My whirlwind research recruitment week is officially over. In the end, I talked to 14 classes and provided info to another 4 or 5 online sections. Next week I’ll talk to three more classes, one of which has around 120 students in it. The e-mails are slowly starting to trickle in, which is encouraging. I even have a few of my students taking the survey, which is remarkable considering they’re doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts and not for extra credit. I’m guessing that at this pace, I’ll get my required number of participants, but of course I’m going to be a nervous wreck until I see at least 300 completed responses on the site. This weekend will be spent cleaning up the surveys and getting ready to e-mail all of the people who have already e-mailed me. I will likely stay up really late Sunday night so that when the clock strikes 12 AM, I can send out all my e-mails and then sleep knowing that it’s all taken care of. It would be absolute torture for me to try to sleep knowing I could be up sending e-mails.

There was also a bit of drama this week when my adviser send IRB an e-mail asking them about extending a waiver to 18 year old participants. Apparently, they have to review our protocol again in order to approve it. Why, you ask? Aren’t 18 year olds adults? Well, in the great state of Alabama, the age of consent is 19. That means you need to be 19 to get a credit card, a lease, enter into a contract, or for my purposes, consent to research. An 18 year old may “agree” to participate in research, but it’s not legally defined as “consent.” Whatever. There are different procedures I have to go through in order to include 18 year olds in my research, and since I need every participant I can get, I’m doing it. Do remember, though, that you can get married here at the ripe old age of 14 (so long as you have parental permission). Hence my annoyance and frustration.

I also had to pay another visit to my doctor this week to address the Ongoing Health Weirdness (henceforth referred to as OHW). I was given an injection and then some drugs to offset some of the more severe side effects of this injection. I’ll be in a sucky situation for the next couple of weeks because my pain won’t get any better (it may, I read, actually get worse), but in the meantime I’m experiencing an array of unpleasant side effects, the least of which are headaches, stomach upset, and utter exhaustion. This really could not have come at a worse time. That’s life, I suppose. The things you least want to happen occur when you least want them to.

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