Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Looking Back

Since I started my Ph.D. six years ago, I
...had three babies.  Three human beings grew in my  body. I pushed them out.  I fed them from my breasts.  And now they are with me almost. all. the. time. 

...presented at 3 professional conferences, two of them WITH A NURSING BABY.  (The presentation did not include the nursing babies, by the way. Their daddy took care of them.) I also presented at several community workshops and consulted for several courses. 

...lost two advisors.  They both left for other universities, one after the other.  My current advisor was a very happy accident. Like my department forgot to assign me a new advisor when my other one left and the secretary recommended her to me.  She has been a gem.  

...changed research topics.  Like majorly changed, from ESL to teacher education and the social construction “race.”  Changing topics happens, but when it is so drastic, like in my case, you have to start over on developing a literature review for your dissertation, switch the professional organizations you belong to, read different journals, learn new jargon, etc.  

...lost good friends and gained new ones.  What’s that song?  Make new friends and keep the old… Well, we all can’t be perfect, I say. 

...acquired 42 credits beyond my master’s degree. This is mostly due to the fact that I changed my topic, but also because I...

...almost obtained a teacher certification in K-12 ESL and Spanish. I did a practicum, finished most of the required coursework, and I literally was only missing 2 courses and a semester of student teaching when I had to stop because of baby #3!

...passed my comprehensive exams, after only studying for 2 weeks, not that I was planning to do it that way—it just happened. 

...passed my oral dissertation proposal with distinction.  After crying when my advisor marked up my draft with 100s of comments.  But my committee is lovely and they have helped me so much.

...logged 18.5 hours of interviews for my dissertation, which amounted to 370 pages of transcriptions.  I also wrote 43 research memos about those interviews.  However, I...

...PAID someone to transcribe the 18.5 hours of interviews.  Because what do you think I am—crazy?! 

According to my therapist, I am not supposed to think about what I have LEFT to do, because it will send me back into the death-spiral of depression. So please don’t ask. But let’s just say, my funding runs out in May 2016.  

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