Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Graduation Anticipation

Doctoral Robe, Hood and Tam ready and waiting
Commencement ceremonies are the cherry on top of the getting-a-degree sundae.  Their existence signals a completion - a time to dig in and enjoy the sweet fruit of your labor.

This Graduation Day is a time for my family and friends to share in what has sometimes been a very solitary experience.  Writing my dissertation required many hours alone in my office with papers surrounding my feet and statistical analyses taped to the wall in front of my computer.  Although writing is a lonely experience, the process took a village.

Graduation is a time to reflect on all the folks who got me here and express gratitude.  Below is the acknowledgments page from my dissertation which seems very fitting to share on this blog whose title is inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell.

Follow your bliss…if you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one that you are living.  When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you.  I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. 
Joseph Campbell

I am eternally grateful to the teachers, district superintendents, school principals, academic directors, and generous researchers who have supported my work.  I would like to acknowledge the following people at Fordham University for opening doors at exactly the right time.  First, thank you to my mentor and friend Dr. Joanna Uhry who started me on this journey all those years ago and professors Dr. Rita Brause, Dr. Marshall George, Dr. Molly Ness, and Dr. Thanos Patelis. Thank you to Dr. Sara Schley for joining my dissertation committee and rescuing me time and time again.  I also could not have completed this Herculean task of tenacity without the support of Nancy Balbirer (Bird by Bird!), Ed Fagan, Mareta and Edward C. Fagan, Stephanie Feyne, Cynthia Gabel, Gretta Johnson, Dr. Cayne Letizia, Rebecca Marshall, Mike Nappi, Onudeah Nicolarakis, Lauren Ridloff, Joy Sienkiewicz, Laurie Speranzo, Adam Stone, and Sue Thomas.  You will forever remain in my field of bliss.

Saturday morning symbolizes my entrance into the academy when I receive my diploma from the president of the university and, upon completion of the ceremony, walk out with a member of the faculty.

Saturday afternoon is less formal.  It is champagne and hors d'oeuvres and the realization that for the rest of my life I will be Dr. Wellbrock.

How cool is that!?


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