Archive for the ‘Gaining Wisdom’ Category
So I’m grinding through my academic paper still but one thing is beginning to really annoy me.
I’m constantly being told my research work needs to influence some form of social change.
I’m a doctoral business major specializing in project management of information technology projects and critical business infrastructure. My research is on escalation of commitment and project management methodologies to reduce its impact.
I, frankly, could care less about social change. I personally don’t believe society is mature enough to handle much more social change until it learns to accept what it has already done in the last twenty years. It can barely accept what it has done in the last 100.
What’s more the inclination that I need to empower some form of social change through my research is frankly frustrating. You don’t inspire better living because someone knows how to do a project burn rate.
But this requirement that I somehow institute a social change in to my work formally is growing beyond just an annoyance and is now becoming a hindrance and a source of aggravation as well as irritation.
As a person, as a former soldier, I strongly believe in a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. And that social change is best left to society in and of itself so that it can do so much more naturally. Versus force feeding through the mouths of students and academia to be parroted.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
I spend so much time on the road lately that sometimes its hard to smell roses. It doesn’t always work but I do my best to manage it.
Lately I’m marveling more at my daughter. For over a decade I have blogged about her, from the time she was born to current. Off and on, tidbits, made up stories. Its weird looking back.
She’s becoming a teenager, but so far I have seen none of the stereotype Mom-and-Dad-are-idiots-hate-the-world mentality Hollywood and society perpetuates. I hope it stays that way but I know it can change. Pragmatism thou art my curse.
Think I’m growing feathers.
Was in Washington DC at the beginning of this week. I fly international Sunday. The following week I am back in Atlanta. Then I will either be back in DC or back International. It’s anyone’s guess. Either way keep an eye peeled on the Twitter and Tumblr accounts linked here on the main page as you may get a chance to see some cool places, cocktails and things in the coming days.
I’m trying to find time to wrap up my prospectus but it seems like everytime I sit down to work on it I either fall asleep or the phone rings. My intent right now is to spend some time finishing it on the plane this Sunday since I will be in the air about 13 hours.
Surely I can can get it and my references in to APA in that amount of time.
Otherwise the grind has been in full affect. I had my knee surgery last week, and of course in typical me form had to set off for DC at the start of this week. So I am limping along without any grace whatsoever, completeing the look of an overweight, broken American brought down by his size (although I actually injured the knee on the job). Oh, well.
Got to sit down and shoot the bull with my chair again this week which was good. Is also why I intend to spend Sunday running this thing down.
I start the first of my last 9000 series classes on Monday. I only have 5 of them in theory, but in practice I will be taking the 9000 series until my dissertation is done no matter if its 5 or 25. Granted I want it done in 5, the school wants it done in 5, so that means my already very busy year is about to get a whole lot busier.
Feast or famine around these parts.
It’s been a while since we had one, but Delta is officially our Weasel for 2016.
So we just got back from our vacation. Barely.
I’ve recently been on a screed about Delta. As a long term, medallion member, I used to have a lot of loyalty towards the company. That loyalty has greatly waned, to a point of near despisal. If I did not already have several trips bought and paid for through them I would not be using the company anymore. But for at least two more months I am stuck with them. We booked this one via Delta Vacations, way back in March.
So as I mentioned earlier my classes for the semester are almost over. In fact this is the last week. I will get a week off, which frankly will be nice, and then I start my last college class I will take. From here on its all research and trying to write a thesis that meets APA and everyone else’s requirements.
So if updates are slow this week, that’s the reason why. I’m just trying to get through my finals for the week while maintaining my sanity and keeping my job.
Finally getting to kick off my project in Indiana, so I am looking forward to seeing how it will develop. I am also still working with my management to develop a team of people who do what I do. Its nice being the guy in the box but for the last 5 years all I have done is trail blaze, and truth be told its tiring.
Having a team will help. Even then, it will be a year or more before they can get their feet under them well enough to manage on their own.
For now I just need to make it through the week, however.
