The weird thing about EEG studies is that you can do data cleaning throughout the entire process of data collection but you really can’t tell what your results are until all the data is collected. So other than saying “this person didn’t respond to five of the stimuli” or “hmm, his brainwaves are nice,” there’s a lot of hours of doing work with zero knowledge of whether it will pay off. Granted, many of those hours involve sitting and waiting. Or else waiting, pressing a key or typing a word, and waiting some more. I’ve become quite good at Soduku and have finished watching all 160 episodes of How I Met Your Mother (I started in July) available on Netflix.
From July 31, 2012
It’s been one week since I flew out of Costa Rica with a duffel full of Spanish surveys and memories of many people who helped me along. Before we left, we bought our host Don Pedro his favorite type of banana for him to remember us by. We also said “adios” to Gail, Dr. Rodriguez and Paola. Now I’m back in Harrisonburg, VA with a pile of responses to input and code.
From July 19, 2012
Working with contacts at the Universidad de Iboamerica (UNIBE) allowed me to quickly and efficiently gather data from native Costa Ricans. Collaborating with Vice Chancellor Roberto Rodriguez (http://www.unibecostarica.com/about-unibe/academic-authorities.html) and Graduate Research Coordinator Paola Mora allowed our team to tap into UNIBE’s resources. This cooperation allowed our team to explore attitudes among children in public and private schools as well as get a large sampling of adolescents/adults to compare with the La Carpio data set.
From July 17, 2012
Today, we pulled up to “Guarderia Kinder los Angeles,” one of Gail’s buildings that serves as school and community center. While the rest of the research team went upstairs to meet with children and teachers at the center, Gail and I went across the street to a printing shop/convenience/hardware store. We were warmly greeted by the proprietor Ray and used his computer to make final edits to the surveys before printing. Then we gathered the team and started site visitation and data collection.
From July 17, 2012
La Carpio is an impoverished immigrant community of predominantly Nicaraguan residents. Gail Nystrom is the director of the Costa Rican Foundation and my primary contact for research within the immigrant community. On July 17th, she picked us up at the Parque de Diverciones, several minutes from the border of La Carpio. This arrangement was required because taxi drivers would not drop us off at a location inside the community due to La Carpio’s reputation as an area with a high crime rate. In fact, Costa Ricans from San Jose strongly discouraged us from collecting data in La Carpio for fear of violence.