Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slice of Life: New starts

Sometimes, it's easy to get so caught in the day to day scramble that things get dropped. This blog is one of those things.

So, what has consumed me? Well, a new PhD program, for one. During last year's Slice challenge, I wrote about the idea of this program and a meeting I attended of potential students as part of the accreditation process. I loved the idea of it, but I knew I wouldn't be able to leave the classroom to be a full-time student.

Then, on June 3, I got word that the program had been approved and would be accepting applications for the fall 2013 cohort. The online application would be available on 6/15, and the deadline would be 7/10. After a nervous couple of weeks, I found out I wouldn't have to that the GRE due to the tight timeline. What a relieve that was for me, as I haven't taken a math class since the late 1980s!

Of course, I was still in the midst of the school year, which didn't end until late June, so I couldn't even think about working on my package until after the application was available. Starting on June 24, the first day after school ended, I went into overdrive:
  • requested all of my transcripts, 
  • spent a short forever making my resume into a curriculum vitae, 
  • went digging for old academic, professional, and personal writing samples
  • requested letters of recommendation, and 
  • started working on a personal statement.  
I even managed to convince a friend from the Northern Virginia Writing Project to apply, too.

By July 9, everything was in or on its way, and by July 26, while on a road trip, I received the following:

Dear Christine: 

Congratulations!  It is my pleasure to inform you that the Committee on Admissions has approved your application for graduate admission to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences' Writing and Rhetoric - PHD program for the Fall 2013 semester. The following will assist you in confirming your admissions offer and in getting you started as a graduate student.

I was ecstatic.

I'm on my second class now, and I'm challenged to find time for much else. But, I'm also stimulated and engaged by the learning and happy to be part of a wonderful community of students in the first cohort. The cognitive dissonance of upending everything I am doing with everything I'm learning gets overwhelming at times, but my peers and professors talk me off the ledge. I feel pretty fortunate, even when I'm exhausted and crazed.

The funny part is that I am still blogging as a requirement of my current class. It's just that this hasn't been the forum for it. At first, that troubled me. But, now that the Slice of Life challenge is back, I think I'm ok with having that separation.

Here's to as much slicing as I can fit in!


  1. Good luck on your program. While I toy with the idea of getting a Ph.D., I can't see any way to make it work with my life right now. Hats off to you!

  2. What a wonderful opportunity! May it bring you many more slices as you wrap your head around your commitments.

  3. Hooray for continuing our education! Hats off to you!

  4. Congratulations! I am sure times will be challenging...but you seem to like that...and get energized from learning. You will be busy...but things will fit together and in the end you will never regret it. Can't wait to read more of your posts. Jackie

  5. Congratulations! I can't wait to learn from your slices.

  6. Hooray! Congratulations on the new adventure and challenge. I remember loving rhetoric -- the new program sounds interesting and I'll look forward to hearing more about it. You rock, Chris.