Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is It Too Late For Me And The Dissertation?

Where do I begin?
It was one of the most difficult emails that I've had to write.

For more than a year, I told myself that I would finish this dissertation, but I failed to do what was necessary. I stopped calling my mentor, stopped writing the proposal, and just hoped for the best. As a result, the University of Phoenix un-enrolled me from the doctoral program and released me from my mentor and committee. I wasn't surprised.

After months of nightmares and unfulfilled self-promises, I decided to pull myself together. I scheduled time to focus on my education. For me, this meant writing "THE LETTER."

"Hello." I wrote.

Is that too relaxed? I asked myself.

As I sat there on my laptop, my mind raced. I needed to tell her how important she is and how miserable I felt for letting her down. See, my mentor believed in me. She told me that I could finish this race, but instead of fulfilling that vision, I jumped ship.

For more than a year, I failed to write her. For all I know, she was angry, hurt, disappointed, and ultimately done with me. How would I ever finish this dissertation without her?

Turning back to the email, there was much that I wanted to say, but feared it would fall on deaf ears.

"Forget the doubt, Damond, and just write!" That's the final instruction I gave myself before composing a short, and quite humbled, request.

In 15 minutes, I finished an email that apologized for trying to go it alone. I told her that I needed her, but could understand if she didn't feel the same.

It was one of the most difficult emails that I've had to write. It was even harder to push the "Send" button.

After a half dozen read-throughs, I let it go.

Would she respond? What would she think? Is it too late? Where do I go from here?

The Response  
In less than an hour, her name appeared in my box. She had responded.

I wanted to know what she wrote, but I'm not sure I was ready to hear bad news.

Slowly, I moved the mouse over the title and clicked.

She began with, "Hi Damond: It is so nice to hear from you, and hope all is going well with you and the family."

She continued her reply with an explanation. She told me that the University removed me from her list and thus assumed that I asked for another mentor to guide me on the journey.

Finally, she ended with, "keep your head up high and remember, I will always be here to guide and help you."

Like a jolt of lighting piercing the air, excitement raced through my body. "There is still hope for me. Yeeeeeesssssss!" I yelled in the quite space of my room.

With my mentor back on board, I turn my attention to the University of Phoenix.

To be continued...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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