The PhD Chronicles: 6th Semester Is Upon Us

How the hell did that happen?  By semester's end, we'll be at 36 credits--technically, half way through the program (though some could say the easiest, half no?).  But still--it was just yesteryear that we were having our first classes.  

This semester is pretty exciting for me.  I have two courses that I feel offer me a lot (all my courses offer me a lot, to be clear; but these two I feel strongly tie to the work I want to do on my dissertation and beyond).  The required class is Qualitative Analysis--the other side of the Quantitative Analysis course we took last semester.  It's a methodology I'm much more familiar with in terms of my previous academic experience and areas in which I teach. The other course is Civic Engagement in Higher Education is also interesting for me as I've been doing a lot of thinking about issues of public good, higher education, and the digital environment so I feel like it could provide me with a significant framework to delve deeper into those areas.  



Word cloud of this blog post in the shape of a pencil.
This semester is where it starts to feel real.  We're closing on the end of our second year and this summer session, we'll be putting together our proposals for our Qualifying Papers and moving into courses next year that focus largely on the development of our Qualifying Papers and ultimately Dissertation Proposals.  By this time next year, should things go well, I will have completed my qualifying paper and be working on the dissertation proposal.  All of which is to say, it's starting to get real--moving from courses slowly into production mode.  

And I have to say, I'm excited when I'm not reigning in my fear, self-doubt, and overwhelmingness (is that a word?).  My excitement stems not just from finishing (though, let's face it--that's certainly part of it) but from digging into the dissertation process and pushing forward with a project that produces something that represents my work in this program and hopefully, in some way, contributes to the understanding of higher education.  I'm still in the early, early stages of the process and am sure that I will not be nearly as excited this time next year, but I am now and that's a nice place to be.  As a cohort, we've traversed through twelve courses, learning and making sense (or what sense we can) of this amorphous thing of called "higher education", sharing our insights, challenges, and research pathways.  Through this, I feel that I'm ready to take a deeper dive and try to produce something that reflects what I've learned and what I've been able to distill as a result of being in the program.  



Want to keep up with my PhD adventures?  Check out any of the links below:

Sub-series specifically about the dissertation:



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