Yes I’m Emotional: Reflection on Doctoral Experience
“The quest for knowledge that enables us to unite theory and practice is one such passion. To the extent that professors bring this passion, which has to be fundamentally rooted in a love for ideas we are able to inspire, the classroom becomes a dynamic place where transformations in social relations are concretely actualized and the false dichotomy between the world outside and the inside world of the academy disappears (pg. 195).”
– bell hooks (1994), Teaching to Transgress.
I let out a sigh.
and stare at the blank page.
blank, blank, blank.
Where do I even start!
When I think or say or hear the word “Education” a lot of emotions emerge.
So what has this emotional roller-coaster experience left me feeling?
I have to say that my doctoral educational journey has evoked so many emotions over the past years. From the first time being told that I couldn’t take the classes because I traveled too much to last year being invited to take a course over again. And now, I’ve come full circle to know me. In essence, to better understand what I want my doctoral process to look like and what I want to research and write about.
For the past three years, the doctoral process has stretched me holistically, more than any time in my life. I’ve been enlightened, challenged, angered, puzzled, and enthralled to learn.
I’ve been enlightened that I can learn in an open curriculum approach. When allowed to think on my own, I do quite well. I’ve been angered by the realization that I have to work really hard on clarity and editing in my written work. I have been challenged to think about education in many different ways and push my ideas on diversity beyond practice to research and theory. I have been puzzled to sit through professor feedback reviews where I was praised for my creativity (which is my weakness) and questioned about my scholarly writing (which is my strength). I have been enthralled that I can practice dialogic thinking in a group of diverse educators with differing experiences and interests; yet, giving and warm like my own community.
hooks (1994) states, “There are times when personal experience keeps us from reaching the mountain top and so we let it go because the weight of it is too heavy. And sometimes the mountain top is difficult to reach with all our resources, factual and confessional, so we are just there, collectively grasping, feeling the limitations of knowledge, longing together, yearning for a way to reach that highest point. Even this yearning is a way to know (pg. 194).”
At first, being influenced by my past educational experiences, I would be ashamed by the emotions that would seem to errupt from any and every activity in my classes and research. I would want to hide in the back and hope that no one would see or hear that I existed. Yet, because of my recent educational experiences, I have developed my character so that I can harness and use whatever emotions to learn and teach others.
I am ever so grateful for the experiences in the doctoral process thus far. Although I am only halfway through, without this doctoral process, I would not be the emotional person I am today.