November 08, 2017 at 07:56PM

Time to check in…..

Hello readers, yes it’s a blue moon and time to take some time even though there is no time to post here. I see this as almost a more detailed journal that is public. It’s nice every once and a while to think about where I am in this career of mine and look back.

So where to start…when I last posted I was halfway finished with my coursework. I finished my last course in January 2017, had the Qualifying Exam in early May and after passing that settled into the dissertation proposal writing phase. I explain it so matter-of-factly as if it was a stroll in the park. I was not, to say the least.

Two things impacted me the most. One was not seeing my cohort buddies every week. I felt like I bonded with them, and I enjoyed the lectures, the discussions, the sharing. Then it was just over. In its wake was a gap in my life that was hard to fill.

The second was the Qualifying Exam. This was an open book test, where we had to write several essays and solve some statistical problems. I took a week over Golden Week to finish. I was writing and thinking at my computer the whole time. The closest I can compare this experience is a zen retreat. When you are in such a situation the schedule runs you, not the other way around. I’ve had my share of zen and believe me when you finish one of these retreats, you are done!

But you come out of that experience transformed. I think the intensity of the Temple program sharpens you up. You become like a tiger running in the jungle, shreading and ingesting journal articles with ease. Finding the strengths and weaknesses of a study, evaluating its methods and results. All those murky things about social science become plain to see.

Now the coursework is finished. It is time to stop being a student. I have to struggle with writing my proposal, working one on one with my advisors, and prepare my defense hopefully by next year, assuming life doesn’t get in the way. But it does and it will happen. It’s already happening to me now. But that is not going to stop me. No matter what….just keep going, tiger.
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6 thoughts on “November 08, 2017 at 07:56PM”

    1. Thanks Marc,

      I appreciate the support. I was inspired by your post about finishing grad school. You have made a great step and I look forward to what you are gonna do in the near future. It would be great to meet if you have time and talk about research, or linux or other stuff. We haven’t seen each other since Mura Nava came out to Japan to visit us.

      1. I would love to get out of the house some time soon and meet up. My family keep me busy on my day off but this is one of my big things that I really want!

      2. I totally understand your situation. We will meet up for sure, but if you have a young child be there for him or her. They grow up really fast and before you know it they are in high school. Also, I think if you are considering a Ph.D., a little bit of time between degrees is a good idea. I took seven years between my masters and this degree because I really needed to know what I wanted to research. That takes time and a lot of reading to figure that out. It is also good to write a few articles (in the university 紀要(In-house publication), JALT, conference proceedings), present at said conferences (time allowing) and conduct some research (time and energy allowing). Most likely you are doing these already, but it makes a Ph.D. easier to do in my humble opinion.

  1. Hi Peter, full of admiration for people like you & Marc studying and working. I hope u get to hang out and who knows maybe y’all be in France sometime 😀
    Good luck with the studies!

    1. Thank you, Mura,

      Yeah, it isn’t easy to do I agree. It’s a bit of a juggling act, but there are moments where I am able to apply what I do to work and vice versa. We will hang out I hope, maybe back at the cafe with the Godzilla head when you came to visit? I was just there last weekend for a Godzilla Festival and yes I had a coffee for 1000 yen, but it was goooooooood. Not something I would have every day though. Visiting France? Oh yes forget the Godzilla cafe, you have real thing there. That is one of my fantasies is to just hang out in a French cafe for hours watching the world go by. Thank you for the support Mura!

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