Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Oh Shit" Moments

If you ever lose your everloving mind and decide to pursue a PhD in (insert the now torturous subject that you used to be interested in of your choice here), the one thing that seems universal with every one of the several hundred doctoral students I know is that it is an emotional rollercoaster. One day, you're singing "Woohoo!" and dancing off into the sunset with a large glass of something lovely, and the next you're having an "Oh shit," moment, sitting around with your very best "WTF!?" look (0_o) on your face, as in "What the fuck just ran over me?" or "What the fuck is that?" or as is my case today, "What the fuck do I do now?" Yeah, good times.

As usual, out of the clear blindsided blue, my committee wants my dissertation proposal. Now. Right. Fucking. Now. One could rightly assume that I'm rather accustomed to this behavior after all this time. Ordinarily it would be okay because I'm really good at pulling things out of my ass on really short notice. As a matter of fact, I do some of my best work under that kind of pressure.

There's one problem this time though. I'm not sure how to write up the part about what statistics I plan to use - at least not in intelligible English and not without using the word "fuck" or any of its derivatives to excess, (which for the uninitiated are reallllly not appropriate for a piece of scholarly production). Part of the problem stems from the fact that I don't know what statistics I plan to use because although I kind of have an idea, I'm not sure exactly which ones are appropriate for the questions I want to ask. I'm probably making it too complicated (whooo meeee??), but I really have difficulty with the math part because the people who make up the math stuff seem to intentionally obfuscate the language so those of us who aren't math people are left screaming, crying and tearing our hair out by the fistful from the sheer frustration of it all.

Soooo, here's what I'm thinking and I'm asking for your input if you know anything at all about this shit. I'm thinking of just throwing some random and hopefully close to the mark proposed statistical analysis mumbo jumbo in there, then sending it off to my dissertation committee and wait to see if it sticks. Surely their feedback will offer some miniscule hint of guidance that I can run with and turn into something semi-meaningful. Whaddya think?

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