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countdown to convocation: day 8

March 9, 2018

lisa hammershaimb

March 8
Convocation Countdown: 55 days
External Update: 0/2 on the first contacts; Currently (still, still not so patiently) waiting on two more

So, I purposefully waited to check in today because I was totally ready for today to be “the day.”

For real, for real.

The day began in such a fortuitous manner. Ruby slept the night for the first time in a week. Yoga was all about “finesse over force” and embracing smooth flow over static grasping. The sun finally came out and one could almost believe spring is coming.

But apparently the external didn’t get the memo that today was the big day to pop out of the cake and complete the happy surprise. Maybe they mixed up time zones or got stage fright. Both happen to me on a very regular basis so…I get it.

And so it’s once again no news on the external front and one day closer to deadlines and limitations and endings I’m realizing more and more I just. might. have. to. acknowledge. (kicking and screaming, of course).

I wish someone would tell me what I could do to help this process along–what ignorant behavior on my end caused this whole mishap and how I could change it…how I could atone for it. I still don’t see how anything in my power could change where I currently find myself. Maybe I am too ignorant and self absorbed to see where I have dropped the ball or maybe…this is just how it is trying to navigate yourself through systemic issues.

My institution enthusiastically approved me conducting research in an area that hasn’t been researched to date. They applauded my innovation and commitment. Now on the other end, I cannot move forward until an “expert” in my area of research is identified who can act as my external and thus verify what I’ve done as doctoral quality, meaningful, etc. Oh, and this expert has to have experience supervising doctoral students and a well established publishing pedigree. Newsflash: the best experts in my area work part time in academia and part time in industry. Their pedigree is more often in pictures than academic papers. The experts in my area have, at most, MFAs. Welcome to the world of vocational education.

It’s so frustrating and even more it’s so hard to remove destructive anger from the driver seat. I legit love academia and yet I hate (and yes…I didn’t mean dislike, I mean hate) how policy for the greater good always dehumanizes the exception. I hate how scaling efficiency most often leads to squelching the uniquely beautiful and messy stories of individual learning. I have felt this way in theory for awhile…now I am experiencing the unique blessing and curse that is feeling these ideas in practice.

And so it is back to waiting. It is back to hoping that something happens soon. It is back to committing to show up with the very real knowledge that it may hurt again tomorrow just as badly as it hurt today but…maybe it will change. Maybe it can change. Maybe showing up can change me for the good and maybe that will be enough.

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