, it’s been a rolling stone when I need something rock steady. I pulled myself through the introduction and literature review, and now I’m at a standstill with the methodology; there’s just no focus to it, and nothing to engage with, creating a situation somewhat similar to wondering whether it’s worth chasing down and going after. It’s a tangled web that temporarily hurts to look at or even think about, and I guess I’m going to have to revise my thesis timeline and give myself a few extra days until this upcoming Friday rather than Wednesday to get it where I want it to be. Most of the issue seems to be trying to justify the approach I’m taking with the case study by finding something similar or a researcher’s name to attach to the way I’m using a case study to validate my approach. But, I think that after running through the checklist, it’s nothing but love for forensic linguistics in my heart, and no matter how long it takes, I’ll get to where I need to be!

Dr. Zamora’s idea of creating chapters for my thesis is something that’s also going to help expedite the process and allow for greater exploration and explication of a very vast and complicated topic. Perhaps instead of puzzling over the methodology, I’ll dive into the content and then circle back around.

In the midst of this lover’s quarrel, I found that I needed to still work on something thesis-related, or else this odd feeling of guilt started creeping in. I figured if I couldn’t rationalize or organize my methodology section, maybe someone else could show me how, either by doing it, explaining it, or both. And that is how instead of revising anything I’ve written or trying to recalibrate my methodology section, I came up with a short story, the first to star Rem Shepard, the calm, fringe-bearing forensic linguist. (You’ve definitely spent too much time with me if you can figure out where this name came from.) Depending on how I feel, I might share it on my blog at some point in the future. In fact, maybe I could publish a few through the semester in a serial novel(la) format… I found that in writing creatively on something I’ve researched so thoroughly and so badly want to work with one day, there’s a palpable spirit to the piece, and the pacing and tone are similar to Robin Cook’s, one of my favorite medical fiction authors. 

Hopefully, Rem will make a public appearance before the semester ends under better circumstances than thesis stagnation, possibly even with a new name, and definitely with better writing. Now, onto my Research Days progress, which is far more compelling!

If You Change Your Mind, I’m The First In Line! 

Nothing cheers you up and keeps the Valentine’s Day mood alive quite like ABBA, and for someone trying something that’s trying to break into a field and contribute some fresh scholarship, “Take A Chance On Me,” is right on the money.

Before delving into the research like I thought I would, I figured that it made sense to see how I could pull off the mathematical aspect of the research design I outlined last week. The good news is that I retained most of my statistics knowledge and prowess, and I did pretty decently on some practice problems! But, it would be way too time-consuming and complicated to do all the math by hand, and if I follow through on my plan to poll as many Kean students, faculty, and staff as possible in a convenience sample, I’ll never make the March 25th submission deadline! I’m going to either have to take the time to make a lot of trips to the one computer lab equipped with SPSS on campus, figure out if Computer Services can somehow give me this software for free, pay for it myself, find an open-source tool, or scrap the math entirely. I’ll figure it out at some point this week. 

Beyond just crunching numbers and pointing out flaws, I started combing through some of the literature on the CSI effect, and it is looking pretty sparse! There were only a few academic articles that I was able to gain access to, and I’m still combing the electronic book database, but so far, it isn’t looking too extensive. So, it looks like the bulk of my paper is going to be some integration of that, but a strong use of the case study and content analysis approach yet again to highlight the difference between television versus reality in terms of investigation and policing. I’ve narrowed down my shows for comparison parameters based upon the factors of age, relevance, and popularity based upon Neilsen ratings, the duration of the series, and the relevance it will have to the audience reading my findings. Here’s a list of shows I’ll be working my way through:

  1. NYPD Blue 
  2. CSI Universe (Original + Reboot (CSI: Vegas) CSI: Miami, CSI: NY) 
  3. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit 
  4. Blue Bloods 
  5. Criminal Minds

Thankfully, I’ve seen most of these already, or at least parts. The goal of having this list isn’t to just pick out and watch a ton of television without feeling guilty, but to see what could possibly be shaping the perspective of others, and to help with creating an unbiased and informed survey. If I can get a handle on the different personalities, resources, and aspects that are connotated with investigation and evidence, then I can easily substantiate or disprove my claim, and explain the rationale more thoroughly.

