On July 17, 2006, I was admitted to a doctoral program at Nova Southeastern University. At that point in my life I was winding down my lobbying business and was a finalist for a “C” level role at a prominent local health care facility. I remember telling my wife the shelf life for these type senior roles was 3 – 5 years and I wanted to be prepared to transition to life in academia as an exit strategy. I already had a MBA/MHA and was hoping a DBA would cement my future allowing me to teach or consult as I walked off into the sunset of my career.
During the 6 years while I was studying for the DBA:
- I wasn’t offered the “C” level job I thought was a slam dunk
- My finances went into a tailspin since most of my clients were affected by the sinking economy
- I lost my home of 15 years since the “equity” I thought I had disappeared like sand through my fingers
- Sent my daughter off to college to Los Angeles without the financial resources to support her
- Moved my wife and youngest daughter into a 1,000 square foot apartment – 3,500 feet smaller than what they were used to
- Spent 18 months underemployed – teaching college classes when available
- Was on unemployment – something I thought I would never have to do
- Started a new career – reinventing oneself is easier said than done
- My marriage survived. Thanks to the omnipresent Grace of my Lord and my God and the wonderful support of my brothers and sisters of our Emmaus Group
- And kept a 3.75 GPA throughout the entire DBA program leading up to the last course required
And that’s when the wheels fell off this armored truck I had been driving for the past 6 years…. The last course was offered by an instructor that exemplifies the frustrated academician – without a life outside of the ivory tower. I’ve tried not to sound like my 12 year old daughter whining about teachers she dislikes. The difference is I have a classmate that could not believe the obvious discrimination and badgering this instructor showed towards me. After all was said and done, she gave me a failing grade based on capricious and subjective grading. After 6 years of doctorate level statistics, operations theory, logistical planning and qualitative and quantitative analysis – she flunks me on the simplest course on organizational theories…
The Nova program has a 6 year window – concluding on July 17, 2012. The failing grade, my first since kindergarten – puts me in academic probation. Typically you have one year to retake the class and get out of probation. But since the program window ends this July 17th, I cannot retake, so….. I received a letter stating:
Your status will be changed to “Dismissed” on July 17, 2012……
I’ve blogged about God’s Perfect Plan. And how difficult it is to discern what he wants from us. But this is a really difficult pill to swallow. I’m trying not to let my ego show its ugly face – On one side I’m pissed and defiant, on anther I’m embarrassed, on another I’m depressed and yet on another side I am very, very confused.
I know God want us all to be successful and joyful and for our lives to be bountiful. I also know a Catholic life does not call for us to be patsies in the face of adversity or obstacles. I will pursue all administrative and legal options left to me. But what a body blow to my plans. I hate the fact that I will have to spend positive energy and very limited financial resources on litigation.
But what else to do……?