Hard to believe my stats class is almost over. 2 weeks of it left in fact.
This makes it harder to believe my educational journey likewise is nearing its end. I have 1 elective class remaining, DDBA 8592 – Business Infrastructure Vulnerability Analysis, something that I thought would blend well in what I do for a living now: building facilities and their network infrastructure as a quasi Construction/IT Project Manager.
The only thing left is my dissertation. Hard to believe I have made it this far frankly. I was barely a D student in high school and spent more time partying than I ever did applying myself. I’ve started my educational journey literally decades after my high school peers. I sometimes wonder how it would have been different had I not chosen to see the world first. That’s not a regret, though it may seem like it, more of a whimsy. A muse if you will, of what could have been versus what is, and what I hope will be provided I can write my thesis in something resembling the correct fashion.
Its been a long journey, and to be certain it is not over yet, but I can see the city limit signs anyway on this trip and I’m beginning to count miles.
The biggest question yet remains…..what do I do next, and where do I go from here? Do I stay with my employer? Do I hang my shingle? Do I try to do something new? Do I move, relocate? Or do I hope that something, someone, somewhere notices what I can do and am capable of and has a use for me?
Time will tell.
(BloodSpite’s Note: I originally wrote this in March of 2011. I’ve republished here for this years Irish Heritage celebration. I hope you enjoy!)
I’ve mentioned before that my family hails from County Armagh. However, my family does not align itself with the Ulsters. It’s one of the reasons we left Ireland in the 1940’s my grandfather having had enough of the frictions between the North and South, “We were all Irish, dammit.” he would often curse in his latter years with a shake of his head.
This post isn’t about politics however, it’s more about a place that politics happened.
Compose an experiment design for the hypothesis you selected for your chosen data set. In your response, address all the factors that potentially jeopardize the validity of your design. Describe the methods, variables, and measures of control as well as the corresponding research statistics that will be employed. Address each design component in 1–2 separate paragraphs
What the actual hell.
I often question my decision to continue my education past my masters degree. I often wonder if I am just a glutton for punishment, am secretly a masochist, or just feel like I need to experience some cerebral variety of self flagellation. Eric never gets this type of thing in his classes.
Today is especially one of those days. I literally look at this assignment and I am asking myself
“What the flying tee total hell does this even mean?!”
Oh and I have to figure it out by Wednesday. No pressure.
Sometimes I have to step back when reading it and read a stanza a second type to comprehend exactly what the author is trying to present, otherwise it comes across as being over the top. But when you give yourself over to actually imagining what he presents it begins to make more sense. The hardest part of these types of readings is approaching it without bias, and with understanding that you aren’t reading War and Peace.
Its not entertainment, in fact in many ways, its self analyzing.
Did some updating to my Doctoral Reference area. Added a few links and cleaned it up so it wasn’t school centric anymore.
I will try to add more links as I can, and of course if any of you have suggestions please feel free to drop a note and I will add them as I can.
The whole idea of the area is to act as a outside the box resource for fellow students, where ever you are, who are considering or are pursuing a doctorate degree.
Perhaps the efforts of my peer students and our professors will help you in your own endeavor. That’s my hope anyway.
So I have to complete 2 residencies this year for my doctoral program.
That’s a heck of a challenge financially. I not only have to pay for the residencies themselves but the travel to the residencies as well.
Right now based on my figures I’m about 5k short of what I need. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but I have enough to cover the tuition of the residencies: its the travel where it gets squirrely.
See if I drive I have to take an extra 2 days off of work….a days drive to each of my residency locations. Excluding those 2 extra days there is only about $110 savings in driving versus flying and I make more than that per day. So flying makes the most sense. However the hotel cost for the duration, allowing myself $40 per day for food, plus the airfare comes out to the 5k for the two trips, or roughly 2,500 per Residency. That’s actually about 2% over the actual cost but prices change, and eventualities happen (I’m a project manager, give me a break)
In either event I have to come up with the money between now and my time line as the residencies are required for my program, if I want to finish on schedule. Financial Aid wont cover the costs either. I’ve tried doing the social media fund raiser bit and I managed a whole $50 bucks. Not exactly ground breaking.