Finally, on this front, I’m elated that as per Dr. Zamora, I can fold this research into my thesis as yet another chapter. Things can only move forward from here!

What More In The Name of Love?

There are few bands I love more than U2, and no song to better summarize what’s at stake going forward than “Pride (In the Name Of Love).” After all, isn’t that what is most at stake here? I have a litany of self-set and official deadlines, but that isn’t going to do much except generate stress and unhappiness. So, here’s a three date list:

  1. March 25th – Deadline to submit poster + pre-recorded presentation for Research Days; totally OK to work on this up to the last moment.
  2. April 10th – The date I hope to have all the parts of my thesis completed by, so I have a substantial amount of time to edit,
  3. May 5 – No matter what, I will submit my work on time! 

As for the feelings of helplessness and worry about not being on track or running out of time, there’s nothing else I can think of doing that could be more effective than speaking to a professional or the school’s counseling center and finding a healthy path forward. 

I Really Love The Things That You Do

It’s only fitting to share a sentiment of love if I’m posting on Valentine’s Day, and in such close proximity to our friend-a-versary. From the moment we met at eighteen, nothing about my life was ever the same. I never thought that I would ever get to feel what it was like to be loved unconditionally or have someone who even just the thought of could instantly get me to smile. There’s no one else whose messages I can read in exactly their voice, and picture clear as day what sort of face they made while typing. A million memories came to the surface of my mind just typing the above two sentences. Braiding your hair in the middle of class because we had both read ahead and weren’t missing anything. Relying on your dog in his infinite cuteness for serotonin. Waking up at seven in the morning to the tune of “Here Comes the Sun.” Asking you to wake me up for class earlier than that because I was scared I’d miss it, and having you just casually lean over me and go “Hey, wake up. You told me to wake you up.” Going to the dining hall at separate times and scaring the staff into thinking something was going on and we were on bad terms when it was just a schedule conflict. 

It means more than you’ll ever realize when you recognize a name when I’m ranting about the Riveters or Mets or the Devils, or remember who plays what position or how many skaters are on the ice because it means you were really listening to something that I care about, even if you don’t. I couldn’t imagine dancing around to old Disney soundtracks and meme songs with anyone else. Anything peach or peppermint scented instantly brings you to mind. There’s tremendous comfort in feeling like I’m getting a hug from you every time I pull one of the crewnecks you gave me on and grinning to myself every time I see what looks like one of your signature steel grey sweatshirts out in public. You’re the only person I’ll ever enjoy everyone always expecting to see with me, and vice versa. After all, I wouldn’t be who I am without being around you so often!

I find myself thinking about all the different ways we say I love you without actually saying the three words; pictures of your dog, memes of things we say throughout the day, sharing our snacks, strong hugs, building playlists for one another, leaving the desk lamp on when one of us wasn’t ready for bed, brushing our teeth together at night, sharing a textbook for class, avoiding the word specific, getting the other to try all sorts of tea, and spilling all the beans about weird nightmares where the other was the star. (I still laugh about the time I ran into the common area to make sure we were still friends after a weird break-up dream.) There’s all sorts of love, but nothing like the kind you share with someone you can look at and say, “You’re My Best Friend,” and have it mean so much. I don’t think there’s a way to fully capture the feeling, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you’re the Monica to my Joey, the elephant to my fox, the Chen to my DaCosta, and my drop in the ocean.

You’re forever in my heart, and you’ll always have the best of me. I love you, Jamie! 

Am I Throwing You Off?

Nope. Didn’t Think So. 

The feeling that my thesis is giving really drives me crazy. (I’ll cut myself off here before I end up typing a thesis-themed parody of “Promiscuous” instead of a progress report blog, and because I would hate for my musical selections to overshadow every other aspect of my project and blog, no matter how rad they are.)

