My month started off on a good note as I took off to Fiji to attend a friend’s wedding. I was away for just over a week (blog coming up soon). Towards the end of my holiday, I was ready to come home and smash the rest of my PhD. I knew there would be an awful lot of revisions that would need to be done but I told myself that it was going to be okay. The motto I had in mind was to take it ‘one page at a time’. However, I soon realised the magnitiude of revisions that awaited me was going to be far more than what I had anticipated. I needed to redo parts of my analyses using a different method. As I wasn’t familiar with this method, I needed to start from scratch. I went back to the basics (did all the Googling I could, watched YouTube tutorials and tried to contact others). All of these did help to some extent as I was able to get close to reaching the final numbers. However, I was stuck on the last step and could not work out how to combine the results I had.
This misery phase lasted many days until I was finally able see a statistician. It turned out that the output I was trying to achieve didn’t work as SPSS doesn’t allow this function. In other words, SPSS was not sophisticated enough to perform this step. This meant that I needed to resort to a different software (SAS, R or Stata). I chose the latter as I had some exposure in my first year. However, what I didn’t realise was how complex the code would be. Luckily, I was able to get some help from the statistician but it still took me a really long time. Safe to say, I’m now somewhat closer to having a finished code.
Overall, it was a pretty terrible month. I know that I’ve probably had worst months in the past but the present really does seem like the worst. I also had to deal with some personal issues which made it very difficult to make progress. I thought this month was going to be the final leg of my PhD (the ‘writing up’ phase). But the truth is I have done very little writing this month. I haven’t been writing as the stats took the chunk of my time. This means that my draft chapters haven’t been touched for weeks so I’m putting all my hopes on August.
Here are some of my eats from August 🙂 I didn’t do much cooking as I was away for the week and things got crazy after that…