I’m very much still alive and not dead.
Since transitioning into life as a full time worker I’ve never felt consumed by my work. Not until the last few weeks, that is.
When the Food Insecurity study first got flagged a few years ago I imagined that the most labour intensive part would be all those interviews. It turns out I was wrong. Everyone on the team pitched in with interviewing and the burden was spread wide and very light. After the interviewing and waiting for all the surveys to return from around the country I have been plunged into intense data work – lots of verification, cleaning and exploratory analysis. It’s been hectic, and if I’m not careful I’ll end up with RSI but apart from that it’s been fascinating so far. The data is incredibly rich. We received 590 surveys back and there is a really good representation from rural communities and indigenous communities. I keep flipping between feeling incredibly overwhelmed at the wave of work coming up and then the feeling of excitement, even the taste of adrenalin in the back of my throat. From a database! Yikes.
One of the nicest parts of the project in the last month was working offsite at the National Church Life Survey offices at the Australian Catholic University in Strathfield. They were kind enough to lend us their electronic data scanning and verifying software to cut back our data entry workload. I think we got the data entry done in half or a third of the projected time, with less error! Hooray! As well as that added bonus, I got to work in a suburb only a 15 minute drive away (wonderful sleep-ins), at a campus that is on the same bike track that runs near my house (yes!! the feeling of getting to work entirely on your own energy without paying ANY money for petrol or train tickets is exquisite), with a team that is awesome (once upon a time they used to work at Parramatta and I saw them all the time! for a week or two it was just like the old days). The data verification was incredibly tedious but it was balanced out by all those good things.
It’s not just food though – I get to do heaps of other cool things at work over the next few months too. I am running my first ever focus group with people attending our community education classes. And I get to do some work on action research. And some work on Christian evangelism and conversion. And then the census is coming out!! Yeah! Just wondering how I’m going to fit that huge amount of wonderful into the given time frame…