The finish line

I can see it from here.

On 2 January 2007, I began my doctoral program in music education. On this day next week, I will have officially completed eleven courses (44 credit hours) and twenty months of nonstop study — roughly 35 hours per week in addition to my full time job.

I have learned much. For instance, in addition to helping me cultivate a whole new thought system on the philosophy, history and cultural context of music education in America, this experience has taught me to:

  1. Operate on 4-5 hours of sleep per night
  2. Balance a daytime teaching job, nighttime rehearsal schedules for four mainstage musical productions, concerts, family gatherings, a wedding, the birth of a grandchild, web clients and other commitments with 30+ hours of homework per week
  3. Truly appreciate the Thriller for basically living on his own (and doing all my jobs around the house) for the last 20 months
  4. Love and appreciate my family more (the Thriller, #1 Son, Jakey’s Mom, Lars, Helen, Mavis, Simone and Johanna) for always being there for me and remaining patient and supportive
  5. Keeping up with it all without sacrificing my important personal commitment to write every day

Yikes — big list. But the heck of it is, this little party’s nowhere near over with. In April, I will take the dreaded exams, which many people (including some brilliant folks whose ideas and accomplishments I admire) have failed. No joy in Mudville till that’s done and in the books — one way or the other.

Still, it feels good to have come this far. If you’d asked me three years ago what I’d be doing today, I wouldn’t have said “finishing up my DMA coursework.”

Life is goofy, eh?

Fink out.

9 thoughts on “The finish line

  1. RD

    Wow! I am in awe. I sincerely mean that. And, you’ve also kept your sanity and had time for your friends. Thank you. I believe that all of this will have a great outcome, and I’ll be thrilled to call you Dr.

  2. BoomR

    Oh, fer cryin’ out loud! Did I know that? I’m trying to remember way back in the day if RD was a Dr already….or if that happened during the post-BoomR era…??!!

  3. Rat Fink Post author

    Not sure, sweetness…maybe he’ll post his Dr. year if he reads this. It was awhile ago, though, I know that. Maybe he’s too old to remember…


  4. RD

    RD became a Dr. in December 1983. When I book an airline ticket, I never use the Dr. I don’t want them paging me to take care of a medical emergency. Most likely I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn the previous night. And, my wife never calls me Dr. It’s still “Hey you.”

  5. Rat Fink Post author

    HAA – good advice from the good doctor. If and when I ever get the prefix, I hope I can look at it with the same laid-back attitude as you do, RD. Hey, speakina coffee…


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