Shouldn’t I Be Working on my Doctoral Work Right Now?

Perhaps the most haunting thing about pursuing higher education while functioning as an adult is the idea that you should be doing ‘something else’ right now. While watching a movie….”Shouldn’t I be working on my paper?”. While hanging with the kids….”Shouldn’t I be doing laundry?” While doing laundry….”Shouldn’t I be hanging with the kids?”. While doing your paper….”Shouldn’t I be watching a movie?” and so on.

For whatever reason I chose to pursue my Masters’ degree in 2003. The scary thing about online schooling is how impulsively you can enroll. From Ebay to AOL to ‘University of Phoenix’ and BAM! I was teaching part-time, raising a 3 year old and pregnant with Joey. I’d spend lots of 2 o’clock in the mornings or weekend sneak aways hiding out on the basement computer. It’s all a blur really…which is scary because the student loan debts are extremely clear. I graduated in 2005 with not a gray hair in sight.

In July 2010, I enrolled in the Ed.D program (with specialization on Higher Education and Adult Learning) at Walden I leaned toward the Ed.D versus the Ph.D because I mistakenly thought the Ed.D lasted 3 years while the Ph.D lasts 7. I was wrong…you have up to 7 years either way. Maybe it was just a way to keep my mind challenged…at least that’s what the voices in my head reassured me. Despite a loved one showing me a newsclip entitled, “You Can’t Afford This Degree” I bulldozed my way through. It’s all been going pretty well so far. Working with 16 week semesters versus the 5-6 week classes during my Masters’ makes it more manageable. Despite four kids and working part-time, I’ve found the time to complete my coursework…..until last semester.

Last semester I had two courses at the same time and we switched to what is less than lovingly called ‘BlackBoard’. At times I would deny I was in the second class altogether. Though I got a ‘B’ in one course , I got a ‘U’ in the second one. I haven’t gotten a ‘U’ since grade school when I kept forgetting my gym shoes for P.E. Like a scarlet letter that ‘U’, but I was told that I could redeem myself in the next course. I am now in what is called ‘Doctoral Intensive’. What happens is that you need to take at least 2 of these courses back to back, more if you need….trust me…I’ll need.

I’ve changed my topic once. My original idea was to address ADHD Awareness for Early Childhood Providers. I started literature review and had some interest in the topic.This got denied because it needs to be geared toward my direct work setting.So…starting from scratch I was at a loss. I’m not one to find or complain about problems. What was my problem? My problem was finding a problem? My topic is switched to Retention of black men in the community college setting. As a Caucasian woman I am treading carefully as to not make this look like some sort of Key and Peele parody. I have a long way to go. As with anything…a day at a time. Gotta Love It!

3-1-13 update: transferred to Ed.S program, last class starts this week!


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