This is a question I’ve asked myself again and again over the last couple of years. It’s a question that any sane doctoral student asks, again and again. I can almost feel the universe of doctoral students pulsating with the rhythm of this question being repeated over and over again with a mantra-like hypnotism.
My answer(s) are many, ranging from the mystical to the practical, from the inscrutable to the babbling. Let’s start with a few of the “nots.”
1. It’s not because I’d rather be inside clacking away on my keyboard on this beautiful, sunny precursor-to-Spring sort of day.
2. It’s not because I enjoy eavesdropping on the weekly men’s club group that occupies the seminar table at my local Panera.
2a. It’s not because I enjoy the two near deaf folks sitting across the restaurant who are engaging in delightfully banal “small scream” (as opposed to small talk) for the pleasure of all other guests.
2b. It’s not because I like asking strangers to watch my computer when I inevitably need to run to the restroom during my 3-4 hour cafe sagas.
3. It’s not because my vision of good parenting involves entrusting my kids to a legion of fabulous babysitters on Sunday mornings.
4. It’s not because friends and family queue up to hear about my doctoral research at social gatherings.
5. It’s not because I believe the doctoral dissertation is an under appreciated genre of literature in need of a revival.
I’ve entertained all these notions before, and let me assure you, they fall definitively in the “nots” category!
So why AM I studying to be a Doctor of Education??????
1. I love learning.
2. My work at The Davis Academy warrants more than curiosity, it warrants deep and sustained inquiry.
3. My students at The Davis Academy warrant more than appreciation, they warrant serious study and consideration.
4. My research topic– adolescent spirituality– deserves to be more than a buzzword. It needs academic study to broaden respect and understanding.
5. To be the best practitioner I can be I need to be engaged in ongoing study. I need to force myself into a reflective place, a place of critical inquiry, and a place of ongoing curiosity.
The list goes on…
To my fellow Doctor of Education journey-people, let’s be strong and strengthen one another! Whatever cafe we find ourselves in, whatever conversations we’re overhearing, whatever babysitting fees we’re paying, let’s keep our eyes on the prize and remember that the destination is only as meaningful as the journey.