I have had a total of two, maybe three hours of sleep each night since I discovered the true deadline. I took time off work so that I could finish and I had so much to do that I worked 16-20 hours a day on it. But it's done. I submitted my work to my committee. We meet April 12 to defend it. My fingers are crossed that they like and accept it without too many revisions. I want to graduate this month. I want to be done.
It seems a shame that so much time and effort goes into a major production and then it's never seen. In all actuality, I don't mind that people won't read my dissertation -- I just want certain people to know that they appeared in my acknowledgments because I love and appreciate them. Since I can't shout the acknowledgments from the rooftop (or I could, it would just be drowned out by the school sports across the street), I wanted to share them here. I've modified names for privacy's sake, but these people know who I'm talking about. I love you all.
First of all, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Ken ---, for reading countless pages, providing ample feedback, and for making me laugh as I struggled to complete this dissertation. You have the patience of a saint. Dr. Amy --- and Dr. Gary ---, my committee members, also deserve warm thanks for gently pushing me toward my end goal and a dissertation defense.
My colleagues at ---- have been very supportive and caring throughout this last year as I worked to finish my dissertation. Two who deserve special acknowledgement and sincere gratitude are Dr. Scot --- and Dr. Gary ---. Scot, thank you for walking into my office every week to ask about dissertation progress – I was motivated by the thought that I should report something positive! And Gary, thank you for demonstrating to me the true meaning of mentor and listening ear; I will not forget those lessons.
I must thank my wonderful husband for putting up with me as I worked to complete this degree. His constant questioning and pushing for me to be done helped keep me going in the last few months when I really wanted to give up and stay home. It is with great pleasure that I can say, “Don’t worry, Honey, the degree is terminal.”
Bestie #2 was always ready to listen, commiserate, and when all else failed she knew what I needed: “Let’s go shopping!” She is also the person who kept me from giving up in the quantitative data (statistics) class, and for that she deserves a specially blessed afterlife.
Bestie #1 reminded me that I could finish this dissertation and when I had writer’s block she encouraged me to rant on the page, knowing the rant would eventually turn into ideas for chapters four and five.
A--- deserves a special shout-out for always telling me that I am a genius and for believing I could do anything. She is the world’s best cheerleader.
T----- and M-----, my lovely writing group ladies, understood when I was cranky because of academic writing and they still loved me enough to hold me accountable. When I would much rather write a novel (or anything else), they told me to sit down and spend that time writing the dissertation. Ladies, you showed me that I have wings and then told me to fly. You will always have my love.
J----- makes an excellent cup of coffee and provides even better conversation. Our relationship is living proof that a conservative and liberal can peacefully coexist and even be good friends (although I do still think you’ll eventually come over to my side!).
My family has always believed that I could do anything. Mom, you were right – I did become a doctor, just not the kind you originally thought!
Finally, I would like to thank the participants who agreed to share their time and insight to make the research within this dissertation possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
For all my students who have shown that through determination and hard work they can overcome obstacles and reach their goals: this is for you. Your success is inspirational and I will always be your cheerleader.