November 16, 2013

Countdown to End of Semester Two

I can hardly believe it, but I have only four weeks to go until I complete my second semester at Regent University. Semester two has been great so far, challenging and difficult at times, but overall it has been exactly what I envisioned. Doctoral coursework is hard, very hard, and as a student, you are challenged to think outside the box all the time. I struggle with the assignments, just the timing of them, and with all the reading, but generally the coursework and discussions have been excellent. It is not easy to work full-time and go to school, especially not at this level. I face constant doubt and uncertainty about my abilities to do this level of work. I find that I often do not understand the greater context of the books we read nor am I able to really contribute anything substantive to the discussion. My colleagues are more adept at this than I am, but since we are all different, and we all bring different attributes to the table, in some ways, it all seems to work out right. I wish I could say that I love my studies, but that wouldn't be 100% accurate. I enjoy my studies, and I often find that I am short on time to complete them. I don't love them, but I am learning a lot that is practical and useful to ministry and to professional work. In all, my decision to go to Regent University and study for a PhD has been a good one. I am blessed to be a student at this fine University and I look forward to each new semester and the challenges I will face as I learn to become a research scholar and a Christian communicator. God is Good -- so very Good to me.

It has been three weeks since I started my new job at NurseWise in Tempe, AZ. It has been a difficult transition for me, simply because I do not have a well-defined role nor do I have a set of responsibilities yet. The position I am in is similar to a Business Analyst, but without a specific area of expertise. This gray-area of work has left me feeling as though I have very little to do each day, and that sense of unknown is causing me to second-guess this job opportunity. I have been patient these past couple weeks because I felt that there was a "breaking-in" period where I needed to get comfortable with the company, and my direct supervisor needed to get to know me and my work style. I felt initially that we were a good fit for our work styles, but now I think that my new manager is uncertain how she and I can work together. I am much more of a "get to it" type of person, and she is very big picture. I think there is hope, but we need to come to some sort of agreement on how to proceed. My VP is in town next week, so after she leaves, I think I will sit down with my boss to ask her for some direction. I cannot continue to sit without actual work to do, and I doubt that she wants me to do that, so hopefully we can agree on a plan to move forward and a way for me to be productive in this very different kind of work environment.

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