Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Thesis proposal: defended

This is what four copies of my thesis proposal looks like.
I defended my thesis proposal (Intercultural Competence and Classroom Cultural Conflicts) today. Basically, three really smart professors gathered in a conference room and listened to me present my 38-page proposal for twenty minutes. Then came the hard part, where two of those really smart professors dissected key ideas and asked questions I didn't know the answer to and tore apart the slightest weaknesses in my approach. Fortunately, the third really smart professor (my supervisor) was on my side (as is his role) so he advocated for me when necessary. Because otherwise it was like watching my proposal getting torn in two directions - everyone has their way of looking at things and, as my supervisor told me in a whisper just before the defense, you can't please everyone.

Anyway, done. I have some changes to make but the thrust of my research is sound so I can proceed mostly as planned. Data collection begins next week! Then writing writing writing during the summer, and defend the finished thesis in the fall.

By the way, you may recall that when I was deciding what to write a thesis on, I was worried about choosing culture because it is a special kind of research quicksand. That has definitely proved true. Defining culture, and then defining the two cultures I am studying (for now, that's "Western" culture and UAE Arab culture - see how much fun I'm having?), is a sticky, sticky business. But I'm making progress.


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