April 15, 2014

Who Me? Nah...

I have four days to write a research paper on the topic of Student Motivation and Collaboration in Online Learning. I conducted a survey, got about 43 actual respondents, and now have to make heads or tails out of the data.

So far I have run three tests for nonparametric research:

- Chi-Square
- Spearman's Rank Correlation
- Kruskal-Wallis

My data is not interesting (due to poorly formatted questions), and my null hypothesis is mostly kept (on all variables). I have a couple that show significance, so I might change my research questions to suit. I know you are not supposed to do that, but this is a pilot study, and I approached the project as exploratory -- wanting to see what the data would show -- rather than to test the null hypothesis (which is what you normally do). Oh, Lord! What do I do now?

Did I mention that I do not like statistics? Yeah, well, this is not really true. I actually do like it -- A LOT. I like analyzing data and running the tests. I like studying the output. I don't like coming up with research questions and hypotheses, but I do like seeing how the numbers play out when you run them against your RQs and H0's.

I guess I have to start saying that I love statistically analysis. I didn't think I would when I started this class. In fact, when I took that Business Research class last summer, I thought for certain I would fail it, and I would fail this advanced methods class (my current class). I got an A in the Business class, and I am holding an A in this class (who'da thunk it?) In hindsight, I can see how statistics and my brain work well together. I am an analyst after all. I may not have had enough math in high school and I may not have enjoyed math then, but I do like this now. I like reading tables, searching through data, and seeing how it all fits together.

Just some weirdness this morning...

I have finally given into Spotify. I know, I know...doesn't everyone listen to Spotify? Well, I have been a Pandora listener for a couple years now, and I like the fact that I get to listen to a random selection of "like" songs. My son listens to Spotify, and it seems everyone who is "cool" does as well. I had downloaded the application to my PC, but it messed up my computer so I removed. Then the other day, I was listening to the web application and I thought I would try the app for the Mac. It took me a little while to get the hang of it. At first, I thought I had to listen to song collections, but then I found I could search for albums and such. Oh my, am I in music heaven!

Right now, I am listening to Dan Fogelberg's "The Innocent Age" on Spotify. This was one of my favorite albums when I was in college (1981). I can remember listening to these songs on cassette in my Triumph Spitfire as I cruised over Highway 17 from San Jose to Santa Cruz. Somehow these songs symbolized my loneliness and isolation. I loved that I could sing songs that were all about sad reflection and worrisome days. Yep, that was my life back then before I had met my husband. I lived in such uncertainty, not knowing what I was doing, where I was going, who I was. I was lost in so many ways, and so unsure about my future.

Dan Fogelberg for me, reminded me of the days when I was certain, when I knew who I was, and where I was going. I know it seems weird, but there is something about childhood and young adolescence, and that period in between that causes such confusion. When I first listened to Fogelberg's, Souvenirs (1974), I was in 7th grade. When I heard Nether Lands (1997), I was in high school. I was living in Illinois, and while I wasn't happy in school there, I had a great support group, a great group of friends where I "fit in" and I belonged. By 1978, my parents had moved to San Jose, and I was in a different school. I had no friends in 1979, and those that I had in 1980, were fly-by the night. I didn't "fit in" in San Jose, and I had a bad personal experience with friends I thought were my friends. Moreover, I met a boy, dated him, and end up being crushed by him between high school and my first year in college. In short, I was miserable, and these songs resonated with me during this oh-so difficult time in my life.

It is funny when you think about it, really. I mean, here I am at almost 52 years of age, and I am feeling wistful about those days. I am not old, really, I am not old by any measure. Yet, sometimes I think about those days and I cannot help but feel as if my life has transitioned through so many stages. I am at a point in my life where I can choose where to go, who to be, and the path to follow. I have made that decision, clearly I have, and as I sit here today, I cannot help but think about the past, the present, and the future. Where I am going now is so vastly different from where I thought I would be. I am filled with excitement and anticipation, yet there is still part of me that misses those days (pointing backwards). I miss those days, the days when I was young, without any care or concern for the future. My life was so good back then, so safe, so secure. It is not to say that this is not the case today, because I think I am far more safe and secure now. It is just a feeling you have when you are young, and you trust your parents, and you think everything will be OK.

Now back to the present...

I have to start writing my paper. I have to finish this semester at Regent. I have to do this...

Lord, 

Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy these songs once again. They bring back such memories for me, and my heart at times is sad when I think about the missed opportunities, the missed days, and the missed chances. Yet, I know you have such awesome plans for me, and that my life is filled with great hope, great potential, and great success! I love what you have done in my life, and I love the fact that you are guiding me each day. I pray now that I can stay focused to complete my work, to do your will, and to walk in your ways. I surrender everything that is blocking my focus now, and I sit here and I wait upon you for your gift of grace and provision. You are my rock, my refuge, and my restoration. I love you, Lord! I praise you this day, and forever more. Amen, so be it, thy will be done!



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