In Pursuit of Education and Renewal
The message below is part of a post I did for an online discussion board for one of my current doctoral courses. As it pertains to me as a student and my desire to foster options for other much younger students, it serves to frame what learning can and should be. Hold me accountable, and join this bush-whacking adventure.
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One year ago, I started a scholarly journey to impact students, learning, and “the system.” A year later and one more away from starting my dissertation, excitement continues to grow. My head is full of ideas. I am like a kid in a candy store; “What should I pick?” My passion is driven by being a scholar-practitioner with an emphasis on the pragmatic. My long and demanding hours are not exhausting me. All this is culminating into a significant end and leads to a more impacted next journey. All students should experience the same.
I recently reread my Northeastern University application in which I wrote about students lack of opportunity, personalized learning, limited course offerings, and school districts not utilizing the availability of greater flexibility within state and federal governance. While I did not realize it at the time, these themes will be part of my dissertation. The kid has selected his candy.
While challenges and unknowns lie ahead, I am trusting in the process. I have learned more in the last year than any other year before other than my first three years of life some 55 years ago. Yes, with a learning disability, the writing will be tough. Keeping a clear and concise framework will require discipline. Connecting the dots from research and conversations will be a puzzle. Regardless, grit withstands any formidable task. I have decades of proof.
Between now and the approval of my dissertation, I have two to three years to research and write a multi-chapter piece of meaningful work. At the same time, the flexibility I have with my job allows me to also practice and apply my learning. It is perfect. This learning journey is like being at the midpoint of a marathon when the pace is quick and I am feeling strong.
In the midst of this race, I am attempting to give students the same experience. What could be better?