Three weeks ago, as a long shot, I submitted a proposal to present my preliminary research (my literature review, more or less) on my dissertation topic at a higher education conference in this upcoming spring. Today, I just made my first milestone in my doctoral journey! Wow – wow – wow… this is the biggest grad school milestone I’ve ever reached.
I was prodded along to the submission by a couple of my class members and my dissertation chairperson. My rationale was, “what have I got to lose?”
I decided that the worst thing that I could see happening from the submission is that this association were to extend an invitation for me to come and present my research. And then, but only then, I would have to step up my game and put my money where my mouth is… literally and figuratively, at this point.
Really, their acceptance of my proposal was a long shot. I’m still at least another six months away from submitting to IRB approval, and I can’t even begin my data collection until late next summer (if I even get IRB approval).
But, my dissertation topic, I’ve begun to realize, is by and large, missing in the vast body of research in higher education journals, dissertations, and other literature. If I do my research and data right, and I actually prove my hypothesis… I have the potential to open up some doors to a new paradigm among higher education leaders.
I am that excited and that frigging nervous about the possibility and the raw potential of my idea.
Even though the acceptance, I thought, was a long shot, I thought I had nothing in the world to lose, other than the time it took for me to condense my presentation intention, summary, and subject into 200 words (a very hard task for me).
The long shot wasn’t so far reaching that it was unrealistic for me to apply.
My (until very recently unspoken) desire with my work is to research and write and publish the heck out of my ideas respective to higher education. Specifically, my topic of study. My want is become someone who significantly impacted the opportunities for access and success for under-represented student populations in the higher education community.
The idea that I would find myself actually presenting and publishing before I even graduated with my PhD was so far beyond my realm of imagination.
Yup, did you catch that? The idea was so far beyond….
Today, I got an email that left me nauseous, elated, exited, and shocked. I got an email today, congratulating me on acceptance of my proposal to present a concurrent presentation at their annual conference in Costa Mesa, CA in March!
The title of my presentation (tweaked from my original proposal, but I agree with the tweaking) is Cultural Paradigms and Virtual Delivery.
Aside from what I’ve already said, I’m still at a point where I’m at a loss for words, other than I have a helluva lot of work to do between today and March 10, 2012, at 10:00 am PST.
Oh my gosh! And this is even before my dissertation acceptance and graduation!
What are you celebrating today?