Essay 1 down

I have finally finished my methodology critique essay (actually finished it last week, but just finished including some useful suggestions from my professor). That was painful to write. Tedious, going over the literature review in this dissertation to say what she covered and what she missed. Then picking apart her methods and presentation. Thank goodness I was interested in her topic ("a study of transcendent experience through a focus on the nature and integration of the noetic quality of the experience"), and found the stories of the six interviewees interesting.

Of all the criticisms I had, the one that is most disturbing is the confidentiality issue. Given the many direct quotes and descriptions, plus a few slips where the author mentioned the REAL first name of a few of the participants (only once or twice each out of 417 pages, but that's all it takes), it was a simple google search to discover the identities of three of the participants for certain and another one tentatively. I figured out four out of the six. A bit scary to realize that the care to protect confidentiality that was enough in 1997 is not enough with the search abilities we have available in 2007.

I'm glad to be done with this one - on to the next two essays, basically the literature review and theoretical basis for my dissertation.

Dark & Dreary

Yes, I suppose the light is returning. February tends to be my most difficult month, as I feel like I SHOULD be feeling more energetic and motivated by now - and I'm not. Spending too much time watching the trees outside my window move in the wind. All I really want to do is cook or bake or organize things. Don't really want to work on this paper, though I am slowly ploughing through it. Next step on that is a trip to the University of WA library tomorrow. Something to get me up and out, at least.

Nearest book

OK, I got tagged into this one.

1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag 5 people 

Honest, this was truly the closest book, as I sit here working on my methodology critique. I didn't even have to get up out of my chair.

Case Study Research: Design and Methods, by Robert K. Yin

Especially relevant to case studies is an intriguing methodological analysis of qualitative research by Louise Kidder (1981), who demonstrated that certain types of participant-observer studies followed time-series designs, unbeknownst to the original investigators. For example, one study was concerned with the course of events that led to marijuana use, the hypothesis being that a sequence of "time series" of at least three conditions was necessary (Becker, 1963): initially smoking marijuana, later feeling its effects, and subsequently enjoying those effects. If a person experienced only one or two of these steps but not all three, the hypothesis was that regular marijuana use would not follow. This type of postanalysis, on Kidder's part, needs to be repeated in teh future to help reveal such implicit analytic techniques.

I leave it to 5 of you to get inspired to take this on.

Men and Food

There's a men's workshop at Skyote for the weekend. They have their own routines for meals and do it themselves (rather than paying me to cater). I do have to be present with some guidance in the kitchen when they are getting meals together, just to help with where things are. Tonight they had arranged for Costco rotisserie chickens, bagged salad, and bread. One of them cut apart the chickens and arranged the pieces in a roasting pan and asked what to do with the carcasses. I grabbed them to make broth, plopping them into a big pot and adding the contents of my frozen vegetable leavings container - carrot tops, ends of celery and scallions and parsnips, parsley stems, onions ends, etc. I poured in water to cover and left it bubbling away while I retreated to my room for awhile.

When I heard the group descend on the kitchen for dinner I headed down to see if they needed anything. They approached me right away to ask if it was indeed alright for them to have the soup - they had already stacked up the bowls next to the pot with a ladle, and several of them were already eating it. I said, "That's not soup! I'm just making broth!" We all had quite a laugh, and a few of the guys who were sick decided that they were quite happy to have the broth if it was OK with me. I warned them about less-than-perfect vegetable pieces, and let them have at it. I suppose it's good that they are so easy to please! They should taste my SOUP!


The Universe & everything

You are the World 

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Inspired by seeing rutemple yesterday at the Dickens Fair (who encouraged me to write more), and by the What Tarot Card Are You? quiz rowanf posted today, I am finally here with a brief update.

I've spent the past two months dealing with foot surgeries that took considerably more recovery time than expected. Healing is happening, but at a slow pace. Discouraging sometimes, but Rene (elimloth) has kept my spirits up throughout. We just had a lovely Thanksgiving down at Skyote in Santa Cruz. He left last night (the 6 hour delay at the San Jose Airport into the wee hours is his story to tell), and I am here for the next week, staying to attend to a workshop at Skyote next weekend.

