The PhD Chronicles: The Final Friday

You can't see me, but I'm dancing up a storm because the final Friday has come and gone for my cohort in the doctoral program and that's just AMAZING AND AWESOME AND ALLEVIATING AND ...and so many other feelings that don't begin with the letter A.

I will not go into detail of every moment of the day but from the moment I got up to taking the bus to arriving on campus, classes, lunch, more classes, and celebratory drinks afterward--I just kept thinking about this being a powerful milestone to hit.  It felt like a great weight lifting off my shoulders...mostly.  I still have the final paper (a rough, rough, rough dissertation proposal) to produce but then I'm taking 2 months off from it all before diving back in. With classes at an end, I need to take a break.  I'm mentally and even physically wiped (the stress cycle has taken its toll on me and my body is in rougher shape than it has been in while).  The timing is also right to take a break as I need some distance from looking at my subject matter as I have for the past year.  

A person in a costume of a creature on large skateboard approaching a finish line.
Accurate depiction of me getting through today.
Photo Credit: Phil! Gold

While delightful overall, the day felt bittersweet at times.  Being in a cohort, I am surrounded by amazing, thoughtful, critical voices that helped me to think more deeply and look at things (including myself) more earnestly than before.  They provided key questions that I hadn't thought of and gave encouragement when needed.  I'll miss our Fridays together for the comradery, kindness, support, and brilliance that I got to witness from my cohort.  I'll still continue to talk to one and all of them, but it seems unlikely that we will all be in the same place and same time again, which is sad after three years of time together.

Yet after three years of classes, I feel ready for the next challenge, developing a dissertation proposal, defending it, and then doing the dissertation (and defending that).  I've got a good advisor who is excited about the work I am doing and many other faculty and scholars who have show interest in the work that I'm doing.  I continue to maintain enthusiasm about it so it tells me that I'm on the right track.  

All of which tells me that the program has done its job.  If I feel ready and feel supported to go off on my own, then the course design, the process of the last year, and the ways in which the program runs has done its magic on me.  

So what does that mean for this series (the PhD  Chronicles)?  Well, I don't have the PhD yet, so I will be continuing on with my blog posts.  They may not be as frequent as they are currently, but I still have milestones and posts to write about the experience so I would imagine those will continue to trickle in as I go along.  I mean, in my head, I can already anticipate at least a dozen or so posts with which to write about so I don't think that will change.  

Well, I need to get back to a certain rough, rough, rough, rough draft and get ready for some relaxation so I will wrap this up.  I do want to thank you, dear readers, for coming along with me on this trek.  Since I started doing this series on the blog, I've heard from a few people each year who have acknowledged and appreciated me writing about the experience and, even for some, it has helped them to decide to go forward with applying to a doctoral program.  I'm glad that has been the case and I am thankful that people have found this blog series useful in that regard.  

Now, back to writing...

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

  1. Acceptance...and acceptance
  2. Orientation
  3. Day 1
  4. Week 1
  5. First 2 Courses Completed
  6. First 2 Courses Finished
  7. Semester 2, Here We Go
  8. The Existential Crisis of the Week
  9. The Balancing Act
  10. Negotiating Privilege in Higher Education
  11. Zeroing in on Research
  12. Completing the Second Semester
  13. My Educational Autobiography
  14. So Starts the Third Semester
  15. My Educational Philosophy...for now
  16. PhD'ese
  17. And Sometimes, You Feel It
  18. Semester's Endgame
  19. Year 1, Officially Done
  20. Year 2, Week 1, Day 1
  21. Year 2, Week 1 Done! 
  22. 1/3 Complete!?!?
  23. Click...
  24. Day 1; Semester 5
  25. Share and Share Alike
  26. Mindful and Mind-Filled
  27. 5th Semester Down
  28. Day 1, Semester 9
  29. The Two Demons of My Doctorate
  30. When Senioritis Kicks In
  31. The Final Friday
Sub-series specifically about the dissertation:
  1. Dissertation Journal #1
  2. Dissertation Journal #2
  3. Dissertation Journal #3
  4. Dissertation Journal #4
  5. Dissertation Journal #5
  6. Dissertation Journal #6
  7. Dissertation Journal: QP Revised Edition

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