It’s official. I am a student at UMass Boston working toward my Ph.D. in Sociology. I had my first class this week and I, literally, teared up in the classroom. I think I learned what a doctorate was when I was about 10. Two of my friends on a winter YMCA swimming team had parents who were professors at our town’s state university. Their houses were different than mine — filled with books, papers, and the sounds of National Public Radio. I wanted my house and life to feel and smell and look like theirs from the first time I walked into those homes.
And now I am on my way. Happily my house is already filled with books, papers and All Things Considered. I’ve lead an academic life for over twenty years now, but mostly in administrative positions. Thankfully my research has been gaining traction for the last 4-6 years (and, more importantly, I have felt comfortable making my research public due to safety concerns about my biological family and exploiter) and soon I will be paid to conduct my own research.
The journey to obtaining this little plastic card has been long and hard. No wonder I am smiling so broadly in my ID photo. I was thinking of my husband and son — and our countless friends and family — who have supported me in getting to this point. This may be cliche, but I never could have gotten here without them. I see this card as my ticket to being a doctor…finally. I appreciate you all coming for the ride.