May 2024

May 1

The days are long but the years are short. I think about that phrase a lot, as it seems to be true as the days fly by. How can May already be here at my door? Spring semester will end soon, and roll into Summer semester. Meanwhile, I will be slogging through my dissertation. 

This month does have its bright spots, though. My kid turns 21 later this month. I'll be taking a trip to see him and celebrate. He might just get his undergraduate degree before I complete my doctoral program. And, that's okay. I am so proud of that kid. He will be entering his senior year this August, and is already talking about continuing his education. I better hustle this summer if I plan to join him in completing the doctoral program! 

April 2024

April 5

Took the day off work to get a new HVAC system installed. Not an ideal reason to use a PTO day, but the original system finally died last week. I knew this day was coming, as the house is almost 21 years old. Still, it doesn't make the cost any easier to accept. 

The weather has been unseasonably cool this last week. So, I look forward to having a warm(er) house. And, I like knowing that the A/C will operate more efficiently during the warmer months. 

The upside of all this: I have an extra day this weekend to hammer out some more dissertation writing.  

April 1

Will this be the month? The month that I complete my Literature Review? Too soon to tell, but I watched a dissertation defense through MS Teams this morning. That gave me some hope and some motivation to slog through this section of my research. 

The defense call lasted about an hour, and it helped me clarify a few things about my own research. Specifically, the structure of the presentation and the terminology used to distill ideas. After the candidate presented the slideshow presentation, the committee asked a series of questions, went into a private chat for a few moments, and returned to say "congratulations, Doctor!" 

This is the third doctoral defense I have watched on Zoom since beginning my program, and the process is far easier than I had anticipated. I mean, if spending 18 months researching and writing about the results can be difficult. A 40 minute TED-style talk with the accompanying slideshow is a breeze. I think I can do this. 

Anyways, I saw a text meme (below) the other day and it spoke to me. The message in the meme was comical but honest. Maybe I couldn't get it out of my head beacuse it spoke to my inner Imposter Syndrome voice. I suppose only the truth is funny. 

Whatever you think you can't do, just know that there is someone who is confidently doing it wrong right now. They have no plans at doing it better either and people are paying them to do it. Please believe in your own excellence as much as they believe in their mediocrity. 

March 2024

What can I tell you? This site is both a catch-all and a placeholder at the moment. 

I originally planned to repurpose this site as a public blog/repository for the research generated by my pursuit of a doctoral degree. But, that plan has failed to take shape as of this time. 

Currently, I am slogging through the Literature Review section of my dissertation. Thus, the "dissertation in a nutshell" frame on the main page. It is there as a reminder of the work that I still have before me. 

The sole reason I started this doctorate program was to earn a sword. I'm kidding, but it would be totally badass to be given a sword when bestowed the title of Doctor. I might just order one for myself as a treat once I successfully defend my dissertation. The Doctor’s Sword is given to graduates at the University of Oulu in Finland and “is a symbol for the scientist’s fight for what he or she, in rigorous research, has found to be good, right and true.” 

I am still working hard at the finding the good, right, and true, along with Oxford commas. See what I did there? For the sake of efficiency and privacy, my research notes and personal blog are housed under a different domain. That set-up is working well, however I have begun to port some things to this site, mostly to refine ideas and weed through the clutter on the other sites.  

And, I have begun to add some items to the bookshelf and themes pages, if the datafication and platformization of education are your thing. Everybody has a thing, I suppose. 

“I hope you know that television and computers are no more your friends, and no more increasers of your brainpower, than slot machines.” 

——Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn't Nice What Is?