Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God Bless you, Dr. Stevenson...

One of our favorite professors, Bob Stevenson, died this past weekend. Even though I knew he'd been struggling with heart problems since last summer, I was still shocked when I heard he'd had a fatal heart attack. He looked so well the last time he was at school, just a couple of weeks ago.

I was fortunate enough to take Bob's stats class last spring. His specialty was International Communication, so I felt like I was getting a two-fer. He would teach us stats using examples from International Communication.

Bob's birthday was in January, before school started each year, so I started a two-year tradition of bringing him his favorite cake during the first week of school each January to celebrate--carrot cake. He was an amazing cook and even shared his carrot cake recipe with me. I am not the best cook in the world, but everyone seemed to enjoy his recipe last year on his birthday.

I think I'll make his carrot cake recipe again in January to remember all that was kind and good about our teacher, Bob Stevenson.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A higher purpose...

I spent a year thinking and praying about whether to go back to school to get my PhD. I always felt that I had a good rapport with my undergraduate students and I realized that I could be of more service to the world by helping students realize their dreams than by selling more plastic soda bottles. I am grateful for that selling and marketing experience, but realized that teaching was my "calling."

I just had a conversation with a mother of a 13-year old who is considering going back to college to finish her degree. After our conversation, I think that there might be an additional purpose for me going through this doctoral experience--helping older students feel confident about re-entering college.

After she asked what I did for a living (okay, it is not much of a living yet), she poured our her heart about whether she should go back to school, the discouragement she has received over the years from her family members about the career she would like to pursue, and her mixed feelings about leaving her 13-year old daughter to return to school at night. While I am certainly not an expert, I feel like I was meant to be with her at that time to encourage her to pursue her dreams, for herself and her daughter. I encouraged her to try hard things because getting through hard things is as much perserverance as intelligence. Finally, I told her stories of how my 12-year old daughter now knows how to microwave food when she is hungry or wash her clothes when she wants to, without relying on me. It is both hard and good for everyone.

Even though this has been a discouraging week at school, I have to keep reminding myself that I am here for a much higher purpose.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pilot Study

Here is the link to my disseration survey.

Thanks for your help in pre-testing this survey. Please let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hurry up and wait...

I just realized that it has been awhile since I've blogged--but the funny thing about this year is that I write furiously and then I wait.

I turn in a revision--and then I wait--for my chair or committee to review and comment.

I turn in my IRB paperwork--and wait--for approvals.

I turn in a conference submission--and then wait--for reviewers to either accept or reject my paper.

I love this career, but there are times I think it is amazing that anything actually gets done (that is the MBA speaking).

This is tough on an impatient person.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I passed my oral defense of my comprehensive exams and my dissertation proposal on Monday. I'm still in a daze from it all, but I can now call myself, "PhD Candidate". Wow.

I told my children that they deserved to celebrate this achievement with me because I am the only woman in my co-hort with children and I am the first to be ABD. They put up with my writing all summer, giving up their week at the beach so that I could get this done.

I never would have attempted a doctoral degree without the support and encouragement from my husband who is an academic. He is amazed that I accomplished this is just over 2 years, but I told him that he has had me in training for this for a long time.

This was definitely a team effort.