Poetry is a spiritual path for me, and Rumi and David Whyte language that path.  So, when David Whyte came to Florida this past weekend, I of course went to go see him.  During his reading, he spoke jasmineabout asking “beautiful questions.”  Beautiful questions are questions that open-up imaginal horizons to walk towards; they start a conversation; the questions serve as invitations.  For the past month, it’s been easy to get caught up in the “thick of thin things” as Covey has said.  And then there’s poetry, which permits us to get back to our authenticity, allowing our future selves to look back at our ancestral selves for a conversation.

As a new father to an 8-month old daughter, when Whyte read My Daughter Asleep, I realized again what’s important and thought about all of the carefully wrought lines in her tiny hands; in my hands that once were that small; in all of our hands.

So, in this moment of clarity, I’d like to remind all of you to stay focused on the important things, to ask beautiful questions that allow you to explore your ancestral self, to remind yourself of your intentions, and to continue achieving your goals!

Best wishes, James

jimsig

My Daughter Asleep

Carrying a child,
I carry a bundle of sleeping
future appearances.
I carry my daughter
adrift on my shoulder,
dreaming her slender dreams
and I carry her beneath the window,
watching her moon lit palm open and close
like a tiny folded map,
each line a path that leads where I can’t go,
so that I read her palm not knowing what I read
and
walk with her in moon light on the landing,
not knowing with whom I walk,
making invisible prayers to go on with her where
I can’t go,
conversing with so many unknowns that must know her more
intimately than I do.

And so to these unspoken shadows and this broad night
I make a quiet request to the great parental darkness
to hold her when I cannot, to comfort her when I am gone,
to help her learn to love the unknown for itself,
to take it gladly like a lantern for the way before her,
to help her see where ordinary light will not help her,
where happiness has fled, where faith will not reach.

My prayer tonight for the great and hidden symmetries of life
to reward this faith I have and twin her passages of loneliness with friendship,
her exiles with home coming, her first awkward steps with promised onward leaps.

May she find in all this, day or night, the beautiful centrality of pure opposites,
may she discover before she grows old, not to choose so easily between past and present,
may she find in one or the other her gifts acknowledged.

And so as I helped to name her, I help to name these powers,
I bring to life what is needed, I invoke the help she’ll want
following those moonlit lines into a future uncradled by me but parented by all I call.

As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe,
so
with my open palm whose lines have run before her to make a safer way,
I hold her smooth cheek and bless her this night into all these other unknown
nights to come.

--David Whyte

 

James Lani is the CEO and Founder of Statistics Solutions. He founded the company in 2003 and has been assisting students working on their dissertations ever since.

  1. What is your personal philosophy?James Lani - CEO

I have to take full personal responsibility for everything that happens, from growing finger nails to being a successful entrepreneur and loving father.  If it’s not you, then who?

  1. What’s one thing/person you couldn’t live without?

A sense of connectedness.

  1. What is your favorite thing to do?

Make Jasmine (my daughter) smile, and see her wave her hands as she scoots towards me.

  1. You are hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people (living or dead) who you would invite, and why?

Joseph Campbell, so we could philosophy about religion and mythology… David Viscott because he epitomizes truth and honesty for me, and Rumi so we really know what God is.

  1. Tell us something that surprises us about you?

I’m more of an introvert than people think.

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People blaming people.

  1. What 3 traits define you?

Fairness, honesty, and intelligence.

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up/start your day?

I check my pulse.

  1. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It’s more of a perspective than advice.  A quote from Campbell that Schopenhauer, in his essay On the Apparent Intention in the Fate of the Individual, wrote “of the curious feeling one can have, of there being an author somewhere writing the novel of our lives, in such a way that through events that seem to us to be chance happenings there is actually a plot unfolding of which we have no knowledge. “

  1. What celebrity do people think you look like?

Not sure.

  1. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be (your spirit animal or patronus)?

I would be a Tardigrade.

tardigrade-queen

  1. If you could give advice to your 16 year old self, what would it be?

Relax.

  1. Who is your favorite superhero?

I don’t have one.

  1. What is your biggest fear?

That desires overcome equanimity.