With the age and amenities of my vehicle, it would be cute if someone special magically entered my life and made a Spotify playlist, but (no pun intended) it would be downright hot if they burnt me a CD with that playlist. At least for now, I finally get to take our home and library’s collections to task, and this week it’s primarily been Loose by Nelly Furtado keeping me company and yielding the best introduction to any blog I’ve written thus far. Everything in life at the moment has just been par for the course at the moment, barring the extraordinary pain the Devils are piling on with that loss to the Maple Leafs. (If you’re really curious, look up the score yourself.) How they ended up at the bottom of the Metro division, despite the Flyers tanking 10+ games is a phenomenon I can’t wrap my head around. The Winter Olympics are what has been giving me life; the Brianna Decker situation, however, was terrifying! I’m thankful that she is going to recuperate, even if it means missing her on the ice. 

Since my last post and class, my goals have slightly shifted and changed, since I need to get a move on both writing this thesis, as well as designing and completing my project for Research Days. I decided to go the presentation route, but it never hurts to put together something publishable and have an accompanying poster or graphic! My goals for my thesis are clear, but I also have some for my Research Days presentation; I’m hoping it’ll provoke plenty of interdisciplinary collaboration and thought, between our program and those in communications, psychology, and criminal justice. It’s imperative to make several key changes to the justice system as it currently stands and to get that change implemented, it’s vital to understand the effect and influence of how others view what the justice system is and is not, and every aspect of it, from the police force to the prosecutor’s office to even the methods of investigation and sentencing. After all, it’s dangerous to just assume that a single perspective is correct, and it’s also imperative to avoid assuming the views of others since that can also stall a dialogue. I’ll explain further about this project below since it is deserving of a section of its own. 

With that out of the way, let’s get into some sturdy progress on both fronts! I’ll walk you through my thesis work thus far, and then a more sophisticated discussion of my Research Days project. 

When She Asks For Something, Boy She Means It

Maneater” is the perfect update to the Hall and Oates’ classic, and also energetic enough to pull everyone through the heart of this post. For the time being, I’ve given my thesis a working title, abstract, keywords, and introduction. The aforementioned aspects all met the parameters I set in my outline from my last blog pretty well. I took some of the critical advice Dr. Zamora mentioned about this section in my one-on-one last class and added in a statement of positionality, as well as a slight re-arrangement of how to introduce the term, the field, and the implications in a more succinct manner. 

Now that I have a composite written for my abstract and introduction, I’m going to look away from it for a week or so, and instead spend this upcoming week, and a bit of the next writing up my literature review and methodology section. This is where things are going to get a bit dicey, as I have to determine what research and resources I want to put into my literature review and what I want to save for analysis, so I’ll have to review my notes and find my path from there. 

The methodology section also has to be carefully monitored, as I don’t want it to be so extensive the approach is not clear or seems to be weak. As previously mentioned and also discussed in my one-on-one last week, a case study would serve this work well; it’s just figuring out exactly which configuration of a case study is most suitable, and what research will bolster this point. Discourse, protocol, and content analysis will all also be utilized as planned, and after careful consideration and reading further on linguistics in general, I’m moving away from corpus linguistics as an investigative method, but instead looking at it as a possible result or resolution. Another takeaway from my one-on-one that is going to affect my methodology section is the integration of critical terms and components from my conflict resolution course. No, I’m not trying to overload this paper with stuffy, academic terms, or trying to pull it in divergent directions, but I do think that if this is going to be a reflection of my academic self, there has to be a shred of the greatest class I ever took that changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined possible. I plan to spend a bit of next class pondering this a bit, and revisiting the text that I’ll most likely be using, Hostage at the Table by George Kohlreiser. It’s a lock that the ideas of schismogenesis, models of power, restorative justice, and forgiveness and reconciliation as separate concepts will appear at some point. 

Finally, I’ll be narrowing down what landmark Supreme Court cases regarding faulty procedures, due process, the first amendment, or sentencing I’d like to include. Riggins vs. Nevada is definitely a lock, and I’m still deliberating on others. (Jackson vs. Indiana is another of my favorites, but I’m not sure if there is a place for it in this project.) Hopefully, I’ll have a definitive answer by next week! 

