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.