  1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you take with you?

The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks, family, pencil and notebook.

  1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pork chops marinated in tomato sauce with black beans and rice.

  1. What is your favorite movie quote?

A scene from Reservoir Dogs.  The conversation with Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) does not want to tip the waitress.  The scene shows my how dogmatically foolish I can sometimes be.

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I manifest imagination in myself and others. (Oh, I have that superpower J)

  1. Do you have a favorite quote?

“Once the seed of faith takes root, it cannot be blown away, even by the strongest wind.” - Rumi

  1. What is your favorite thing about being part of the Statistics Solutions Team?

The freedom to communicate honestly.

 

             You must go into the dark in order to bring forth your light

While December is filled with holidays and joyful activities, it’s also wintertime.  And winter is a time to look at the darker side of us, the shadow parts of us to get a fullernews
picture of who we are.  So here’s an exercise from William A. Miller in Finding the Shadow in Daily Life.  Don’t be afraid of really going there!

  1. List the qualities you don’t like in others (it’s OK if its lengthy);
  2. Now extract out of that not only what we dislike, but that we despise, horrified by, disgusted by, and loathe. (Although hard to believe, and even harder to accept, this short list is your personal shadow!)

Debbie Ford says that our shadow is long ago formed aspects of us “containing all the parts of ourselves that we have tried to hide or deny, the parts we believe are not acceptable to our family, friends, coworkers, and most importantly, ourselves. The Shadow is comprised of everything annoying, horrifying or disgusting us about other people or about ourselves.  It’s the person we don’t think we are.”

The shadow’s role in our lives.  The shadow has enormous power over our lives: determining what we do or not, what we’re drawn to or repulsed by, what we avoid or love, and what we will judge and criticize.  “Our shadow controls how much success we're entitled to create or how much failure we're doomed to experience.  The shadow predicts all of our behaviors, driving the way we treat those around us—and how we treat ourselves.”

Using the shadow.  Ford says that “The shadow is not a problem to be solved or an enemy to be conquered, but a fertile field to be cultivated.  Digging into that soil, you’ll discover the potent seeds of the person you most desire to be."  She went on to say, “Embrace your shadow and your life will be transformed.  You’re embracing your true self.  Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”

Thank you all for taking a small journey into getting to know you better.  For as we know our-selves better, our lives will be richer and even more meaningful.

Warm Regards,

jims sign

A common error I come across when editing dissertations is the presentation of anchors of a scale, or scale information in general.  When discussing the anchors of a scale involved in your study, such as a Likert-type style, APA prefers those anchors to be presented in parentheses and italicized, following the anchor numbers (APA6, p. 105).  For example, if you were analyzing participants’ responses to a health ratings scale, the text would appear as follows,

[Correct]:        health ratings ranged from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent)

[Incorrect]:     health ratings ranged from one (poor) to five (excellent)

health ratings ranged from 1 = “poor” to 5 = “excellent

The following presents an example of an APA-correct sentence that explains a Likert scale.

This scale consists of 15 items on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

Staff Spotlight: Nicole Crevar

Nicole is our APA Editor and has been a member of the Statistics Solutions team since August of 2014.

  1. What is your personal philosophy?Nicole Crevar-APA Editor

Live my life with a smile, or con una sonrisa!

  1. What’s one thing/person you couldn’t live without?

My sister.

  1. What is your favorite thing to do?

Cooking or baking!

  1. You are hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people (living or dead) who you would invite, and why?

Ralph Waldo Emerson, because I’d like to sit down and talk transcendental philosophy with him. Dr. Permenter, one of my professors from college, because she really inspired me to be the person I am today. My brother, because he is very intelligent and the four of us would have an enlightening conversation.

  1. Tell us something that surprises us about you?

I used to write a student journal for a local newspaper in high school.

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People not using their turn signals!

  1. What 3 traits define you?

Indecisive, adventurous, and selfless.

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up/start your day?

I kiss my dog!

  1. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Just do what makes you happy!

  1. What celebrity do people think you look like?

I’ve never been told I look like a celebrity.

  1. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be (your spirit animal or patronis)?

A dog, because I’m loyal and fun!

