The last eight years have been a journey for me–a marathon really. Six and a half of them have been spent actively working to finish a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations from the University of Missouri – Kansas City under the guidance of Drs. Loyce Caruthers and Candace Schlein. I took off time for the birth of both my wonderful kids, and I am looking forward to a short academic break this summer as well.
Last month, I defended my dissertation to my committee members and earned my title, but today I finally submitted my study to ProQuest and filed for a copyright to publish my work. While the last two years I worked to write and defend a proposal, collect data, conduct interviews, and analyze results was challenging, the last four weeks of post-defense edits have been among the most challenging of my life. Set aside the facts that I have a kindergartener at home to help teach, a spectacularly wild toddler interrupting me every five minutes, and a wife with a small business we are trying to keep afloat, I have been trying to teach my own students online while getting up extra early to address edits and finishing touches on this study. I’m tired just revisiting the facts. All things considered, I am thankful that my family is healthy, my income is secure, and we have enough toilet paper.
This work has been the thing I’ve lived and breathed for so long and I’m as excited to share its results as I am to be finished with the worst stresses it brought on me. I’ve learned so much about myself during this process and that has been as valuable as the professional skills gleaned and the new scholarly knowledge generated from this work. If you’re someone considering starting a graduate degree, I can’t stress enough how much it will change your life. It can be a long journey, and you should carefully consider what you’re getting yourself into, but it can (and should) be very fulfilling. I have a great deal more reflecting and sharing to do, so stay tuned to this blog.