April 9, 2013

  • At Last

    I passed my dissertation defense yesterday.

    All done.

    Everyone keeps asking me how it feels to be done.  I have a hard time answering, because I don’t feel done.

    I realized on the way home why that is: this is the beginning, not the end.

    It’s the end of school, of course.

    But it’s not the end of doing everything I always did in school–reading, learning, writing, discussing, thinking.  It’s the beginning of my doing that professionally, for pay, and with the goal of making the world a little better, somehow, by the fruits of that study.  But it’s not the end of my education.

    I haven’t finished the dissertation.  I’ve finished my first book.  But first implies a second, and, one hopes, several more than that.

    It has been momentous for me in the sense that I finally feel that I can write a scholarly work (because four men who’ve written some very wonderful scholarly works just told me I did).  “I can write a book.”  That’s what I said out loud to myself when I got back to my car and closed the doors and had my first moment to myself.  I can write a book.  That’s what I’ve done.  And since I’ve done it, that means I can do it.

    Yes, friends.  It’s taken me twenty-nine years of schooling to be able to come up with such tautologies: If I can write a book, that means I can write a book.

    It seems a not-insignificant thought, however.

    And it’s making me want to go to that folder on my desktop titled, “Possible future projects.”  I’ve written the outlines and basic ideas for at least ten books and several dozen research possibilities.  And now I can do them.

    That’s kind of, you know, . . . exciting.

Comments (8)

  • Sarah, I completely get the “I can write a book” thing.  That’s pretty much the only reason I started a PhD – because I wanted to write a book!  And then life filled up with two wonderful children – one of whom happens to have his own particular needs that look something like autism but not quite – and a wonderful church that is stepping out of the boat to follow God in ways that deserve every last bit of support and encouragement I can give them as pastor – and well, I stepped away from the PhD unfinished last fall.  My husband reminds me that I can still write the book someday, with or without the letters behind my name.  But in the meantime, it makes me smile that you HAVE written the book, and earned the letters, while also raising kids and shepherding a church.  I’m vicariously celebrating your success!  :)

  • We’re so excited for you guys!  Congrats, Dr. Sours!

  • Oh, Amy, I didn’t realize you’d left your program.
    I’m glad you’re doing good work, but it is hard to close those doors, isn’t it?

  • What was the topic of your dissertation/book?

  • a long-time lurker de-lurking to say CONGRATS!!!

  • Thanks, Ally!!  And thanks for delurking!

    DM, my diss is on suffering–how the Christian tradition gives a suffering person the resources to talk about her life as a good life, even if it is wracked by suffering.

  • Congratulations!

  • dissertation is a process where we learn our researching capabilities and how much innovative and creative we can become. its great to see that you’ve got your result with flying colors so congratulations!
    im working on my research proposal please pray for me thanks :)

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