Five years of Doctoral study has offered new perspectives on Space and Time. It was only yesterday that I offered my first introductory video, (of course in rhyme), the “Ode to My Future Self:”
Now, I can truly mean it when I spit the bars:
“You better get a
to come see me.
I flex with a rep
I rap with
your steeze –
All joviality aside, Space and Time has new meaning for a recently knighted PhD. “Dr. Sugar” can now appreciate the doctoral journey fading into the rear-view mirror of my car. Time snaps forward sooner than we realize – especially when academic deadlines are looming. Simultaneously, time often seems to stand still – especially in the long hours of an “all-nighter”, when aforementioned deadlines have somehow penetrated a wormhole and are now due immediately.
This academic journey began with a single step – researching the PhD position. Then, creating a vision for myself. Before I realized it, I was taking Introduction to Academic Writing and Mathematical Reasoning classes. With a snap of a finger, two semesters were done. That’s when an odd change came over me – I started referring to myself as a “Learning Scientist” and discussing “Cognition” in casual conversation.
My thesis – Instruction of Exceptional English Language Learners – forged my academic and contemplative abilities in a crucible. Standing before my professors to defend my work made the hardest Kumite Karate Sparring session look like patty-cake!
These days, I see my daughter bend Space and Time – she’s about to start first grade. I now watch her progress as both a father and a researcher. It was my passion that began with a dream, then became a vision. From my vision, I created a plan, then implemented, evaluated, and modified that plan. Today, my dream has been fulfilled – not only do the doubters have to call me “Dr. Sugar,” but the most sensitive learning populations in public schooling have sound research to advise the professionals that teach them.