Sunday, December 19, 2010

Full Circle

Last night we had some friends come over to celebrate my completion of school.  This week I have been thinking about the time that has passed over the course of my Ph.D., and how long it has felt, while actually being very short in the big scheme of things.

The year I applied to the SLATE program at UAF to start my Ph.D. was 2007, when I was about a month further along in my first pregnancy than I am now.  A few months after we had Emmy, I started my first class, a summer intensive up at the UAF campus when Emmy was 2 months old.  I brought her to class with me each day in a stroller, fed her in class, changed her on the floor in the hall, and let her sleep in one of the suitcases we flew to Fairbanks in.  By that fall, we were preparing for a move to Fairbanks where I needed to be on campus to complete the majority of my coursework.  At that time, Emmy was learning to crawl.  We spent 2008 in Fairbanks, then moved back here in 2009 so I could complete my research and other requirements, and then write my dissertation.  All together, this took just over three years. Summer of 2007 to Fall 2010, and all that time I was working and being a mom.  This would not have been possible with a lot of support from friends, family, and especially my husband - and I don't mean moral support - I mean actual help from these people in the form of childcare, meals, house cleaning, and a hundred other favors I will never be able to repay.

As I begin the next chapter of my life I am halfway through my pregnancy with our second daughter.  Who knows what will happen in the next three years.  Last night my mom said she sometimes wondered if she should have told me not to do the Ph.D., because now she has seen how hard it was on me.  I told her, if I hadn't done it, I would always wonder if I had made a mistake or missed out by not doing it.  This way I have no regrets.  Yes, it was miserable at times, but I did it, and it is something I never have to do again!

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