With focus forward…
In much, I took June, July, and August off to spend time with my kids and to travel. I visited Sweden, Portland, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana. Even with all the travel, I managed to do some work toward my dissertation.
In Portland, I went to ARG Fest where I met with many wonderful people engaged in alternate-reality games and transmedia storytelling. I picked up several new contacts and one of them led to another interview for my dissertation. This means I now have 7 interviews completed. (Here is the blog I wrote for ARIEL SIG about the ARG-Fest Conference)
When school picked up I started looking for a job to keep me above water and really lucked out. I am now working in the Department of Public Affairs and Community Services at UNT with instructional design and course support for Dr. Roberts. I am really excited about helping with her four courses on negotiation and mediation and am learning a lot in the process. It’s great to step outside the Department of Learning Technologies and see how instructional design and E-Design is applied in other areas. The department has amazing people. We get together for lunch every day talking and through this group of new contacts I also got ideas on people to contact for additional dissertation interviews.
During the second half of August and September I also worked intensely thinking about and writing on my dissertation. Every word counts! I was accepted into the Toulouse School Graduate Student Grant Writing Program in August and attended a two-day workshop learning about grant writing and fellowship application writing. It resulted in me re-working a lot of my dissertation into a 10 page fellowship application narrative. I had amazing support from my committee in this venture: Dr. Scott Warren, Dr. Lin Lin, and Dr. David Kaplan. Further Dr. Duban in the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarship and Dr. Oppong from the Research Office. They all were so helpful with advice and support. All this resulted in that I today submitted my first application for educational funding. I am really excited about the way my dissertation writing has become stronger in this process. I had such a wonderful opportunity to think through every word and further get the best of feedback. I know I grew stronger out of this experience and it will only help me, my future academic colleagues, and students. I am so glad I ventured out on this additional training.
It is time now to shift focus to the AECT conference coming up next month and then complete the remaining dissertation interviews.