Throughout my doctoral journey, I have written about what I’m reading, and I’ve reflected at the end of year one and year two. I have reached another pivotal point in the journey that I want to capture. Last Saturday I attended the last class of the semester, which was my last doctoral class ever. I still have one semester left, as I finish my research, analyze it, and finish writing my dissertation in preparation for our May 17, 2015 graduation!
Due to the structure of the class, it was not a big ending for us. However, one of my cohort members has taken the lead as our social director and culture builder. He organized two events for us to celebrate the occasion in style.
After class we took time to share some compliments for each cohort member- celebrating each person’s growth as a leader throughout the last two and a half years. In some ways it feels like we just met and in many other ways, it feels like we have been together almost every Saturday for the last century! Later that evening we went out to a nice dinner, to honor our hard work by having lots of laughter together!
As I think back to the first all-day workshop together that began our doctoral journey, I am so proud of all the work I have accomplished. I have learned to read research articles, papers, and journals like I have read fiction my whole life. I have learned to write analytically about that research, while conducting my own. I’ve refined what I believe are my own strengths and areas for growth as a learner, while critiquing the skills of each professor and the methods in which they chose to share their own knowledge with us. I’ve continued to reflect on instructional leadership and social justice.
Being a part of a small cohort (we started with 13 and now have 11 total) has taught me more about diversity, patience, learning styles, leadership styles, and the wisdom that comes with experience and reflection. I have appreciated some of this as I learned and experienced it, and have been frustrated by much of it (as I often am when I’m stressed out and/or exhausted!). I’m grateful to my father for his support throughout the entire process, and his patience and he listened to me complain! I’m so glad I took the leap and began this journey when I did. I met some amazing professors and friends throughout the process. And as they often say, the last two and a half years were going to pass one way or another… and now I’m that much closer to the title of Doctor and the pride of completing this entire journey!