School of Education (1925–2006);
J. Nicholas Entrikin,
Department of Geography (b. 1947);
Daniel B. Kaye,
Department of Psychology;
Christopher L. ("Kit") Salter,
Department of Geography;
Norman J. W. Thrower,
Department of Geography (b. 1919)
That said, I've accomplished a few things.
But mainly by default. Because I'm active and curious and like learning and doing stuff. Not because I was striving for something in particular.
Truth be told, the main reason I ever got a PhD is that my friends Tom and Michele told me they were betting I wouldn't finish. That got me going.
(It no doubt also helped that I grew up thinking everybody got a PhD. Unless you were a mom. But that caveat didn't apply to me, even potentially.)
For the dissertation, I was interested in what I looked into (textbook maps), but I'm sure my research made not a whit of difference in the world. I expect that textbook maps are just as lame now as they were twenty-eight years ago.
So I guess my interest in the subject, and in talking to teachers and to students, was what kept me going. Not the PhD per se. Because goodness knows, I haven't used it.
So yeah: that, I think, is a good thing. I was interested. It wasn't "about" ambition.
Even in my "career choice" (freelancing gadabout), ambition has not played a role. (Nor has money. Thank goodness David found gainful employment.)
But yet . . . all that said: I have achieved things that some people sweat bullets to get. So . . . why don't I value my accomplishments more?
That might be fodder for another post. Or, more likely, for a (personal) journal entry.
You don't think I'm divulging everything here, do you?
Two things: I am surprised to find nothing on the Web about two of my committee members, especially Kit Salter, who was a dynamo. And I wonder about my committee chair, Dr. Thrower—a sweet, sweet man. I feel guilty, as his last doctoral student, for having dropped out of his life. Maybe I should write him?
And . . . I really should not even have the PhD because I did not in fact pass two foreign language exams: I only passed one (German: a perfect score). That said, I took, and passed with flying As, classes in Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, and Dutch—so I am grateful that the department secretary told me to just shut up about the second exam. I would've passed it, no problem. (This is the first time I have ever confessed this particular transgression in public. Yes, I am an impostor. And no, I'm not.)