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6:47 a.m. - October 27, 2004
You can suck my degree
I've been asked to give the keynote address and be the main presenter at a teacher's conference in Orlando this February, and I have the same deal for the conference in Virginia this March. I'll accept and will worry about the ethical implications of a misleading bio statement: I'm no longer a Ph.D. candidate in anything and am I obliged to say so? Or, as I'd like to think, because I completed everything except four courses and a dissertation, I can call myself a candidate since (in theory) I can return to complete the work at some future date. That doesn't sit right with me, however. Neither does saying I'm a Ph.D. dropout who couldn't get a grip on perfectionism and be the best while sputtering on academic fumes. I wouldn't know how to explain that I became scared of not being one of the best and even more scared that my dissertation would not shine and thus be relegated to the anonymous annals of DAI. Because I felt stupid, was being drained of whatever qualities I once possessed that inspired a fellowship and departmental support, to be so uncertain of myself that I'd write outstanding papers over and over, never sure which one to turn in? I couldn't handle all that so I've . . . taken a break? Quit? Dropped out? Yielded to the need for mental health?

I am confronted with the need for honesty in this situation and saying that I am not a Ph.D. candidate, simply one of the many with a master's degree. I guess once that gets out my days of teacher training will incrementally decrease until there are no more trips to Florida or New York or Boston or Minnesota or Texas or wherever there's a group of teachers interested in the cognitive properties of second language teaching and learning. Blah. Fuck them, I say, I'll do as I please.

I'm tired. Rough night. It is still dark out and I must leave for work shortly.


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