This week has been a busy one, where I've been in to university every day except Friday, and Mr A has been hard at work on his course, but also cooking and trying to sort out our snow holiday with friends. At last it is booked; last night at 11 p.m. the last click was clicked and we are going to Austria in January, between my exams and the clinical placement.
At uni I was working on my research project at the start of the week, and my other research-based coursework at the end of the week, interspersed with a meeting with my project supervisor, presentations from other students about their ideas for a community nutrition intervention, and presentations including mine about Dietetic Support Workers and Assistant Practitioners, who are NHS employees at lower grades than dietitians. A bit like us students operating on our clinical placements, where we're not quite good enough to be dietitians, but there are still a lot of things we can do competently.
My project about food and visual impairment is plodding along at the moment. Having done the interviews and transcribed them word-for-word, I have then had to try and pick out common aspects from the transcripts, and see if they can be grouped logically in themes. For example, all of them mentioned the importance of good lighting, particularly for shopping, cooking and reading menus, and some also highlighted the difficulties they have when lighting is not good, in restaurants for example. Some of the areas that interest me most are about how they feel about living with sight loss, sometimes making light of it with jokes, but also more seriously speculating on what the future holds.
I identified some themes that I think make sense, and then was advised to use a software package called NVivo to help with coding. That took a solid day and a half non-stop at the computer. I've now been given some guidance and reading to do around the next step, which is to start to make a story out of what I find, ready for writing into a paper. There's a lot to do, and as always, not enough time.
My supervisor is also very enthusiastic about the possibility of publishing this research in various academic journals, and even submitting it for inclusion in the British Dietetic Association Conference next year. Inconveniently, the conference takes place in the week before the final exam period next May, and the submission deadline for proposed papers is two days before the submission deadline for this coursework.
But I must away, Lola II is visiting this weekend and is due any minute. And we've had snow! The first snow of the season, and in November. The temperature outside is zero (Celsius) and Lola II is a cold-blooded creature, so we've got the heating on and some emergency clothing for her.