Taking it easy, trying to get some writing done on my methodology critique essay, resting my foot as best I can.

  • Current Mood

A found quote

Searching through old papers for thoughts I might want to pull into a paper I'm writing (the one on moving into states of consciousness where we can access deeper parts of the self), I found this quote:

The measure of health is flexibility, the freedom to learn through experience, the freedom to change with changing internal and external circumstances, to be influenced by reasonable argument, admonitions, exhortation, and the appeal to emotions; the freedom to respond appropriately to the stimulus of reward and punishment, and especially the freedom to cease when sated … The essence of illness is the freezing of behavior into unalterable and insatiable patterns.

Kubie, Lawrence S. (1958). Neurotic distortion of the creative process. New York: Noonday Press.


Pillar of Fire

Leigh Ann Hussey,  motogrrl is gone, her life ended in a motorcycle accident Tuesday night. Such a strong flame she was! Her music and her life touched so many, and I am just so sad. In her honor, here are the words to the song for the goddess invocation in her rock and roll ritual, from the first one many years ago, when I danced the goddess for that ritual in the Oakland hills. Somewhere I have a tape she made of this song for me to rehearse to . . .


Pillar of Fire

Lift up your head and see the light grow,

filling your mind, surrounding, bestowing

vision to all who sleep has made blind.

Open your eyes and you find her.

She is the force that shows to the sight

all the creation made through her lightning;

vessel of worlds, she is the entire,

and to the wanderer she's a pillar of fire,

pillar of smoke,

she is the sign and she is the token,

light of the spheres to which we aspire,

pillar of dark cloud, pillar of fire.

Breathing will deepen as she comes near;

quickening heartbeats mark her appearing.

Tingling charges stir on the skin;

spirit and will are enkindled.

She moves between and angels bestir;

flesh is aroused and heart is encouraged,

knowing her (dance) to follow her higher,

feeling her rise in you like a pillar of fire,

pillar of smoke,

she is the wonder newly awoken,

path of the making born of desire,

pillar of dark cloud, pillar of fire.

Heed my soul's call and hear my heart's vow:

open my mouth and I will sing power,

open my eyes and I'll be a light

blazing (among) the benighted.

I am the string that sounds the worlds through,

I am the song of death and renewing;

strike from me now the spark to inspire,

burning to life again in that pillar of fire.

pillar of smoke,

you are the word of energy spoken,

voice of the ages, thundering choir,

pillar of dark cloud, pillar of fire.

  • Current Mood
    sad sad

Segmented life

I'm here at Skyote, our place in the Santa Cruz mountains, preparing for a workshop that takes place here this coming weekend, a SoulCollage Facilitators Training. I have the place to myself for a few days before Rene arrives tonight. I have been busy shopping, cooking, and baking (with a bit of time spent weeding as well), but can't seem to get myself to do any of the studying I need to do, despite having enough time to do it. I finished the neuroscience paper and sent it in 10 days ago (yay!), and I have reading to do for the paper I'm writing on trance consciousness in workshops and expressive arts therapy. But somehow when I'm down here I have trouble getting myself to study. I have compartmentalized that into something I do when I'm up in Seattle. Here at Skyote I am usually in busy mode and just don't seem to get to reading. 

I need to expand my location-inspired consciousness possibilities!

Definition of well-being

I am finally getting the Neuroscience paper written. Slowly, but it's happening. Came across this quote worth sharing in one of the books I read for this paper, Healing Trauma.

Systems that are able to move toward maximal complexity are healthy systems. They are the most stable, adaptive, and flexible. What a wonderfully concise definition of well-being! Mental health can thus be defined as a self-organizational process that enables the system - be it a person, a relationship, family, school, community, or society - to continually move toward maximal complexity. (Siegel, 2003, p. 4).

Siegel, D. J. (2003). An interpersonal neurobiology of psychotherapy: The developing mind and the resolution of trauma. In M. F. Solomon & D. J. Siegel (Eds.), Healing trauma: Attachment, mind, body, and brain (pp. 1-56). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.