Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wonderful Words

Today my wife and kids came back to town from a long weekend trip. We met some of my classmates for dinner and then I took the kids home from there while my wife went off to a meeting. I got them laughing so hard over something so nonsensical that I don't even remember what it was. Then, after the older kids were out of the car and I went to get my youngest out of his car seat, my daughter said "Dad, I'm glad Mom married you, 'cause you make me laugh!"

Truly, I am a lucky man.

-- Robert

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seven Years

People who know me know I love the number seven. There are three of them in my birthday, it's the perfect number, the number of God... lots of reasons to like seven. So here, on my seventh anniversary, I must acknowledge how truly blessed I feel to be married to the woman of my dreams. Lately I've had a lot of reminders of how much I need to cherish her and appreciate the joy she has brought into my life. I've had to reinvest myself in this program, but I knew I had her full support in doing it, even as hard as this year has been on us all. I know I haven't done enough to be available. As part of my recommitment to my program, though, I arranged my schedule - every half hour of every day is accounted for on my weekly calendar. By breaking it down so tightly, though, I can focus my mind and my energy in each period to accomplish the one thing I've got planned in that period. Twenty-four hours of my schedule (one seventh) is set aside for family time (not even counting most of the time on Sunday being spent on Sunday, only about three of those come out of Sunday). During my family time, I am with the family - not thinking about what school work is not being done. No, I will be a Dad and a husband only. Part of that twenty-four hours is even set aside specifically as time for my wife. It is not really giving much to say "Honey, this small portion of my week is entirely devoted to you." I realize how miniscule that sounds. Still, it is what I can give - it is what I know she needs, time with me and only me. Quality will reign over quantity, hopefully.

So to my wonderful wife, thank you for seven years. May it only be the beginning of an eternity of joy together.

-- Robert

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wiping out the cobwebs...

Yes, I know this blog effectively died this year. I was proud I kept it up in the fall, but the last semester was crazy for a lot of reasons. I hope I never have night classes again. I had two classes at night with a morning class in between them... and it just wreaked havoc on our home life. So much in our lives was difficult and crazy this semester, really. I don't... can't even begin to describe it all. My one summer course is in my area of interest, and so far it's quite manageable, but I start teaching in another week just as it begins to ramp up, so time will tell how that works out. My wife and kids have been out of town for a couple of weeks and have another week before they return. I've missed them all terribly, and had reason to reevaluate priorities while they've been away. I still plan to stay in school, but I have got to organize my time more effectively to get things accomplished in less time so I can be home when I'm home. I doubt many more entries will go up on this blog, but I have to overcome so writer's block, so this outlet is helping me to just let my thoughts start flowing. Now on to the several research papers demanding my attention...

-- Robert

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Semester

My blog is on life support, but it's still nice to get some thoughts down when I find time. This semester has started well, with a paper completed before a deadline and classes starting in a fairly calm, easy fashion. We have three new doctoral students, each of whom brings something unique and interesting to our group. I am excited to have this entire group while I'm in the program. We have a dozen students and will for at least another year (with more possibly coming in the fall). I feel good about what I can possibly accomplish this term.

I appreciate all of the people asking me about school. I wish I could describe last semester well, but I really can't. It was great, incredibly challenging, and I enjoyed seeing what I could manage. I was especially proud of myself not giving up on the paper I just turned in, but instead finished it. I now want to get more things into my pipeline. I'll feel even better if that paper gets accepted for Academy. For now, time marches on... or more accurately, races on...

-- Robert

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Multi-Talented Wife

I married an amazing woman. She has musical talent in spades - plays violin, piano, and various percussion instruments. She's a natural cheerleader - she loves to encourage others in whatever they are pursuing. She takes beautiful photos - we decorate our home with her pictures. I love to read her writing. She's a wonderful mother, of course. But finally she's pursuing one of her true passions: she's applying to law school. I'm really happy for her, and definitely proud she's doing it. Good for you, sweetheart!

-- Robert

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different...

I must have heard at least three academics try to pull off that line in the past few months. One of them might have managed, but most managed to change it enough to mess it up. In any event, now that classes are over, I still have plenty of work to do over the break. I need to create a word list, get it boiled down to one agreed upon by "experts" regarding the topic I'm writing about, and use it to analyze a bunch of text samples. And that's just to get started on a paper. I also have a theory paper (or two) to edit by January 15 to submit to conference in time. Then there's another project whose deadline I am not completely clear on, but I need to learn to use another program to analyze text. And if I'm interested (which I am), I can join yet another project analyzing business school mission statements with the first textual analysis program.

And break is how long? There are only twenty or so days left? I best get a move on. At least I got over my illness of the last two days. I'm glad my semester ended well, and I look forward to getting a lot done between terms. Next semester will be pretty different, but I'm interested to see how well I learn the subjects (organizational theory, research methods II, and statistics). I'm also excited to continue working with my classmates, which might include as many as three new members next term. We just rearranged our desks to allow a fifth person to come in, and the office at the other end of the hall will take in two more people to make four. It'll be awfully cozy.

That's as much of an update as I can manage. We're getting some last minute Christmas preparation done around here. Merry Christmas everyone, in case I don't manage to write again.

-- Robert

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Done With First Semester Classes

It's still hard to believe, but I have completed the first semester of my program. It has been a wonderful experience, both from a learning standpoint and from the way our group has come together. The Ph.D. students, both my cohort and those who were here before, have become good friends to me (and to each other), and some of us even joke that we're like siblings. I could not ask for a better group to be working with for four years than the people I have here right now. We have several applicants who may be starting in the Spring semester, and we just rearranged our office a little to accomodate one of those people. We would rather have the new peope on the same floor than force anyone to go to the basement. Our group is even having dinner together tonight before we all spread to the four winds over the break.

Now that classes are done, I still have work to do. After all, the classes are to build our knowledge, but our research is what gets us jobs when we're done. I may be involved with threee or four projects over the break, though most likely I'm only looking at running data analysis on one project while helping edit a paper for conference submission. The other two projects are either very preliminary from what I understand, or they're ramping up to get to publication stage and I'm going to be brought in for some of the data analysis. It's exciting to have so many things going on all at once. Hopefully I can get some things finished over the break before jumping into three more classes. One class is somewhat of a continuation of this semester, as we'll be turning our proposed project into an empirical paper. Another is organizational theory, which is one of the more mature fields of management. The last class will be our first statistical methods course, which can be quite intense by all accounts. It's hard to think that these new courses will be any easier than this semester, but time will tell.

I appreciate the various requests from friends to update this blog. I know it's been very neglected these last few months. It probably wil be again.

-- Robert