Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Jumping in the Deep End

I like the mental activity involved in writing a poem. I write poetry. It is something that I have been toying with the past 10 years. I performed my poetry aloud for the first time last month. Since then the writing has flourished. I bought a journal and I discovered a poetry community in Erie and online. I even think I may have a book in me.

Shortly after the release of The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, my wife and I joined the movement and made our own bucket list. I found our lists earlier this year in some boxes I was unpacking from our move to Erie. The third entry on my list was to share my poems – CHECK.  Move up two entries and at number one - “Earn a doctorate”

When we made our lists, we shared them. We kept it to 10 things. As we moved alternating between each from the last to the first, we were pleased to see many items of similar or exact interest. When my wife shared the number one item on her list it too was “Earn my doctorate”.  We both laughed.

“It’s my turn.” She said, and it was. I had just finished my Master’s at George Mason University. And as our life pattern moves, it was her turn. That was 3 years ago; she defended in July and graduated in August.

Now I know through our discussion at the open house, you frown on having candidates suggest that their only reason to enter the program is to earn a doctorate for the sake of a doctorate. I would be remiss to say that this is a little part of why I am doing this. To qualify this: it is on the top of my list and it is my turn.

That said, you must understand my marriage. We are both educators who firmly believe in the 10,000 hours idea of expertise. I am a master teacher with 10,000 hours of sought after expertise in technology integrations. I presented throughout Virginia and now in Pennsylvania. However, this expertise does not translate in the field I hope to enter. This past summer, there was a slue of university job opportunities throughout the state looking for Instructional Technologists, Instructional Technology Specialists, and Online Technology Integrators, to each my resume failed to translate my ability to train adults, create online content, and integrate technologies in the classroom. This both angered and frustrated me. I considered becoming certified in software platforms and or seeking accreditation from the state.

My wife and I discussed this over weeks and it came down to this:
“What do you want to do?” she pushed.
“I want to be noticed and respected.” I returned.

We unpacked what this meant and in short, I don’t want to settle now for specialist’s positions. I want to have influence to change things structurally on an institutional level. Whether it is at the university level or in a public school district as a Director of Technology.  I am seeking a larger sphere of influence.

So as I continue to write and share my poetry and save for my motorcycle, my focus is here - focused on my number one – my doctorate. 

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