You Either Got It, Or You Don’t

A discussion of my budding research days project deserves a song like, “Say It Right,” especially when looking at the severity of what I’ve decided to pursue. As previously mentioned, I’ll be looking at both the CSI effect and overall effect that police procedural television programming has had on the general public’s understanding of what the role of police in society is, what they are and are not qualified to do, and what resources are actually available and realistic investigative timelines, as opposed to those seen on television. Much of the research on the CSI effect is growing dated, and many social psychology studies on the effect of watching police procedurals focus less on perceptions of the group, and instead on the effect on someone’s empathy responses. 

For this, I most definitely will need to compile both archival and original data, and with the original data, it’ll be time for me to revisit statistics! So, here’s an outline of how I’m thinking about tackling this:

  1. Complete Preliminary Research  
    1. Look into different scientific, psychological, and criminology themed journals 
      1. Not only for past research on this topic, but also to discern realistic parameters of police + forensic capabilities
    2. Consider the integration of different concepts + theories from social psychology as necessary 
    3. Mention the implications of this phenomenon
    4. Clearly state what this project aims to measure and capture 
  2. Design Survey 
    1. Ensure the questions are bias-free and easily quantifiable
    2. Determine whether a convenience sample or a stratified sample is the more feasible or appropriate option  
      1. Determine whether the stratified sample will be limited to Kean-affiliated individuals or to a larger audience; if Kean limited, which student population? (Ex. graduate students only?)
    3. Utilize a linear ranking scale and dichotomous questions to allow for seamless statistical analysis
  3. Send Survey Out 
  4. Conduct Statistical Analysis (Order of steps will be revised)
    1. For this process, SPSS will be utilized 
      1. Determine the mean, median, and range of responses.
      2. Determine the correlational coefficient.
      3. Based on the claim, conduct a hypothesis test.
        1. Based on the result, either reject or accept the null hypothesis.
      4. Determine the standard deviation of responses.
      5. Determine the associated error via confidence interval testing 
      6. Document all statistical analysis, final conclusion, and feelings 
  5. Full Write-Up and Poster Completion

Sure. it’s a lot, but it can, and it will be done! I have little to no fear regarding the mathematical analysis involved, thanks to having an amazing statistics class I saved my notes from! (That was another one of those life-changing classes for me, and the professor I had is someone I will always look up to! I hope to model my classroom mannerism after her.)

I Only Stop At Exits, Wondering If I’ll Stay Young and Restless

This is the part of the blog where I usually mention what my plans for next week are, and it’s only fitting that looking at all of the above has me nodding along with “All Good Things Come To An End.” 

With so much going on, I’ll have to figure out how exactly to rotate between the two tasks at hand, as well as prepare for my thesis presentation. It isn’t for a few more weeks, but March will probably creep up on me the same way February did. For now, I’ll have to dedicate two hours a day to my thesis, and two to my research days project for equilibrium. One hour dedicated to revisiting research and annotations, and the other hour dedicated to writing and making meaning out of it on the thesis side, and one hour dedicated to compiling research and the other to survey design on the Research Days side. As far as my presentations go, I know that for Research Days, I’ll be bolstered by my poster and photos of all the graphs of my statistical analysis and explanations of the findings underneath. But for the thesis, it’s trickier. No matter what way I turn, that same inside-outsider feeling is there, along with this weird budding internal indignation. 

At least it’s starting to get drowned out by the spring tide of determination I’ve been lucky to feel this past week. No matter how old I am, a diagonally cut, slightly burnt grilled cheese with bell pepper made by Dad while he reminds me that it takes time to strengthen your mind, just like your muscles always makes me laugh, and then gets me back on track. I don’t know when, but I know it’ll be fine. 

The Dogs Were Whistling A New Tune

Oh, and because I want to be open about things; I went to an open house for Montclair this past weekend and by the end of this week, I’ll be sending in an application for their post-baccalaureate certification in paralegal studies, which will probably take a year or less to complete. See you later tonight!