This past week, I had a very constructive meeting with my co-chairs in that we discussed changes to be made in my first chapter of my dissertation and plans to tackle chapter 3, which center around conducting a pilot study.
Now I conducted a preliminary pilot study last summer while I was teaching English in Japan. Most of that data was informative in how to approach interviews for my dissertation. However, I have decided to collect data from online data and use the interviews to support and triangulate the online data. I took an ethnography class last year with one assignment about analyzing online data, so that has prepared me a little bit. For my pilot study, I will be able to apply those skills to my research questions and theoretical models.
I have given myself a deadline six weeks from the meeting, October 17, to have the following items completed: 1) pilot study, 2) a rewrite of chapter 3, and 3) another edit of chapter 1. In addition to this, I will be reorganizing and developing chapter 2. If I am able to stick to this schedule, I will ask my co-chairs for another meeting around the time of the deadline to discuss officially proposing my research to my committee.
Since this Wednesday, I have spent half of Thursday seeking out various online sources to collect my data. One of these sources will be chosen for my pilot study. I gave myself Friday the day off, except for job applications. And today has been solely dedicated to my assistantship and anthropology seminar. I plan to dedicate all of Monday to getting the pilot study off the ground. IRB is not needed in that I will not publish the data from the one online source. The data will only be used to help find the best theoretical framework to answer my research questions and fit my model.
Once the pilot study is underway, I will dedicate at least Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to working on and completing the three items described two paragraphs ago. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be dedicated to my assistantship and anthropology seminar, and the weekends to my job applications.
Since the second week of this semester, I feel as if I've been working 60+ hours a week. And I only feel overworked or wiped out about 2 days per week, so I call that a good sign.