The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Seeing If It Will Stick

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I am in the process of writing my personal statement for admission to the PhD program. Thankfully, an assignment for my current class contains much of what I would say in a personal statement, so I am revising and reworking that assignment so that it will be a suitable statement.

When I was working on the original assignment, one of the questions that my professor asked the class to address was: Why are in pursuing graduate studies? She wanted us to dig deeper than the "I need a PhD to advance my career, blah, blah blah" sort of thing. Sure, I can give the classic, bullshit answer. I'm good at that. I'm a lawyer. I can come up with a plausible answer that will pacify anyone without having to go any deeper than the surface.

But, what she wanted to know was "What are YOU going to bring to the profession?"

Um.... (Insert sound of crickets here)

I struggled for days answering that question. I ended up writing something about how my background in teaching and in law will bring a new perspective to education and policy. I have the ability to bridge the gap between the two areas; I am the missing link that unites the law and education...blah, blah blah...It worked. I earned an "A", complete with positive comments.

The truth is that what I wrote was a bit of BS on my part. My lawyer skills come in handy when I don't know the answer to a question or I don't want to answer a question. I can come up with a answer that will be seen as brilliance, when all the while, I am just throwing crap against the wall to see if it will stick. In all honestly, I don't know what I expect to contribute to the education world with my PhD and/or research. I have a feeling that I will be like the coyote who finally catches the roadrunner. The coyote holds up a sign that says "What do I do with it now"?

It's not like I no idea. I have some ideas, but to pigeon-hole myself into one or two possibilities is just not the way I like to do things. I like having a buffet of options to explore. I don't like to be stuck eating the same meal. My coursework to date has revealed interests that excite me. But, I am far from saying that focus A and B are what I plan to use for research or even a dissertation. I am too busy sampling what is out there to make a decision. I hope that I will have an adviser who is willing to help me flush out my ideas; otherwise, I fear my dissertation will be just like the crap that I throw against the wall, hoping that will stick.