Sunday, July 19, 2015

We Just Keep Plugging Away

John had hoped to finish up his doctorate by the summer of 2016.  But while he was in Oxford in April and May, one thing he and his advisers realized is that that's not going to happen.  The aim now is September 2017. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, John has had to take on some extra administrative responsibilities starting in November.  This has left him with less time for his doctorate.  Also, some things that happened in November, including the sudden death of a colleague, and then the events of January 16 and 17 in which churches were attacked and burnt, packed a hard punch and left John discouraged and unmotivated.  

While in England he was able to debrief with a member of the pastoral staff at the church he attends while in Oxford.  The meetings with his academic advisers also helped him figure out what still needs to be done, what his time line is for getting it done, and a way to keep on track.  He came back encouraged and more focused than he's been for awhile.

Some of the things he still needs to do are finish up the case studies at churches that we've been working on, finishing transcribing interviews, code the interviews, read more books on his topic, and, of course, put it all together into a dissertation.  He's already been coding interviews and finding some significant threads that support his thesis.  

Today we visited one of our favorite little churches.  John shared with the members what he's noticed concerning music during the case study visits, interviewed the congregation, and then interviewed one of the members.  This is a small church, but we got some helpful information today during the interview.

So, John continues to put in as many hours a week as he can.  He's trying to take advantage of having more hours during the summer when he's not teaching at the Bible school.  We are disappointed that the end goal is a year farther out than we had hoped, but at the same time, it's good to have a more well-defined way to get to that goal.


 

1 comment:

Beth said...

Glad John is feeling more encouraged since returning from England. Also wanted to say that I noticed the changes you have made on the old blog. Looks good! :)