Too soon to celebrate, but I have champaign on hand anyway

Posted: August 21, 2008 in Brainstorm, Futurism, Publication, Review, School

I’m writing this as a separate post because it isn’t set in stone. It isn’t certain. But it is possible.

The long and short of it is that I may be asked to write a chapter in a book on Biomedical Defense, and that I may publish my MA thesis at least once, if not twice (though the second time would really be the same topic, whole different paper).

As for the details, well, that’s the longer part.It starts, really, back in college. I was friends with a group of people, very few of them my own age. When I was a freshman, I made friends with juniors and seniors. When I was a junior, and they were all gone, I made friends with freshman. One of those freshman was Mike. He and I have been in very sporadic contact over the past years since I, and then he, graduated. I knew he was going to school at Miami in Ohio, but that’s about it.

Well, I got back in touch with him. He’s finished his exams, and is in the process of writing his dissertation for, I believe, behavioral psychology. While the subject isn’t surprising, him being so far along is a bit disconcerting for a moment. It’s just a strange juxtaposition for me. I’ve always been the one who is further along in school, and now suddenly our positions are reversed. Granted, he has one master’s degree and I have two, but I hardly think that matters. I’ve gotten over it, but it was weird for a minute there.

Anyway, I told Mike about my thesis, then sent him a copy. To brag for a moment, he said “I forgot what a great writer you were,” which made my day, particularly because this was while I was panicking about not being good enough. Anyway, he loves the idea, and wants to know if it really works. Do I have any data to back it up?

Well, yes, but it’s empirical and first hand. Not formal at all.

So, he suggests, we should do a study. If possible, at multiple campuses. We’ll find teachers willing to do it, and have one course taught with Discount Peer Response, and the other without. Of course, we’ll eliminate as many other factors as possible (same course, hopefully even same professors). Then we will have some independant volunteers grade a selection of papers from the two classes, with no information on which class did which method. Hopefully, the papers from DPR will be better than those without. If that happens, then we can write a paper (Mike and I) and publish our findings, possibly in a Psychology journal.

For Mike, this would mean something like his twentieth publication. I don’t know how excited he is about it. But I am very excited.

And, now that my thesis (or part of it, anyway) has been accepted to the CCCC (which, I’m told, has a rejection rate of 50-70%), I’m feeling confident enough that I might be able to publish it on its own as well. A copy is currently resting with my new adviser, who will let me know if it is publishable. If it is, he’ll help me find where, and if it isn’t, I trust he’ll help me make it better.

So that may be a second publication.

As for the chapter in the Biodefense book… well, that’s really a result of Nepotism. My father just started teaching again (after about a 5 year hiatus back into the business world), and he has been contracted to put together a book about Biodefense. We were talking, and he suggested that maybe I could write a chapter about communication. A slight stretch for my interests, but one I’m very happy to make. That isn’t certain yet, but if it all gets approved, it will be another publication.

Which, if you’re counting, makes three.

Hence the champaign.

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