2022

What an action-packed couple of weeks. The omicron variant has surged here in Northern California, as it has done everywhere. The parents closed the deal on the sale of their property. And, my research design class has begun.  

It has been nice, being out of class for October and November. For 2.5 years, my doctoral classes ran straight through summer, fall, and winter with very few breaks. This most recent break at the end of 2021 came about because of my transfer to another college. It was not planned. Yet, since enrolling in the doctoral program, I have learned a lot about myself. 

Sure, I have learned about other things. I have read numerous books and countless journal articles. I have lost track of the number of papers I have written and the total number of annotated bibliographies. And, I have changed my thoughts on my research topic several times along the way.  

This current 11-week class will allow me to shape my research and begin the dissertation phase. Of course, there is a 5-week session for the final exam after this course, so my dissertation will not begin until summer session. The dissertation phase will run through the fall session and end with the spring 2023 session. And, that's a little disheartening. 

While I am happy to know that the finish line is in sight, I am frustrated that I am faced with another year of research. It is agonizing to think that I will not officially graduate the doctoral program for another calendar year. To stay focused and to stay on the path, I began to think about what is going right. And, I find a little joy in the little things...like a nice sunrise, a quality pencil and trusty notebook, and an annotated book of Tennyson's poems that belonged to my great grandfather.

fall 2021

Welcome to decorative gourd season, 2021! 

Upside: I am so close to completing the prescribed list of courses for my doctoral program, and should be finished by the end of October.  

Downside: I am forced to wait until Spring 2022 semester to begin the research/dissertation phase. 

Honestly, there are so many positives and negatives to my current situation that I feel like I should make a T-chart. One the one hand, I will have a nice break over November and December. On the other hand, this delay pushes my graduation date out by a semester. I'll stop there before I get myself irritated over the whole mess that was initiated with Concordia University Portland suddenly closing their operations after I was 1.5 years deep into the program. Ugh. 

Instead, I will focus on the positives. Hey, maybe I'll have time to clean up this clown show of a website. It is in serious need of updating. After all, I began this site as a way to document the processes, pains, and products of my doctoral studies. And, maybe get back into the letterpress workshop and make something! 

sorts

This summer I’ve been sorting. Sorting a lot of things: assignments for my terminal degree, schedules and timelines, clothing for donations, items in the garage. 

Yesterday, I had a few minutes to sort my type cabinets. Technically, the individual drawers are known as job cases. Although, I realized that I had not sorted them properly since moving my work shop & letterpress printing equipment last April. All 48 drawers were stacked in the garage and then reinserted into the cabinet in no particular order. "I'll sort it later," I told myself. 

Over a year has passed, and I am still sorting. Only, my sorting logistics seemed to be constantly shuffled this past year. C will be moving out mid August to attend University of Nevada Reno. I report to the school district August 9 for the 2021-2022 contract. And, I am continuing to pursue my doctoral degree (approximately one year til completion!).

While sorting this out, I realize that I also need to sort this site...to add additional classes, topics of research, and published papers. For now, I've got a solid to-do list going on my notepad app. I'll get it sorted soon. 

*image of 48pt titling sorts   

spring

Now that Daylight Savings Time is upon us, I began thinking about change. This morning, on a long walk, I reflected back on what has happened these last couple months.

Like many people, the pandemic has changed my routines, my priorities, and my sense of normalcy. Yet, that is not necessarily a negative change. The things I took for granted have a renewed sense of meaning. And, priorities have been replaced with healthier options in both the physical and mental sense. 

In late January, I became eligible to receive the COVID immunization due to my position in education. Pfizer was the only option, as all the Modern vaccines appointments were slotted by the time I logged in to schedule my appointment. To be honest, I did not care which vaccine I received...I just wanted to stack the odds against contracting COVID, especially with the changes at school.   

The district has returned to a traditional schedule, and eliminated the hybrid model. And, it will be interesting to see how the 2021-2022 school year plays out. The online school model will run through this year, but it will be interesting to see if the online learning model continues to be an option for students/parents in the coming years. 

My doctoral program continues, under an online model. And, I continue to reflect on my priorities to finish the program, examine career opportunities, and return to the print shop. ⟳