Forty Miles to a Ph.D


Riley: Granddad, can you take us into the city tomorrow to watch the R. Kelly trial?
Granddad: Hell, no. But you can walk.
Riley: It's forty miles!
Granddad: All the money I spent on them damn Nikes? You better just do it.
-The Boondocks

A few months ago, I was at McDonald’s getting reinforcements for my coworkers who were slaving away at an event, where I met a man who (as happens often) mistook me for a student. He expressed the same incredulity as most others when I told him I had in fact completed two degrees, and was thinking about a third. He then told me his own journey through education, about how hard he worked to complete a degree, and how life got in the way of his own attempts to get a doctorate. His advice: “Do it now. Once life gets in the way, you may never do it.”

The above quote from The Boondocks, one of my all-time favorite shows, illustrates how I feel about the journey toward getting a Ph.D. Like the R. Kelly trial was to Riley, it’s something very important to me. I love the opportunity it will give me to research intensively and contribute to the field of Student Affairs. And it will make it easier to teach later in life, an ultimate goal for me.

That forty miles on foot? It’s going to be the long nights, the studying when I don’t always feel like it, the attempts to be competent in both my career and my academic pursuits (please note the intentional omission of the word “balance”), and the money it will take me to get there. I don’t anticipate that being easy, but I do anticipate it being worth it.

And as for the Nikes? That’s everything I’ve done to this point that will help me through it all. All the recreational reading I do. The writing and presentations I’ve done to sharpen my academic skills. The friends and family I have who will support me, and in some cases be going on a similar journey alongside me. So just like Riley toward my own “trial of the century”, I better just do it. So here we go...let the application process begin. It’ll be a long one, but I’m sure you’ll hear from me along the way.

Trust me. I’m going to be a doctor :) Someday I will be called Dr. Marfo. 

Amma Marfo
@ammamarfo 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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