And the end of the doctorate draweth nigh…

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For on this day, the third day of the first month in the year of our Lord 2022, my dissertation advisor did take unto himself the burden of reading my 269 pages of dissertation prose.

And my advisor spake unto me, “Lori, thou hast produced a solid work, a fine work, a dissertation which is academically precise but desiring of cutting and trimming before thou canst consider publication. Take heed to thy words, count each of them, consider their value. For no man endureth a dull literature review; no maid goes willingly under the yoke of a discussion of epistemology in the qualitative tradition.”

And I replied, “Verily I say unto thee, Teacher, if thou art satisfied with the fruit of my mind, with mine labor and mine efforts, with the cadence of my chapters and the contents of my findings, I shall be at rest.”

And he said, “Let it be so, even as thou hast said. And lest thou run afoul of the evil one, the APA Manual, thou shalt consult with thy mentors to consider whether thou hast set thy words in their places, line by line and page by page, as the APA hath commanded.”

And I said unto him, “Truly, sir, thou hast blessed me with these words. I shall treasure them in my heart.”

And he said, “Gird up thy loins for the defense of the work of your hand. Take unto thee the helmet of wit, the breastplate of first-person writing in the qualitative tradition, the sword of Stake’s Case Study methodology, the buckler of constructivist grounded theory, the belt of complexity frameworks, and the shield of leadership foundations, and stand thy ground. And if one of thine adversaries shouldst say unto thee, ‘Behold! Thy case study rests upon sand: upon four subjects and four alone!’ take heed that thou be prepared to give answer to thine accusers as to thy methods and choices, in this time of Covid, when the IRB said unto thee, ‘Thou shalt not conduct in-person interviews or field observations!'”

“And thou shalt make thyself ready, as if waiting upon a thief in the night, to give defense in March. Hearing, thou shalt hear the thoughts and responses of thine committee and of thine classmates, and thou shalt be ready in that day to give answer, that I and all my people might rejoice over thee.

“And then may we and thee drink with joy at the well of libations, to commemorate and to set a remembrance, and then shalt thou rest in peace, adding to thyself the title of Doctor of Education. For truly hast thou done good work.”

Amen and Amen.

Today, January 3, 2022, my dissertation advisor informed me in a Zoom conference that my dissertation is complete. I have some minor changes to make in my APA formatting at his request, a few definitions to add, and his firm suggestion that I re-read chapters 2 and 5 together (literature review and conclusions) to see whether all of chapter 2 really needs to be there. But in general, he said “I’m not asking you to cut anything. This is brilliant work.” I’ll be one of the first candidates in my cohort to the defense table in March, if my committee approves and agrees. Huge win today!

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