i took a quick survey this morning of ye old blog, and i realized something. this isn’t real life! this is kind of a collection of travelogues and gallivanting that paints a pretty unrealistic picture of my day to day life. remember how i actually came to spain with a project? um yeah, let me talk about that a little… because it is sort of a big part of why i am here. (and it is totally an assignment to blog about my proj so uh, 2 birds, 1 stone)
so when i got to spain, i had my project all planned out and almost ready to submit to IRB, which is a group that approves research projects to make sure they’re ethical, safe, yadda yadda. one of my first weeks here i went to the school where i was conducting my research, only to discover i was going to need to change some of the logistics in order to be more accommodating and include more mothers. this would actually be great, because i was going to have more access to a larger group and the schools offered to just send the questionnaire home with their students instead of me making awkward phone calls. it was great in that respect, but that meant i was going to have to revamp my project proposal for approval.
that took like, a month. seriously, research is not some flowery thing where you run around with a clipboard asking people if they prefer coke or pepsi. thankfully, my project finally was approved, and i wanted to cry happy tears because all of a sudden all of this travel had a purpose! (and the money…. oh, the money…)
the following week, this puts us in early october, i had a panel of spanish mothers critique my survey and offer me suggestions. they were great, but can i just say how vulnerable i felt as they corrected my stupid grammatical errors? whew! glad that is over. i took their suggestions to heart, made some cosmetic changes, and submitted AGAIN for re-approval. with the IRB stamp of approval, i was ready to go.
the following week i went to my schools to make 100 survey packets and distribute that baby! and i sort of felt like i was sending my first born child off to school. would the other kids like him? would they accept him? would he get picked on? would the bullies throw him in the trash and not even look at him? but, like any good mother would do, i figured it was out of my hands, so i went on with my business for the next two weeks. (aaaaactually good mothers probably don’t do that)
when the deadline hit, i went to my schools to pick up my surveys. and people actually filled out my questionnaire! maybe the participation was only about 40%, but whatever i am fine with it!
and now the fun part is over. since getting my surveys back, i’ve been going over them with a fine toothed comb, figuring out ever child’s BMI, tallying average income, charting the hours mothers work outside the home…. phew. basically this just means i sit in my room in my pajamas all morning trying to work, since i can’t get wifi anywhere else. glamourous!
so far, my results are pretty typical of what i though they’d be. kids don’t eat fruit. mothers work. 30% or more of children seem to be obese. and i know it is wrong, but i get SO EXCITED when my calculations prove high BMIs because that means i have data to explain my hypothesis… but i am pretty sure that also makes me an awful person, getting excited over fat kids, so…. yeah.
so now you’re all caught up.