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!