Countdown: 8 weeks, 3 days

We are 8 weeks and 3 days away from preliminary exams.  And there are moments when I feel like I have no idea what is happening next.  With 2-3 weeks left of courses, we are getting close to the end of the semester at both my work institution and my doctoral institution and there are major papers, lots of events, and situations to get through before the end of the year is officially over.

I had been planning to use some data for my preliminary exams from a study on which a colleague from Institutional Research and I have been working.  However, after last weekend’s meetings with my advisor, program chair, and faculty member for the semester, I’m changing course and two days ago sent out a request to 45 friends across the country to help me gather new data for my prelims.

My advisor suggested that we spend some time connecting with members of the cohort above us to ask what they turned in for comps, what their presentation looked like, and other tips they might have.  I chatted with one member yesterday and am going to be chatting with a couple more next week.
It sounds as though with comps, one of the major components is going to be methodology, so I’m going to be focusing on researching that more and really trying to get my end of semester project for my Data Collections methods and analysis course in a good place to use a groundwork for my comprehensive exams and then hopefully my dissertation.

This is going to allow me to test a new app, which I’ll write more about in the future.  I can’t wait to gain further insights from my colleagues about what works well with the app and what does not.  I know I won’t be able to complete my study as I would have liked to complete it, but nevertheless, this will better mirror my practices thus far.

All this being said, I’m planning to read an article each day for the next 8 weeks.  Not every day is a great day in doctoral student world, but I have some new energy and enthusiasm around my program and my study, and I can’t wait to see how this keeps moving me forward towards the next major hurdle of the degree.


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