A day with the Friedman Test and R

While the girls in Helsinki are going through 12 hours of training and preparation for the start of the tournament, I am sitting by a cosy fire installing R and looking at balanced block design for coding data.

It is a funny day, with my focus partly on good old Freidman tests and partly widening out to other things.  There are the training videos to look at , a 100 question test to look at, a few study guides and a project to start with Miles in Canberra.

Colleting data is interesting in itself, but coding it is another story.  I learned about the positivist approach to operationalising data for my flowchart and from there it is just a hop, skip and jump to coding in blanced blocks.  It’s not so much the theory as the practice, because I can practice in R.

Yes, the wonders of R are unfolding before my very eyes!  I can see why it is useful and how it can be used, but am really just at the stage of calling my data and trying to run the Friedman test.  It would obviously be better to block the data first.  I’ll have to get onto that soon.

Meanwhile, Peter and Aydda came to visit for her sixth birthday.  She is off to lunch with her Mum and then Peter is supposed to be preparing dinner for a lot of the family tonight.  His shift at the markets starts tonight, so he was keen to return home and sort out what is happening.

I checked out the weather in Vantaa and it seems to be the same as here.  A few showers are predicted, but generally it should be pleasant.  Pictures of the airport and airport conference room have been posted, so it looks like the accommodation might be in apartments with no meeting room, or close to the airport.

It will be so exciting when the games are on, as they will be on the internet, if it supports lots of international viewers.


Some of us are off to Hesinki today.

The count down for the WWC2013 competition is on and the international women officials are on their way to Helsinki.  I am still writing the final draft of my thesis, so I won’ t be there with them.

I can tell that they are really focussed on the task ahead of them, and that the excitement is turning to adrenaline to help them through the days ahead.  It’s also magical that I am able to focus on my thesis and that things are coming together at this time, of all times.

We have had rainy weather for the last couple of mornings, but the rest of the days have been crisp and mild.  For me, that is perfect writing weather, and perhaps perfect football weather for some.

Our men’s and ladies’ football season starts in August and we are preparing for meetings like the Annual General Meeting.  In the meantime, I just love the updates I am receiving on social media!   They are brilliant.  I am finding out about the check-ins, airport meetings and departure points.  It makes the Helsinki experience that much more interesting.

It’s great that I feel included, even though I will not be there in person.  I will be there in spirit, for sure!


Flow charts

Today I am tackling the flow chart for my thesis appendix.  It will show the integration between a cultural analysis and the survey.  As the cultural analysis is mainly about students from developing countries, it is an evolving process of understanding the importance of education and study abroad.

Appendix 1 is the data quality statement.  Then I have my survey questions for another appendix.  It’s a great pity that a pencil and paper diagram with arrows and little lozenge shapes won’t do for this flow chart business.  Come to think of it, I had one of those at the start of the thesis with coloured-in circles and lines joining different parts. 

While I am doing this, I am working out how to do things like “operationalise variables”.  The language of data and statistics is quite odd at times when it isn’t used on a regular basis. 

The next thing will be how to replicate the data coding using the same survey with a different population.  I need to explain that clearly.  It isn’t easy because the format of the survey may seem simple, but is actually quite complex.  It’s just that you have to plunge in and answer it, if  you are in the target group.  Then it all becomes very clear – I hope.  At least, it should be clear after I reading the thesis.



School holidays, day three and counting

School holidays are fairly quiet at present, with a few more people out and about during the day in our local area.  Yesterday at the grocery store it was fairly busy and the shopping centre was filled with people of all ages, mostly school teachers, it seemed.

My one day of teaching last week came at a good time, and I heard back from the Montessori school where I hope to find some work next term. 

Today we heard about the political developments that are part of the last sitting days of Parliament this week before an election in September, it seems.  In the next ten minutes or so, we will hear about political leadership ballots and their outcome.  It has received a lot of media attention which I think is called “feeding the chooks” in Australian politics.

Hopefully, by the time school starts again, it will be settled down a little.


Rock Street rocks

Today we went along Rock Stree on our early morning walk.  It is one street further up from our normal street.  There are a couple of houses with cats often in the front garden and a pair of happy long haired gold retriever-type dogs on the corner who love to bark.  I think they have collars to silence the bark, as it is a bit muffled. 

Rock Street was still asleep, though, except for three or four people going down to the paper shop for papers and to the bus stop.  It has a cement footpath along one side which is fenced off in one place for some kind of building work.  The old hotel that has been deserted for seven years is at the other end.  It, too, is fenced off.

Max was happy!  Lots of new smells along the way no doubt kept him sniffing madly at every post.  There were so many posts….  Dad says he is catching up on his doggy e-mail when he visits the posts with his super-snoop nose at work.  That must have made him a very happy dog, then, after all the new “messages”.

The yoga ladies were down at the beach again, doing sun salutations, or whatever.  They seem to like that beach, as it is fairly calm and the sun rises directly along the coast just there.  Perhaps they just live nearby in the newish units.  I think there may be a tree-hugger or two among them, as they seem very earnest.

I do quite like Rock Street, so we may include that now on our itinerary.  No doubt we will soon discover where the sleeping dogs live.  In the meantime, it is just another pleasant street in suburbia.


I had no idea

Before seeing this video this morning, I had no idea that some people have such big barriers to communication.  The actors in this video are brilliant!  This is just what I needed to know for my thesis data categories. 

Now, I just  need to work out how to explain this in my thesis without the video… I’m sure I can….


Skillset complete and polished up a little

Yesterday the phone rang at around 8:30am.  They wanted me to teach at a nearby school with minutes to pack and go.  I was wearing jeans with a long-sleeved shirt and light jumper and just had time to tidy up, pack some lunch and leave the house.

It was a great opportunity, as I was able to test my community mental heath skill set, just completed.  The children were very cooperative and I learned a lot about reward systems in the classroom because that is how the teacher had arranged the day.

In the morning when I checked my e-mail, there was a message from my lecturer in community mental health to say that I had passed all my assignments at a very high standard.  It is lovely when lecturers take the time to send an individual message to students.  That was another thing that cheered me up this morning for the day ahead.

In the afternoon there was a message on my telephone from a publisher asking when I was going to publish my manuscript.  Considering that my thesis rewrite is still underway, I will have to check with my supervisors about a publishing schedule.  The plan includes three papers, for which I have the abstracts ready.

Today is another day.  There are two days left before school holidays start.  I expect it will be a good time to write my thesis in the upcoming holidays.