  1. If you could give advice to your 16 year old self, what would it be?

It would be to not care so much about what people think.

  1. Who is your favorite superhero?

Mmm…the Credible-Hulk.

hulk

  1. What is your biggest fear?

Dying.

  1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you take with you?

A journal, my fiancé, a knife.

  1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Bananas.

  1. What is your favorite movie quote?

“Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.” - Hitch

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation.

  1. Do you have a favorite quote?

One of my high school teachers used to say, “The 5 P’s of success. Which are prior planning prevents poor performance!”

  1. What is your favorite thing about being part of the Statistics Solutions Team?

Knowing that we really do help and make a difference, and it is rewarding to know that we can make that difference!

 

Staff Spotlight: Nicole Crevar

APA Fact of the Week

Capitalize the precise, complete title of both published and unpublished tests. The words test, scale, and other identifying test words are not capitalized if they refer to subscales of tests. Do not capitalize generic or shortened titles of tests (APA6, p. 103).

 

Example:

Advanced Math Test -------------> a math test

Atlanta Multiphasic Personality Inventory -----------> Atlanta’s personality test

Snoop Color-Word Interference Test ----------> Snoop color test

the writer’s Mood Adjective Checklist -------------->  the writer’s checklist

APA Fact of the Week

As the holiday season quickly approaches it is easier than ever to set your dissertation aside and get lost in the mix of shopping, parties, and events. While these may seem like welcome distractions, it is important to stay focused and on track. Let’s make sure that when we arrive in 2016 you have made substantial progress in your dissertation.

Here are some tips to keep you focused and progressing:

Keep your success top of mind. You signed up for this and you have invested a substantial amount of time, money, and energy into making it happen. Take a few minutes each day to visualize your success. Clear your mind and focus on the image of you walking across the stage at your graduation. Hear your name announced with “doctor” in front of it. Hear the applause and feel the excitement and pride of your friends and family that are there to support you. Let this image stick with you, and refer back to it often. Your success should always be at the top of your mind.

Set intentions and stick to them. I like to start my day by setting my intentions and making a list to assure that I accomplish everything. First thing in the morning, organize your tasks in a list, and feel the accomplishment as you cross each task off.

Use your resources. We have a rule around here that if you are stuck on a problem for more than 20 minutes, you should stop and ask someone to weigh in. You are surrounded by smart people that have either experienced a similar problem and know how to solve it, or can at a minimum provide a different angle to the solution. Remember, you are not alone in this process and there is a world (wide web) of resources at your fingertips.

Wishing you all a productive month and a terrific Thanksgiving!

We may not like to be reminded of this, but being human necessarily means we will face pain at some point during our journey through this world. One cannot avoid this simple truth, be you smart or ignorant; pretty or not; rich or poor; spiritually endowed or secular. Fortunately, we know that the sooner you internalize this truth and grieve your losses, the happier and healthier you will feel.

So, while you arrive at this truth, let me reinforce in you the idea of our resilient spirit. This spirit allows us to smile in the face of any adversity; it allows us to shine both inside and out. In fact, Change Basics (Russell and Russel, 2006) contains resiliency tips that solidify this point:

  • Proactive people actively engage change, shape their own vision, their locus of control is internal, preserve their self-efficacy, have a strong self-confidence and self-assurance, and are aware that their choices influence their response to challenges.
  • Develop a personal meaning and vision so you have a clear belief and vision of what you want to create. Allow that purpose to pull you forward, so when adversity approaches, you can see it through hopeful eyes as an opportunity and stay focused on the longer view of life beyond it.
  • Nurture your interpersonal competence, i.e., your ability to truly empathize with others, and magnify your social awareness to manage yourself in relationships.
  • Remain flexible and adaptable at all times by staying aware of what’s around, i.e., the context and the vibe, so you can then make sensible adjustments to plans.
  • Take even one quarter of a second to think before acting. The more you do, the more you organize yourself toward order and structure, which yields an inner focus and outward stability. (Prioritizing to-do lists, and then following that prioritization, will enable you to manage your time effectively.)
  • Strive to problem solve by analyzing and breaking down complex problems to discover and explore root causes. Recognize and clearly define problems, and interdependence of problems, within a system, and then set accomplishable goals.
  • Social connectedness is having caring and supporting relationships, relationships that create love and trust, that provide role models, and offer encouragement and reassurance. It’s having a network for support, affirmation, and problem solving. A network that affirms your capabilities and helps you see alternatives and new opportunities.

