“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” — George Meredith

A decade ago — on September 19, 2007 — I started this blog to document my journey as a PhD student in human and organizational systems at Fielding Graduate University. I envisioned it as a personal journal, academic endeavor, and professional platform. Although I withdrew from Fielding, I continued blogging.

A few years later I launched my website, but this blog was my first form of online expression and it has evolved into the anchor of my social media strategy. This blog has been a tool through which I have shared my story; I will continue doing so indefinitely.

As I begin to discover my PhD potential with the University of Leicester, my PhD plans are again becoming a possibility. Once I begin my program this blog will reflect those experiences along with my adventures in academia.  I look forward to the future with optimism and idealism. The worst is over and the best is yet to come.

Speaking of focusing forward, in the first week of the Discovering Your PhD Potential course I was asked to answer the following question: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? In ten years? (Consider carefully whether doing a PhD will help you to fully achieve this, and if so how?). My answers follow:

In five years I will:

  • Defend my doctoral dissertation and start my first year teaching with my PhD.
  • Apply for a promotion from being an instructor to assistant professor at AUE.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle that brings me comfort, calmness, and confidence.
  • Share my life with a partner who fills my soul with faith, hope, and love.
  • Expand my acting to include commercials and voice over work.

In ten years I will:

  • Publish at least ten papers in high quality journals, five book chapters, and two books about social media marketing, sports management, or my related research interests.
  • Work towards a promotion from associate professor to full professor before I turn 55.
  • Celebrate my sons living happy and healthy lives as they embark on adulthood.
  • Produce five online video courses and appear in a half-dozen podcasts.
  • Enjoy financial stability and the ability to travel at least twice per year.

The past decade has dealt me both unplanned obstacles and unexpected opportunities. Trying yet inspiring experiences have broken me while strengthening me. I have grown as a person and a professional; I am changed for the better, despite the scar tissue. This blog has documented these changes and will continue to serve as reflection of my progression. I am eager to make the most of each moment and invite you to join me on my journey.

Happy New Year!

As of this month I am teaching five online writing and business communication courses for Axia College of University of Phoenix and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future.

Also, after completing my first semester at DeVry University in Bakersfield (during which I taught an English class and a management class), I am now preparing to start two English classes and a different management course on January 7. 

Later that week, on January 12, I will be teaching a consumer buying behavior class for UC Santa Barbara Extension for five consecutive Saturdays. I am also going to be teaching a principles of marketing course for International American University, a new school based in Palmdale that is focused on the international student market (all of my students will be from Korea).  

I will be working — and driving — a great deal in the coming weeks, but for the first time in my life I am excited and invigorated by these opportunities. Things seem to be clicking and things seem to be happening — an experience I have not had since I was in college.

I am also a bit nervous — which is actually a good thing, because it means I want to do a good job and that I care about these teaching positions. I haven’t really felt nervous about wanting to do well at a job for approximately 8 years! So, I must be onto something!

I have also tremendously benefited from the sage advice of Linda Andreani, a fellow Fielding doctoral student who is working towards her certification to be a coach — if it were up to me she would have already earned it and then some! She has been exceptional in her ability to help me better understand myself: who I am and what I really want to become. If it were not for her I would have remained far less certain of my course and much less focused on my goals. Thank you, Linda!

Notably, as a result of the demands of my new teaching opportunities and my recent journey of self discovery, I found it impossible to dedicate time to my doctoral studies at Fielding. As a result, midway through my first semester there, I elected to take a leave of absence until the end of May to determine my next best steps.

I am not entirely certain that Fielding is the best program for me, though I do know that I am still focused on earning a PhD — or as it might turn out, a DBA (doctorate of business administration). It is still premature for me to make any final decisions, though I am working earnestly towards a sensible strategy.

In the meantime, I will use this medium as a channel through which I can document my experience as an adjunct instructor.

More to come soon…

One of the more confusing but compelling terms to which I was exposed during my new student orientation (NSO) at Fielding Graduate University was “phenomenology.”

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, phenomenology is “the study of the development of human consciousness and self-awareness as a preface to or a part of philosophy.”

As further explained by David Rehorick, Ph.D. during a research practicum at the Fielding NSO, a phenomenological study begins with the question “what are the experiences of…” and explores a return to the lived experiences of the research participants.

In simpler terms, phenomenology is all about our individual experiences and the meaning that can be derived from them. Think of the word in relation to one of its roots: phenomenon — which according to our friends at Merriam-Webster means “an observable fact or event.”

So you might be asking yourself why I mentioned this fact to you — other than to share some knowledge with which I was imparted and intrigued?

Simple: in keeping with my grounded, balanced and somewhat avante garde approach to academics, hearing this phrase reminded me of what now must be an ancient segment from Sesame Street, the “Mahna Mahna” song!

I wasn’t alone in this realization: when our research practicum concluded I immediately grabbed my laptop and searched for this song. Once I found it, I shared the song with a colleague who smiled broadly as I the song began to play.

Perhaps you will agree as well. So, without further delay, I present you with the “Mahna Mahna” song! Watch it below: