Tomorrow morning my husband and I will pack up our Honda Element, pick up our dogs from a sitter, and hit the open road to live and dissertate in the midwestern United States. The move is a good opportunity for my husband professionally, will offer us more travel mobility, and gives me the chance to teach online and focus on my dissertation writing. All of that, however, does not make leaving a beautiful state, wonderful friends, and an established life in AZ any easier. I've really loved living in Arizona, and I have made some really good friends and great memories during our time here. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Monica Gellar has summed up my bittersweet feelings in the GIF below:
All of this is possible, though, because...
I AM ABD
ABD is an acronym for All But Dissertation, signaling that I have finished all of the requirements towards my Ph.D. beside writing my dissertation. As I discussed in my last blog post, I passed my written comprehensive exams with a High Pass. I then met with my committee members Elenore Long and Patricia Boyd on April 20th, 2016 for my dissertation prospectus colloquy. We met for two hours, and after I introduced the impetus and my train of thought for my study, they helped me to further clarify my purpose, frame my study, and plan for completion. My chair then offered feedback to the plan we drafted in the colloquy from Austria. The colloquy and feedback was so helpful and invigorating as I plan to start writing my dissertation in June.
After completing my comps and colloquy (some of the sources referenced in both pictured on the right), all I had left to do was finish courses! The BEST advice that I was given in graduate school by colleagues and professors was to make everything-- class work, completion work, conferences, publications, etc.-- work together towards my dissertation goal. I was able to follow that advice in the final projects for my two courses this semester. The comments from my professors in those courses then contributes to my dissertation planning and writing work. After struggling a bit with the myriad of responsibilities I placed on myself this semester, I am happy to have received an A and an A- in my final two classes. That brings my graduate school GPA to a final 3.97. The course work this semester was so beneficial to my individual scholarly work, but I am SO glad to be done with courses.
Other final elements of the semester also wrapped up well. My students in both classes presented well researched and clearly articulated proposal presentations on a variety of topics. I submitted a revised book chapter to Asao Inoue and Mya Poe for their forthcoming edited collection. I am excited about the work that this book will do. I was also honored to receive an award from the ASU English department and attend a graduate reception and award ceremony to receive the award, gifted to the department from a generous donor. In the picture on the left, I am receiving the award from the English department chair, Dr. Mark Lussier. Both my mother and my mother-in-law were able to attend the ceremony with me, as they were both in Arizona to help us pack up our townhouse for the upcoming move.
In honor of being ABD at ASU and the impending move, I want to include five of my very favorite aspects of our Arizona life. Other than the opportunities afforded by my program and teaching assistantship, the list and photos of my faves can be found below in no particular order:
1. DELICIOUS FOOD THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY & STATE
2. MOUNTAIN VIEWS & LIVING
3. TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE WESTERN U.S.
4. FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, VISITORS, & FAMILY
5. FRIENDS FOR LIFE ANIMAL SHELTER
To conclude this blog post at the end of this momentous semester with the full knowledge of the changes and work still to come, I rest in the memory of what has been and hope for what is to come. I can say that this chapter of my life has ended much like the final sentence in Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, quoted below. Thanks, readers. Peace to you.
"All was well."