Monday, May 25, 2009

It is finished!

I’m not exactly sure when I broke a mirror, but I am hoping that after this weekend that life will be changing for the better. You see, I have finished my PhD in Counseling and Personnel services and graduated on Friday! And, it took me 7 years to complete the program!

My dissertation is dedicated to my children Victoria and Nicolas with the following words by Carl Jung “Nothing is a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents.” And while the process was very difficult for me and created some hardships for the family during the process, I know that ultimately this degree will benefit more than just me. I know it will have a strong influence on Tori and Nic.

You see, on the first day, of my first class, I was delighted to share that I was pregnant with my daughter Victoria. In fact, that class and the ladies that share the distinction “PhDiva” with me, saw the sonogram of Tori even before Slade! Then, last year Slade and I traveled to Russia and brought Nicolas home to our family. Tori and Nicolas truly are the bookends of my graduate career. Now, Tori will actually know a mommy who is not in school. And, If you want to know what a PhD looks like Tori is the physical representation of my 7 years in the program -- from conception to now!

Throughout my experience I really questioned whether or not I would actually be able to graduate. I juggled a full-time job and part-time student load. I have been in class and had to leave to take my sick daughter to the hospital. I have carried many incompletes that I was not sure that I would ever finish. I was devastated when I did not pass comprehensive exams the first time. Then, after writing a complete dissertation proposal, the Navy had decided to place a moratorium on all human-subjects research and it looked like I would not be able to propose my research anytime in the near future if I kept my subject. Starting over – even on a similar topic – was very difficult. It took a lot of motivation to make that switch.

If that wasn’t enough, on the day of my proposal we thought Slade had a heart-attack. And yet, I attended my proposal meeting. Then, just to top things off, I sustained 2nd degree burns on my right hand just weeks before I was to defend my the dissertation. It is amazing to me that I have persevered. Today, however, I am here to tell you “It is finished!”


Troy and Rachel said...

Congratulations!! 7 is also a lucky number!!

Anonymous said...

According to scripture 7 is the nomber that repesents completion.
Gen. 2:2 Gen. 8:4 Gen. 41:25-36
Looks as if God may have had his hand in this> You think? Dad and Molly.

Carey and Norman said...

Whooo Hoooo! Congratulations! I couldn't be more excited for you. As a mother who finished her Master's Degree while raising one child and adopting another, I know the effort it took to work, go to school, and be a mother! My hat goes off to you as I'd love to get my Ph.D, but I won't be pursuing that anytime in the near future! You Go Girl!!

Becky and Keith said...


Eileen said...

Congratulations Wendy- that is sucha wonderful achievement!

Hope you are able to enjoy a bit more of "leisure time" now that school is complete.

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Charlene Blair said...

You really went through a lot to graduate and get your PhD degree, Wendy! But, the good thing was that the things you went through are the foundation of your hardship and perseverance to finish your degree, and even thru the dreaded PhD dissertation writing. Anyway, how’s life after post-PhD? I bet you can now spend a lot of thing for your family now, especially Tori.