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Doctoral Dissertation conundrum

Updated on September 7, 2010

Welcome to the real world of learning Research methods, APA style formatting of papers and hour upon hour of doctoral dissertation decision making. This rules my life currently, and it is a tad overwhelming.


First of all, I would never have thought at age 55 I would be a continuing student, as well as instructor in Higher Education. There is no real value in society to teachers who enjoy teaching as a profession. It is mostly a place for would be writers and researchers to make money while they do what they really love: writing and researching.

So it is ironic that I am in this position, since I would rather be focusing on teaching and employing new methods to make learning more enjoyable and accessible to my students.

But here I am...the recipient of one Masters in Liberal Arts with an extra 12 credits, the recipient of a Master of Arts in English with an extra 18 credits in Film now embarking on a PhD in Global Education. And the material confounds me. It is tedious and boring. It is beyond my grasp of technical expertise and patience! Yet, I continue.

Back in 2000, when a mere 45 years old, I came across a method of mentoring instructors who wanted to infuse some enthusiasm into their instructional coursework. Although ten years has come and gone, and I am now in the midst of a Global doctoral program, my mind takes me back to those days. The days when making teaching a #1 priority was something I believed would be possible.

A dissertation is a long research paper that contributes something new to the field of study. It is a small, but significant new way of looking at and doing things in the academic world, which in this case is Global in nature.

I need to focus on how my past experiences have gotten me to this point and weed out the wheat from the chaff. In winnowing the information, it is my fervent hope that something of value can come from all this tedious and enterprising work.

Anyone who has undergone similar processes is a welcome ally in this ongoing educational experience. After all, it seems I thought myself an unlikely candidate for such a high falutin' degree in the first place. But if you do not have it, you somehow are less valuable. As though all your wisdom and experience are not enough to bring you to the classroom and make your contribution one that might change a life or two. I have to say, I do not buy into that mindset, but you notice I am still working on the degree. Some things are easier refuted than done....

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