Saturday, December 31, 2016
So, vacation has begun! I've gotten out my movies, video games, and comic books that I want to read, play, or view in the next 20 days until school starts again! Before that though, I wanted to have a quick look back, a year end review if you will, at this past academic year. Wow... Now that was a crazy year! Yes, there was a lot going on in the global and political arenas, but (just to be a tad bit selfish), let's put those aside for now and focus on me (hahaha...typical millennial, it's all about me, me, me... :p )
The year kicked off with EDDE 804, technically speaking my last course in the doctoral program I am in - but not really. The course was a course in leadership in distance education (which reminded me a lot of my MBA days actually in terms of some of the discussions we had), and it was facilitated by Marti Cleveland-Innes (of CoI fame). The course was interesting, challenging, and it definitely moved the doctoral ball forward. It actually got me thinking more about the connections between my (future) EdD (once I earn it) and my MBA, and academia in general. It also got me thinking more about the challenges of leadership (and management) of complex organizations. It's easy to say "I'd do a better job" when confronted with problems of monumental proportion and complexity, but it's not all that easy (not, not a jab at the political arena, but it can apply there too).
Over the summer I took the option of brushing up on my qualitative research skills. While I've been reading much on this topic for the past five...six...seven (more?) years, I thought it would be good to have a place where I could think out loud, get some peer review, and get some advice from someone who has a little more of a view of what AU expects of doc students in their dissertation. It was a good opportunity to be in the same class as fellow students from Cohort 6, and a good opportunity to work on parts of my dissertation proposal. Although, to be honest, I feel a bit like a slacker. I was aiming to do my literature review over the summer as well...but that didn't happen.
Fall came, and it brought with it EDDE 805. This is where the rubber meets the road, where dissertation proposal are initially formulated and feedback is given. An old saying from our EdD orientation is something that came to mind: "we'll suffer together" (one of my cohortmates said this, but I don't remember who). On the one hand, this seminar wasn't particularly hard. But, on the other hand, it was quite hard. It is where the rubber met the road in terms of us beginning the transitioning from students in a doctoral program to being doctoral candidates (after we defend our proposal). Decisions needed to be locked in, as far as what we might be doing, so we could move forward. Sometimes that putting a stake in the sand is the hardest part of the process.
The year wasn't all about classes, however. There were lots of local, regional, and international events that I took part in. Locally we presented with colleagues such as Alan, Carol, and Linda, regionally I co-organized our 3rd Instructional Design Symposium with my colleague Kevin, and nationally and internationally I worked with some really awesome colleagues like Maha, Aras, Sarah, Keith, Rebecca, Len, Autumm (and many more!) on papers, conference presentations, virtually connecting. Heck, I was even an on-site buddy for the first time! That was exciting to meet Brian, Stephen, and Amy in person (and get a better understanding of how hard on-site vconnecting buddying is).
So, despite how crazy the world in general is, I can always count on my academic buddies, at work, at vconnecting, in my cohort, to infuse a dose of sanity. So...
Thank you for a great academic 2016. See you all in 2017 :-)