Year #3, Day #1: Chomping At the Bit

I won't make any cliche comments about time and how long or little it took to get to this final June session.  It's been 2 years, 12 courses, innumerable pages, and many thoughts about the direction of my research (and two job changes).  But here I am at the first course in the program that specifically deals with research involving the dissertation process and another course that serves as a capstone to the foundational courses.  A nice way to end one portion of the program and start another.  

So how am I feeling about this?  As the blog title hints, I am chomping at the bit.  That is, I feel like the last two years have been training for the marathon and now, in this June session, I stand poised to start the race.  There's a nervous energy permeating through me as I think about what's the come and determine what mental strategies and external support I'll need in order sustain myself to the finish line.  That I feel this way, tells me that the program has done its job well in preparing me and helping me find both my research direction and my voice in this field. 

starting gate at horse race

I feel confident about the dissertation journey and where it will take me.  I don't kid myself about how hard and grueling it may be, but having been immersed in higher education literature for two years, coupled with everything else that I have studied in my life, I'm ready to make my own contribution to the conversation and feel that it will be a useful one.  


But all of that is the general air of my mood.  How was my first day?  Well, good.  The morning class had us talking about the capstone course and meeting with UMB's chancellor (he co-teaches the course) and the afternoon had us meeting for the Qualifying Paper Proposal class, which the professor laid out very clearly and methodically, how we would get from here to there.  So while course one is to be topical, course two is much more a 3-week writing workshop. 


As always, it has been great to reunite with my cohort and those of us taking both courses, feel we are mostly ready, though each of us is at a different place with our research or research interest.  I'm impressed to see how some of the other members have come to their topics and what fascinating questions they are exploring.  I feel like mine is a bit of a broken record because it's been what I've been talking about almost since the beginning (open educational resources and the classroom).  But I guess for those of us who've had a stronger pull towards something, maybe that's just how it goes.  


Day one down; 11 more to go in this final June session!  Cheers to that! 



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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