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Archive for October, 2009

Possom visitor

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Our nightly possum visitor on Twitpic
Every night this little guy comes and eats the cat food. He isn’t afraid of us at all!

Summer’s Last Dance: A Poem

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Summer’s Last Dance

There’s a party going on outside my window
As Summer celebrates with a final dance
She wraps herself in bright colors
To remind us of her glory
Yellow for the hot sun on an August afternoon
Red for the wild warm mornings
Brown for the birds chirping about new fuzzy babies
Green for the promise that Summer will return
Not soon but after a while
You see, she will work through winter
Sewing new clothes for the salsa of autumn
The dance of Summer.
Autumn in VA

RSH9102B – Activity 3: Conceptual or Theoretical Framework

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

I just completed and handed in Activity 3: Conceptual or Theoretical Framework assignment, since I received back the graded Activity 2. At NCU, you cannot turn in the next assignment until your instructor has graded and returned the last one you submitted. I know, bummer. But that is OK if you are working on an assignment while your mentor has one. I try not to wait to get one back before I start on the next.

Activity 3 kind of threw me for a loop because I took at least an hour just thinking and pulling together the opening. In the end, I discarded what I had written anyway. I really struggled with what this assignment required; here is the syllabus wording:

“Based on your topic paper developed in RSH9101B, write a Theoretical Perspective section for your envisioned dissertation research. Theoretical frameworks provide a basis for the study, examples include social and psychological theories, organizational theories, economic theories and educational theories. For guidance, refer to chapter 3 of the Creswell text.”

After reading the chapter two times, I decided to map the assignment as Example 3.1 on page 59. I used two theories; one was a later study which built on the first. The theories involve “arcs of integration” in a supply chain.

Now I am looking at Activity 4 or 12:

“Read (a) Creswell, Threats to Validity, (p. 171), (b) Trochim, chapter 3 and chapter 6, and (c) Zikmund, Chapter 13. Based on your topic chosen in RSH8961-B, write a paper in which you compare and contrast the characteristics of external, internal, and construct validity. Also, please identify the threats to external and construct validity. Please discuss how validity issues could impact your envisioned research.”

Holy cow! The Creswell page 171 has nothing to do with this topic! After consulting the index, it looks like the section beginning on p. 162 is the correct Creswell reference. According to the chart on p. 163, there are six threats: history, maturation, regression, selection, mortality, and diffusion of treatment. Looks like I have some reading to do to get ready for this assignment.

And you guessed it; it’s worth 5 points.

Facts and Theory, Concepts, and Variables: A measly 5 points

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I turned in Activity 2 for RSH9102B just now: Facts and Theory, Concepts, and Variables. This activity involved answering 6 questions from chapter 3 in Zikmund’s Business Research Methods. This assignment took several hours to do, yet is worth just 5 points. There are six 5-point assignments, five 10-point assignments, and one 20-point assignment in this course.

The course outline on my student webpage tab called “activities” advises me that I should turn in this assignment on/about Oct 13 and the next one on/about Oct 19. Just looking at the dates on the assignments, it would seem that I would need to devote more to that 20-pointer but the recommended time is just 7 days between the 11th and 12th assignments. I wonder how they come up with those dates? They really don’t seem relevant to me and I have never made an effort to follow them. My typical writing time is weekends, specifically early in the morning while Husband is still asleep. I don’t get much writing done during the week because of work and second job (teaching).

It’s great to know that I am moving along with my coursework. I am so-o-o-o-o ready to be finished going to school…I have been in school for 28 years!

Getting ready for Autumn

Monday, October 12th, 2009

This weekend, Husband and I covered the pool, swept up leaves and added some concrete pavers to make some steps leading into the sliding glass doors. Our poodle has a problem jumping up into the house sometimes so the extra few inches from the pavers should help him.

The leaves are turning colors here in Virginia. At home on the Alabama/Georgia line, the weather does not get as cool this quickly. I have already started wearing sweaters and jackets in the morning when I go to work. It is cool this morning, about 54 degrees. I am home on “vacation”…I have a number of vacation days that I have to use up before the end of the year. Right now I am working on work things, I have my lap top open, logged in through the VPN, plus my home computers and their two side by side monitors. I have my cell phone and everyone at work has my home phone number! So what kind of vacation is this?

RSH9102B: Worldviews, updated

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

I received activity 1 paper back, called “Discuss Worldviews,” and was pleased to find that I earned a 10/10. I suppose I am always nervous about assignments, but have been able to keep a 4.0 during my work at NCU. I am ready to start on activity 2, “Facts and Theory, Concepts, and Variables,” yet dreading it at the same time. This next assignment is an “answer the questions” assignment…the type that I absolutely do not like. I am supposed to read the Zikmund text and answer questions 1-9 on page 51. Ugh. The next assignments will be:

3 – Conceptual or Theoretical Framework
4 – External, Internal, and Construct Validity
5 – Measurement and Scaling Concepts
6 – CITI Course and Ethics Paper
7 – Design a Research Study Plan
8 – Experimental Research
9 – Exploratory Research
10 – Mixed Methods Research
11 – Three Hypothetical Designs
12 – Propose a Research Method and Design

I am taking some vacation time this week and hope to knock out a few of these papers. When classes have so many assignments, it really pushes the course to its max length because professors are given a certain number of days to grade papers. If I have several completed then I can turn them in back to back with returned assignments.

RSH9102B: Activity 1: Discuss worldviews

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

I took a little “leave of absence” from classes in September. I really thought I would be able to get ahead, but circumstances prevented me from making a dent in the assignments for RSH9102B. So October 1st brought not only some lovely fall weather, it also brought me back to reality: I have 12 assignments due in RSH9102B. Ugh.

I worked on Activity 1: “Discuss Worldviews” a little bit in September, and finished it up and turned it in today. The assignment states that I must use my dissertation problem statement to develop a hypothetical discussion of how each of the worldviews mentioned might apply to my study. The worldviews are post-positivism, constructivism, advocacy/participatory, and pragmatism. I had only heard of two of these, and so I had to do some research to figure out what the assignment was all about. I think I finally figured it out and hope that my approach is correct. My paper ended up being 6 pages when 4 were required. I have yet to figure out how anyone can write a 4 page paper – I don’t think it is possible! I have all the grammar underlinings turned on in MS Word 2007 and so my horrible use of the passive voice stuck out like a sore thumb. I was able to manipulate most of them into sensical statements. I am just hoping Dr. R does not have his MS Word fully turned on to see the passive voice!

The next assignment entitled “Facts and Theory, Concepts, and Variables” is to read Chapter 3 in Zikmund and answer questions 1-6 on page 51. Oh, and the answers should be 125 words – what? only 125? Now this assignment is going to be a challenge for me!