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Dissertation: Final Touches

posted Oct 22, 2015, 11:55 AM by Ezra Lockhart
There are only 4 weeks until I submit my dissertation for assessment. I am 10,300 word in on an 11,000 word max manuscript. Last year the hard limit was 12,000 words; I had prepared for that mark. However, as I approached 9,000 words I found out the new range was 10,000-11,000. I only just finished presenting data abstraction. I ended up moving large sections of data into appendices and continued writing. With less than 700 words to go for my discussion, the process in coming to an end. I have approximately 45 pages of content and 60+ if you include the appendices, which are actual data and not your typical survey or permission forms.

I spoke with a few degree holders and they commonly respond, "I bet you are relieved it's over" or they recount how dreadful and tiresome their experience was. I cannot say I have had a similar experience. I was dealing with a disabling family crisis that led to me starting my dissertation 7 weeks late. However, when I actually began planning and putting pen to paper I saw amazing progress. At first, I set aside 5 hours each morning to work only on my research. I then would finish out anywhere from a 9 to 13 hour work day. Although, overall I was physically exhausted when I came home, waking up the next morning to conduct research was replenishing and fulfilling. I felt pride and a sense of accomplishment. Who could ask for anything more?

Over the next 4 weeks, I will be putting the finishing touches on the implications to stakeholders section. Then I will work with my dissertation advisor, Patricia Howlin, on any revisions. I gave myself plenty of time. Overall, I am amazed at how quickly I completed this in light of all the hours I put in at work, family hardships encountered, and personal medical issues this year. I definitely feel capable dealing with whatever happens in life and coming out successful. Oh what a wonderful feeling.

After the assessment I will be looking to apply to doctoral studies. I have a few programs in mind. However, updates on that topic are for a different post.

On another note, I completed all my Chemical Dependency hours and submitted my application to upgrade to a Chemical Dependency Counselor I. I am not sure how long it will take the board to review my application, but I am looking forward to hearing back from them. Hopefully, before the end of the year I will have a CDC I.