Wide awake with arms wide open

Happy New Year.

I spent New Year’s Eve at home with the boys, as usual. The end of the decade and the start of a new decade provoked a reflective mood.

It’s been a hell of a decade.

It started with me going back to school and getting divorced.
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I can almost touch you

So, I gave you a fitness update on the Adventures of Dawn but there’s the school update, too.

The news here is all good. Which means this is going to be a very short post.

I don’t actually know how many of you glorious people out there know anything about the process of getting a Ph.D. but basically the story is that I have now been admitted to Candidacy.

My status is ABD, which stands for All But Dissertation.

What all this means in plain English is that I have completed my coursework, I have completed all other requirements, and I have taken and passed my written and oral comprehensive exams.
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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.
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I can see the red tail lights heading to Spain

Right now, I am in Spain. This is the view from the balcony outside my bedroom. It really is pretty.

You may recall that I was stressing out about it a little because of money and waiting and stuff. (After giving birth to four children, you’d think I’d be better at waiting than I am.) Well, that source of stress is done and I am here — with other sources of stress.

I fully comprehend the ease and comfort that can come with having lots and lots of money to travel with … or, alternatively, getting somebody else to foot the bill.

For this trip, I flew into Madrid and took a 7 hour train ride from there to San Sebastian. Then I hopped on the Basque metro and got myself out here to Errenteria, where my Airbnb host is located.
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