Sunday, May 15, 2011

Themes vs. Katy - Round One

Hooray for finally getting all my data collected, interviews and journal entries transcribed, and survey data put into spreadsheets! Boo for having to actually do something with it now.

I had this horrible moment (one of many during this journey) where I looked at all the data and freaked out. I felt like there was nothing there at all. No answers. No brilliant insights. Just stuff. Words. Numbers.

Welcome to developing themes, codes, nodes, categories...however you want to describe it. This part is harder than I thought it would be. But I also thought that I'd be done with the PhD by now, and that I would never enjoy running.

I've been pouring over stuff and coming up with lists of themes. It's overwhelming. I then started to pair down and group. Then I do some things long-hand (see picture) with a white board brainstorm. I write, I pull together relationships, I sit there across the office and stare at it on the white board. Then I start all over again because somehow it is not coming together.

I keep telling myself this is all part of the process. Sure, I studied how to do this, but it's a whole other thing to actually be analyzing the data now...when it matters. I know I will win the next round, but for now it is kicking my ass. Kind of like that 12-mile run I did the other day.

But with both school and running, I know I just need to keep going. It will get easier with practice. I'll kick these themes in the ass soon, just like I am going to kick that 12-miler next week in the ass.