Comedy to Success: Defending My Dissertation

3년 전

Working the presentation of my research

A Comedy of Errors

So my wife and I left Wednesday morning to travel to my university. I was a nervous wreck. It was rainy and cloudy but Waze told me it should be a relatively painless three hour and eight minute drive. So we headed out, stopping for gasoline and grabbing a gift card at my local drug store (always amazed me that while we wage a drug war, we have drug stores). We were getting ready to hit the interstate when my wife said, where’s you suit? Well, I did mention I was nervous, right? I knew exactly where my suit was; it was in the garment bag on top of my rolling trashcan in my driveway, sitting out there in the rain. We were leaving with a hoped arrival time of 12:30 PM and now we were going to lose about 30 minutes, but my dissertation defense was at 4:00 PM so it was not the end of the world. We headed back and sure enough, there it was right where I left it.

The drive to Lynchburg was uneventful. We arrived and had lunch at a local chain and then checked into the hotel. We started to get our clothing for the dissertation in order and I saw the French cuffs on my shirt. Dang! No cufflinks. Not the end of the world, I had time and could stop by Belk on the way to school. So off we went. I got to the Liberty campus. It has been a few months since I was there and everything was different. The School of Education was not there; I mean the building was gone! So I punched it into the GPS and it took me to an empty lot. I finally flagged down one of the campus police officers, asked him where to go and looked over his shoulder and saw, “School of Education” on the building behind him. In spite of my nervousness I started to laugh. I drove about frantically looking for parking and found a spot with about five minutes to spare.

My wife and I packed up all of our stuff and headed for the biggest building on campus, the School of Education was a wing off of that structure. We walked in and contrary to common myth, this man had no problem asking for directions. A student (and fellow veteran) offered to walk me to where we were going. My phone started ringing (because my hands were full I could not answer it), it was my chair. Apparently, we were expected and my wife and I were walked to the conference room from the reception area.

Explaining my research process

Defending My Dissertation

So I should have been a wreck, right? Interestingly, the comedy of errors calmed me. With just a few minutes to spare I was set up and ready to rock! Off we went. In what seems like just a few minutes (my wife tells me I went over time by 15 minutes) I was done. It was question time. The questions were very thoughtful, but this is my area of expertise. If I had been nervous that would have subsided with the first question, I was asked the same question a colleague asked the day before to prepare me. After questions I was asked to withdraw while my committee deliberated. A few minutes later I was asked to return and I made a crack about needing to come up with a new dissertation topic. My chair smiled and proceeded to congratulate “Dr. K.” This was the culmination of years of work and effort and I was emotionally moved. There are some minor revisions I need to do, but it is almost over.

Answering questions on the conference call, my hearing is shot

The Future?

So what exactly are my plans? That is something I am not certain about. Professionally it is time for me to start a serious job search. I need to get back into the workforce. Hopefully I can get a job in higher education. If I had a benefactor, I would love to start a private school for inner-city young men. I do not know my path, but I am sure it will be revealed to me soon. I have been encouraged to write a book from my research. That is where Steemit comes in. I plan to start my manuscript right here. I will begin by rewriting parts 1 through 5 of my school series. I will expand them, try to add more anecdotes, and just try to make them more interesting. I will intersperse the story with what I think are the important interventions we can attempt in inner-city schools. I will also explain my philosophy concerning the current state of public education.

Steemit Goals

Finally, my goals for steemit include a ten-fold increase in steem power. I would like to be able to provide people the same encouragement I receive. It would be cool if my vote was worth a penny. Maybe it will take more than a ten-fold increase? I would like to have enough followers (who I would also follow) that we could get our posts into the eyes of people who would miss them otherwise. It seems that 500 is a good number. I also want to help others write and promote their posts better. I have learned so much and I want to share it with others.

So if any or all of this interests you I ask that you follow me and if you don’t mind, ask me questions, offer criticisms, and if you think my work is worthy, how about an upvote? See you next week with my reboot of my series regarding my time as a schoolteacher.

Peace, love, and rock and roll,


Photo Credits: All pictures were taken by my wife with her Samsung Galaxy S5 except the last picture, that was taken with my Canon EOS60D by son 2.

100% follow back, together we can all accomplish great things.

If you like these entries or have any questions or want to offer encouragement please post a comment or hit the upvote button, while making money is not really my concern I would like to know that I am not shouting into an empty canyon.

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Hello! I am Mike K. I am an educator, lifelong student, military vet and wannabe musician. I have a love of history, economics, philosophy and motorcycles. I am quickly moving from minarchy to Christian anarchy philosophically and want people to stop meddling. My debut CD should be out soon!

Riding in Tennessee with my son on the Green Eyed Snake

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Congratulations Dr K! What was the subject of your dissertation?


I wrote about the successful education of inner-city low income youth. There are schools out there doing it correctly though all we ever hear are the horror stories.


Nice. My friend is currently working on her doctorate, and although I'm not sure of the exact topic, I think it has to do with children from low decile schools, so similar.

Congratulations Dr. K.


Much appreciated.

Congratulations, Doc! :)

Congratulations, Dr. K. I'm happy for you. I'm glad you didn't let the mishaps rattle you. Upvoted and resteemed.


Thank you very much, maybe all my years in the military paid off. :)

  ·  3년 전

Congrats Dr. I wish you all the best in future .


Thank you very much.

Awesome! Congrats man :-D


Thank you, thank you