Category Archives: Pursuing the PhD

Day Three (Painless Stats!?)

Sunday class time was 9am-3pm with time for a carried in lunch. we chatted a whole lot more about the whole experience and talked about future Institutes in Denton. We will spend weekends in Texas:

August
October
December
January

2005 will have fewer meetings and more online stuff.

The last part of the day was spent with Dr. Richard herrington, who will be teaching our online class SLIS 6940 Seminar in Research and Research Methodology. The text is an InfoToday book (yeah!) Statistical Methods for the Information Professional: A Practical, Painless Approach to Understanding, Using, and Interpreting Statistics by Liwen Vaughan. I am especially enamored of the word “painless” in that title. we needed more time though because once 3pm hit we had to leave — most of the cohort for the airport!

This will be a true online class: 13 modules of reading the book, PPTs and writing/analyzing stats. I am not a math guy in anyway so this rattles me. But the book seems very cool so far.

At 3pm we departed…many to the airport or to their cars for a drive back to somewhere. I took two of my cohort colleagues to DFW and went to my next stop: Dallas and 3 days of decompression.

Day Two

Day Two was spent in class with Dr. O’Connor. IMLS 6000, the introductory Info Science course, is an overview of the studylife of a doctoral student. We discussed the nature of information, definitions of what information is (and yes, a digital file of a Fleetwood Mac song is information…) and such topics as entropy. At noon time we headed to lunch at Johnny Corrino’s across the way from the Hampton. I had the BEST low carb salmon dish ever.

The afternoon was spent discussiong various PPTs that Dr. O’Connor presented. It was also one of the times a few of us freaked a bit. It seemed so overwhelming toward the end of the day… but we made it through!

Dr. Sam Hastings opened her home to us, the faculty and other Doc.MLS students for dinner, drinks and a whole lot of socializing. It was so cool. One of the women in the on campus PhD program is engaged to Nick from Bowling for Soup who I got to chat with.

The day was long though, and I faded by 9…just time to hang out with some of the cohort by the whirlpool spa back at the hotel and then bed…

Day One

It was a whirlwind. I was exhausted by the time I came back to my room.

I went downstairs before our set 3pm meeting time and there were members of the cohort everywhere – checking in, hanging out in the lobby, and swimming in the hotel pool. It was nice to put real live people with e-mails and photos online.

We offcially convened at 3pm with a general session with Dr. Brian O’Connor and did some Q & A. Then we shuttled over to the UNT Campus and attended a “meet & greet” with the faculty complete with wine and cheese.

Then we adjourned to a boardroom style space at the Info Science building for an overview of what the process would be. This was the “deer in the headlights” moment for a few of us. I must confess it suddenly seemed overwhelming.

Good questions and some calming by Dr. O’Connor helped. I think we are all going to learn in this process: students (the cohort) and the faculty.

In Texas

I’m at the Denton, Texas Hampton Inn… a nice room in a nice place. I drove around the campus of UNT this am. They are closed up for Ronald Reagan’s funeral today.

This has been a difficult time. I haven’t taken on such a life change like this since my dad had the stroke (and that life change came out of nowhere, totally unexpected.) This change I did myself.

Am I up to the challenge? Can i do such work?

Things that have made the transition easier:

The support of SJCPL, working with me to cut my hours and work in half for 2 years.

The support of many folks – you know you are!

Jake and Charlie

A text message on my phone yesterday from Aaron that said “You’ll do great!”

:-)

We meet at 3pm to get this ball rolling….