My Road to the Ph.D.: The Final Countdown!


In less than 3 hours, I will be getting in my car and driving east.  Then, it’s time for a much-needed family vacation to Florida.  Needless to say, I’m counting down the hours.  Still, it’s a little odd to think that I am about to sit in my class as a student.  From this point on, it’s independent work only and then I reach my terminal degree.  Very weird.  Almost surreal.

It’s been a weird experience.  Last year, I felt much more excited about being a “Ph.D. student” and I was more immersed in my coursework.  This summer has been much more of a metacognitive experience where I’ve been much more aware of how my classmates and I were responding to the teaching material and methods employed by our professors.  And frankly, how well they did or did not facilitate learning in the classroom.  From discussions I’ve had with classmates, it seems many of us have learned that some of our best learning and teaching this summer came from within.  While I’m not sure that was an explicit goal for everyone one of our professors, I can at least go home today feeling every bit as confident in my own abilities.

And as I’ve mentioned before, it’s confirmed my belief that the life of the scholar is not for me.  I’ll use this degree to create opportunities for me, but it’s teaching that most revs’ my engine, and I’m glad to clear away any doubt about this.  From this point on… I’ll probably still blog a bit but the focus on my doctoral will probably diminish some, and will instead focus on teaching and pedagogy as this something I’m really interested in learning more about.

For now though, I’m just happy to be going home.  I have a wife who is in much need of her “trophy husband” (as she likes to call me), and a boy who needs to partake in a good deal of rough-housing (as all boys need!-).  I also have a date with the state of Florida and the Land of the Mouse.  Banana Daisqueris, here I come!

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About fhelvie

I live in CT with my wife and two sons. I am also writing my doctoral dissertation, which is focused on the relationship between American literature and comic book superheroes. I have served as a panelist at a number of conferences discussing my research in comics, medieval literature, and pedagogy. Most recently, I had the good fortune to present at the New York Comic Con. In addition to my work in comics scholarship, I'm also a full-time professor of developmental English.
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