zombie tarot cards for some insight into February, I got a card that didn't make much sense to me at the time - the tower. The tower represents "a sudden change, questioning conventions, destruction". Naturally, a card like this would worry any normal control-freak. But there's no point in worrying over things that haven't happened yet, especially things we don't even know about yet.
A few days ago it came crashing down on me. Though my research project had been going slower than I originally anticipated, it had at least been moving forward. I had collected my first month of data. I sat down to enter all of the data and perform some rudimentary preliminary analysis on it (to have something to turn in for my fourth year med school research project). What I found was worrying.
My research project involves a survey, and unfortunately, over half of the respondents weren't answering the most important question appropriately. Based on their responses, they most likely didn't understand what I was asking for. At this point, I was disappointed, but I kept moving on.
I met with my research mentor to go over the preliminary findings (for the purposes of my medical school project due), and as soon as we got to the part about over half of the respondents not answering that question appropriately, he threw me off that tower. "Oh, you're gonna have to stop your study then," he said bluntly. "Basically, we're gonna have to go back to the drawing board, rewrite that question and start over." He was very reassuring that this stuff just happens in research, and that we'll get the study done in due time, but it will likely have to be my residency research project.
While I completely understand the reasoning behind it, I was still a little surprised. I wasn't quite expecting something this drastic in response to the lack of appropriate responses. And what was even more of a surprise, was how this all made me feel. I would have expected to feel angry or frustrated, especially considering the amount of time and effort I have put into this over the past YEAR, however, I felt relieved. I definitely want to finish, and someday publish, this study, but now there is no way to finish the project before I graduate, so it essentially has to be put on hold while I figure out how to reword that part of the survey - and where I'm going to be next year. So that means I actually get a bit of a break from it while all this other crazy Match and graduation stuff is going on. *phew*
Oh yeah, and 22 days till Match...