It’s now "crunch time" as we near our first big deadline for our dissertation projects — Friday, 16 March 2007. T-minus 7 days!
We had hoped to be further along than we are but we think we’re still within range of meeting this deadline. 3/16 isn’t actually a hard and fast deadline; it’s more of a guideline. But we’re hoping to get pretty close. Most of our spare time, including our day off on Monday, will be devoted to this task. This first deadline is very important. Getting behind at this stage will force us to play catch up, so we want to stay on track as much as we can.
For this first deadline, we are to submit a rough draft of chapters 1-3 of our dissertation projects. We both have written rough drafts of chapter 1 and are working on chapter 2, which is a pretty intense review of literature related to our topics. The plan, at the moment, is to be pretty well done by Saturday (3/17), and to mail them out on Monday (3/19), after our home visit with the social worker from our adoption agency.
After we submit this first assignment, we’ll continue researching current literature. Over the next few months, we’ll work on polishing the first three chapters, in preparation of a "proposal hearing" later this summer.
One of our next big steps will involve putting together a Research Reflection Team, a group of 4-8 people from our local churches who will meet with us nine times during the rest of the year, to help us process our research and offer feedback along the way. We expect these groups to get started shortly after Easter.
Well, we’ll post our next dissertation progress report after we complete this first leg of the journey! We will try to say more about our specific topics in that report as well.