So I’ll have to come up with another, legal and ethical, method. Just not sure what that is quite yet.
Spent the last several days sick as a dog. When I first got to CLT I couldnt hold my head up. Yesterday was first day of really feeling almost normal, but after several nights of medicinal induced sleep I couldn’t pass out last night. Don’t know if it works that way for everyone but for as long as I can remember if I take something to go to sleep, if I dont take it the next night I struggle with going.
End result? I got about 4 hours sleep last night and I have a long day ahead. I’d complain but frankly I’ve been working between 60 and 70 hours every week since August short of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The project I’m on has been a ball buster, but the primary portion is nearly complete. Which means my travel schedule will relax soon and I can spend some time at home. I will stil be travelling until at least June if not July, butnot as much as I have
Have a busy year between residency for school and my reunion. Not sure how I am going to juggle all this.
Like everyone else in the world, I am always looking to improve myself. One thing I do, is I have been a semi practicing stoic for a while. No I’m not trying to resist pain, rather I try to wrest some kind of happiness from anything I can.
It’s hard for me because by nature (or by experience) I’m a cynic. While the two philosophical foundations have some base origins, the two have very different outlooks in the large scheme of things.
Anyway, I try to look back on the week and find solace where I can. When I do it’s sometimes….melancholy, something else I’m prone to upon occasion.
One way I have found that makes it easier is with music. Music has been a big focal for me for many years, so using it as a way to channel thoughts isn’t a stretch.
This one seemed applicable this morning. In many ways I think we are all praying for some form of rain, even if we aren’t necessarily practicing religions. Some want a better life, more money, peace, food, its a sobering reality that we often fail to look past our own doors at what goes on in the rest of the world.
So my adventures in transcription for my research took a wheel in to the ditch. Turns out the new version I purchased cant be used for transcription. Go figure. Two pieces of the same software in a weeks time and neither of them do what I want despite what it says on the goddamn box.
But never fear. Improvisation is my middle name. Well not really but it will be tonight.
See the software won’t allow transcription, but it will allow dictation. So with the help of a shoe box, an Xbox 360 Rock Band microphone, and my digital audio recorder which can play MP3’s…..
- I ported my interviews in to a MP3 format from WAV
- Moved the files on to my digital recorder
- Placed the recorder in to the shoe box with the microphone
- Hooked the microphone up to my laptop
- Closed the lid with just enough room to hit the recorder buttons
- Then set Dragon to dictation mode and let the recorder do the work.
There were a couple of times the recorder out ran the word processor but over all it did what I needed it to do and turned 3 hours of transcription in to about 40 minutes of editing instead.
Its painful, but I will call it a win.
As if life weren’t complicated enough I have to try to complete two residencies this year for school.
Thats two weeks time I have to pay for the travel, hotel, food etc to go sit in a room to learn something that by all entire possibilities could be handled in another fashion. Basically its a pain in the ass. I get the fact its supposed to be a motivation builder, but frankly its annoying, inconvenient and problematic when trying to hold down a full time job.
For all attempts this should be my last year in my program provided I don’t either run out of money or burn out. The clock is ticking on all of the above.
Stress? What stress?
Today is another busy day. I actually have to go to my office that I haven’t seen in the last month. I have to take care of my expenses there before my corporate card becomes personal debt.
Also I have to conduct two interviews today, both are for school and are part of a small scale project that is to mimic my dissertation.
I’m doing whats called a phenomenological study, or rather a study of the lived experiences of individuals in this information technology project managers. So I have a very small battery of questions to ask them and get their opinions, thoughts and verbal discourse of their experiences.
I have to record these interviews with the aforementioned digital recorder. Then I get to go home and transcribe all of it in to MS Word. Good times.
Thank god I have my own bar at home.