Summer Update: Dissertation, Manuscripts, and Conferences.

Dissertation Talk

So... it's hard to believe that it is already nearing the summer solstice. Time continues on so quickly, it's hard to keep up. In my own world, I am continuing my progression toward finalizing my comprehensive exams, which will allow me to continue onto my dissertation. Essentially, over the course of the summer, I will be completing 4 manuscripts based on the big topics of my dissertation. I am still focused on developing an intervention focused on improving the motor skills of children with ASD; so the majority of my questions are based around concepts of motor development and intervention. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. I think the hardest part will be keeping the information within the page constraints. 

This week, I am focused on the first question, which is aimed at understanding parent interviews. It is a very big topic area, but I have a fairly defined outline so far and things seem to be coming together. I plan to meet with my advisor once I have my first draft together to ensure that I am on the right track and I can finalize the manuscript before moving on to another. My goal is to spend about two weeks per question and have them finished by the beginning of September. Ask me in a month how I am feeling about that goal.

Finishing other work

So, my goal prior to starting my comps were to finish three manuscripts. Needless to say, after working to finish my coursework (forever) from the semester, I needed to take a few extra weeks off then I thought. It took me a few weeks to just get back to the computer, but I have and I recently finished up one manuscript with two more to go. I haven't written about them yet, so stay tuned for those. I did have a recently published manuscript come out last week in PALAESTRA, check it out here. I hope to have the next three finished and out for review by the end of the month, but again, ask me in a month how I am doing. 

Conferences

In the last week, I submitted three abstracts for the upcoming SHAPE national conference and southern district conference in 2016. I greatly look forward to these conferences as they are an awesome time to network with colleagues, as well as hear about awesome things happening around the world. 

Next month, I am actually presenting my dissertation topic in a 'works in progress' session at the National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities. This is a pretty intimate conference with about 50 or so mover's and shakers in my field. I look forward to getting some great feedback about some areas that I am having some concerns about in my methods. I hope that this will give me a good direction to steer in and build a very sound dissertation study. Look for the presentation slides to be up shortly after the presentation. Perhaps I will even see if I can record it, wouldn't that be fun. 

Most recently, I went with my wife, Daniella, to the Look3 Festival, here in Charlottesville. It had nothing to do with my academic field, but hers. It was three days filled with lots of photography and talks from some of the best around. It was very inspiring to hear about not just what they were photographing, but the mission behind the photograph. Perhaps the most inspiring was Zanele Muholi and her work with the LGBTQ communities in South Africa; check it out, you won't be disappointed. 

Final thoughts

As I finish up this blurb of thoughts and I wonder who will read it, I feel inspired to share this thought that keeps me moving forward in my own research and motivated everyday to push myself to work harder in order to make some kind of difference.

You can not go a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.   - Jane Goodall

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts. Through research, I believe there is an ability to change the world, even if just a little bit, but it can't be done alone. In the meantime, I have work to do.