Tuesday, April 20, 2010

(An)Other Way: Pragmatic Empathy as Response to Discursive Conflict


Yesterday, my husband turned in a defendable draft of his dissertation. This means that the project (200 page book) he began almost five years ago is almost complete and I am going to be officially married to a Dr. soon (May 14th to be exact).

I want to take this moment to say how proud I am of my husband. I am proud, of course, at what he has accomplished. Getting a PhD is not an easy thing. John loves what he does and works hard to be a good teacher and academic. But I am more proud of the way he has gone about accomplishing this.


We got married the summer before he started his Masters degree at Western. From day one, he has been very purposeful in the manner in which he works so that his family is always first. He has worked either a full or part time job and been a full time student throughout the whole process. Even in this he has managed to live a full life while immersed in the rigor of academics.

Moving to North Carolina and beginning his PhD was no different. I have spoken to so many spouses that say that their significant other was so difficult to live with while in school. John has been able to balance school with home life better than anyone I know. Much better than I would have been able to. We have had a baby girl, adopted a baby boy, been actively involved in church communities, and many other things, all while John was working on getting his degree, a degree that takes most five to six years to accomplish with life on hold and a full commitment to the task.

The past few months have been difficult. I have watched John struggle daily with trying to keep it together while being pulled in so many directions; knowing that finishing his dissertation had to take priority. He is working full time at Elon, stays home with the kids two days a week, and had the impending deadline of April 19th to turn in his draft hanging over his head. Every spare moment has been commited to this task. He was forced to give up all leisure time in the evenings and weekends so that we could move forward in life. I would like to say that I was a wonderful support system for him during this time but to be honest, I didn’t do well without the consistency and presence of my best friend. John is the mood setter in our home so the mood has been stressful and exhasted. And it is in this that I have realized just how hard he has worked these past years to live life with us instead of being consumed with school.


In a world that tells us that success in our careers is the most important thing, I have been blessed with a partner that will drop everything to play with his son and daughter or watch a movie with his wife. Someone that saw adopting our baby boy as more important than completing his degree "on time" or being the best in his field. I am so glad that this part of our journey is over but through this experience I have come to respect John and trust that he will always put us first, no matter the temptations of work or life. What a blessing to have in a husband!


Congratulations Honey!!! You are almost done!

14 comments:

Jenny said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS DAY :-) Way to go, John!!

JonesEthiopia said...

Wow, what a huge accomplishment! Congratulations on being finished. That is wonderful!

Connie said...

Sarah - What an encouragement to share this with all who read your blog. You have such a gift in sharing your heart.

Dr John - High Five to the nth degree! So glad this journey is nearly complete for you and your precious family!

Love you all -

Someday_phd said...

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

It is and always has been your dad and I's upmost pride in being your parents. We see all of your hard work and the wonderful family you and Sarah have built together. Congratulations son. I know God gave you to us to make our days brighter our hearts lighter and our family joyous. God Bless and keep you during the final stage of this journey.

Becca Harley said...

yeah!!! Congratulations to all of you! I remember 4 years ago this month when Eric handed in his dissertation, and then defended, and was done! We are celebrating with you!
Becca
ourjourneyto6.blogspot.com

Lindsey said...

Whoooooo Hooooooooo! Nice Job!

Melissa said...

Congrats John-- and congrats to you all! It's certainly not easy to be the student OR the family behind the student throughout this process.

Now, back to my own dissertation.:)

Lee & Stacey said...

...or that will stop what he should be doing just to help a couple crazy friends move when he only has a week left to get it all done! Thanks John!!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

What a BLESSED MAN & BLESSED FAMILY!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!

Derrick Scheid said...

Awesome! Way to go, John, and way to hang in there too Sarah. We are really proud of you guys. Really, really. -Biz

Belleme said...

GREAT JOB John!! :) Congratulations! You now officially win the title of "wicked smart!" We're proud of you Pell clan! :)

Blogging Elle said...

Congratulations!! I have always thought that John was amazing in being able to juggle all that he does - I'm so happy for all of you that he'll officially be Dr. Pell very soon!!! :)

KAMILLE said...

Congratulations John! We're so proud of you for all the long, hard work you've put into school; as well as, keeping your family first.

And way to go Sarah for your loving & kind words you've spoken about your husband & best friend. It's a blessing for me to see my friends love their spouse & stay committed to one another. love scellicks