Sunday, January 20, 2008
Thesis oh thesis
Huh...I sighed in relief. Finally, I have completed my thesis. Four years have passed so swiftly. Days and nights, juggling between work, social life, studies and family, kept me under stress most of the time. And, to add to it, my habit of procrastinating things and my ability to work under a cramped time frame worked both against and with me.
I remember, when I first proposed the topic of my thesis to my lecturer, he straight away approved the topic. But, he silently acknowledged the fact that this type of research is very rare among students in Malaysia. I am not sure of other researchers who might have done this type of research before this. But, I am pretty sure that this topic can open up a new vista regarding the potential of Human Computer Interaction and the usability factors of the software in the rehabilitation and computer assisted learning for the cerebral palsied individuals in Malaysia, particularly at my work place. But, when I asked for some advice from a psychologist from US, who has many years of working experience in this field, I was advised to change the topic as the topic was deemed to be too broad. Things went out of my control as the University board of management for thesis submission has approved and accepted my topic. If I was to change the topic, it means a delay in the process of proposal and approval of the new topic. So, I decided to go on with the current topic, no matter what may happen during the process. I realised I have to find the correct strategy to fine tune my thesis to correspond well to the topic selected.
I spent months in collecting the relevant data while formulating a best mean to present them. Arranging the data too posed difficulties for me because I have to determine which should come first, second and so on. Things were made worst, especially when my lecturer wanted me to use the SPSS program to present the data obtained in the statistical format. Hell, I am not good with statistics. I had to look for assistance from my friend to teach me on how to use the program. Finally, with my friend’s help I managed to layout the data as required, but then, there was another problem. The data presentation was not realistic. I had to admit that my research population is very small, thus the problem with the data presentation. I realised that I am left with no option but to manipulate the data to get to the most realistic statistical conclusion, which I finally managed to do. Thank God for His guiding hand.
My daily scheduled during the last few days before the dateline were really notorious, but I thanked the school holidays because I too get to enjoy at least a month break. This gave me the much needed time to do the thesis. Daily, I would sit in front of my laptop staring at the words to make final edition to the thesis. I was very worried and wanted to ensure that everything to be well presented and meet the requirement of the topic chosen. Though I have completed most of the chapters, the last minute works pushed me into a very narrow time tunnel, till I was forced to request for some extension. I was granted a week extension by the University authorities. This extension gave me the time to bind my work and submit it in the form required by the University. Finally on the 5th January 2008, I submitted my thesis to the University. This relieved me of many things especially the mental stress.
I thank the Great Lord whose invisible shadow followed me every second till I manage to complete my thesis. I also thank my friends for their assistance and encouragement during the period.
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