So I've had a lot of comments and questions about how does one "accidentally" start a doctoral program. Listen up...
I had been looking into starting a doctoral program for months, and I'd found three schools I wanted to apply to, knew what I wanted to do research on, had a savings account building up for years, so this wasn't accidental on all fronts. My actual plan was to start a program part time in the fall and work on it for two years part time before a third full time year during my next sabbatical. Possibly. But I also liked the AIU program best which was a self-paced, self-designed curriculum. When I started the application process last week, I got an almost instant reply that they would knock off a whopping one third of the tuition cost if I started immediately.
So here I am gearing up to the busiest season of the year before a super busy summer traveling in America, and I started a doctoral program. Some may say I'm crazy; they would be right on several fronts. This, however, is an opportunity that excites me and will intellectually stimulate me and provide professional fulfilment and satisfaction in ways I'm currently lacking.
There's a lot of my life that hasn't gone according to plan, so I'm not sure where I'll be when I finish this degree. I do know that I've got a lot of people cheering me on to accomplish this just as many people pray for my physical progress. To be honest, this has an end goal that I need for now since there's been a lot of missed markers in my walking developments. I'm still working hard to care for my body, and that won't slow down with the new studies. I will, however, have assignments turned in that are clear progress towards a doctoral degree. Walking on the treadmill daily is critical, but there's not the same kind of end promise. "Getting better" is as vague as it is important. There are no promises of full recovery - as Dr. Netzer told me in her stern accent over eight years ago. I believe in a God of all hope, and a God who heals, and I still sit with annoying leg spasms today. The tension is there, but this God who heals loves me deeply and has given me excitement and passion for education and the means and opportunity to pursue this PhD.