Certain feelings exist when reading that favorite book, whether it be a novel, historical fiction, or for me…even an academic article. Feelings of anticipation & excitement (and maybe a little anxiety) are especially experienced when turning the page of a new chapter in that favorite book. New chapter questions include the following:
-What will happen to my favorite character?
-Will my suspicions be true?
-Or does the author only want me to experience this feeling or thought only to surprise me with something unexpected?
Surely the feelings and thoughts that go with reading that new chapter somewhat parallel the experience of life. Particularly, pursuing a Ph.D. is very similar to turning that new chapter and all of the feelings that go with it.
I experienced a mixed bag of feelings when I decided (with the amazing support of my wife) to pursue my Ph.D. studies in Counselor Education & Supervision. The same feelings of anticipation and anxiety were present with this new decision that would have ripple effects throughout my personal and professional life for years to come. Going back to graduate school after having not studied on a graduate level since 2006 was quite daunting and felt mildly psychotic. However, teaching in an adjunct role solidified my interest and motivation to attain the “highest union card”…as Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, was once quoted in referring to the Ph.D.
So all of that to say this. My newest chapter is year 2 of the Ph.D. I have now finished my inaugural year of doctoral studies in all of its ups and downs, teaching responsibilities, course work, supervision groups, and presentations all while learning the unfamiliar crafts of academic writing, researching, and publishing. Not to mention the feelings of being overwhelmed with the juggling of all of the responsibilities outside of class! Wheh. Good news – I actually published and presented a few things! It is during my reflections of the first year that I have flirted with the idea of starting a blog about my academic experiences going forward as well as retracing my steps on my first year. Maybe it will help some doctoral students. Maybe it won’t. Maybe it will help me get the creative juices flowing, inspiring me to write in other ways.
Anyway, the aforementioned flirtations have now spurred me to write this initial blog entry as I consider if I will continue. So I guess in a way, it has led to a “first date” of sorts. My first date is this first blog post. And just like the unsure single guy at the end of the first date wondering how it went, I am unsure if there will be another blog post…