It Might Be That Time

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. A few weeks ago, I began the arduous task of searching online for colleges to make my doctorate degree dream a reality. Perhaps it was just an off day because the only thing it did was leave me frustrated and resigned to not fulfilling that dream. I kept finding programs with projected completion dates near the 8 year mark. And the cost? Guess again. Even with tuition assistance, etc., it was beyond me.

Chalkboard = Dinosaur

Fast forward to end of last week when I attended a brief on how to make civilian programs work for you. You, the commoner. 90 mins later, I returned to my office with motivation, a renewed purpose, and some homework. Operation phD! Using TA in conjunction with the GI Bill should result in a reasonably affordable degree in T-minus 3 years. Doable. I might even be able to maintain my sanity and a slight social life. As long as I can write papers while we talk. That’s normal, right?

I’ve chosen a school, a program, and am in the process of finagling funding. Making military service work for me. Honestly, when I joined the Navy, I didn’t think it would be useful for obtaining another degree. For some reason I was under the impression it wouldn’t pay for anything beyond a master’s and since I already had one it wouldn’t pay for a second either. During eval season it was difficult for me to show I was progressing professionally outside of the Navy because my points were already full. So I said I wanted to learn how to whistle. And it did not go over well. My goal is to finish in 3 years or less…I even timed it not to interfere with anyone else who may be graduating. No show-stealing. Even though I didn’t quite get going when I said I would (by the time mini is 5 – she’s now 6), this is a valid goal no matter her age. Or mine. She will still get to experience mommy’s rapidly increasing number of gray hairs. And long nights of writing. Welcome to adulthood, girlie!

school supplies

The last time I went to school was over 11 years ago. I’m one of those complete whackadoo’s who really miss school. I love it! My master’s program was fantastic. All we did was write so of course. The feeling of accomplishing a lengthy paper or assignment is like an adrenaline rush all over my body. It’s figuratively my drug of choice. Drugs are very expensive. So I’ve heard. Anyway. I remember switching careers a year into the master’s degree wondering why I thought that was a good idea. Not only did I have to learn a new job but I also had to find time to write double digit papers on a new schedule. No big moves on the horizon this time – in fact I’m hoping this is the final straw I need to progress in other places.

Alas, I still can’t whistle. But I’ll have “Dr.” before my name so who cares.


I ask you –

Who wants on my commencement guest list? Location: TBD.

Anyone interested in volunteering to teach me how to whistle?

Tell me your highest level of education! I want to share in your accomplishments.

17 thoughts on “It Might Be That Time

  1. My wife has a doctorate. I didn’t see her much during those 3 years. I was lucky to get a Bachelor’s degree. Ironically, I liked college WAY more than K-12. I think you’ll be fine obtaining one, but yeah, it’s A LOT of work.

    I’ve been whistling since 8. I’m also a terrible swimmer, so there’s some life balance for you.

    Hopefully, your commencement speaker will be a famous Larry, like Larry The Cable Guy.


  2. Cool! I honestly never thought about using the GI Bil for a PhD. But then again I was never really motivated to get one. The 17 months I spent getting the Masters was enough for me. BUT, my kids used my GI Bill to get their degrees and they said it helped them a lot.


  3. Congrats and I wish you the best of luck. What are you planning to study? When you finish, one of your posts should be your entire dissertation.
    My highest level of education: PhD, baby!


      1. Ha! I used to run a blog on Xanga during my grad school life (circa 2010). Unfortunately, the last two years of my #phdlife were very dark for me. 😦 But to answer your question, I did not post it. 😉 I was so over graduate school, I did not order a bound copy of my disseration for myself. I defended on June 30, handed in my corrections by July 3, and had my last day in the lab on July 5.

        One piece of advance . . . well two pieces of advice. 1. Take your time when selecting an advisor. Try to select someone who will be a good advisor AND an even better mentor. If you can, try to speak to some of their former advisees to learn more about their mentoring styles. Looking back, my advisor was great at recommending projects to investigate but washorrible at mentoring. 2. Remember it’s ok to take a step back for a couple days when you feel overwhelmed. I lied . . . I have one more piece of advice. 3. Do not compare yourself to everyone else in your cohort/program. EVeryone finishes at their own pace.


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