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