We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell
Thirty years ago I was working on my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. After ten years of public school teaching, I wanted to teach teachers. There was information I wished I had been given in my undergraduate work and my plan was to change that. But it seemed a PhD was a prerequisite.
Long story short…I was advanced to candidacy, which means I completed my coursework and passed all the qualifying exams. The only thing left was the dissertation. However I needed to return to my district to pay back the year’s sabbatical they so graciously had offered.
OK…a little more background…I was a single parent with an adorable six year old son that went to Austin with me. His father, my first husband, had little to do with him, and I had raised him to be a rather independent youngster. (which could be why he and a little friend decided to ride the white UT bus one morning rather than the yellow bus that would take him to his school…and then also rode in the campus police car:))
But I digress…Here I am, so close to my dream, with a six year old and a commitment to my employer. I was scared. Unsure whether or not I could pull this off, I decided what I really wanted was a little family. So rather than finish the Ph.D., I remarried.
Fast forward…My marriage lasted for a rocky 15 years, I continued to teach in my school district until I had accumulated thirty years, and my son committed suicide.
Present day…I work part time at the local university…teaching teachers. And I write. As November approaches I ready myself for the big NaNo push. This year my novel is about a teacher and what she has learned about kids, school, how we learn…and herself.
The dissertation I was not ready to write in 1982…
Thanks for listening.