Monday, October 13, 2014

This is a Shout Out and a Reflection of my Syracuse Friend, Kathy. She's on her stretch for her now.

Kathy Cullen and Kristin Munger, Doctoral Support
My dear friend Kathy (left), began the Syracuse University Ph.D. process with me in 2007. She left years as an administrator and I left years as a teacher. Throughout our coursework, we commiserated together. We had different tracks, but many of the same interests and I think about her wisdom as gifted, together, grounded, and in control. When I think about my own ramming (that is, head down and finishing the dang dissertation), I think about where she is right now.

She's almost there and I am so proud of her.

A few weeks ago, she sent me a copy of her dissertation to look over the first three chapters - that was my assignment. It took Columbus Day, however, to have enough freedom in my schedule to read her important work on Critical Race Theory and Literacy Development in Pre-Service Teacher Preparation. That's not her title, but it is the one I'm borrowing for this post.

I know, for Kathy, that a lot of the dissertation process is a personal quest to prove to one's self that they can actually get through it all. The hurdles thrown at her since we finished coursework have been many, but after reading her work last night I recognized that she is very close to done. It's not easy to write a 200 page document from 1,000 pages of collected field notes. Ah, but she's done it and she's almost to her defense.

I am unsure if anyone can understand the experience of writing a dissertation unless they've tried it. I also know that the doctoral work is only a hint at the chaotic complexity and workload yet to come. Still, I'm very excited for Kathy as she begins to see light at the end of the title.

The saying is that in fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue (politically complicated phrase, I know). So, on this Monday, I am thinking, "Yeah, there's always that fourteen hundred and ninety-two, but Cullen is about to cross the threshold, too".

Here's to what lies ahead.

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