Sunday, December 23, 2012

Time and Passion

It's astounding.

Time is fleeting.

I've got to keep control!

I have been bemoaning my time crunched state of late. Envious of those friends who are full time doctoral students pursuing this degree without the demands/distractions of a full time job (or a 4-hour daily commute) while I barely have 10 minutes during the week to devote to my studies.

I witness these intrepid souls sailing through their doctoral programs, happily completing their course work and comprehensive examinations (comps) in only 2 years to become doctoral candidates obtaining ABD (all but dissertation) status.  It took me 6 years to achieve that milestone.

I wonder if I will ever finish.

Time is ticking and I am constantly reminded by my advisor that I am operating within strict time constraints.  Why, oh why, can't I fly over the rainbow to an alternate universe where I can devote all of my time to completing the arduous task before me?

I feel sorry for myself every so often but then I remember why I am not like my studious friends.

It is because my passion does not rest with this achievement.  My passion is teaching.  My happiness resides in the day to day interactions with my students.  My spirit thrives in the small moments; the beaming smile of a proud student, a warm welcome each morning and by being so moved by a child finally learning the alphabet--after much struggle--that I start to cry (this actually happened on Friday).

I could never be completely satisfied or altogether happy being a full time doctoral student but I am content being a full time elementary school teacher.

So I inch along.  Step by step. Year after year.  One of these days I'll get there.  Perhaps.  

Comparisons are inevitable, but as my friend Arielle discusses on her blog, they are simply "not good". We are all on our own journey. I like this path I have chosen.

"Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures" 

-Joseph Campbell, American Mythologist, Writer, Lecturer and Teacher


Owen Tales said...

Your students are so lucky to have you. And your research, publications will be so informed by your daily practice - which is something many non working people won't have the benefit of while they are writing their work.

Gary said...

Owen Tales - That is certainly true. I have included some of those stories in my writing and I find them to be the most interesting.

Sometimes I wish I could just talk my way through my dissertation and not have to adhere to all of this strict format stuff. It is very time consuming. :)


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