Archive for the ‘Coursework’ Category

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 29, 2014 at 03:06AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Questions tonight are …
Did you ever threaten, or even prepare, to run away from home when you were a kid? Do you remember why? Did you pack anything? Did you make it out of the house, and if so, how far did you get?

Questions from last night were:
If you could have been a child prodigy what would you have wanted to be skilled at? Why?

I really wanted to play the piano but I hated practicing, and I was a good singer. I had no idea how to pursue becoming a professional singer, though, so I never pursued that. I was NOT, however, a child prodigy, and I don’t think that I would have chosen that. I think that if I were to choose now, that I would have chosen to be a Math or Physics prodigy … or a mind-reader, or empath … either of those would have been both a curse and a blessing, but think of how far someone who can consistently demonstrate either mind-reading, true empathy, or both could take us in the study of our brains and future capabilities!!!

Previous question that I will eventually answer 😉
Have you ever been given a present that you hated/disliked? What was it? Who gave it to you? What was the occasion? How did you react – could they tell that you didn’t like it?

I felt wide-awake and alert almost all day at work today again, but by the time I got home, I was falling over tired and took a nap. I woke up at 1:15am, did a quick homework assignment, and now I’m here doing my final post for the day.

The time change should help me a bit because that will be a two rather than three hour difference, so I won’t be working at such extremes in school. Yes, I KNOW that I should set an arbitrary time to be my deadline, but it doesn’t matter if I try to do that … I still KNOW that my assignments aren’t due until 2:00 or 3:00am, and I end up being on that schedule while trying to work on Eastern time … it’s interesting and has been a bit difficult to adjust to, but I’m getting there 🙂

Today is now day 28 (YAY!!!) of my favorite month which culminates, as I’ve mentioned many, many times now, in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my next Halloween themed image can be seen below …

Have a great night, fellow Pressers, and sweet, batty dreams to you all 🙂

#goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #humor #halloweeniscoming #eileenshalloweenproject #october #october2014 #halloween #halloween2014 #bats #batty #ozzyosbourne #ozzy #photographyproject #zombie #samhain #celticnewyear


Day 43 – Unplugging from the Stream

Tonight was PMP class from 6:00 – 9:00pm after working all day. Kid drama today was finding out that my 15 year old skipped school today … grrrr

On the social media front, I have been elloing like a fool! You can find me there @eileenamcallister – … come join the fun!!!

So this is day 43 of my doctoral journey, and so far things are going well. I made a mistake on an assignment, but the teacher didn’t notice, so I’m certainly not going to point it out. I’ll just consider it a lesson learned, and not do it again.

Today is also day 2 of my favorite month which culminates in my favorite holiday which is the inspiration for the theme of which this post completes day 2 of 31 😀

So here is my second Halloween themed photo:


It’s not great, but it works 😉 I learned a valuable lesson recently, that everything doesn’t have to be perfect … it just has to be good enough, so that’s that.

Have a great night, fellow ‘Pressers, and Ride the Stream while I dream 🙂

#ello #unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #photography #halloweeniscoming #graveyardphotography #eileenshalloweenproject


“Why is it important to develop the skill of questioning? How does developing this skill apply to your reading of empirical articles, research conclusions, and your own dissertation?”

Questioning is at the core of human progress.  Had man not, throughout his history, repeatedly questioned the world around him, we would not have progressed.  We have trains because someone asked questions like, “How do we move a large amount of people or materials across land more quickly than in wagons?”  Automobiles, indoor plumbing, electric lighting, computers, and shelf stable milk have all come about as a result of questioning what is, and asking how it can be improved.   It is how humanity can see this image of the Earth and Moon taken by the MESSENGER probe from a distance of 61 million miles away.  It is also how this image is visible across the planet on the world wide web on the website for anyone with access to view at anytime from anywhere on a multitude of devices.  When it isn’t just a probe, but a ship full of astronauts looking back from that  distance, I want to have helped develop skills and behaviors to cope with the tremendous stress and maintain productivity and maintain positive interpersonal communication and relationships.  Being able to maintain mental health in a situation to which we have no experience to compare will be a challenge, and I think that the success of any long-term space ventures will depend on having the right tools to adapt.


It will be the similar when conducting the literature reviews for our dissertations.  We need to learn what information related to our chosen topic exists in order to ensure that we are indeed conducting original research.  Asking questions will help us determine if an article should be included, what gaps exist in the current body of knowledge, and how our topic can add to that body of knowledge and improve our understanding in that area.  It is this questioning and formulating of ideas and directions for our research that is frequently referred to as critical thinking.

