Saturday, April 25, 2009

Woohoo! Breakthrough on Paper #2 (and #6)!

Okay, I'm really going to continue the Speed-Writing at the Olympics series soon, but I wanted to take a moment to note that it's been a beautiful day.

First, my semi-procrastination last night turned out to be fruitful on many levels:
  1. I was able to successfully arrange a much-needed weekend retreat for the end of next month;
  2. I read a bit of a book related to the paper I handed in 3 days ago, which might indirectly help me with the presentation I have to give on the project next week for that project. At any rate, it will help me with moving toward my dissertation discussion of said topic;
  3. I spent a bit more time with the materials which are likely contributing to another layer of my dissertation and are also helping me to write the book chapter-ish article that I have due May 20 (the one I'm writing from scratch by then).
  4. I'm pretty sure I dreamed together the last two of these items, because shortly after I woke up this morning I had an idea for the book chapter-ish article that fused ideas I'd been studying for the paper related to #2 with the ideas I'd been tossing about for #3.
I love it when things start to work together like this--particularly when semi-procrastination can turn out to be so fruitful on many different levels. :)

Second, this morning I started my analysis of our scads of pages of qualitative research notes to prepare for (co-written) Semester Paper #2 (due on May 4 with a class presentation on Apr. 30) and after analyzing about half the materials in 2 hours, the light-bulb came on about how the themes could tie together in a pretty darned cool paper and presentation.

I of course now have to jot these things down, finish my analysis, and start writing the paper, but after a phone conversation with my project partner, we have a clear direction now based on my breakthrough, which really is more than half the battle.

Woohoo! That makes that less of a psychic slog, which means the actual write-up should go pretty fast. That speed and confidence in our approach in turn frees up a bit of my day and a portion of my brain to work on some preps for the final activities connected with the class I'm teaching--something I really knew I needed to get to today. And then hopefully I should be free for a bit of time on Monday or Tuesday at the latest to start on those menacing stacks of grading...

Life, even at the end of the semester, can be beautiful.

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