Busy Week, Busier Weekend

I spent this past entire week working on a presentation that I gave yesterday at the local Instructional Systems Technology conference. I was freaking out for some reason, and literally did nothing but prepare my slides for the presentation. I move quickly through my slides, so I wasn’t surprised that I had 75 slides for a 20 minute presentation. Other people thought I was insane until I actually went through my presentation.

It was super well received, which surprised me. My question-answer session was challenging, but I handled it really well. I mean, I thought the questions were manageable, but people afterwords told me they were really tough questions. One of my questioners told me I should pursue a PhD with my topic, and that my topic should be my dissertation because it’s timely and meaningful. And  I think I would, I do love this topic and my research, I just need to learn how to create and stick to a routine that makes sure I eat and sleep properly. Life as a student for essentially 20 years has ruined me.

Anyway, people who had never seen me present before, but have been friends here on campus, saw me do my thing and were impressed. I video recorded the entire thing using my FlipCam Ultra, so when I get time (ha!) I’ll post it to Vimeo and link it to you guys.

There is a reason behind my madness over Steampunk. And other academics are recognizing it. Yay! Also, I want to thank Chad, Burr, Yujia, Xuan, Nate, Lynn, Ammar, Gopi, and Vidya for attending my presentation session. Having familiar faces in the audience was comforting, and those of you who asked questions asked some really good ones!

I also had an informal meeting with the other research capstone students yesterday. They helped me with my current problem, which is that I think the methodology I outlined for analyzing my interviews is the wrong one for me. I really enjoyed speaking with people, and soaked their enthusiasm, and I’m beginning to see patterns. However, I don’t relish the idea of analysis because I feel the methodology I chose sucks out the enthusiasm that defines Steampunk.

My research peers suggested that I listen to my interviews again as if I were listening to a story. Where are the climaxes, the lulls, the plot twists? This definitely works for me much better because I am a narrative soul, and when describing the interviews to my thesis adviser I was narrating, rather than reporting. As such, my plan is to listen through the five interviews I have, prepare for my interview tomorrow, and write insights onto Post-Its so I can ask people to help me with an affinity diagram. The affinity diagram will help me abstract the main insights, and strengthen my theory.

In the meantime, I should stop blogging and continue grading my third of 55 undergrad reports. The joys of being a teaching assistant! Later, kids.

2 thoughts on “Busy Week, Busier Weekend

  1. I think you might want to take at look at doing both thematic and structural analysis of your interviews. It can be very revealing in terms of thinking about designer identity and the way they structure themselves in their design. Here is a link to a book by Reissman that would be helpful , its called Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences…


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