Dissertation Journal: New Support and Quals

This morning, I met with my advisor to discuss the second-day question for my upcoming qualifying exam.  As I understand it, most advisors write the second day question with a specific focus on their student’s dissertation topic.  Since my advisor is not my chair (nor is he on my committee-to-be; he’s a great guy who I respect but my topic is far away from his research interests and experiences), I had to meet with him to explain my topic and answer any questions he had.  I sent him my two-page dissertation synopsis about a week ago and today I met with him to answer his questions.  I now have an idea what he might ask me and it should be very helpful as I continue working on this, honing my thoughts, and eventually writing more drafts of my first three chapters.

On Thursday, I met with my chair-to-be and two other students whose dissertations he is either chairing or has agreed to chair.  My chair proposed this meeting and is encouraging us to meet monthly – with or without him – so we can support one another through the entire dissertation process.  We set a date for our March meeting and we also set concrete goals.  My goal: To draft and begin piloting my initial survey instrument.  If I don’t get that done soon then I’ll be in a very bad position to continue along this path.