After reading through these tips, perhaps select one tip a day and work with it a bit. For example, take the flexibility concept and consciously work on growing your awareness of your surroundings for a day. See the ways you’re rigid and uptight, and perhaps choose to let that rigidity go. Alternatively, be that problem-solver for a day by taking a problem and breaking it into its constituent parts, then analyze how the parts fit together, and see how your response is a part of the problem and solution. Just watch how things become more manageable. And add an extra kick of self-confidence to your day. Speak from your belly, look people in the eye, straighten your spine and put your shoulders back a bit. Feel yourself grow taller.

What everyone needs to know is that we actually have access to everything we need for our perfect life: awareness, determination, vision, creativity, love, passion, faith, and intuition. These human endowments begin to be realized when we focus on them, and they come into full bloom when we let them ripple through us, further building our innate resilience.

Admittedly, the journey we students have chosen is sometimes arduous, often working full-time, taking care of our families, maintaining ourselves, and working early and late to complete our advanced degree. Let me now acknowledge you—great job for your hard work and effort. Working and putting forth effort for those who may never know your sacrifice, yet I do.

Keep smiling because you are not alone.

Warm regards,

jims sign

When writing your dissertation, focus on using precision and clarity regarding word choice and organization. Readers should not find difficulty reading the text or deciphering the meaning of the sentences. Pronouns should be limited in use, as these words often create reader confusion and ambiguity (APA6, 3.09, p. 68).

Vague pronouns include: this, that, these, and those

To eliminate ambiguity, clearly define what each pronoun refers to in the sentence. For example: this test, that trial, these participants, and those reports.

Example sentences:

(Correct) These scores revealed the winner of the game.

(Incorrect) These revealed the winner of the game.

 

(Correct) According to the coach’s statement, some players were injured.

(Incorrect) According to this, some players were injured.

Staff Spotlight: Crystal Miller

Crystal is one of our Senior Research Associates and has been a member of the Statistics Solutions Team since August of 2014.

  1. What is your personal philosophy?Crystal Miller Sr. Research Associate

Make today better than yesterday!

  1. What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Literature

  1. What is your favorite thing to do?

My favorite thing to do is watch horror movies with my son!

  1. You are hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people (living or dead) who you would invite, and why?

Shirley Jackson, so that I could pick her brain about literature and see how she feels about the modern interpretations of her writings. Another one would be Stephen King, mostly to see how he would interact with Shirley Jackson because she was Stephen King’s idol and I’d like to see him “fan-girl!” The third person would be Gordon Ramsey so he could cook for everyone and call everyone funny names.

  1. Tell us something that surprises us about you?

I’m terrified of heights, but I love roller coasters.

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who chew with their mouth open!

  1. What 3 traits define you?

Integrity, honesty, and perseverance.

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up/start your day?

I brush my teeth! Actually, I usually let one of the animals in or out of the house.

  1. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Probably, don’t dwell on the things you can’t control.

  1. What celebrity do people think you look like?

I don’t know…*blank face*

  1. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be (your spirit animal or patronis)?

An owl.

  1. If you could give advice to your 16 year old self, what would it be?

Forgive yourself.

  1. Who is your favorite superhero?

That’s a hard one! Does Deadpool count?

  1. What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear? It would have to be something happening to my child.

  1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you take with you?

This is going to sound so cheesy, I would bring Little Women (the book), a sunhat, and tampons!

  1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Macaroni and cheese!

  1. What is your favorite movie quote?

“Oh what fools these mortals be!” from a Mid-Summer Nights Dream

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Premonition!

  1. Do you have a favorite quote?

“They who dream by day, are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” – E. A. Poe

  1. What is your favorite thing about being part of the Statistics Solutions Team?

Helping people achieve their goals!

Staff Spotlight: Crystal Miller