There may also be points of controversy that are discovered during our critical review of research articles, that can help us hone our topics and point to further studies to consider.   Working to prepare research to support one side of a controversy should be considered carefully, but is an excellent way to help move knowledge in the area forward while helping to resolve the conflict.  Two sides of a conflict can be dug in and wasting significant energy in maintaining their current positions.  By helping to resolve a conflict, the energy of the researchers on both sides can be redirected into new pursuits if the research results are significant enough.

Until then …

Not Exactly a Great Ending …

I have a teenage daughter. Since arriving home from work, she has been complaining, rude, inconsiderate, verbally abusive, argumentative, selfish, manipulative, unreasonable, insulting, and downright mean.

Par for the course, I suppose, but I can find little motivation to write because of how I feel in the aftermath of the storm.

In relation to school, I did use my lunch break to get a smaller assignment completed today, and I got started on my paper due on Wednesday. That, and I survived a verbal onslaught from my daughter – now to sleep …

When mothers and teenage daughters collide ... worlds will crumble ...

When mothers and teenage daughters collide … worlds will crumble …

Good night …

I finished my homework for the week, so I am going to grab some extra sleep tonight 🙂

Photo is of a beautiful sunset in Mississippi from a trip last year.


Five Excellent Resources for PhD (and other) Students

I wrote this last night after completing an assignment – finished it at 1:23am – but I decided to wait until this morning to publish.  I’ll get another out this evening.

#1 – Bookmark this right in there with other school related bookmarks, and refer to it periodically to help yourself retain some of the excellent advise offered, and to revisit WHY you are doing this to yourself 😉  There are a number of common mistakes to avoid listed in the article, and that will be good to revisit as well to help yourself remember not to make them.

International Journal of Doctoral Studies article:  Successfully Navigating the Stages of Doctoral Study (  It has a table, chart, checklist, and a silly quote:

Doctoral students are like all seven dwarfs at different stages of their program. At first they are Dopey and Bashful. In the middle, they are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable  (Grumpy). However, in the end, they’re called Doc, and then they are Happy (Azuma, 1997).

Although Mr. Azuma could be a little more original with HIS titles – So long, and thanks for the Ph.D! – come on, man … Got originality?


#2 – This APA (6th) reference video (for those of you requiring APA formatting):

Yes, the voice is reminiscent of Ben Stein’s iconic roll call in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it’s an excellent video, nonetheless, and contains a link within it to …


#3 – A reference generator (and MORE) for EVERYONE – APA, MLA, CSE, and Chicago Style (unfortunately, NOT pizza).

You can save sources, easily create (properly) formatted citations, organize them by category, save web clippings or text – build up a nice organized collection of annotated references … all that, plus it’s FREE and EASY to use!!!  Take THAT RefWorks!!!


#4 – Resource 4 probably needs no introduction for those of you familiar with APA formatting, but if you haven’t discovered the Purdue University Online Writing Center, or just want a handy APA formatting reference, you will definitely want to check it out:

The site also provides a comprehensive MLA formatting guide, grammar references, grammar exercises, videos, sample papers, podcasts … it’s an exceptional and exceptionally well-maintained site.


#5 – Guide to Grammar and Writing sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation –

I love grammar – I am a grammar fanatic, and I love this site!!!  Yes, I even read it for recreation and not just when I have a question because I like to learn to write right where before I wrote wrong 😉


I hope that you find at least one of these resources useful!  If you have any resource recommendations, please leave them in the comments, I’ll check them out, and include them in a future list if they prove out. If you don’t have any resources to add – check back periodically and I’ll share some with you.



Photo Editing Extravaganza

On Friday at work a bunch of us wore hats and turquoise in honor of our friend and coworker who passed away almost two weeks ago.  I took a ridiculous number of pictures, and after finishing my short homework assignment earlier this afternoon, I started working on the photos.

I’ve included one, since the person can’t be identified, just to let you see the silliness that ensued at work on Friday.  I added the background, of course, but this is pretty much how I spent my Sunday, and it was FUN!!!

Back to work tomorrow, but I’m ok with that.  I was dreading going to work for a while, but it’s been a lot of fun lately, and I am enjoying looking forward to work again!

Until tomorrow …