2016: Preparation

In the past I’ve done the “one word challenge”.  The idea is that you pick a word or phrase that serves as your guiding motivation or reminder for the entire year.  For 2016, my word is Preparation.

I truly believe that I’m actively working toward new beginnings, new journeys, and new blessings in 2017.  But before I can get there, I have to take care of some things this year.

First and foremost, I will be checking off some important milestones in my PhD journey.  Next Friday I’ll complete my comprehensive exam, a four-hour written test of my competency in key areas distinctly related to my dissertation and career plans.  I’m excited for the opportunity to think about things critically and demonstrate all that I do know about my topic and the varying factors at play.  It’s a little daunting, but I know I’ll be ready.

The next big hurdle is my dissertation proposal.  I’ll be defending my proposal and comprehensive exam at the same time, God willing.  It’s going to be an intense day, but it’ll be key in managing my timeline and the next steps of my research.  That will be in February and a really big sigh of relief when done.  Hopefully that will also be a green light moment to begin the pilot study of my dissertation.  This is when the fun begins. When I can actually start interviewing people and hearing their stories and learning about their experiences, I know the time will start to fly.  Once I begin my dissertation research, I’ll be faced with hours of data collection, analysis, and synthesis.  It won’t be easy, but I like to believe it’ll be fun!

March and April bring about new opportunities for travel, networking, and presenting my work.  I’m very excited to attend 3 different national conferences and present at all of them.  I hope to make connections that will support my research and potentially future employment opportunities.

May will be a lovely break and hopefully a time to celebrate a successful spring semester. I’ll be officially done with class at that point, unless I decide to pick up a course for “fun” like I did this semester.

June will end my travel season with 2 conferences in new and fun places. Through a variety of travel grants and grant-funded research, I’ll be able to have my face in new places, meet new people, and maybe even recruit some participants for my study.  I’m really excited about this dissertation, y’all. It should be good. 🙂

All of this craziness of the spring, will hopefully prepare me for the beginning of a job search in the fall. I’m not sure what I’m looking for or where I’m headed but I know it’s going to be good!

So much good stuff is on the way and I’m just excited to be busy and productive and healthy and happy.

It’s a good day.

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