I met with my mentor today about the paper we had accepted for a conference in March.   He was telling me about having reread several articles related to this paper and the thinking he had done about it, which had led to a reconceptualization of the paper.  Good stuff too.  It made me want to cry.

Not because of the extra work involved, however.  I wanted to cry because I realized that I spend the time I have allocated for my work struggling to keep my head above water.  I have no time to “read and reconceptualize”, even if I had the skill.  I only have time to focus on the details; the mechanics. 

I wanted to cry because if I take this job working 4 days a week that will get worse. 

Education has 2 doctorates; the EdD, which is targeted at practitioners and administrators, and the PhD which is targeted at people who want to do research and teach in a university somewhere.  Its an open secret that (with a few exceptions like Harvard that only offer an EdD) the requirements for a PhD are more difficult, the research standards higher, the theoretical constructs more critical. 

The problem is that working working in a completely unrelated field for large numbers of hours keeps me from having the time and energy to develop the ways of thinking and background knowledge that I need to hit the PhD level.  Which I need for what I want to do.

Most colleges don’t LET their students work, and I’m beginning to understand why.  Education related fields often do  but the people I know who have gotten PhDs while working were generally working in a closely related area.  I’m not.  My work is far from the area of my studies.

Maybe I’m studying the wrong thing; maybe I should drop these classes and go get a PhD in business or comp sci studying business intelligence technologies.  Oh wait, those departments don’t want you to work at ALL.  *sigh*

The cognitive dissonance is really starting to take its toll.  This isn’t like taking a job at target to make a few extra bucks and an employee discount; the jobs I have/am offered are complex and require work and concentration.  And long commutes. 

And every time I see promise of a solution, it slips away again….Mentor had a meeting this afternoon and will probably be taking on a big project (with a big budget) for which he needs my skills, but its unclear how, if at all, he can get me any additional money for doing it.  The university has a few too many rules….

*sigh* I feel trapped.  I hate that feeling…..