Keep Calm and Carry On: 2012 through the academic lens

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The Worship Center of Torrance First Baptist on Christmas Eve 2012
  • In January, I spent my first and last week as a full time doctoral student, going to class, studying, and hanging out with my fellow students. Many of us lived in a nearby hotel, dining and shuttling together.
  •  February was the first month of my last term as a student. My many years of coursework ended with a term steeped in theology. 'Twas fabulous and hard.
  • In March, I began gathering with faculty in an action reading group. My status as a not-quite scholar was deeply felt, but then, so was my on-the-verge-of-scholar status.
  • April was full. Very full. So full that the only memory is "Keep Calm and Carry On." [A deeply felt thank you to whoever found that British WWII poster and made it a meme.]
  • In May, I finished coursework forever. This still has not sunk in. I've been going to graduate school almost without a break since 1999, so the transition may take a while.
  • In June, I wrote and submitted my first book review, which was accepted and published in the fall issue of the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care.
  • July was a month of transition from student to scholar. I tried, without much success, to work on items for my Ph.D. Candidacy Portfolio. Most of the time was spent reading and listening to books of my choosing. I'm still transitioning as I begin 2013, but the rest taken in July helped a lot.
  • In August, I began researching communal faculty development, which is the focus of my dissertation research.
  • In September, I conducted my first solo focus group research. The two key lessons from this experience were 1) I need to focus on administrative issues (they are not my forte) and 2) I enjoy conducting focus groups.
  • October continued the research, with my first solo--and real--research report. It is sobering to realize that my research may change how things are done at my university.
  • In November, I conducted the final academic self-assessments for my Candidacy Portfolio. While I muttered complaints, to which my friends and co-workers can attest, this process may have been the most helpful in my doctoral program.
  • In December, I was approved for dissertation research by the doctoral committee of Biola University. My selected Committee Chair and First Reader were also approved. Now I only need to figure out how to do this thing. But then, that's a story for 2013.
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(C) Laura Springer
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Musings of a peripatetic wannabe-sage by Laura Springer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License..

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