Facing up to Facebook

Monday

Me, trying to study
Me, trying to study

A day when I felt like getting out of bed was a mistake.  Not an exhausted feel for once, but more a feeling of intense sleepiness.  The call of the bed chamber wasn’t helped by it being the first day in ages I had to sit down and make plans again about what to do next.  Work on the analysis of my data now it’s all coded.  Work out how to actually do that in NVivo.  Worry about all the papers and books I’ve got on my pending reading pile.  Think about the conference talks I’ve got to give in the coming months.  And of course get going on a couple of thesis chapters.

Not what could be called the most practical or awe-inspiring days of achievements, but I did at least manage to get myself sorted with a plan of action.

Tuesday

A day of reading papers and news publications.  Interesting in part, baffling in others and hard going in a few places.  Rather been out of the loop on reading for a couple of months so need to start squeezing some more back into my timetable I think.  Hopefully once term ends next week and I get my whole week back for research I’ll be able to plough ahead at a faster rate.

Wednesday

Class today focussing on the political and social ramification of social networks, taking Facebook as its exemplar.  Not helped by the lecture room being relocated at the last minute, and since I don’t get the student emails or notifications I was left with the stragglers to arrive a little late.  Not the greatest lecture I’ve sat through (a bit disjointed in central narrative) but an interesting topic: the societal and political ramifications of social networks (n.b. Facebook).  Think I’ll be able to talk to the students about it tomorrow, as I can see from some of their faces looks of confusion.  Back home after this to prepare the seminar and read some more papers.  I confess I did end up in the study-bed at the end of the afternoon reading papers (our house is always cold, and on fasting days I nearly freeze) but it was surprisingly productive.  Unlike Monday, I wasn’t fighting the desire to sleep the whole time!

Thursday

Reading and note taking on various papers and news articles in the morning, and then what looked like being the lamest of the seminar series.  Since all the time (bar a lecture recap) was given over to group work time I wasn’t surprised half the students didn’t turn up.  Hopefully those that did, got something out of my suggested directions for their work.  Or maybe I horribly confused them; we’ll find out in mid-April when the deadline hits.  Also struck me how much I’m going to miss my students after this course ends.  Unlike a lot of the tutors I won’t be teaching them again (well, not unless NTU extends my contract and teaching remit – hint hint), and I’ve grown really fond of them, watching them develop.  I’ve never had that opportunity in the past as a librarian, as all the lectures I gave were one offs.  Here, I’ve been able to see how you can develop scholastic relationships with the students, and get to know their strengths and weaknesses, not to mention what works and what doesn’t in terms of educational praxis.

Came home, and managed to grab a very productive final hour of the day reading a few more papers.

Friday

Revelations!
Revelations!

A day that began with mutterings about the lack of NVivo training NTU makes available, and which ended with a moment of revelation as I figured out how to run some analysis tools on it.  In between I was cleaning up data, working out how to configure source classifications (more straightforward than I first thought), and then adding more context to my data.  I will confess that the moment I suddenly got a graphical representation of my data out of NVivo was rather like looking into the face of God for a moment – there’s a lot of thinking ahead, but suddenly all the months of interviewing, transcribing and coding have yielded something concrete and impressive looking.  Now I just have to add scholarly context and start writing about it next week.

A really, really good end to the week.

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