Monday, September 29, 2008

Why in the #!%*$!! Did I Think I Wanted To Do Research?

The title is a bit misleading because in all honesty I love research. I love numbers. I love researching and writing lit reviews. I like digging into qualitative data. I love long afternoons spent pouring over articles and contemplating theories.

What I don't love is collecting consent forms from middle schoolers. Nor do I enjoy cleaning up other peoples' mess, which is what I, and the research assistant, have been doing for the last month. In fact, we've probably done more work on organizing data in the last month than was done in the entire last academic year.

I've decided that it is very difficult to be at the mercy of schools. The schools are in charge of sending out and collecting the consent forms. Seriously, I know they have a lot to do, but it is completely frustrating when we drop the consent forms off and a month later we have about 30% of the forms returned. They aren't making my job very easy.

On the plus side, I am starting to get into the data and will be learning structural equation modeling. I know, totally geeky, but that's how I roll.


Mrs. V said...

The joys of middle schoolers and responsibility:)

Anonymous said...

{a month later we have about 30% of the forms returned}

Welcome to the land of teaching. Actually, 30% is pretty good. You've matched about the same amount of response that a teacher generally gets to any material sent home, the number of parents who attend back-to-school nights, the number of parents who bother showing up for parent conferences, and the number of parents who actually read the announcements that go home in their child's backpack. I hate to tell you, but your response rate was basically the norm. That's why when releases are sent home for field trips, we try to word them that it's ok for the kid to go unless you return the form saying it's not.