I’ve resisted the impulse to blog about my recent achievement (becoming ABD). I’m sort of blogging about it now, but am rather wanting to talk about one of my experiences today that was a “first.” I was introduced to as Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Ph.D. Candidate for the first time today. It was a great feeling, and I enjoyed being on the other side of “student.” While I am in the beginning stages of writing the dissertation, it feels good to be at this moment and time: ABD. Becoming ABD begins and ends w/ the choosing of an advisor, and perhaps that is where I want to begin reflecting.
When I began searching for places to do my Ph.D., I either wanted to study with a Queer person, or a person of color. For me, I wanted a Latin@ of some sort. I found Dr. Miguel De La Torre to be that person, and while he is straight and a bit macho, he has been more than an advisor to and for me. He has served as a sounding board, a mentor, and encourager. One of the things that he pushes his students on is being involved in the community of ethicists, and finding one’s own voice. And so, while Miguel serves as my dissertation chair and primary advisor, I have a group of scholars holding me close in heart and holding me accountable to do the good work I am capable of doing. Some of those folks I’ve mentioned on this blog before, and others remain cited, but only in my heart. Becoming ABD is a feat, for sure, but it is in the choosing of an advisor and one’s community that truly sustains one’s ability to do good work.
And, to do the good work that I want to do means that I continue to engage in scholarly discourse and explore the realm of teaching. While the teaching pieces still have me a bit anxiety ridden, the move to continue to engage in scholarly discourse does not. Like today, for example, when I was a guest in the Iliff Social Media Praxis Class. It was nice to be apart of the conversation, and also contribute to the imagination of bodies and how we understand bodies.
Life continues to be good to me. I sometimes wonder if there’s someone praying?! Thanks, Miguel, for taking me on as your student and for encouraging me to explore the field of Ethics. And, I continue to be grateful to Melanie Harris, Kate Ott, Nikki Young, Kelby Harrison, Mark George, Margaret Robinson, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and so many others (like that *one* girl) who help me get to where I need to go when it comes to my thinking.
Time to write the dissertation!