May 24, 2006

Peace! Peace!

True to form, my May has been utterly crazy-busy, enough that I am both relieved I am not teaching this summer and a bit ashamed that I haven't done more writing. (It comes from my children's birthdays, my wife's and my anniversary, the end of the K-12 school year in Tampa, and my need to repay my wife for her having done the runaround while I was out of town several times in the spring.) Today, I went to my son's fifth-grade award ceremony (mostly for awarding good-citizenship certificates to the majority of the students), missed the department meeting with the dean about our chair vacancy (because our chair is being pulled downstairs as an associate dean), talked with colleagues a bit, rushed to the central administration building for a short meeting with the president's representative on union affairs over a grievance that I'm the representative for (not my grievance, in other words), then ran to my daughter's school to pick her up from school and drive her to my wife's school, where she's currently playing violin for a post-graduation reception, and then back here to work on a few tidbits before my son gets home, at which point I'll clean the public space of the house and start baking the cake for my daughter's birthday party.

The month's been like that.

That fact may explain why I begged and pleaded for a few hours of peace in a café last night, just to get one significant task done uninterrupted. I didn't even care what it was. So I spent the time analyzing Virginia's enrollment and graduation data from 1996-97 through 2003-04, since they have kindly posted online all sorts of useful information, including age-grade tables (which I use in my current project). There was one obviously incorrect estimate (I think 15-year-old enrollment for 1997-98, which had to have been about 5,000 students short of the real figure), but the rest is going to allow me to demonstrate how changing migration estimates affect graduation statistics. There's overlapping data on Virginia, as well, from others studying graduation rates.

All in all, a nice three hours of work. I wonder when I'll get that uninterrupted time next...

And I hear my son's bus pulling up outside.

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Posted in Research on May 24, 2006 2:39 PM |