My first assignment in my doctorate course: Visualize the day you receive your degree:
My initial thoughts: At this point, visualizing the day I receive my degree and my family being present at the commencement is the only thing that is keeping me from calling Mary and dropping from the program. Hearing my name and stepping across to meet my mentor face-to-face and the dean must be kept ever present in my mind. For today is the first day of opening EDD8300 Unit 1 workload. As I look over all the assignments and try to piece together where and what I should be doing, the urge to go running from my office in sheer panic is overpowering. At this point, walking to where the president of Capella will hand me my diploma seems like an insurmountable obstacle. Presently, I doubt I will get to a commencement let alone turn and face my fellow graduates and their families. I’m whipped already.
What causes me such panic? The first two assignments: “Reflecting on the Doctor of Education Program” and “Professional Standards”. The resources offered to assist me in completing the assignments seem ill fitted for my skills and/or needs. I’m an elementary teacher, the K-12 Student Services Coordinator, and an online instructor teaching professional development courses. I do not see where I will fit into the scheme of educational leadership and management. I do not see myself as a policy maker or a high-powered executive at a college or university. I see myself as helping other educators improve student academic achievement whether it is at the college level or at the elementary level. I may have chosen the wrong degree program.
Calming Down: Enough. Now let me focus on my wish, my hope, and my dream. I have yearned for a PhD since the first day I stepped into the college courseroom. Since the day I announced to my parents that I was giving up my entry level typographer’s job and going to college I have yearned to acquire knowledge and use it effectively. I was painfully shy in elementary and high school and felt truly stupid. I had teachers that perpetuated that false impression of myself. I vowed that I would succeed and that when I became a teacher I would encourage and build my students up. I graduated with high honors and scholarships to boot! Then, I had a family and became a full-fledged computer graphic artist. After my children were in school, I pursued my Masters online. I was older and terrified. But again, I succeeded. However, I did not go to my graduation. It was too far away ad in January. I was teaching full time and my girls needed me home. Still, loving to learn and use my knowledge to its fullest I pursued my National Board Certification and passed the first time. Now, I’m doing it again – in search of knowledge to better equip me to equip others. When I received notice of acceptance to Capella, I called Mary and reciprocated. I literally jumped up and down and told my husband how I couldn’t wait for ‘it’ to begin. I asked him to remind me of this day of sheer excitement and eagerness (Nov. 2013) because the day would come when I would be wailing and crying from insecurity, unsureness of my abilities, and wondering what in God’s name have I done and at my age!
I love education, I encourage all my colleagues to continue their education and earn their Masters, I mentor every student that ‘enters’ my online class. So, when I graduate with my Doctorate my family, the dean, the faculty, my mentor, and my colleagues will have to put on their sunglasses, flight apparel, and move out of the way, because I will be not be walking to retrieve my degree .. I will be flying and my face will be beaming … All those in my path will be blinded by my radiance and blown away by my speed. I can do this!