I have journeyed farther

It hasn’t been a month yet since I got back from Spain. I’m still transcribing and translating interviews. It’s tedious work but I got a bunch of good stuff that I am looking forward to analyzing.

Meanwhile, I’m pondering being a third-year.

When I return to UNC next month, I will be entering my final year of course work. I will spend fall semester writing applications for grants to fund my dissertation research. I will spend spring semester preparing for and taking my comprehensive exams.

Once I’m done with all that, I will be admitted to candidacy or what they call ABD. Stands for All But Dissertation.

All of which reduces to this: I’m getting closer and closer to my goal of earning my Ph.D. by May 2021.

OF course, the real challenging stuff will start once I’m admitted to candidacy and I have to start my research and analysis. I am making plans and pursuing contacts and things are looking pretty good so far. I’ll do a certain amount of snowballing when it comes to finding research subjects. I need to consider how much participant observation I’m going to do and with how many subjects. Maybe my advisor can advise me about that.

I will have nothing to do but this research, too. No classes. I shouldn’t have to work at all, if I get funded like I hope to. (So, I won’t have another summer like this one, running myself ragged with rideshare driving again.)

Probably the best part of all this is that my theoretical grounding is coming together in my head. I’m doing a lot of reading this summer, too.

It probably seems like there’s nothing in my life right now except school. That is almost true, too.

But I also have a vision for my future and every step brings that vision closer. Everything between here and there is totally worth it.

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