brb dissertating

I haven’t been able to blog as regularly as I like lately thanks to a number of factors, but a meeting I had the other night with my doctoral internship adviser spurred me to get back on here this evening.  In reviewing the goals I set for myself in my leadership plan back in September, we discussed blogging as a tool for both reflection and networking.  In the course of our discussion, I realized I haven’t blogged about my progress nearly as much as I planned to, so here I’ll outline a few quick status updates as well as some reflection.

Updates:

  • Chapters 1 and 2 of my dissertation are more or less in the can.  In my program, we start writing our dissertations in the first year, write Chapter 3 in the second year, then conduct our research and write the final chapters in year three.  After two grueling-but-ultimately-successful Disciplined Inquiry courses (read: Statistics), I submitted the first two chapters of my dissertation on distributed leadership in K-12 schools.  The feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly positive; I have some minor cleaning up to do, but I was fearing anticipating having to make much more significant revisions.
  • I wrote Chapter 2 in December, had hip surgery around Christmas, then wrote Chapter 1 in January-February.  That was probably the most intense, trying 3-month period I’ve had in a long time.
  • Coursework otherwise has been manageable.  I actually enjoyed my stats assignments, and understood the subject matter better than the last time I took grad-level stats in 2008.

Reflections:

  • Although it can be stressful rushing out of work exactly at 3:45 to race down to Delaware to arrive shortly after 5, I’m finding Friday to be an oddly optimal day to have night classes.  It’s not like I ever go out on Fridays anyway, and there’s no need to get up early and go to work the next day. :-)
  • The cohort is much bigger than I thought it would be (30+ people), but I’ve started to develop some nice friendships within the group, and we’re all generally a supportive bunch.
  • The 7-week course cycle definitely pros and cons.  I really like cycling through the different courses so quickly (my interest wanes after a while; so sue me), but that also compresses the timeline for completing assignments.  With Cub Scouts one night a week, class one night a week, and, up until very recently, physical therapy two nights a week, what little free time I had left over had to be devoted to writing.  There’s very little wiggle room, which is incredibly stressful.
  • My cohort is comprised of students from three concentrations: organizational leadership (OL), higher ed leadership (HL), and K-12 leadership (EL; that’s me).  I am one of the few EL folks in a class of mostly OL and HL folks.  Everyone’s great, but I’m getting a bit antsy waiting to get to some real K-12-specific courses (and, more importantly, assignments that deal with K-12 leadership issues, not the general, broad leadership stuff we’ve discussed so far.  I know that will come next year, but I’m ready for it now!

I’ll spend an upcoming post outlining some pertinent points from my dissertation, so be sure to grab some popcorn for that one.  Hopefully I’ll have time to post again before another month goes by!  Til then, back to work…

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