The Doctoral Journey Round-Up

As I approach the end of my doctoral journey, I decided to round-up all of the posts I wrote throughout the process. The countdown clock to my graduation is now under 90 days- I remember when it was over 900!

countdown clock

Please humor me as I travel back in time to reflect on this journey, in a bulleted-list, because that is how my mind works!

  • October 2012: What I’m Reading These Days – This was the first time I shared some of what I was reading, and it was all about my class assignments!
  • December 2012- TEDxSan Diego Experience – I loved getting to experience a day full of TED talks live and in person. While rereading that post, I was shocked by the multiple mentions of collaboration– that has become my life blood lately and it’s a surprising remind that it stood out to me almost 3 years ago!
  • May 2013 – Finding Balance – Ironically, there was a long period between blog posts related to my doctoral studies. This post was my reflection on how to use time wisely without losing my mind!
  • June 2013- One Year Down, Two To Go – This is my reflection after the first full year of coursework in the doc program.
  • January 2014 – What I’m Reading (Volume 2)– My second post in this series referenced the books from my Cultural Proficiency class, which I truly enjoyed.
  • February 2014- Exhausted– One simple word that covers so much of this journey!
  • March 2014- What I’m Reading (Volume 3)- Another volume that included reading from my doc research.
  • March 2014- Social Justice Leadership – A reflection after I completed my Cultural Proficiency class, which was one of my absolute favorites of the entire program!
  • May 2014 – Two Years Down, One to Go – I remember feeling such relief when I was able to write about coming this far!
  • May 2014 – What I’m Reading (Volume 4) – One text from this post was related to my HR class (and it’s still funny to see it on this list!).
  • May 2014- When Worlds Collide– Thoughts on my HR and Finance courses
  • August 2014- Educational Hot Topics – This post was spurred by a guest speaker we had in class one day!
  • December 2014 – One Semester Left – I was so happy to have finished all my coursework and only have the final two chapters left to complete!

Wow! There were more posts about this journey than I expected! This was a pleasant surprise to me. Writing has always been a positive hobby, a place where I go to de-stress and reflect, so I’m glad to see I was able to use my blogging as a mental support during a long three-year process.

I am in the final data collection, analysis, and writing phases and this journey has never felt as impossible as it does right now. A friend and I commiserated together over the weekend, reflecting on how far we had come and how challenging this last phase is. It is nice to take the time to remember all of the hard work I have put into this degree, this program, this research, and my own education. I cannot wait for that graduation ceremony, when my chair hoods me and I finally earn the title of Doctor Illingworth.  😉


  • April 2015- On April 1 I successfully defended my dissertation and respectfully ask that you call me Dr. Illingworth!
  • April 2015 – I attended the UCEA Clark Seminar as a graduate scholar and shared my research reflections.
  • May 17, 2015- My doctoral graduation from San Diego State University

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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9 Responses to The Doctoral Journey Round-Up

  1. Pauline says:

    Wow! What a great overview of your doctorate journey! Congratulations!

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