Well, it has been a grind. Along with normal family fun and time spent with the children and wife, I have been working on my prospectus and comprehensive exams. In one week I had to complete that document, take my comprehensive exam, build all the booklets for the committee and finish classwork in my two final classes (I hope). Mentally draining to say the least, but it will be worth it in the end.
If you have been following my blog, you know I backed away from doing CI research for my doctoral work after my experiences with Deaf researchers at Southeastern. As a student, you just do not have the clout to fight a faculty member that is dead set against your ideas; even if that opposition is simply dogmatic, illogical and not grounded in sound research. So as I reported earlier, I decided to look at an aspect of assistive technology in normal hearing people to setup what I was going to consider my post-doc work and to avoid controversy in my work at LSU. Well that project fell through, so, that left me with coming up with and idea for a new research project.
Also, I reported that my major professor resigned LSU a few months back. Fortunately, she was able to advise a replacement major and a reconstruction of my committee. I have a good deal of flux on my committee; with comings and goings for various reasons. This is not unusual, doctoral students have people back out on them all the time, or the nature of the research changes so you need different skill sets than originally thought. But, good or bad, it is the nature of this type of work so you pick up and move to the next idea.
After a long period of thought, I decided to pitch the original idea I had for my Master’s thesis work to my new advisor. A scary propsition given the unwelcome reception those ideas received at Southeastern. Literally, I am going back almost 4 years to the beginning concepts I had about CIs, learning and Landon’s condition. He thought it was a great idea, a welcome change from my past experience. He put some significant effort to help me get in contact with someone in the communication disorder field at LSU; which introduced a new level of anxiety, but I trust his judgment completely. I am happy to report that individual is receptive to my concepts. So with all that stated, I think the stars are aligning and I may get to explore issues within the field of CI research sooner rather than later. I certainly have more than a few ideas from a learning perspective, but I think it is as important to tell a story of a problem as it is to quantify the results of an intervention to fix that problem. I must spend some time with Dr. Marks so he will change is motto to "friends do not let friends do qualitative research, but friends do let friends do mixed-methods research!" This should be fun and interesting, Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead…